Big Rapids Independent, August 5, 1871
Stanwood is among the numerous little towns which
have sprung into existance along the
line of the Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad since its completion northward
from Grand Rapids, and is situated in the town of Mecosta, in this county,
about eight miles south of Big Rapids. On the first day of October last,
Messrs. O. P. Pillsbury & Co. commenced
clearing away the brush and timber for a depot site, and in about two
weeks they had a good substantial frame station house, of the same dimensions
of those in Big Rapids, completed and ready for use. This was the first
building erected in that vicinity. Immediately on the heel of this,
they commenced the rection of a large frame hotel, which was finished
and in running order before winter set in.
spring they erected a large shingle mill which was equipped with machinery
of the very best quality and furnishes steady employment to thirteen
men and boys who turn out twenty-two thousand shingles per day. The
mill is situated about sixty rods [0.2 miles] from the depot on the
bank of Mack Creek, which is dammed at this point, to provide boomage
for the logs to be manufactured into shingles. This stream is of considerable
magnitude, and with but a moderate outlay, would furnish a valuable
A few rods from the depot, on the eastern side of the tract, stands
the large store building of S. W. Foster and David D. Tarr. It is 26
by 52 feet in size and two stories high, the upper story being occupied
by Mr. Tarr for a dwelling. The proprietors are just opening a very
fair stock of groceries and provisions, and will no doubt receive a
from the inhabitants of that vicinity. Here too is the Post Office,
which bears the same name as the station, and is presided over with
almost clerical dignity by Mr. Tarr.
The hotel was recently purchased by D. W. Palmer, Esp., who has just
taken possession, and
is renovating and
it from cellar to garret. The house is admirably arranged and the rooms
are large and commodious, and when Mr. Palmer gets things "settled,"
the traveler will find it a better stopping
place than many large towns afford.
Messrs. O. P. Pillsbury & Co., have now in process of erection
a two story store building, 30 by 60 feet in size, and a blacksmith
and carpenter shop 24 by 60 feet. The frame for the
latter is already up, and the timbers for the former are
nearly ready for raising. They also have, beside the side-track, a shed
which will hold 700,000 shingles, and they no whave on hand about 500,000.
When thoroughly seasoned they propose to ship them to Boston, Mass.
By holding them until they are seasoned, they are able to ship about
fifteen thousand more to each car load than they can while green, which
in the shipment of a large quantity and to do so great a distance makes
an item worth saving.
Among the dwellings in town, that of W. T. Russel is most conspicuous.
It is 24 by 34 feet in sixe and two storieshigh. The style and quality
of its workmanship and finish are equal to the best houses in Big Rapids.
It may not be inappropriate here to remark that it was built by John
McNaughton, Esg., of this city, who was the master builder of every
structure but two in Stanwood. He has been engaged there with quite
a force of men, the greater part of the time since the first of October
Stanwood is not a "Shanty Town." All the buildings are large and built
in that substantial style which testifies to the good judgement of their
projectors, and give the place an air of permanence. It is in the midst
of a belt of valuable timber, which, for pine land, has an excellent
soil, with a large territory of rich farming country both east and west
of it; and while it is not expected that Stanwood will become a great
city, yet it is not too much to say that it will soon be one of the
most important intermediate stations on the Grand
Rapids & Indiana Railroad.
We should do injustice to Messrs. S. W. Foster and LaFora S. Baker,
who are in the employ of O. P. Pillsbury & Co., were we to close
this article without thanking them (which we do with one of our profoundest
bows) for information given and courtesies extended furing our recent
brief visit to Stanwood. (Copied Verbatim)