As I was heading back to Bay City from Frankfort, this stand of trees caught my eyes. I liked the way the setting sun was hitting them. So I stopped.
It's hard to believe that Michigan was covered with trees like this at one time. Lumbering started in Michigan in the 1840's as it was becoming apparent that the tree stands in New York and Maine wouldn't support the growing demand for lumber.
At first, this was supported using Eastern labor, capital and lumbering techniques but that was slowly replaced by local sources of each. The timber industry in Michigan exploded and was mainly centered around the Saginaw Valley. From 1840 to 1860, the number of mills doubled and product value went from $1 million to $6 million.
By 1869, Michigan was the leading producer of lumber in the country. By the 1890's, as the land became more and more deforested, the lumber industry pulled out enabling Michigan agriculture to start to grow. Some of them just left leaving the land to the state (hence the number of state parks in parts of Michigan).
Through some reforestation efforts, the trees are back but not quite the way they were.