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Situated along M-69 in southern Felch Township, near the center of Dickinson County, the community of Felch is in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Felch is one of five unincorporated communities in Felch Township. Felch is in the lower part of the township, and Felch Mountain is about a half-mile northwest, while Theodore is just north of Felch Mountain. Spruce is east and a little south of Felch, near the southeastern corner of the township. Metropolitan is further west along M-69. The named communities are all in the southern part of the Township, and they are all served by the Felch post office. Topics related to any of these communities would be appropriate for this category.

Felch was once known locally as East Metropolitan and as Old Town and, because of its proximity to Felch Mountain, Metropolitan was sometimes referred to as Felch Mountain. The history of these communities can be difficult, largely because the township's history is buried in records of both Marquette and Iron counties, and because few of those who live in the area today are descendants of the first people who settled the region. As unincorporated communities, they lack a recorded history.

Logging, mining, and farming have all been important to the community of Felch from its inception. The lumber industry was an operation in Felch Township by the late 1840s. There were hundreds of woodsmen in the forest around Welch in the early days. Working the forest we're people with their roots in Germany, France, Scotland, Ireland, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Italy, and other countries.

The Felch iron District extended from west of Randville to east of Felch, and was about a mile wide and fifteen miles long. The Calumet Iron Mine was opened in 1849. Historically part of the Menominee Iron Mining district, the mine was closed in 1913. Another iron mine that operated near Felch was the Groveland Mine.

In 1887, Felch had a population of four hundred, and was in Iron County. Among its businesses were several saloons, a general store, a meat market, a grocery store, a livery stable, and a shoemaker. The Metropolitan Lumber Company operated a sawmill, the Metropolitan Iron and Land Company had its offices there, and white and Fryant, another logging company, was also headquartered in Felch.

The Chicago & Northwestern Railroad established a station there, naming it for Alpheus Felch, who was governor of Michigan in 1846. A post office was established in Felch on March 13, 1906. Andrew Rian, a storekeeper, was named its first postmaster

As the lumber industry declined, and mining operations slowed, dairy farming became a significant industry. Felch farmers Milton creamery to handle the milk from their farms. In time, milk prices fell while the cost of production kept rising, and as a result, many farmers turned to growing potatoes instead.

Felch Mountain is also a long M-69 adjacent to and east of Theodore. Theodore and Felch Mountain are on a steep hill north of the highway, while Felch and Metropolitan are in the lower land south of M-69. Theodore was platted in 1881 by J.A. Van Clive for the Lake Superior Ship Canal, Railway & Iron Company.

Once the dominant community, Metropolitan was the last station on a branch of the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad coming west from Escanaba, in 1880. The village was platted by the Metropolitan Mining company in 1881. On August 31, 1881, a post office was established there. The post office operated until December 30, 1963. Locally, Metropolitan was sometimes called Milltown or Farmertown.

Spruce also was a station on the Chicago in Northwestern Railroad. It is located near the junction of Lucas Road and M-69.

The focus of this category is on Felch, Michigan. As an unincorporated community, Felch does not have defined boundaries. Therefore, any of these communities, which bear a Felch post office address would be appropriate for this category. Local businesses, industries, schools, churches, organizations, attractions, and events, are examples of the types of online resources that might be found here.

 

 

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