Town of Novesta

Taken from The History of Tuscola County, Biographical Sketches and Illustrations, H. R. Page Co., Chicago, 1883. Transcribed by Bonnie Petee.

NOVESTA

On the east line of Tuscola County, next south of Elkland, east of Ellington and north of Kingston, lies the town of Novesta. Cass River and its south branch flow through the north tier of sections, separating from the rest of the town about 1,900 acres.

 

On the east line of Tuscola County, next south of Elkland, east of Ellington and north of Kingston, lies the town of Novesta. Cass River and its south branch flow through the north tier of sections, separating from the rest of the town about 1,900 acres.

For this there were several reasons; the primary reason was that logging operations had not to any extent reached the interior of the town. The pine within short hauls of Cass River was cut, and the character of the county to the south judged from that along the river where more of a sandy soil is found. That the country was little thought of, if not actually in disrepute, is shown from the incident related of the earliest settler in the town who settled on the southwest quarter of section 10 in 1864. Making his way out one day to the river, traveling by compass and by the blazed section lines, he came out upon a "tote" road near the river and met a lumberman who inquired whence he came. Being informed, he asked "Have you killed anybody?" Mr. Bridges answered that he had not. "then what in h-ll are you down there for?"

Another hindrance to the settlement of the town was the lack of means of communication with other settlements. Streams had not been bridged, and the only means of reaching the line of travel to the north of Cass River was by boats and rafts. David M. Houghton, one of the early settlers of the town going into 1868, relates that having occasion to take a pig across the river he could find no means of crossing except a log, the boats and rafts having been carried away by the June freshet. Cutting a pole with which to propel his craft he put the pig on in front of him and crossed in safety, for though this was piggy's first experience in river driving, it was not Mr. Houghton's who was an expert in the handling of such craft. Shortly after Mr. Bridges came Reuben A. Mosher. Few settlers followed until 1866, when the first considerable logging operations commenced.  Here as in so many other towns the lumber camps were the advance posts, the vedettes of civilization - and like vedettes their work being done they fall back.

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Transcribed by Bonnie Petee

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