Nahma, Michigan offers its visitors the opportunity to step back in time
and get an idea of what a "Company town" was like at the turn of the
Century and the early 1900's.
Nahma is located near the mouth of the Sturgeon River on Big Bay
De Noc. At the peak of the lumber industry, Nahma had over 800
people that lived in its town. The Bay De Noquet Lumber Company
employed over 1500 men at the mill and in the lumber camps.
1951, Nahma was sold to an Indiana playground manufacturer, with
big plans to turn the town into a resort. Those headlines caught the
eye of a Life Magazine editor and the article title read, "Sold-One
Town". The playground manufacturer lacked capital to initiate their
grand plan and today Nahma sits as a quaint, quiet community based
with commuters, retirees, and summer residents.
Nahma was a mill town along the north side of Lake Michigan, just
west of the Garden Peninsula. The town and mill were established as
early as 1856, when it gained its first post office. According to
Michigan Place Names, Nahma is an Indian word for sturgeon.
Nahma was the home of the Nahma and Northern Railroad, which went
north from Lake Michigan for miles into the Upper Peninsula to reach
logging camps. The N&N had 51 miles of track north of the Lake.
The Bay De Noquet Lumber Company headquartered in Nahma, Nahma was
the base for its operation Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The company
had a 70 year life span in Nahma from 1881 until it cut and
processed it's last log on July 26, 1951. The Bay De Noquet Lumber
Company processed over 2,500,000,000 board feet of lumber in Nahma.
The Bay De Noquet Lumber Company had its own railroad system called
the Nahma and Northern. The railroad system had seven locomotives,
many Russell Cars (designed to haul timber), one caboose and 75
miles of track that had spurs to the lumber camps where the large
stand of timbers were.