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Evart, Michigan

Lake Miramichi, Little Lake Miramichi, Chippewa Township, Evart Township, and the City of Evart were originally inhabited by the Chippewa Indians before the area was settled by Europeans. They shared this area with the Ottawa tribes to the north and the Mascoutens, Potawatomi, and Miami tribes to the south. In fact, Mecosta County was named after Chief Mecosta of the Chippewa tribe. Osceola County was named after Chief Osceola of the Seminole tribe, and Chippewa Township was named to honor the Chippewa Indians. The Native Americans in this area mainly spoke Algonquin, which was the common language used by the local tribes. Lake Miramichi is assumed to be an Algonquin term for “Land of cool blue water”. The Europeans originally acquired this land from the Native Americans through two treaties; The Treaty of Saginaw of 1819 and the Treaty of Washington of 1836.

In 1962, Hugh Adams, Newell Donley, Stanley Marsh, and Fay Zeller started the Lake Miramichi project by purchasing 680 acres including Upper Big Stone Lake, Lake of the Woods, and Lake of the Fields. A 1700 foot long dam was constructed at the northwestern end of the lake system. This dam raised the water level 18 feet, thereby creating the 205 acre lake that presently exists as Lake Miramichi. The project was completed in 1964 and later sold to the American Realty Service Corporation of Memphis, Tennessee on June 23, 1966. An additional 273 acres were purchased by the corporation, increasing the total project area to 953 acres.

In 1966, a small dam was constructed at the southeastern end of Lake Miramichi, creating a 25-acre lake known as Little Lake Miramichi. This project was completed in 1967.  The subdivision development was then platted into 1116 lots. Referencing 1995 statistics from the Ferris State University Community and Environmental study, there were 135 houses in 1995. Forty-eight of the homes were occupied year round, 46 were occupied seasonally and 41 were occupied at variable times throughout the year. There were 221 residents that owned or rented these homes and 108 lived in the subdivision year round, 91 used their property on weekends and holidays, and 22 were seasonal residents. Use of the two lakes is restricted to only subdivision land owners and guests.

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