About the Boyne River
In ancient times, a band of Native Americans lived near the mouth of the Boyne River. “Evidence of Indian mounds was discovered within the City limits during the dismantling of the old chemical works.” (Reported by the Citizen, June 26, 1930)
The first settlers arrived in the 1850’s. As time passed, the forests of Michigan were recognized as a value almost beyond measure. There were many fortunes to be made and the mouth of the Boyne River where it flowed into Lake Charlevoix was a perfect place to build a city to handle the millions of logs that were being produced. Lake Charlevoix offered deep water about 16 miles inland from Lake Michigan. The ships that hauled the lumber could sail closer to the virgin trees. Boyne City was born.
With the coming of the railroads, Boyne Falls became a logging town at the end of the tracks that bustled with immigrant lumberjacks. The logging activities attracted other businesses and soon Boyne City was a highly industrialized community. These were hard times for the environment. There were few, if any, guidelines for growth. The forests were devastated into fields of stumps and all sorts vile things flowed into the Boyne River and Lake Charlevoix.
From this environmental low point, things began to change. The logs ran out. The industries failed. The economy in the valley suffered drastically, but the wounds upon the land began to heal. The water quality improved, the hills reforested and the beauty of the valley returned, not exactly as it was, but the valley is beautiful again. Now, the economy is based on the high quality of life that the beautiful Boyne River Valley affords. People come here to live, to retire, to vacation. Conserving the environment has become a high priority.
During the depression the Boyne River was “cherished” because it provided food and livelihood for hard pressed residents. “Boyne River is Boyne City’s most cherished treasure” (The Citizen, June 26, 1930)
Today the Boyne River is “cherished” because it contains high quality fresh water that supports great biodiversity. Water of this quality diminishes yearly in Michigan, the United States and throughout the world. The River is the focal point for the Friends of the Boyne River and is enjoyed by residents and many visitors.
The Naming of the Boyne River
When John Miller, an Irish immigrant, settled at the east end of the North Arm of Pine Lake, (now Lake Charlevoix), he named the river flowing there after the revered “River Boyne” in his homeland. The Boyne River in Ireland begins its 70 mine journey at Trinity Well in County Kildare. It passes by Tara Hill and flows into the Irish Sea near Drogheda. The River is steeped in Irish history, myth and legend. As many as 142 Kings may have reigned near Tara Hill in prehistoric and historic times.