In 1871, the first lumber camp was started near Hale creek, one mile south of Hale, started by the Hale brothers. The first post office was E.V. Esmond's home and the mail was carried by Captain F. Gardner on his trips from Tawas with supplies. In 1886, the first railroad was put through, running from the main line of the Detroit, Bay City and Alpena Railroad at Emery Junction to Rose City, with a switch into Loon Lake. It was called the Loon Lake branch. The post office was moved to a small store built on the west side of the railroad and the name Hale, was decided upon in honor of C.D. Hale, the first lumberman in Plainfield Township.

During the early years, the lumbering business was a tremendous industry, attracting men of many nationalities and creeds. In just one year, 20,000,000 feet of lumber came down the Augres River. A few sawmills hauled their logs on 14 foot sleighs as far as six miles. Much of the lumber was sent to the eastern U.S.

Not much thought was given to conservation in those days. Logging practices of the early days and forest fires had almost entirely wiped out the original pine by the year 1909. It was then, that President Roosevelt set aside a public domain of 130,000 acres in part of Plainfield Township later known as the Huron National Forest. The trees were replanted by the civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930's. Today the forest consists of about 400,000 acres of land. In 1984, 23 miles of the AuSable River was set aside as part of a national scenic river. In 1988, 22 miles of highway was designated as the 20th National Scenic Highway Byway.

Many of the men who worked in the forests remained to homestead and a good part of the people in the community today are descended from them.

Our Community

The Bears Den is located in northern Michigan and is very proud to call Hale home. We have put together a few stories about the area. Please click on the title below to read the complete story.

Hale's First Settlers

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