Tamarack City, MI Heritage: Guide & Locations

A captivating exploration of the vibrant Tamarack City, MI. Revealing the hidden treasures that make Tamarack City an irresistible destination unlike any other.

The Osceola Mining Company had built its first mill along the shores of Portage Lake, just west of Hancock, on a little spit of land still known today as Osceola Point. Unfortunately, the mill was short-lived, as a federal mandate would force it and every other mill along the waterway to close its doors and move elsewhere. The sprawling mine tailings the Osceola was dumping into the Portage were interfering with the navigable channel, and the mill would have to find a new home if it were to continue to operate.

This was a problem for Osceola’s parent company, a group of powerful investors known as the Clark-Bigelow syndicate, who had just begun operations on a second mine neighboring C&H. The company knew that it would soon need an expanded mill complex to handle both mines and a large dumping ground in which to deposit its considerable tailings.

This new company proceeded to buy up a large plot of land along nearby Torch Lake, just south of C&H’s land holdings. This new mine was the Tamarack, which promptly began erecting a massive mill complex along the shore and laying a new railroad to reach it. The year was 1890.

In 1896 the Osceola Mine had finally closed its mill on the Portage and erected a new complex next door to its Tamarack brothers. By the end of the century, over five mills would be congregated in the same area, and the surrounding landscape quickly became overrun with worker housing. The area would become known as Tamarack Mills and later incorporated into Tamarack City, Michigan.

Ahmeek Mill

Ahmeek Mill

Built in 1910, this towering complex is marked by rows of monolithic concrete towers, one of which still supports one of the mill’s massive iron stamps.

Hungarian Gorge Trestle

Originally built to carry the Copper Range railroad over the Hungarian Gorge, this soaring trestle was recently rebuilt to allow snowmobiles and ATVs to cross the same gorge.

Tamarack Mills

A line of four massive stamp mills once adorned this hillside adjacent to Torch Lake, operated as a joint venture by the Tamarack and Osceola Mines.

As we delve into Tamarack City’s past, we will unravel the stories of brave pioneers and resilient communities that settled here, leaving an indelible mark on the landscape and the spirit of the place. The echoes of their footsteps whisper through the historic buildings, each with its own tale to tell, beckoning you to uncover the layers of history that have woven the fabric of this city.

But Tamarack City’s heritage is not confined to its buildings alone. Nature’s majestic beauty intertwines with the historical tapestry, providing a breathtaking backdrop to this extraordinary journey. Picture yourself standing on the banks of pristine lakes, surrounded by lush forests that teem with life. The symphony of birdsong serenades your senses, while the gentle breeze carries the fragrance of wildflowers, creating a sensory symphony that transports you to a state of pure bliss.

As we embark on this enlightening journey together, it becomes evident that Tamarack City is no ordinary destination. It is a place where the past comes alive, you can forge a profound connection with history and culture, and where the present moment is imbued with awe and wonder.

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About the author
Growing up in Detroit, Lindsey is a Michigan State University alumnus. She feels incredibly lucky to live in Detroit, and much more, to spend her days promoting the Detroit area as a travel destination.