Portage Lake







The Huron
Chain of

Towns Hamburg Lakeland Pinckney Hell Dexter

About this project

In early 2002, the Portage, Base and Whitewood Owners Association established a committee to compile a history of the Portage Chain of lakes and to act as a repository of newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, letters, postcards, documents and photographs so that interesting stories of the past can be widely known and preserved. After many of the key members of that committee moved from the PBWOA area, the project was put on hold. This website carries on the mission of that committee and, with the help of the community, will continue to gather and make available the history of the area.

While the committee was active, they accumulated hundreds of old photographs of this lake area that have been scanned to disc as well as numerous historic documents -- enough to fill several boxes. Take a look at the links at the left to see some of the information and photos we have accumulated so far.

You can help us...

If you have any memories, photos or other information on items in the following list or other items of relevance to the history of the area, please use our contact form to share your commments.

  • The earliest settlers. Circa 1830
  • First buildings. Circa 1850
  • Pre and post World War 1
  • Henry Ford Property
  • Stinchfield Woods
  • Dover Mill
  • Hudson Mill
  • Newport Beach
  • Whitewood Camp
  • Huron River mining
  • The Red Hen
  • City of Ypsilanti (a boat)

The History project was intended to concentrate on the three main lakes that are in the association however it will be expanded to include stories from upstream as far as Zukey Lake and south down river to Hudson Mills. In addition, stories from the villages of Pinckney, Dexter and Hamburg will be included.

We hope everyone will be active in this endeavor and help with getting the stories and collecting the photos that we will need for a lively and interesting website. We will take individual depositions about their personal recollection of events as well as any documentation that they might have. Any documents and photos will be promptly scanned into our computer and returned to the owner.

This site is still in the early stages of development, so check back regularly. It may be different every time you visit. We want it to always reflect the latest information we have available. If you find errors or omissions in the material presented or suggestions about the website please use our contact form to let us know your thoughts.