The people of Luce County knew to recognize the landmark of Dollarville - a tree knot that supported the liberty pole. This landmark fell victim to a windstorm in 1895 and the knot and pole were destroyed, not to be replaced. Like its landmark, Dollarville had a reputable standing in Luce County, but it too fell, not to be replaced.

Robert Dollar of the American Lumber Company purchased 60,000 acres of white pine from the Detroit, Mackinaw, and Marquette Railroad in 1881.

A sawmill was built on the banks of the Tahquamenon River and the mill and village around it were named Dollarville. Wood was driven down from the Upper Tahquamenon River to the mill and a stern-wheeled steam boat was used to tow small rafts of lumber up to the mill from the Lower Tahquamenon River. Hardwood from the Dollarville mill went to building the ore docks in Marquette and St. Ignace. Dollarville was a station on the Soo Line Railroad and the train depot of Dollarville housed the post office and provided a place for community functions. Dollarville also featured a school, a livery, a boarding house, hotels, a meat market, a grocery, a barber shop, and a saloon. A wood sidewalk with an extra plank for bicyclists was built between Dollarville and Newberry, a distance of around two miles. According to newspaper accounts, Dollarville was a popular place for people from Newberry to visit in the summer and they thronged Dollarville’s streets.

Growing tired of the cold climate, Robert Dollar moved to California and became a west coast shipping magnate. He sold the mill in 1895 to Danaher and Melendy of Lundington. In 1902, a fire destroyed the mill’s warehouse and dry shed, destroying sleighs, farm machinery, hay, flour, provisions, and lumber. The origin of the fire was unknown. A month after the fire, yardmen at the mill struck for higher wages. Their demands were refused and they were fired. The mill closed indefinitely in 1902 and in 1903 the post office was discontinued and moved from the depot to the grocery store. The mill put off reopening throughout 1904 but resumed operations in January of 1905. The mill closed for six weeks in March of 1907 to overhaul machinery.

In 1910, the mill had been wrecked, but Detroit Cedar and Lumber Company bought the mill, the houses of Dollarville, and 520 acres of land to start a wood working operation. In 1915, the mill burnt down, a $11,000 loss, but the mill was rebuilt and completed in 1916. The mill was put up for sale in 1920. By 1927, Dollarville was a dilapidated ghost town. The Dollarville flooding was a popular place for fishing and waterfowl hunting. Dollarville became the site of a flooding project for fish and wildlife on the Tahquamenon River known as Dollarville Flooding (or Flowage) or Natalie Lake.

Contemporary Images

Historic Images