Station: Black River, MI

Black River was a settlement on Lake Huron in Alcona County, named from the stream which flows through it. It was a fishing settlement in 1849, and then became the seat of lumbering operations for the Alger, Smith & Company., which between 1876 and 1880 was the largest pine timber producers in the world. [MPN]

Black River was a station on the Detroit, Bay City & Alpena railroad (later D&M). Originally the mainline turned inland at this location through the forests, but was eventually straightened along the Lake Huron coast.

Time Line

1906. January. Alger, Smith & Co. Closes Operations. Bay City parties have purchased the buildings owned by Alger, Smith & Co. at Black River. The deal included the saw mill, boarding house, barns, tenement houses and sheds. They have been torn down and the lumber shipped to Bay City. The foundation piles are white pine and as sound as when driver, thirty years ago. They will be lifted from the water and manufactured into lumber. It is expected the purhasers will get more than 1,000,000 feet of lumber from this source. This is practically all that is left of a once busy lumber town. It was the headquarters of the Lake Huron lumbering operations of Alger, Smith & Co. for more than twenty years and and aside from operating a saw mill, the firm rafted from 70 million to 110 million feet of long logs annually from Black River down the lakes every season for more than a score of years. Now the town is dead; the stores are closed, so are the churches and the school. It is a deserted village. [AML- 1/20/1906]