“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
St. Charles in Saginaw County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

Early St. Charles

Early St. Charles Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J.T. Lambrou, August 26, 2021
1. Early St. Charles Marker
Inscription.  In 1852 Hiram Davis built the first house in St. Charles here, at "the forks" of the Bad River. The log house measured 18 by 26 feet. Only rough trails existed at the time so goods were transported by canoe or raft or pack. Davis helped build the Chesaning Road, which encouraged settlement. The township was organized in the Davis house in 1853 and named for lumberman and investor Charles Kimberly, who built the first store that year. By 1860 thriving St. Charles had 500 residents, 2 steam sawmills, 2 hotels, 4 general stores, 2 churches, district schools, and a library association. In 1912 Davis’s daughter Sarah Davis Lytle recalled the first frame house, which had stood near their log home. She suggested that this site be named “Pioneer Park” and that a memorial or marker be erected.
Erected 2005 by Michigan Historical Commission-Michigan Historical Center. (Marker Number L2151.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers
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. In addition, it is included in the Michigan Historical Commission series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1852.
Location. 43° 17.993′ N, 84° 8.321′ W. Marker is in St. Charles, Michigan, in Saginaw County. Marker is on East Water Street, 0.1 miles east of Vine Street, on the left when traveling north. Located at entrance to Lumberjack Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 901 East Water Street, Saint Charles MI 48655, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Local Historical Site (approx. 0.2 miles away); St. Charles Veterans Memorial (approx. 0.3 miles away); 8" Howitzer (approx. half a mile away); Saginaw Valley Coal (approx. half a mile away); Schroeder House (approx. 1.7 miles away); George Nason House (approx. 7.9 miles away); Leamington Stewart House (approx. 7.9 miles away); Woodland Trail (approx. 8.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in St. Charles.
Also see . . .  St. Charles Township. History of both St. Charles Township and St. Charles Village. Included in the history (p. 901): "Among the first permanent settlers in the township were Hiram Davis, C. B. Kimberly, Alpheus Oliver, from Ohio; Frank Oliver, Benjamin Colvin, from New York; Francis Harris and O. Doty came in
Early St. Charles Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J.T. Lambrou, August 26, 2021
2. Early St. Charles Marker
Bad River in the background
1852. At this time the only means of conveyance for families or goods was by canoe and rafts, it being almost impossible to pass through the dense forests with a team." Also, "The first house built in the township for a dwelling, was built of logs in 1852, by Hiram Davis. It was 18x26 feet, three rooms below and two above stairs. Mr. Davis occupied it with his family, also keeping a hotel. It was located on the south side of the south branch of the Bad river at its junction with the north branch. The first frame building was a store-house, built in 1852, by C. B. Kimberly; he kept some general goods for sale in this building, though not a regular store. The first frame built for a regular store was in 1853, by Mr. Kimberly. He kept a full line of general goods. This was the first store, and was located on the N. E. corner of Saginaw avenue and Water street, in St. Charles village.... The first frame dwelling-house was built in the summer of 1854, just south of log house, by a Mr. Carpenter."
— Leeson, M. A. & Clark, D. (1881). St. Charles Township. In History of Saginaw County Michigan; Together with Sketches of its Cities, Villages and Townships, Educational, Religious, Civil, Military, and Political History; Portraits of Prominent Persons, and Biographies of Representative Citizens (pp. 901-914). Chas. C. Chapman & Co. (Submitted on September 20, 2021, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.)
Early St. Charles Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J.T. Lambrou, August 26, 2021
3. Early St. Charles Marker
Location of marker in Lumberjack Park near the Saginaw Valley Rail Trail St Charles Trailhead
Credits. This page was last revised on September 20, 2021. It was originally submitted on August 26, 2021, by J.T. Lambrou of New Boston, Michigan. This page has been viewed 466 times since then and 86 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 26, 2021, by J.T. Lambrou of New Boston, Michigan. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 22, 2024