Witness Tree & Civil War Era Cabin

On the north shore of Perch Lake there is a “witness tree”. Witness Trees or Bearing Trees were used to mark the corner of every section or quarter section of land. They were used in the eastern part of the country throughout the 1800’s. There is a well documented Witness Tree in Kalkasa County Michigan that was marked in 1850. There is also evidence of a Civil War Era cabin not far from the Perch Lake Witness Tree. The late Danny Zykowski and his father John showed me the Civil War Era cabin site and the Witness Tree. They searched for the Witness Tree from records and found it after a number of days of effort. They cut into the tree which revealed an old metal sign as well as the numbers and letters from the original marking of the tree from different years. The original township survey was done by W.A. Burt in 1846 3rd quarter and the subdivision by Harvey Mellen in 1852 2nd quarter (Thanks to Tom Haight for that info!) Imagine what the lake looked like at that time!

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