Van Buren Co MI

 Covert, Michigan


Covert, MI (Main Street - 1920's) - Contributed by Paul Petrosky

The hamlet of Covert - which by courtesy is termed a village, though not incorporated - is located principally on section 14, though a portion of it crosses the section line and covers a port of section 13. Its growth may be regarded in some respects not only as rapid but remarkable, the year 1866 having witnessed the earliest effort which later resulted in a promising settlement. Messrs. Hawks & Lambert, of Niles, Mich., being attracted by the very luxuriant growth of timber in the township, purchased timberland in the vicinity, and immediately began the erection of mills, locating them where the grist-mill of Packard & Sons now stands. They carried on a lumbering business for three years, when their interest was purchased by Packard & Co.

To these gentlemen may be ascribed the credit of having prompted the growth of the village, and placed the township on a business equality with the most enterprising townships of the county. Alfred H. Packard, Jr., had previously established himself upon section 2, where he had in 1868 erected saw-mills and made large purchases of land. Messrs. Packard & Co. had added much to their timbered lands purchased of Messrs. Hawks & Lambert, and finding the capacity of the mill already built insufficient, erected in 1872, a mill of larger dimensions, which was operated by steam. One of these mills was later devoted to sawing and planing, and a grist-mill was built for the purpose of doing custom work. In this mill corn, and feed of various kinds are ground, but no flour. The saw-mills have a capacity of 4,000,000 feet a year, and the firm also deal largely in bark and wood. They employ in the various departments of labor about 40 men, most of these being engaged in chopping. A horse-railroad has been built from the mills to the lake, which affords them superior advantages of shipping. For this purpose substantial piers have been built on the lake-shore at the terminus of the horse-railroad.

The mills of Alfred H. Packard, Jr., saw nearly 6,000,000 feet of lumber annually. They also have a horse-railroad which conveys lumber directly to the lake. The market for this lumber is found in Milwaukee, Chicago, Racine, and other lake-ports. The store was formerly connected with the business, but is now owned by Josiah Packard, who removed from Ohio, and was previously a member of the firm of Packard & Co.

There is much business activity manifested in Covert aside from the lumber interest. Josiah Packard conducts a general merchandise store, in which an extended trade is had. E. G. Allen & Co. deal in drugs and medicines, with which they combine groceries, and E. A. Rood is a heavy dealer in hardware. In addition there are two blacksmith-shops, kept by O. B. Shine and Mark Peters; one watch- and clock-shop, kept by J. R. Shine; one livery-stable, owned by S. D. Kenney; one market, kept by G. H. Michaels; one shoe-shop, the proprietor of which is ---- Colvin; and a master-builder, G. R. Ross, who has shown much skill in the construction of the new church at Covert.

Dr. G. D. Carnes, the only allopathic physician, enjoys an extensive practice.

The public school is under the superintendence of De Forest Ross, with Miss Ellen Shaw as assistant.

History of Berrien and Van Buren counties, Michigan. With ... biographical sketches of its prominent men and pioneers. Ellis, Franklin, 1828-1885., Johnson, Crisfield., D. W. Ensign & Co. Philadelphia: D. W. Ensign & Co., 1880.