BLUE LAKE TOWNSHIP
This township is of regulation size, a square of six miles each
side, and is on the northern tier of townships, with Whitehall and
Montague on the west, Holton on the east, and Dalton on the
south, with Otto on the north in Oceana County. It is range 10
west, and township 12 north, and is named from a good-sized lake
—Blue Lake—about a mile and a half long. The whole township
drains into the White River, which crosses the northwest corner,
and it is full of little hikes among which may he noticed Little Black
Lake in the south. Indeed the town of Blue Lake with the north
of Dalton, and the southeast of Holton is all a lake country, which
a quarter of a century ago obtained the name of the Thousand Lakes.
The most of the township is sandy loam, and will be good for the
raising of fruit, the only objection will be the want of faculties for
shipping as compared with those on the lake shores.
The first supervisor was Austin P. Ware, born in 1818 in New
York State, and a settler since 1864, settling on Sections 20 and 29.
He held the Supervisorship from the time the town was organized
in 1865 to 1869, when Jas. P. Utter held it one year, then the late
Alden J. Nash, then Ware again, then Utter for four years, then N.
R. Dryer one year, then Franklin Scott two terms, then Francis
Hiscutt since 1879. P. J. Martin is Clerk.
The elections are held on the first Monday in April, and there
is no debt, and they have never borrowed. There are no churches
or villages in the town, the preaching being done in school houses;
the first preaching was in District school No. 2, by a Baptist, Rev.
The first white child was probably Hattie, daughter of Alfred
Tyndall, born in 1864, although some claim that Edward, son of
Jas. Doherty, now of North Muskegon, was born a year or two before.
Messrs. Hayes, Doherty and Brown worked for Daltons and
were among the first settlers. The northeast comer seems to have
been settled first. About 1862, on the Weigant place, came in a
Mr. Andrews from near Grand Rapids, and remained until 1867.
One of the first schools was that known as the Block School. Lars
Jensen and the Andersens, Danes, came in 1863 into the southwest
comer; B. F. Aldrich in the fall of 1863, and in the following spring
A. P. Ware, his brother-in law. C. H. Chatheld, Dr. Kingsley, now
removed, came in 1864; J. M. Crawford, A. Tyndall, M. D. Drake,
and Mr. Warren are old settlers.
Many settlers easily obtained land under homestead and other
laws, but knowing nothing of farming, after using up all the pine,
and the ties, they sold out for a small price or abandoned their
claims, and some have been tried and relinquished three times,
Since lumbering has been dying out, the population is not increasing, but those who have devoted themselves to farming are
doing fairly. The pine is sound but mostly rough and knotty. Between Silver Creek and Cleveland Creek is perhaps the finest land.
Cleveland Creek is a tine stream, a south branch of White River
and traverses the centre of the town; miming chiefly north with an
inclination to the west. Silver Creek runs across Whitehall and
strikes White River four miles from its mouth, at Dalton's old water mill. The first settlers were chiefly
lumbermen, but those who
turned their attention to farming have done, best. The township
has never been much run over by fires. The taxes are low; for instance, one farm of 820 acres, improved, is valued at $400, and
pays $10 to $18 a year. Land can be bought cheaply lately, a
few transactions show what the cash value is: the Doherty place,
80 acres, cleared, 100 acres in all, bought for $600; the Kaiser
place, 80 acres, sold for $300, with 30 acres of cleared and a frame
house. But little of the town is tinder cultivation, much being still
The first saw mill was in 1856, the "Brown" mill in the southeast comer of Section 6. There is now but one saw mill in operation, a water mill owned by Widow Jensen at the head of Silver
Creek. There was a steam mill in the southeast of Section 25, belonging to F. H. Sturtevant, of Whitehall, and another on Section
29, operated by Dr. Kingsley.
The township was organized in 1865, out of Dalton, and in
1870 Fruitland was formed of the some township. In 1873 this
town by removals became almost disorganized and a new election
for most of the offices was held on November 4, at Diedrich's school
house. Geo. Mudge the only Justice of the Peace had removed.
Ophelia Parks, sister of Mrs. F. D. Glazier, of Whitehall, who
died in 1878, was the first school teacher, in May, 1860, and the
Block school house was the first school house. The first Sunday
school was organized in April, 1866, in the house of Henry F.
Robert Nesbet, farmer, born in Canada iu 1845; after various
removes came to Blue Lake in 1860, having been married the previous February. He has two children living, Eliza, and Robert
Austin, and one dead. He served from 1868 to the close of the
war as a volunteer.
Francis Hiscutt, farmer, born in Monroe county, N. Y., Mar.
2, 1839, enlisted in Co. A 108th N. Y. Vols, in July, 1862, serving
three years. Came to Blue Lake in 1867, married in 1861 to
Catherine A. Witbeck at Webster, N. Y., who died in 1870.
History of Muskegon Co with Illustrations & biographies
H.R. Page 1882
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