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A boxcar in the Lake

Posted: Mon May 11, 2020 10:20 pm
by Notch 8
About two and one-half miles south of Bryan on County Road 15 in Pulaski Township is Plover Lake. In the 1940s, one local newspaper reported: “Plover Lake was created years ago after the small farm was purchased by a company seeking material for the mills at Cement City, Mich. It is on the west side of the Cincinnati Northern Railroad and the company ran a spur track down through the middle of the field. Excavations were begun on both sides of the spur and the material loaded into cars and hauled north of Cement City. After some 20 acres had been dug up the company ceased operations and sold the lake and few remaining acres of land.” Deed records show that the Peninsular Portland Company owned the site from 1906 to 1921. Excavation likely occurred during this time. In 1954, the Bryan Times stated, “Years ago when clay was being shipped out...a slight accident occurred on the switch track and as a result there is still a boxcar lying at the bottom of the lake in the east section.” The lake was reportedly named for “the large number of plover, a shore bird, found at the place.” In the 1920s and early 1930s Plover Lake was a muskrat farm, with 1,000 muskrats reported on site in 1925. The Bryan Press newspaper noted, “Muskrat farming, along with fox farming and other kinds of fur raising, is getting to be a common business…The pelts are worked into fine furs, and the meat is in big demand in the cities, being esteemed as a delicacy.” From the mid-1930s to 1950s the lake had a reputation as a great fishing spot for bass, crappie, bluegill and perch. The approximately 22-acre lake is privately owned today. This vintage image of Plover Lake and its Cincinnati Northern rail spur is from the Williams County Public Library's Photographic Archives.