The shores of Torch Lake were first settled around 1851 by French-Canadian lumberjacks who had arrived to pillage the great hardwood forests to the north. The wide and deep Traprock river that flowed nearby was well suited for floating logs down the valley, prompting a score of lumber mills to be built near the rivers mouth. The fledging settlements became the center of French Canadian culture in the Keweenaw - complete with French-language newspapers, schools and churches.
In 1867 the region would be changed forever with the arrival of C&H's massive mill complex built along the north end of the lake. Along with the mills came thousands of immigrants from all across the world, diluting the regions rich French heritage and expanding the community substantially. The increase in population brought with it a wide variety of business as well, including the Bosch Brewery in 1874. But it would always be C&H that had the most influence in the town, bringing with it a form of corporate paternalism that it had perfected up the hill at Calumet. The company donated land for churches, built the village's high school, and provided steam heat and water to many of its buildings. In return the company received content and grateful workers.
NOTES: Lake Linden's lifeblood - the C&H Mills - continued to operate for almost a century before finally closing down in 1968. The mill's closure, along with C&H itself, was a massive blow to the village. A majority of Lake Linden residents left along with several businesses to greener pastures south. Today most of the village's residents work in Houghton. The old mill property was converted into a large park and marina, while the sprawling stamp sands the mills left in the lake have been covered and are now the site of a hiking trail.
DIRECTIONS: Follow M26 north out of Houghton (a right just after the bridge) for 10 miles until it makes a gradually S curve to the right. The village will parallel the highway on both sides straight ahead.