Vassar's Logging Era
Here on the Cass River, March 1, 1849, four men led by Townsend North and James M. Edmunds found a suitable place to build a dam and start a town, which was named for Edmund's uncle Matthew Vassar, later the founder of Vassar College, New York. The growth of the town for the next thirty years was based on lumbering and its many related industries. Cork pine, the best variety of white pine, grew in abundance along the Cass River and was much in demand. These kings of the forest grew to a height of 150 feet, a diameter of three or four feet. The wood was light, strong and easy to work with. Millions of board feet were marketed all over the world especially in America's prairie states. With forest depleted, a diversified economy developed here -- agriculture, manufacturing and commercial business.