While many visitors flock to Tahquamenon Country to marvel at our waterfalls, there is another component to our culture. Can’t give you a hint, but the wilderness around you sure can. From the mid-1800s to 1900s, Michigan lumber from the nature around you was a hot commodity for the logging industry. That’s right; before you sought out our tree-filled oasis for a getaway, it was already on the map. Do you know this chapter of our story? The Tahquamenon Logging Museum and Nature Study tells it well with the help of original artifacts, enthralling events, deliciously hearty meals and tales passed down through generations of wide-eyed listeners.
Michigan lumber was some of the most desired in the nation. Logging in the Upper Peninsula became increasingly common in the late 1800s as the virgin stands in the Lower Peninsula became depleted. Logging is an exhaustive and dangerous endeavor, and the men and women who came to work at our lumber camps were extremely hardy and hardworking. They met the challenge head on. The Tahquamenon Logging Museum tells their stories. Located 1.5 miles north of Newberry on M-123, the museum, park and buildings tell visitors a fascinating story about the amount of work it took to get big timber out of the woods and to the mills.
The Civilian Conservation Corps was a voluntary government work relief program from April 1933 to July 1942 for young, unemployed, and usually, unmarried men. Enrollees were involved in a wide range of projects, including structural improvements to or the construction of buildings, bridges and roads along with flood control, forest and wildlife management and a wide range of other work. The original C.C.C. buildings feature old photographs, dioramas, furniture, clothing, models and original, turn-of-the-century logging equipment. There is also a C.C.C. statue that was dedicated in June 2002. C.C.C. Statue Chapter #161 depicts a young C.C.C. worker. This beautiful bronze sculpture was made in France and commemorates the dedication and spirit of the men who served in the organization.
At the authentic Cook Shack, you can enjoy a real lumberjack breakfast. Volunteers at the Tahquamenon Logging Museum cook these old-fashioned meals over a wood stove with homemade care and goodness. Portions are huge just like days of old, and you won't leave hungry because it is all you can eat! The breakfast includes eggs, bacon, sausage patties, potatoes and pancakes with coffee, water and milk included. Orange juice is available for a small charge. Each summer, the cook shack serves about 2,400 breakfasts!
Tahquamenon Logging Museum is also home to a tranquil hiking trail through 29 acres of Tahquamenon Forest. Stroll along the boardwalk and nature trail up to the Tahquamenon River. Hikers may see blue herons, ducks, seasonal migrating birds, whitetail deer and other wildlife.
Visitors will also see the old steam engine at the museum’s entrance and the open pavilion with an old log truck and coal truck. There is also a gift shop from 1905, with small displays, admissions and gifts. Guests will find a saw mill, a saw building with a wide array of equipment, a separate exhibit building filled with old equipment and artifacts and a historic one room schoolhouse. On some days, you can sit in the open-air music pavilion for a show, too! Upcoming improvements include a new roof on the Cook Shack, a full-size replica of a horse drawn snow roller and re-siding the historic McGruer house, built in 1905.
Besides the lumberjack breakfasts, one of the highlights of each season at the museum is the lumberjack show. These shows are fun for the whole family! Watch real lumberjacks compete while showing off their skills climbing logs, logrolling, sawing and chopping wood. You’ll also hear songs and stories about the lumberjack days. Find more events before your visit on our events page.
It’s important for visitors to see and understand the rich heritage of our logging culture and history of our community. When else can you experience life at the turn of the 19th century? Step back to 120 years ago while being entertained and fascinated! The museum also hosts special events like wedding receptions, corporate annual meetings and family reunions.