Redridge / Freda

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As stamp mill technology became more advanced and efficient the amount of water required to facilitate the process drastically increased. While the water needs in the past could be satisfied by a small creek or stream, modern mills required millions of gallons of water each and every day. Thus when the government forced the Atlantic Mine to move its mill from along Portage Lake, the company needed to find a new location with convenient access to an immense supply of water. Their search brought them to the Lake Superior shore and the mouth of the Salmon Trout River.

Once impounded the Salmon Trout created a reservoir of sufficient size to provide all the new mills needs. As an extra bonus the deep waters of Lake Superior provided ample dumping room for the mill's tailings. Soon the Atlantic mill was joined by another across the river, this time belonging to the newly established Baltic Mine. With the water requirements increasing to over 25 million gallons a day it became necessary to build a new larger dam across the river. Built as a cooperative effort between the two mills, the new dam was an engineering marvel, capable of providing a supply of over 600 million gallons of water behind an innovative steel superstructure.

As the mills prospered the little town of Salmon Trout - as it was first called - grew and prospered. In the years to follow several more mills were constructed along the neighboring shore along with several more communities born to serve those mills such as Freda, Edgemere, and Beacon Hill. In response to the regionÕs growth and prosperity the little town of Salmon Trout - now known as Redridge - grew dramatically in size, quickly reaching a population of over a thousand at the turn of the century.

NOTES: Like all mill towns, Redridge's seclusion and remoteness made it particularly dependent on the mills. Once those mills closed down the town was doomed. Today only a dozen homes and the old school house mark where the old town once was. The dams however, are still standing.



DIRECTIONS: Follow M26 south from Houghton less than half a mile, turning right onto Houghton Canal Road. Follow Houghton Canal Road for about 5 more miles until reaching Liminga Road. Turn left onto Liminga Road and continue for another 6.5 miles. Redridge will be on the right.