Timber and the 1862 Homestead Act began drawing people to Prudenville in 1870. Named for early developer Peter Pruden, the community was also known as Edna for a time. As the commercial of Roscommon County. Prudenville boasted a post office, two hotels, many businesses, and a school. In 1887, the Roscommon Lumber Company ended logging operations in Michigan. The area's next economic surge came in the 1920s with paved roads, electricity, automobiles and tourism.