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Situated along US Highway 41, Nadeau, Michigan is an unincorporated community in Menominee County, in the southern Upper Peninsula.

The community is situated along US-41 and the Canadian National Railway, about a mile and a half north of Carney and five and a half miles south of Powers. The Nadeau post office covers a small area that includes the townsite and a narrow strip to the north along 4th Street and Old US Highway 41. Other routes leading to and from the community include Number 34 Road, Number 34.5 Road, and Guard Road L-1 Lane.

The only city within twenty miles of Nadeau is Stephenson, about fourteen miles to the south, with Norway and Escanaba being more than twenty-five miles away. The village of Daggett is eleven miles to the south.

Nadeau is a very small, residential community, with only a few businesses and, for that matter, only a few streets. The community's Main Street leads from US-41 west to Old US-41, and the population part of the community is mostly west of that point.

Poterfield Creek flows mostly north-south through the western part of the community.

In 1848, surveyors began mapping the territory that would become Nadeau Township. The Menominee Tribe of Native Americans had lost their claim to the land through various treaties, opening the land for farming, logging, and mining. At that time, the area was a hardwood forest, and early settlers had to blaze the trails that later became roads. The first road from Menominee to Escanaba wasn't built until 1864, and it followed the shore of Lake Michigan and didn't come near Nadeau.

Of the area that became the village of Nadeau, a surveyor wrote, "The level and swampy character of this line make it difficult to determine where the swamp begins or ends."

However, its rolling hills were covered with sugar maples, birch, elm, ash, and polar, while the swampy lowlands included hemlocks, firs, cedars, and tamaracks. There was some pine timber, but the great pine forests that attracted the larger lumber operations were further north.

In 1869, the Michigan Legislature granted a right-of-way to the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad to lay track in Menominee County, to reach from the shores of Green Bay to the iron mines and marble quarries, near Quinnisec, in Dickinson County. By 1872, the railroad had connected Marinette, Wisconsin to Escanaba, Michigan, building the first bridge across the Menominee River, and running through the area that would become Nadeau.

Even after the railroad had come through, the area was still wild, and there were no roads. Early settlers were dependent on the railroad for supplies, and the railroad also brought new settlers to the region.

Nadeau Township and the town of Nadeau were named for Barney Nadeau, Sr. A French-Canadian, Nadeau moved to Wisconsin, settling in Green Bay, and then Marinette. He served under General Grant during the Civil War. In 1872, Nadeau's sons were awarded a contract to supply railroad ties to the C&NW Railroad.

Barney Nadeau, Sr. homesteaded a claim in the township that would later be named for himself, built a house, and began clearing a farm. Other French-Canadian families soon followed.

The community of Nadeau arose along the railroad on a portion of Mr. Nadeau's farmland after a station was opened there in 1878. Prior to that, the site was known as the Nadeau Section.

Barney Nadeau, Sr. later built a mill, opened a general merchandising store, and dealt in real estate and forest products. He also became the first postmaster of the community after a post office was established there in 1880. Originally, the post office was spelled Nadean, and the error was not corrected until February 20, 1890.

Barney Nadeau, Sr. was elected the first township supervisor and justice of the peace. His sons, having established the Nadeau Brothers, later took over their father's business, operating a 300-acre farm, where they raised Jersey and Polled Durham cattle, operated the mill, as well as a general store.

The focal point of this portion of our guide is on the community known as Nadeau, Michigan. Businesses, industries, schools, churches, organizations, attractions, events, and recreational opportunities within the community are appropriate for this category.



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