Thompson in Schoolcraft County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
The Mill Brings Prosperity to Thompson
The early 1880's brought tremendous change to the Thompson area. The abundance of nearby virgin timber and the natural harbor attracted the interest of the Delta Lumber Company of Detroit. Under the leadership of company president E.L. Thompson, a lumber mill was built on the shore of Lake Michigan, just south of where you are standing. If you look carefully you can see the remains of the brick and concrete foundation on which the mill engine was located.
By 1885, the Mill was one of the best steam mills in this part of the country. Additional circular saws and boilers increased production. The mill required 20,000,000 feet of timber to operate for the season. Expansion of the dock was necessary to accommodate loading lumber on ships bound for large cities to the south. The landscape changing 'burner," one of the largest of its class was used to dispose of dust and waste from the mill.
As the Mill grew and prospered so did the company town of Thompson. Businesses necessary to keep the Mill and its employees supplied with goods and services sprang up. Population increased, roads were created and improved, and rail lines
The Mill operated continuously for 42 years under several different owners. In 1893 F&F Company (Frank and Friant) took over from the Delta Lumber Company, followed by the Thompson Lumber Company, North Shore Lumber Company and finally A.M. Chesborough Company.
In 1924, with timber resources used up, the saw mill and much of the town were dismantled and shipped away. While the village of Thompson still existed, it was to slowly become what you see today.
Photos courtesy of Miles Stanley
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Industry & Commerce.
Location. 45° 54.401′ N, 86° 19.479′ W. Marker is in Thompson, Michigan, in Schoolcraft County. Marker is on unnamed road 0.1 miles east of U.S. 2, on the right when traveling east. The unnamed road is north of Thompson, about 415 feet north of Manistique Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Manistique MI 49854, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 6 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Life in a Lumber Town (here, next to this marker); Thompson Docks (here, next to this marker); Christmas Tree Ship / Thompson (here, next to Schoolcraft County (here, next to this marker); The Christmas Tree Ship (here, next to this marker); Carl D. Bradley (approx. 5.1 miles away).
Credits. This page was last revised on July 13, 2017. It was originally submitted on July 13, 2017, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page has been viewed 74 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on July 13, 2017, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.