Sunday, May 13, 2012

Fun Facts – Mission Creek

1. The village of Mission Creek got its name from a small creek that flowed near the settlement. The creek, in turn, was named for the mission established on its source, Lake Pokegama. 

2. Logging became Pine County's primary industry in the mid-1800s. The logging company Hunter and Taylor built their sawmill at Mission Creek in 1878. The mill was destroyed by fire twice before the Laird and Boyle Company purchased it in 1880. 

3. Mission Creek was located three miles south of Hinckley. It was a company town, meaning that Laird and Boyle owned just about all of it, from the mill to the store to the hotel to the houses where employees lived. 

4. The company even organized a school, District No. 8, for Mission Creek's children on February 7, 1880. 

5. The sawmill at Mission Creek was quite large, employing 100 men and sometimes processing 75,000 feet of lumber per day. The mill used up to 80 to 100 oxen to haul logs and power their equipment. 

6. On the eve of the 1894 fire, Mission Creek boasted 73 residents, the mill, a general store, a hotel, a blacksmith shop, the school, and twenty-six homes. 

7. Already by this time, much of the logging around Mission Creek had been completed, and many residents had moved away. Others chose to stay and purchase land from the company. 

8. On September 1, 1894, the entire town of Mission Creek, except for one house, was destroyed by a massive forest fire. Just that morning, mill workers had burned a huge pile of stumps near the town. When the fire swept through, Mission Creek's residents huddled in a potato patch. The fire blew over them, but no one died or was seriously injured. If the large pile of stumps had not been burned just that morning, it would have contributed extra heat to the fire, heat that probably would have killed most of the people in the potato patch. 

9. Mission Creek was not rebuilt after the fire except for the general store that operated on the former village site until the 1920s or 1930s. 

10. The area was settled by farm families, who had to clear the land of massive stumps before it would produce any crops. One farmer, Alex Anderson who arrived in 1896, claimed that there were up to 400 stumps per acre and that they were so close together that he had trouble walking among them. 

Sources: One Hundred Years in Pine County and Pine County...and Its Memories by Jim Cordes

Mission Creek sawmill

Mission Creek school

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