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Forestville Bicentennial History Page 7

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long grade served as the town bobsled run when I was a youngster. The old Mastin dock and warehouses were damaged by storms and were torn down in 1913. Duff Mastin then built a new dock and accessory buildings a block south at the foot of Maple this became the site of Haggert’s boat livery and "BeachHead" restaurant, popular in later years. Both old Mastin house now belong to Ralph Thompson and Pete’s 1872 dwelling on lake street has been rebuilt into the Pardo summer cottage. 


The coming of the railroad gradually drew many business men away from the shore towns and Tom Canham was among them he and his associate. Chas. Ross, built the Minden City Rollers Mills in 1882 and the Woolen Mill a little later. In 1901 he joined Ross and L. H. Riedel of Forestville in building the Riedel Elevator in Minden City. ("City" was added in 1883.) In 1885-6 Canham built the large brick store block, with a 12 room residence above to accommodate his big family, just west of the railroad tracks. He sold his Forestville store to Sarah Riley and moved to Minden. His Minden store was bought from the Canham estate by Wahla brothers, John, Frank, Charles and Leo, in 1903. Leo managed the store until 1907 when he died of typhoid. This is the same store my wife and I ran for 12 years, until 1942, when we went into the building business together. Tom Canham large and popular family made his home the social center for young people in the Minden area. My mother who, who was born 2 miles from Minden, often spoke of the good times the young folks had at Canham’s during the 80’s and the 90’s when "young Bob" was managing the store, and " engineering" big parties in the Canham home. 


Two Irish families, related by marriage and prominent in post-civil war Forestville, were the Pott’s and O'Keefe's. A.W. (Bill) O'Keefe came, with his parents sisters and brothers, from Tilsonburg, Ontario in 1886 and settle in Bridgehamton township. The old folks originally hailed from County Cork, Ireland, as did James Potts, who came to Croswell ( old Davisville) from Canada in 1862. James Potts, who moved family to Forestville at the close of the Civil War. At the time of the fire 1871 he running a small hotel and saloon on old Cass Ave. near Second. He bought 120 acres of cut-over Ward land west, and north of the present Catholic cemetery, and built his original log house on Cass River Road. He worked the farm with his 4 boys and served as local constable continuously for seventeen years. His career as peace officers began in 1869 and ran through an era of lumberjack brawls, saloon fights and petty lawsuits, so much a part of pioneer life. 


The largest single result of Mr. Allardt’s work was the setting of the Colonial Saxonia in Sanilac County. In 1872 Julius Davis, acting for the Bay Furnace Company and Munising Iron Company of Munising to get 56 miners and their families went to Germany and organized in Saxon the Colonial Saxoina. This was made up men who contributed in monthly installments until each man had contributed a sum equal to $25. When a man had paid in that amount, a drawing was had and a ticket numbered given, which was to entitle the holder to a choice in the large tract of land intended to be purchased in Michigan. In November, 1872, Mr. Allardt wrote Governor Bagley that he had returned from Saxony where he had assisted in the organization and that three delegates would leave on November 6, and the members of the colonies the following April. Davis succeeded in getting about 250 interest., which was many more then needed for mining. The main Colonies left Hamburg for Hull, England. And as there was a very large immigration in 1873, which often interfered with the regular operation of ship lines, after waiting a few days at Hull they went to Liverpool and there embarked in the steamer Baltic. Arriving in New York they met the delegates who had returned from the Upper Peninsula and reported that the weather there was too serve. Mr. Bruno Grent was on the ship , and because of his knowledge of English and his business experience had been made secretary of the band. All came to Detroit: and Davis finding they would not got to Munising, finally arranged with E. E. Ward, who own a tract of about 5,000 acres of land near Forestville from which he cut the pine timber, to sell this to the colonist at $7 per acres. In September, 1873 Davis, was in Forestville arranging to build houses for the colonist. Some of them had money others very little if any. For about two years Davis worked- Mr. Gernt was an assistant. – in helping them, collecting their payments. Drawing their deeds and contracts. In many cases in order to help a poor colonist to make his purchased payments he used money of the richer colonist -the land was sold on ten yearly payment -and in this way inextricable complication was arose, and never heard from by them. Mr. Gernt then took charge and with much difficulty succeeded in getting all the purchases straightened out although some lost considerable money in the transition. Each member of the original colony drew by lot a forty -acre decryption out of the tract. Not all of the colonists, after reaching Detroit continued up to Forestville and the Ward

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