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Re: Olivier Martineau in Michigan
Posted by: Judi Engle (ID *****3097) Date: January 03, 2005 at 16:52:26
In Reply to: Re: Olivier Martineau in Michigan by Kurt Stauffer of 776

Hi Kurt
i am going to the library this week and will look up whatever i can find on the Duffiny diver and the Martineau Captain.
I have found out alot more about the Martineaus in Charles.
First thing is that they were there long before the town of Charles was even thought of. They had land grants in that area way back in 1850! (I found the platt maps and the land grants)There was nothing there but woods at the time and a river, why did they chose that place?
At one time they were going to build the railroad through that area and ship out of the bay there. however, the railroad went in another direction!
When the lumbering came into being, they had already started building up a town. Most of which was located on the Martineau land. Instead of the railroad coming through and shipping from that area, it went to St. Ignace and to Moran. The town of Charles came into existance in the early 1900's. It was located on what was once the Martineaus land. They sold the land where Charles is located but kept some land yet and some martineaus were still living there when charles was built.
I did find that they bought the land at 3cents an acre and by the late 1800's they land was worth more than 100 times as much! so they made out regardless of the RR not coming through there.
The Martineaus were boat builders and Oliver built the first docks at Milwaukee, so they went to the Charles(Carp River area) and actually were the very first pioneers there.I imagine that if the railroad WOULD have gone through that area, they would then be well situated for the shipping business/enterprise, considering they were building docks, lumbering and boat builders.
Their occupation, as listed on the census was "Boat Builders"
There were only 6 boat builders at that time in this area. Three of them were at the Martineau houses.
The other three were across the shore at the "Cheniers"
These folks built the first Mackinac Boat. The Chenier and Martineau families intermarried so seem to be in good relation to each other, i am assuming then that the Martineau men were either partners with or employed by the Chenier boat building company. (They must have been building boats somewhere) If so the Martineaus helped build what is called the "Mackinac Boat" which is a vessel for fishermen that was the only one which could withstand the waters here in the straits as well as fish. The government contracted for these boats and used them for lighthouse keepers in the area. Every lighthouse keeper had a Mackinac Boat.
This boat is famous in this area and an old one is displayed here along the boardwalk with a plaque telling its history and purpose.
Now it may very well be that i can find some info on your Joe/Jack Martineau, and since the Martineau family was in this business of boats, it would not be so far fetched to project one of them as a Captain at all.
Also it looks like this was a handed down family craft.
I will get back to you on what i can find concerning your questions.
by the way,
Happy New Year.
And thank you for the info!

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