Croton Township, Newaygo County
The board, at its September 3, 1853 meeting, authorized
Christopher Culp to build a dam across the Muskegon River
near Croton on lot 2 of section 4. This was the first dam
authorized across the Big Muskegon. However, Culp did not
get started immediately and another dam was authorized across
the river at Newaygo. The Newaygo Company's dam was started
the same year and was completed before the Culp dam was built.
Three sawmills where built in 1855. The Culp mill, The Weaver
mill, and Mace Gay, acting as president of the Union
Lumber Company of Elm Grove built a mill on lot 6, section 14,
The sawmills operating in Newaygo County in 1856 were those of
Merrill, Brooks, Mitchell, Culp, Bigelow, Gay, Newaygo Company
and E. H. Utley.
On December 11, 1855 Solomon Godfrey and Christopher Culp purchased
27.45 acres for $1.25 per acre. Lot #4, Section 32, Township 13N,
Range 11W. Their land patent was recorded on March 10, 1856.
In 1856, Solomon Godfrey bought an interest in the Culp mill.
The dam and sawmill were sold to John F. Snow in 1857. In 1860
A. P. Bigelow ran the mill. This is the last record of its
operation. The settlement around the mill is still called Snowtown.
It is near the present site of the Hardy dam.
In 1856 the board of supervisors passed resolutions for
the building of roads from Newaygo to White River, from Newaygo
to Croton, and from Croton to Culp & Godfrey's mill. It also
provided for the building of a bridge at Croton.
Newaygo County mills assessed in 1857 were Culp's, $4,000;
Utley's, $1,800; Weaver's, $1,500; Newaygo Company's, $25,000;
Brooks', $6,000; Merrill's, $5,000; Gay's, $6,000;
Backart's Bigelow's $5,000; Bigelow's $2,000.
1. General Land Entry Files, National Archives, Washington, DC 20408
2. Portrait and Biographical Album of Newaygo County 1884
3. History of the Dam
4. Historical Gazetteer of Newaygo County Michigan, Ronald Steven Taylor Newaygo, Michigan copyright 1985
5. Lumber in Newago County