Prudenville / Roscommon Lumber Co.
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.
Roscommon Lumber Co.
In 1882, the Roscommon Lumber Company built a "stand-alone" railroad to move timber. A 700-foot-long trestle above the east bay of Houghton Lake allowed logging crews to push logs off the trains into the water. Logs floated across the lake to the Muskegon River, then down the river to mills at Muskegon. Locally, the company employed more than seven hundred people and logged 175 million board feet of white and Norway pine between 1882 and 1887.