Edgetts Michigan was a small but productive logging town built on the shores of the Pine River in Lake County MI. Written records regarding Edgetts history are few, so it is unknown exactly when the town was founded, but it was probably in the mid to late 1800’s. The few surviving photos shown here are believed to be circa 1880. The primary economy in and around Edgetts was the harvesting of Michigan’s forests, and the river helped in transporting the logs by floating them down stream. With Edgetts being in such a strategic location on the Pine River, this brought the railroad right thru the center of the town which made the small community bustle even more. But then tragedy happened in 1920. A major forest fire swept thru northern Michigan and Edgetts burned to the ground. Because of economic conditions at the time, and the fact that most of the timber in the area had already been cut and logged off, Edgetts was never rebuilt.
However, an interesting side note to the history of the area is described in the newspaper article on this page about the River Access Court Ruling. In what began as a trespass case, as it turned out because the Pine River was proved to be “navigable” because logs had been floated down the river, that river access belonged to the public. This incredibly important watermark ruling has allowed the public throughout the country to have a right to wade while fishing or use a canoe or boat in rivers nationwide. Things would be quite different today if it not were for the tenacity of Mr. Gideon Gerhardt and his love of trout fishing on the Pine River.