Lumbering on White Lake
Charles Mears built White Lake's first sawmill in 1838. Four mills operated on White River Tributaries during the next decade. Axmen, swampmers, skidders, loaders, and haulers cut and moved pine, hemlock, and cedar logs to the White River, where they were floated to the White River Log and Booming Company pens. There they were sorted and rafter to mills that produced lumber, shingles, lath, and pickets. In 1883, there were twenty-four mills in White Lake and vicinity. Lumber was rafted down the lake and carried on barges to ships in Lake Michigan. Between 1838 and 1907 White Lake mills shipped over 3 million board feet of lumber. The lumbering era ended on White Lake when the Staples and Covell Mill closed in 1907.