Schoolcraft County
Manistique, Michigan
Handle Factory History & Photos
 
 
 
 
 
Handle Factory History
 
Source:  Manistique Centennial Book, 1960
 
    The community also had a handle factory, begun in 1904, and later succeeded by the Northwoods Manufacturing Co.  At one time it made 3.5 million handles annually and distributed them to every state in the nation.  The firm used four million feet of timber yearly and was the world's largest producer of maple handles for broom[s], mops and other uses.
 
 
 
 
Manistique Handle Factory Circa 1915 - Photo Contributed by Paul Petosky
 
 The Manistique Handle Factory originally manufactured wooden handles for feather dusters, floor sweepers, whisk brooms and other items.  The majority were produced using maple and beech wood.
 
    Sometime later the company was sold to the Thomas Berry Chemical Company.  The company employed 30 men in the plant and 30 more for their woods operation.  Personnel included the following:  V. I. Hixon, President; L. LeDuc, Director; L. Rosenthal, Director; Wilfred Beaudoin, Bookkeeper; Adolf Sandburg, Woods Supt.; Ed Ekdahl, Scaler and yard foreman; and Frank Shirk, Plant Supt.
 
    The company was sold once more in 1929, this time to Charles Slining Sr., who renamed it the Northwoods Manuafacturing Company.  The plant continued to produce wooden broom handles.     
   
 
 
 
Broom Company products on display - Photo contributed by Paul Petosky