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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Thompson in Schoolcraft County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Thompson Docks

 
 
Thompson Docks Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, May 31, 2017
1. Thompson Docks Marker
Inscription.
The Thompson Railroad Line served the mill owned by the Delta Lumber Company beginning with a terminal located at Indian River. In the early logging days, softwoods floated down the river to this terminal to be loaded onto flat cars. After the turn of the century, loggers began cutting the hardwood forests and the railroad extended its lines 20 miles north. Oxen were used to haul timber from the forest to clearings, where the wood was then transferred to horse drawn sleighs and taken to the trains.

When the train arrived, the logs were unloaded into the mill ponds. These ponds were surrounded by the docks which extended out into the lake a depth of 16 feet. The timber was then milled and stacked to dry on the docks. The scrap wood, or slabs, were cut into smaller lengths and hauled to nearby Manistique.

Once the lumber was dried, crews would load the schooners with lumber to be shipped all over the Great Lakes region. These lumber "hookers", as they were called, were designed for shoal water operation since many mill ports were relatively shallow. Also important to the economy of the region was commercial fishing. Family owned fishing vessels also used the Thompson docks as their home port.

Photos courtesy of Miles Stanley
 
Location. 45° 54.401′ 
Upper Far Left Image image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, May 31, 2017
2. Upper Far Left Image
Top: Trains hauled logs over 5 miles, up to 6 trips a day and dumped them in the mill ponds. Bottom: A logging team.
N, 86° 19.476′ 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. Touch for map. The unnamed road is north of Thompson, about 415 feet north of Manistique Avenue. Marker is in this post office area: Manistique MI 49854, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 6 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Christmas Tree Ship / Thompson (here, next to this marker); The Mill Brings Prosperity to Thompson (here, next to this marker); The Christmas Tree Ship (here, next to this marker); Life in a Lumber Town (here, next to this marker); Schoolcraft County (here, next to this marker); Carl D. Bradley (approx. 5.1 miles away).
 
Categories. Industry & Commerce
 
Lower Far Left Image image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, May 31, 2017
3. Lower Far Left Image
More ships.
Near Left Images image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, May 31, 2017
4. Near Left Images
Top: The Delta Lumber Company created a pond of several acres into which logs were stored prior to being milled. The pond could hold at least 8 million board feet worth of logs and was also utilized as a safe haven for boats during bad weather. Bottom: Ships in Thompson Harbor waiting to be loaded.
Top Middle Image image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, May 31, 2017
5. Top Middle Image
The docks at Thompson as they appeared in the 1800's. The schooner on the left was tentatively identified as the Rouse Simmons.
Lower Middle Image image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, May 31, 2017
6. Lower Middle Image
The mill pond.
Top Right Image image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, May 31, 2017
7. Top Right Image
Lumber "hookers".
Near Right Image image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, May 31, 2017
8. Near Right Image
The lumber was stacked to allow air drying. The top layer was placed at a slant for protection from the weather.
Bottom Far Right Images image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, May 31, 2017
9. Bottom Far Right Images
Top: The men, standing on top of the lumber piles, pass the boards to the crew on the deck of the schooners. The lumber was then transferred into the holds. Note the open hatches. Bottom: The "Dorothy S" at Thompson Harbor 1914. This fishing tug was owned and operated by the Sellman Family.
Thompson Docks Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, May 31, 2017
10. Thompson Docks Marker
This marker is the one to the left of the green Michigan historical marker.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 12, 2017. This page originally submitted on July 12, 2017, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page has been viewed 74 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. submitted on July 12, 2017, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.
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