The small town of Nahma, Michigan, offers an opportunity to step back in time and get an glimpse of what a "company town" was like at the turn of the century and the early 1900s.
The 54-acre site of our resort – on Lake Michigan in the heart of Hiawatha National Forest – was once Nahma's largest commercial enterprise: Bay De Noc Lumber Company.
For 70 years, beginning in 1881, the company processed more than 2.5 trillion board feet of lumber in Nahma, mostly distributed by rail, and by sea using its own docks (above, foreground).
Nahma is located near the mouth of the Sturgeon River on Big Bay de Noc. At the peak of the lumber industry, over 800 people lived in the company town, where the mill owned the houses, stores, everything. At its peak, Bay De Noc Lumber Company employed over 1,500 men at the mill and in the lumber camps.
Nahma (pronounced NAY-muh) became a company town around 1910. It had the trim and tidy look of a well-planned small community. Public buildings lined a rather grand boulevard with a median strip of lawn, leading to a cluster of mill buildings where the rail line neared Lake Michigan.
Bay De Noc Lumber Company owned its own railroad line called the Nahma and Northern. It consisted of seven locomotives, special cars to haul timber, and 75 miles of track that had spurs between the mill and the lumber camps where the trees were felled. Above, Engine Number 5 sits grandly in Town Square near to the resort -- a tribute to bygone days of when a single industry powered a company town for seven decades.
Today at the resort you will find this unique relic from the past – the lumber mill's incinerator, nearly 100 feet high. You can float right up to it with a canoe, kayak or boat. It's also the dramatic setting for a tee shot on the golf course.
FROM LUMBER TO LEISURE
Carl Johnson was raised in nearby Escanaba, 35 miles from Nahma. In the late '90s, he learned that the old lumber mill – long abandoned, overgrown, and desolate – was suddenly available for sale. He made the decision to buy and convert it into a private family resort. "At the old mill, employees could use the waterways for boating and fishing, and swim at the sandy beach," says Carl. "I thought: I can rebuild this as a business, and restore some great water amenities for Upper Peninsula visitors."
The result was a family-friendly development that for years has been known locally as No-Nah-Ma Resort.
Says Carl: "In 2010 we added a nine-hole Eagles Nest Golf Course to the resort, so along with the RV campsites, cabins and sandy beach, I decided to go with more descriptive name, to help more people find us." Our new name says it all: Upper Peninsula Golf and Lake Resort.
Plan to enjoy our five-star wilderness soon. This region of the Bay De Noc, on Lake Michigan, is a sportsperson's paradise. There's an abundance of water, open land and wildlife, creating multiple sporting opportunities for fishermen, hunters, trappers, boaters, kayakers, off road riders, hikers, and vacationing families.
Thank you for making us your secret second home. We will work hard to earn your repeat business again and again!
Note: Carl also has operated a successful accounting business for 25 years, servicing hundreds of clients around the country. Click for more information on the accounting, payroll and tax services offered by JCP Financial, Inc.
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