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Curtis, Michigan is an unincorporated village situated on an isthmus between Manistique Lake and South Manistique Lake, with the largest portion of its population center along the north banks of South Manistique Lake.

Not to be confused with Curtis Township, in Alcona County, in the Lower Peninsula, the village is in Portage Township, northwestern Mackinac County, in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Curtis is the only named community in Portage Township. The nearest incorporated municipality is the village of Newberry, 21.8 miles to the northeast, while the city of Manistique is 46.0 miles west, and St. Ignace is 65 miles southeast. Closer unincorporated communities include Helmer (5.6 miles), Carpenter (9.7 miles), Corinne (10.0 miles), Gould City (10.2 miles), Germfask (11.9 miles), and Engadine (17.3 miles).

No major highways go through Curtis. The main routes include County Road 1245, County Road H33, County Road H42, Curtis Road, Manistique Lakes Road, Sandtown Road, Sprang Road, and Strawe Road. US Highway 2 is about ten miles south of Curtis, while M-28 is about the same distance north.

The first European-American settler in the area that was to become Curtis was John Lee, who came in 1884. He lived with the Chippewa tribe, at the invitation of Chief Saw-Naw-Quato for a year and a half, on the site of what is now Curtis Park, at the intersection of CR-H42 and Saw-Naw-Quato Street. In 1886, the US government granted land patents to several Chippewa and one European-American, John Lee. His property was directly south of the park, including the high bluff and extending to the shores of South Manistique Lake.

As others settled along the lake, the community became known as Portage, for the Chippewa name of the village, a reference to the fact that canoes crossing the lakes had to portage in that area. For a short time, it was also known as Sawaquato Beach, in honor of the chief.

On November 13, 1905, when a post office was established there, it took its current name in honor of State Senator William L. Curtis of Petoskey. Mark Howard Miller was the first postmaster. That same year, the Manistique Railroad established a station there. The following year, a village was platted, but the community was never incorporated.

As an unincorporated community, Curtis has no defined borders, but online resources representing individuals, businesses, industries, schools, churches, organizations, attractions, or events situated within the general area, or carrying a Curtis postal address would be appropriate in this category.


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