The exterior of the original brick bank building has remained the same. One can still read the "State Bank of Trout Creek" imprint on the side of the building. After the liquidation, the building housed many entrepreneurs. Dr. Charles F. Whiteshield used the building for his practice and he and his wife lived in the rear portion. It also housed their store where one could buy anything from medicines to fishing equipment, or enjoy something from the soda fountain. In the early 1940's, Lew and Lydia McDonald took over and continued operating the business. In about 1957, Martin and Alma Keranen operated a restaurant in the building. This passed on to Juhola's, Freeman Carlisle's, Effie Pittsley, and Darwin Rea. The Township now uses the building to house the fire trucks and equipment and township offices.
Where the present American Legion building now stands was Hardes' Store (The Trout Creek Manufacturing Company Store) owned and operated by George and Rosa Hardes. Ruth Anderson, Sylvia Backa, and Naima Nousiainen were some of the store clerks. Finnish-speaking clerks were hired to assist the patrons.
The Post Office and Telephone Central were located in Hardes' Store. Victor Hardes was the postmaster and Flora Martin was the clerk.
Hardes built a new store in the 1920's on Division Street which has changed hands and is still being used as a store. The original Hardes' Store was then used as a restaurant and rooming house for lumber jacks and was operated by different parties. A shoemaker, Giocomo Agostineto used the building at one time for his shoe shop. He also was an inventor having patented a special knife for shoemakers and wooden tongs as a laundry aid.
The original building burned in the mid 1930's. The Settler's Co-op of Bruce Crossing built a branch store on the site. Around 1943 this business moved into the second Hardes' Store and the American Legion bought their empty building. This group has done extensive remodeling throughout their years of ownership.
East of the present township hall was the Trout Creek Hotel operating from the turn of the century to the 1960's. The Whi family, John Curry, Grover Lackie, Glen and Yvonne Manning, ar Al Sloma were some of the hotel operators. The buildng house a tavern, a restaurant, a pool hall, and rooms to rent. At one tim for lack of space, a walkway above the ground connected the hot to the Thompson's Livery where 16 more rooms were availabl During the 1960's the building was used as a county garage for storing equipment, then by Mr. Peterson for truck storage, and we later demolished.
Next to Losey's Store on Division Street was the Cloverland Hotel run by Schroeder. This business was later purchased by Clar Duby who ran it for many years. When Clara died, her daughter Lillian Roxbury continued the business. School teachers an Weidman's office girls roomed at Losey's and ate their meals the Cloverland Hotel. Somealso stayed at the Hotel. Charli Paivarinta operated a barber shop in the front section of the buildinc The structure was vacated and later demolished.
From the early 1900's through the early 1930's, Orson H. Losc owned and
operated a clothing and shoe store on the site of th present Trout Creek
Post Office. Losey died and Elmer Drier wa running the business in the
early 1930's when the store burnee This
lot remained empty until a few years later when J. C. Vaughar Trout Creek
Postmaster, built a Post Office building.
The Ottawa Lodge was once a glorious three-story log structure. It housed a dining room, kitchen, ballroom, and bar on its main floor, and eleven rooms which were originally used as a hotel on the second floor. The building covered an area of 10,000 square feet. It was built near Highway M-28 a mile and a half west of Kenton, Michigan during the depression. Built by Bess Elliott and her father, the chimney was begun in 1932. The partially completed chimney was torn down and started again three times before finally being finished to the satisfaction of its owner. Meanwhile sixty-foot logs were gathered for the construction of the Lodge itself. Construction on the main building was begun in 1935 and completed in 1936.
The Ottawa Lodge was later sold to John Salmi who ran it during the 1940's and early 1950's when it was the main gathering place of the area. A larger kitchen was built on at a later time.
The original bar of the Lodge was in the basement. However a new bar was built onto the west side of the building and a larger lobby added in 1957 by a new owner, Joe Zimmer. Joe also built a separate six-unit motel at that time.
Gil and Pat Coss bought the structure and ran the business from 1967 through 1975. It was then bought by Ron Halligan and Bill Wakefield. Halligan bought his partner out the following year. During these years the Lodge remained well known for its dinners, banquets, and dances.
Ron Halligan, who was to be the last owner of this magnificent structure, owned it until August 7, 1984, when the main building burned completely to the ground. The fire, which started in the middle section of the main dining room, is believed to have been the result of electrical failure. Ron and his wife, Gail, escaped from the burning building by climbing onto the roof from their second story bedroom. They worked their way around the west side, and climbed down the woodpile at the southern end of the building. The couple, who had been awakened by a passing motorist circling the burning building and honking, got out of the building with nothing more than a pair of trousers and a bathrobe.
All that remains of this historic landmark is the three-story stone chimney and fireplace which stood at the south end of the ballroom. The fireplace, which once blazed with six foot logs on frosty winter evenings, stands 12 feet wide by 8 feet deep at its base, tapering to 7 feet by 5 feet at the top of the chimney. It stands as a monument to the area and 50 years of its history.
The motel and a small house moved to the Ottawa Lodge property many years ago and still stand behind the site of the original Lodge. These and 22 acres of the original property are now owned by the Trainor family of Mt. Clemens, who purchased it in the sp ring of 1988 to use as a hunting camp.
Situated on Division Street, a General Store was operated by Bartholomew beginning around 1918. Between the mid 1920's into the mid 1950's this business passed on to Weidman's, Houston's and then Rosberg's which was managed by John Koski. Besides Mr. Koski, other memorable clerks were Aileen Kantala, Susan Koski, Andrew Ojala, and Clifford Taeger. Butchers during that time included Victor Newberg and Armi Parkkonen. Toivo Helsius was the supply truck driver for Rosberg, driving between Ishpeming and Bergland.
Keith Shingler bought out the business around 1956 and it became Shingler's IGA. Sylvia Laakanen and Iris Barnbrook were among the clerks. Shingler sold to Al Hoffenberg, from Chicago, who ran surplus sales for a short time. The building is currently unoccupied.
The Thompson brothers were in the ice business from the turn of the
century until around 1930 when ice boxes went out and refrigerators came
into use. They made ice on Hardes' Pond near the Trout Creek Manufacturing
Mill. (Ice blocks were made on Mud Lake
after Hardes' Pond went out.)
Ice blocks were usually cut during January and February and enough were cut to last through the year. Men would go out on the pond with horses and pull a three-bladed "cutter" across the ice to cut rows of blocks. Then, using hand saws about seven feet long with a cross handle and sawing with an up-and-down motion, they'd cut across these rows to make blocks. Each block was then broken loose by hitting it with an ice chisel. Blocks were approximately two feet square and as thick as the ice was on the pond.
Once loosened, the blocks were lifted from the water with a hand derrick and loaded onto sleighs and hauled to the ice house which was located behind Thompson's Garage. In this building the ice blocks were covered with sawdust to keep them from melting. People could come and buy ice as needed, each block costing perhaps fifty cents. Ice tongs were used to handle the individual blocks.
On the north corner of Division and First Streets, first recollections are
of Hattie Ellis' Hat Shop. (She was the wife of Charles Ellis, Trout Creek
Supervisor 1919-20, and he was also a Justice of the Peace.) The Dove
Family changed the hat shop into a
repair garage and used it that way for a few years. Dr. C. F.
Whiteshield, from Powers, Michigan, extensively remodeled the garage to
house his office and drug store and added living quarters. Ed Cameron,
Jr., bought the structure and made three apartments in it. The last
occupant was Ray DeLyle who operated a smoked fish sales. The building was
demolished in the 1970's.
Mick's Sport Shop was established in 1974 as a small business to serve the
many avid sportsmen in the community and surrounding areas. In 1984 the
Abbott Fox Mill office was purchased and converted into what is now Mick's
Sporting Goods, owned and operated by Mick, Chris, Mikki, Dwayne and Derek
In November of 1928 the Settler's Co-op of Bruce Crossing opened a branch store in Trout Creek. Their first store was built where Hardes' original store had burned. Around 1943 they moved to Hardes' new store and operated until 1985. Managers included: Lempi Pekkala, Andrew Maarala, William Niemi, Charles Johnson, Elmer Kemppainen, Carl E. Norberg, Martin Keranen, Tyyne Christen, Signe Anderson, and when the store closed, Margaret Besonen. Alvin and Carol Harris bought the business and building from Settler's Co-Op and continue the grocery business under the name "Trout Creek Market."
Interstate Battery System of the Great Lakes was started in 1977 by Jack
and Joyce Erber. They sold batteries to all of the U.P. and ten counties
in Wisconsin. In 1979 Gil and Pat Coss purchased the business and continue
to sell in the same territory. Dewey Leaf and Joe Urbis are employed by
Interstate Battery is a part of Interstate Battery System of America. There are over 400 divisions of this business selling in every state. There are over 140,000 stocking dealers in the United States.
The Sunnyside bar, located 4 miles west of Trout Creek, was built in 1947 by Charles Ranta and Wilburt Walls for owners Clyde Wheeler and Lou Silko. It began as a restaurant and the following year the men obtained an 8-month liquor license to operate as a
resort. In 1950, Wheeler bought out Silko's share and Silko then went to
Trout Creek and ran Cameron's Restaurant. In 1952, Clyde turned Sunnyside
over to his son Homer Wheeler. In the spring of 1956, Ed and Jake
McLaughlin took over the business. They owned it until May 1, 1974. It was
sold to Ed and Sandy Avedisian who continue to run the business today.
Cabins were built south of the main building around 1952 and were filled
to capacity during hunting and fishing seasons. The cabins are no longer
there but the Avedisian's have built a home in that location.
The building housing the Community Bar was first made to stable horses for
a logging job that was done by Cameron and Campbell on Section 10. During
the CCC days it was remodeled into a dance hall. It was also an Emporium
for bootleg whiskey during the days of prohibition.
When prohibition went out, Cameron operated it as a tavern for many years. He sold it to the American Legion Post 494. When the Legion owned the building, the business was operated by many people including Gilbert and Pat Coss, Don McLaughlin, and Mike Juhola. In October, 1978 William and Betty Andrus purchased the bar and ran it until they sold it to James (Douglas) and Janis Anderson in 1981. Although the Andersons still own and operate the Community Bar today, the business is for sale.
There have always been service/gas stations serving the area after motor vehicles became the new mode of transportation.
West of Trout Creek on the corner of South Agate Road and Highway M-28 Andrew Besonen operated a gas station and his house porch held candies and some staples for sale.
The Sliger brothers ran a gas station in town on old M-28 which was later taken over by one of the brothers and run as a tavern.
William Olgren operated a station one-quarter mile east of town on M-28 and later the building became the Apostolic Lutheran Church.
A DX gas station located in town on the corner of Railroad and Spruce Streets was run by various people including George Antilla, Nick Pelkola, John McLaughlin, and Nels Tahtinen. This later became a Mobil station run by others including Fred (Ontilla) Sliger and Charlie Juhola. It was around 1965 when this station was relocated on M-28 west of Trout Creek. It is currently owned and operated by Ron Kuntz of Kenton.
The Thompson brothers had a livery stable in town which became Thompson's Garage when automobiles came into use Roland Thompson was the area's Standard Oil distributor. Roy Bessen took over this distributorship in 1952. In 1983 Roy sold the business to the Gitche Gumee Oil Company of Ontonagon and retired.
The McLaughlin brothers operated a concession stand on the west side of the river on the old highway at Agate Falls. This business began in the 1920's and ran for many years. Also, at Agate a general store was run by John Wakevainen in conjunction with the Agate Post Office. Next to the general store, August Hautamaki, a mechanic, owned and operated a gas station and garage.
Beauticians who have provided services to the people of the community throughout the century have included: Laura Cameron (Mrs. Ed, Jr.), early 1930's; Alice (Tooley) Thompson, 1932; Hilda Hautamaki, Alvina Juhola, and currently Eleanor Madden.
After graduating from Beauty School in 1946, Eleanor Madden worked in Iron River and Wakefield, Michigan. In 1979, she remodeled and furnished a room in her home and opened her beauty shop under the name of "Shear Delight."
Barbers working in the area included: John Souva, Charlie Paivarinta, Arvo Johnson, and Arnold Starkweather.
During the 1920's - 1930's Charlie Hattula operated a real estate office in Trout Creek.
To satisfy a sweet tooth, at one time a person could shop at Webb's Candy Store located east of the depot on Railroad Street.
The business was built around 1935. Peter Blackwood and his daughter Jane
moved to Agate Falls in September of 1940 from Geln Ellyn, Illinois. They
took over the business from Mr. and Mrs. H. J. Letford and her daughter
Clara Zimmerman, who then moved to
Mahnomen, Minnesota. Blackwood and Coky Thebert became partners in the
business as the tavern license was Coky's. Thebert and Jane Blackwood
were married in 1941 and lived in Bessemer for a while during which time
Peter Blackwood and Stu Nickey ran the resort.
World War II was escalating and, as he had another business in Chicago making war material, Blackwood returned to Chicago leaving Coky and Jane to take over and buy the resort. The first Sunday after they moved in was the memorable December 7,1941. Coky w as inducted into the Army and during the three years he was in the service Jane ran the business in all but the winter months which she spent in Chicago with her dad. Coky returned in February 1946, and together they ran the business until April 1969, when it was sold to Gil Kotila. Gil hired various people to manage the business, then sold out to Harold and Eileen LeBeau, who also hired various managers. They were the owners when fire destroyed the bar and grill. Glen Martz was hired to remodel the motel into a bar. Mitze Sayles operated the bar; it was temporarily closed until Darrell and Mickie Lee Malnar bought the business in August 1984. They still own and operate it under the name "Mickie Lee's."
The motel was built in 1955 and is all that remains of the original resort. There was a sign by the road that read, "See beautiful Agate Falls," which was seen at the Chicago World's Fair. There was also a replica of the sign at the Olsen Rug Company in Chicago and Mrs. Olsen came up once a year in her limousine to see the real thing. At one time there were 139 (or 169) steps down to the bottom of the falls. During World War II there was a guard 24 hours a day on the railroad bridge over Agate Falls.
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