The survey in what is now Onekama Township was completed in 1839. The surveyors noted that “little can be said in favor of this township. It is almost entirely composed of high and steep hills, unfit for the purposes of cultivation. They will scarcely answer for sheep farms. The lake in this Township is supplied by springbrooks running out of the hills surrounding it.”
The area was included in Manistee Township at the time of Manistee County’s organization in 1855. Onekama Township became a separate entity in 1867, eventually containing approximately 22 square miles with around 6 miles of frontage on Lake Michigan.
The lakes and the land that would “scarcely answer for sheep farms” in 1839 have provided a fascinating history over the years that is being presented here for your enlightenment and enjoyment.
For easy reference, the numerous sites documented in this album are keyed to maps for three areas: Part 1 – Portage Lake, Part 2 – the Village of Onekama, and Part 3 – Pierport.
This Album Owes Its Existence to Those Who Assisted with the Land Information System Historical Series, “Our Onekama Township Heritage,” in 1995 and the Portage Point Centennial Exhibit in 2002.
Additional Photographs and
Information Are Available at:
Onekama Township Hall
5435 Main Street, P. O. Box 458
Onekama, MI 49675
Manistee County Historical Museum
425 River Street
Manistee, MI 49660