Michigan Novels and Historical Fiction


The settings for all the novels on this page were in historic Michigan. Many of the authors lived in Michigan or one of the other Great Lakes states. See the right column for more info about this website.


Buy works of Michigan fiction published in the 20th & 21st centuries. Over 100 titles available on our Fiction shopping page.



The Groper

NY: Boni and Liveright 1919
Aikman, Henry G.Go to Book

“Lee Hillquit is a dreamer and an idealist who maintains that ‘success comes to the man who works for it’ as the inevitable reward of merit. He goes to Detroit in 1907, at a time when the automobile industry was just emerging from infancy. At first he honestly tries to put his doctrine of trustfulness and hard work into practice, only to find himself the dupe of a real estate concern of decidedly dubious methods. Then, just as he is about to give up and go back to his home in Chatham, luck takes him by the hand. For a while he congratulates himself on his good fortune, only to discover that he must pay a price for it, the price of his self-respect. It is exacted from him insidiously. It is his very idealism that for some time cloaks his relations with Mrs Curran, even from himself. However, though he wanders for a while in a slough of dissipation, he emerges from it and presently sees himself, as always, a veritable groper ‘stumbling, floundering, following false lights, at intervals catching a real glimpse of truth.”
“Many of the minor characters are cleverly drawn, and the book as a whole gives an excellent picture of Detroit during the years from 1907 to 1916, even though it entirely ignores the war.”
– The Book Review Digest

Buy the print version: The Groper

Wolves Against the Moon

NY: Macmillan 1945
Altrocchi, Julia CooleyGo to Book

Adventures of a French-Canadian trader in the western wilderness.
Buy the print version: Wolves Against the Moon

Captives of Cupid: A Story of Old Detroit

Detroit: Eby 1896
Antona, Annetta HallidayGo to Book

A complex tale of romance, murders and the death of Tecumseh at the Battle of the Thames.
Buy the print version: Captives of Cupid: A Story of Old Detroit

Who Fought and Bled

NY: Coward-McCann 1941
Beebe, RalphGo to Book

“An authentic account of Detroit and the western campaigns of the War of 1812 is given in these experiences of a Boston gentleman fighting under General Hull.”
Buy the print version: Who Fought and Bled

Redcloud of the Lakes

NY: Dillingham 1909
Burton, Frederick R.Go to Book

An epic story dealing with the history of a group of Ojibway Indians through three generations; from the time that the grandfather of the tribe goes forth as a young man to fast, and in the wilderness sees a vision, until the vision is fulfilled in the life time of the grandson. The vision – that of a young buffalo despoiled of horns and mane and heart by a great beast whose body trailed away to in visible distance – foretells the coming of the white man, the end of the wild tribal life, and the civilization of the Indian.
– Book Review Digest

Buy the print version: Redcloud of the lakes: a novel

Mackinac and Lake Stories

NY: Harper 1899
Catherwood, Mary HartwellGo to Book

Story titles are:
– Marianson
– The Black Feather
– The Cobbler in the Devil’s Kitchen
– The Skeleton on Round Island
– The Penitent of Cross Village
– The King of Beaver
– Beaver Lights
– A British Islander
– The Cursed Patois
– The Mothers of Honore
– The Blue Man
– The Indian on the Trail

Buy the print version: Mackinac and Lake Stories

The White Islander

NY: Century 1893
Catherwood, Mary HartwellGo to Book

Mary Hartwell Catherwood (1847 -1902) was born in Luray, Ohio and as an adult lived in several cities in the Midwest. She developed a signature style of incorporating Midwestern culture, dialect, and local color into her texts. Although most of her novels and stories are set in Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, some are also based along the American border with French Canada and on colonial Mackinac Island.

A romance of the old Indian wars. Characters : a chief and an Indian girl, a white fugitive, and a French girl, captive among the redskins. Jealousy, revenge, scenes of violence and superstitious orgies are wrought into a harmonious whole by the pictorial treatment of the wonderful scenery of forest and river, sunshine and storm.
– Guide to Historical Fiction

See more of Catherwood’s works at: Great Lakes Novels and Historical Fiction and Illinois Novels and Historical Fiction

See also: Books about 19th Century American Women Authors
Buy the print version: (The) white islanders

Michigan Novels and Historical Fiction

The Oak-openings; Or, The Bee-hunter

NY:Appleton 1873
Cooper, James FenimoreGo to Book

Best known for the novel “The Last of the Mohicans”, Cooper set this story in Schoolcraft, Kalamazoo county after a visit. The bee-hunter is reportedly Bazel Harrison, Schoolcraft’s first settler.
A woodsman finds himself in the middle of the War of 1812 and a Potawatomi attack with a British spy and an American army messenger. Set in southwestern Michigan.*

See also: Lounsbury, Thomas Raynesford, James Fenimore Cooper in Century Past Biographies: C
Buy the print version: The Oak Openings: Or the Bee-Hunter

Blackrobe

Milwaukee: Bruce. 1937
Corcoran, CharlesGo to Book

The fictionalized life and explorations of the Jesuit missionary, Jacques Marquette (1637-1675). Partially set at St. Ignace and Sault Ste. Marie.*
Charles Corcoran, was, like Father Marquette, a Catholic Jesuit priest.

See also: Thwaites, Reuben Gold, Father Marquette in Century Past Biographies: M, N & O
Buy the print version: Blackrobe

A Daughter of New France; with some Account of the Gallant Sieur Cadillac and his Colony on the Detroit

Boston: Little, Brown. 1901
Crowley, Mary CatherineGo to Book

The brother-in-law of Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac (1656-1730) recounts the latter’s appointment to Michilimackinac and the founding of Detroit in 1701.*

See also: Books about 19th Century American Women Authors
Buy the print version: A Daughter of New France; With Some Account of the Gallant Sieur Cadillac and His Colony on the Detroit;

Michigan Novels and Historical Fiction

Heroine of the Strait. A Romance of Detroit in the Time of Pontiac

Boston: Little, Brown. 1902
Crowley, Mary CatherineGo to Book

The story of Chief Pontiac’s attempt to capture Detroit in 1763 and the efforts of a French family to warn the British garrison of the Ottawa chief’s plan.*
Buy the print version: The Heroine of the Strait; a Romance of Detroit in the Time of Pontiac

Love Thrives in War. A Romance of the Frontier in 1812

Boston: Little, Brown. 1903
Crowley, Mary CatherineGo to Book

The story of General William Hull’s (1753-1825) surrender of Detroit to the British in the War of 1812, as well as of a young woman who faces many perils to save the man she loves.*

See the resources on this site for: The War of 1812

For U.S. history of the War of 1812, see also on this site: Babcock, Kendric Charles, The Rise of American Nationality 1811-1819 in Section 973.5 on U.S. History; Constitutional Period to 1845
Buy the print version: Love Thrives in War: A Romance of the Frontier in 1812

The Courage of Captain Plum

NY: Grosset & Dunlap 1912
Curwood, James OliverGo to Book

A stirring tale of the Mormon colony on Beaver island, in Lake Michigan. At the center of the plot lies the perfidy of James Jesse Strang who as self-proclaimed king ruled the island during the administration of Franklin Pierce. Captain Plum, who visits the island in the interests of righting a grievance of piracy, is plunged into the thick of a revolt, and, at the peril of death, snatches two persecuted young women from the meshes of the Mormon net.
– Book Review Digest

Buy the print version: The Courage of Captain Plum

Michigan Novels and Historical Fiction

A Little Girl in Old Detroit

NY: Dodd, Mead 1902
Douglas, Amanda M.Go to Book

A story of Detroit as seen through the eyes of a young French girl from its inclusion in the United States in 1796 until the destructive fire of 1805.*

Amanda M. Douglas (1831-1916) was raised in New York city and lived as an adult in New Jersey. This novel is one of many in her “Little Girl” series; stories set in various U.S. cities for young audiences. Among other books, she also authored a “Helen Grant” series which was more of a ‘college girl’ genre.
Buy the print version: A Little Girl in Old Detroit

A Spy in Old Detroit

Chicago: Rand McNally 1963
Emery, AnneGo to Book

Despite his conflicting feelings of loyalty, a fifteen-year-old French boy becomes a spy for the British during Pontiac’s siege of Detroit in 1763. *
Buy the print version: A Spy in Old Detroit

Campfire and Trail (The White Captive); A Tale of The Pontiac War

Chicago: Rand McNally 1915
Ford, R. Clyde Go to Book

Freed from captivity, a young man helps defend Fort Detroit during Pontiac’s siege. Set at Forts St. Joseph, Michilimackinac, and Detroit from 1760 to 1763.*
Buy the print version: Campfire and trail: (The white captive) : a tale of the Pontiac war

Michigan Novels and Historical Fiction

Fatal Secret

Philadelphia: Potter 1873
Glenwood, Ida (Gorton, Mrs. Cynthia M. R.)Go to Book

The author was blind, composing her fiction on one of the earliest typewriters. The incidents in this story were reportedly based on the experience of a couple who for twenty years worked at the Mission school on Mackinac Island.
Buy the print version: The Fatal Secret

Curse of the White Panther: A Story of the Days of the Toledo War

Hillsdale, Mich: 1960
Greene, MerrittGo to Book

This novel is the second in a 3-book sequence. In the first book, The Land Lies Pretty, Martin Langdon came to Michigan Territory from his home in New York in 1832 seeking adventure. In this second volume, Langdon has further adventures in southern Michigan during the period of 1833 to 1835, including a role in the Toledo War. The first and third books do not seem to be available online.
Buy the print version: Curse of the White Panther: A Story of the Days of the Toledo War (sequel to “The Land Lies Pretty”)

Trial by Fire: A Tale of the Great Lakes

Boston: Small, Maynard 1916
Hallet, Richard MatthewsGo to Book

“A long-drawn-out dachshund of the lakes” was the “Yuly Yinks,” a boat on which the forepart scarcely knew the hindpart by sight, so widely were they separated by actual distance and social distinction. Circumstances bring young Alexander Grant to ship as a deckhand forward at the same time that his father and a party of friends, one of them Avis Wrenn, are passengers at the other end. But Alexander, sweating down in the hold, does not know the true inwardness of all these circumstances. Only Cagey the fireman knows. Something of a Caliban is this Cagey, capable of ruminating half intelligently on life as he has seen it, and capable too of rising to a certain height of self-sacrifice.”
“No summary of the story would convey its vivid realism. The language is stripped to the bone of every superfluous phrase, allusion and description. Dramatic scenes are dashed on the canvas with a minimum of colorful words. Cagey is a creation; and Avis Wrenn the heroine is charming. The book is of outstanding merit.”
– The Book Review Digest

Hallet was a 25-year-old Harvard-educated lawyer from New England when he abandoned practice of the law for adventure of the sea and a career as a sea-writer. After a passage as a seaman from Boston to Australia and another as a fireman from the Indian Ocean to England, he worked for a few months as a fireman aboard the iron ore freighter James A. Jenks on the Great Lakes. Trial by Fire was his only novel located on the Great Lakes.
– Information from Searchable Sea Literature website

Buy the print version: Trial by fire: a tale of the Great Lakes

Trumpet in the Wilderness

NY: Mill 1940
Harper, Robert S. Go to Book

“Two dramatic engagements in the War of 1812 – Colonel Cass’s Detroit campaign and Perry’s victory on Lake Erie – are re-created with an excellent balance between romance and research.”
Buy the print version: Trumpet in the wilderness,

Ann Arbor Tales

Philadelphia: Jacobs 1902
Harriman, Karl EdwinGo to Book

Romantic and sentimental short stories focusing on students at the University of Michigan.
Buy the print version: Ann Arbor Tales

Hubbard’s Trail

Chicago: Erle Press 1952
Holt, Alfred HubbardGo to Book

Fictionalized biography of Gurdon Hubbard, fur-trader and pioneer merchant. Partially set in Fort Mackinac and in the Muskegon River area.*

See also: Hubbard, Gurdon S., The Autobiography of Gurdon Saltonstall Hubbard, Pa-pa-ma-ta-be, “The Swift Walker” in Biographies & Memoirs in Illinois History
Buy the print version: Hubbard’s trail

Michigan Novels and Historical Fiction

A New Home-Who’ll Follow? Or, Glimpses of Western Life

NY: Francis 1841
Kirkland, Caroline (under the pseudonym Mrs. Mary Clavers)Go to Book

The fictionalized experiences of a refined woman on the coarse Michigan frontier written in a satirical style and set in “Montacute” (Pinckney) in the late 1830s.*

Kirkland moved west with her husband to Detroit in 1835, and they founded the town of Pinckney in Southeastern Michigan in 1837. She wrote two books while in Michigan; A New Home; Who’ll Follow and Forest Life. They returned to NYC in 1843, partly because her Pinckney neighbors were not pleased with her portrayal of them. Back in New York she wrote a third book about Michigan; Western Clearings, and went on to become a highly successful novelist.

See also: Books about 19th Century American Women Authors
Buy the print version: A New Home, Who’ll Follow? (American Women Writers Series)

Forest Life

London: Longman 1842
Kirkland, Caroline Go to Vol 1|Go to Vol 2

More of the author’s fictionalized experiences on the Michigan frontier are recounted. Set in “Montacute” (Pinckney) in the early 1840s. See the note above under A New Home-Who’ll Follow?

“Humor, vivacity, keen discernment, graphic powers of description, and a thorough acquaintance with American forest life, are the most striking features of these volumes. There is not a chapter from which we do not feel strongly disposed to quote.”
– London Atlas

Buy the print version: Forest Life

Western Clearings

NY: Wiley & Putnam 1845
Kirkland, CarolineGo to Book

See the note above under A New Home-Who’ll Follow?
Buy the print version: Western Clearings

Michigan Novels and Historical Fiction

The Wolverine; A Romance of Early Michigan

Boston: Little, Brown 1904
Lawrence, Albert LathropGo to Book

Stevens Mason, Governor Cass, and Father Richard are important characters in this romance centering around a French-American girl who came to live in Detroit in 1817.
Buy the print version: The Wolverine: A Romance of Early Michigan

Legends of Michigan and the Old North West, Or, A Cluster of Unpublished Waifs, Gleaned Along the Uncertain, Misty Lie, Dividing Traditional from Historic Times

Allegan, MI: Northwestern Bible 1875
Littlejohn, Flavius JosephusGo to Book


Buy the print version: Legends of Michigan and the Old North West: Or, a Cluster of Unpublished Waifs, Gleaned Along the Uncertain, Misty Line, Dividing Traditional From Historic Times (Classic Reprint)

Onawago or the Betrayer of Pontiac

Benton Harbor: Antiquarian 1911
Ludlow, Will CumbackGo to Book

An Ojibwa medicine woman who had warned the Detroit garrison of Pontiac’s attack in 1763 is a mysterious presence among the settlers of Michigan. Set mostly in “Barterville” in Berrien County from 1838 to 1858.*
Buy the print version: Onawago: Or,the Betrayer of Pontiac,

Gabriel’s Search

Boston: Little, Brown 1940
Lutes, Della T.Go to Book

“The tang and gusto of frontier living in the 1830’s is highlighted in this story of a newcomer’s adjustment to a community near Jackson.”
Buy the print version: Gabriel’s Search

The Indian Drum

Boston: Little Brown 1917
MacHarg, William Briggs, De La Vergne, Earl W. and Balmer, EdwinGo to Book


Buy the print version: The indian drum

The Outbound Road

Boston: Houghton Mifflin 1919
Mulder, ArnoldGo to Book

“As the scene for his novels this author chooses a quaint Dutch settlement in Michigan. In the present story the hero is a young man who as a child was adopted into a Dutch household. His dead mother had been an actress and his heritage from her breaks out in spite of the narrow religious training that regards theater going, even as novel reading, as sin. The boy while yet a child, shows a gift for acting, and as he grows older turns naturally to the theater, but his true genius is to express itself in play writing. The story is told by the boy’s father, a college professor, who has let his petty ambitions in his profession, withhold confession of his parenthood.”
“What we need in American fiction is just such simple veracity, insight, sane and liberal human feeling as Mr Mulder displays in his descriptions of his Dutch country-folk in East Nassau.”
“Interwoven through the story is the glamor of a strange country and a stranger people.”
– The Book Review Digest

Buy the print version: The Outbound Road

At War with Pontiac or the Totem of the Bear. A Tale of Redcoat and Redskin

NY: Scribner 1919
Munroe, KirkGo to Book

The twelve-year-old son of a retired British major is involved in a series of adventures during Pontiac’s Conspiracy in 1763. Partially set in Detroit.*
Buy the print version: At war with Pontiac: or, The totem of the bear; a tale of redcoat and redskin

Michigan Novels and Historical Fiction

Robert Cavelier: the Romance of the Sieur de La Salle and his Discovery of the Mississippi River

London: Heinemann 1904
Orcutt, William Dana Go to Book

Robert Cavelier de la Salle, from the real character as portrayed in Parkman’s La Salle and Jesuits in North America, and from original documents in archives in Paris. Characters include Frontenac, Louis XIV, Mme. de Maintenon, Mme. de Montespan, Joliet, Tonty. Pictures early life at Montreal and Quebec, and the struggles of the Jesuits for the temporal control of Canada, aided by their influence with the Indians. The magnificent and heroic work of the missionaries and their martyrdom is brought out in contrast with the struggle of their order to gain power. The scenes shift from Paris to North America and Versailles, and culminate in the discovery of the Mississippi by La Salle.
– Guide to Historical Fiction

See the resources on this site for: La Salle the Explorer
Buy the print version: Robert Cavelier: The Romance of the Sieur de La Salle and His Discovery of the Mississippi River

The Boy Spies at the Siege of Detroit: a Story of the Ohio boys in the War of 1812

NY: Burt 1904
Otis, James Go to Book

An adventure for boys by the author of Toby Tyler, or Ten Weeks with a Circus.
Buy the print version: The boy spies at the siege of Detroit: a story of the Ohio boys in the War of 1812

The Power and the Glory: a Romance of the Great La Salle

NY: Harper 1925
Parker, GilbertGo to Book

See the resources on this site for: La Salle the Explorer
Buy the print version: The power and the glory; a romance of the great La Salle

Michigan Novels and Historical Fiction

Sword of the Old Frontier: a Tale of Fort Chartres and Detroit. Being a Plain Account of Sundry Adventures Befalling Chevalier Raoul de Coubert, One Time Captain in the Hussars of Languedoc, During the Year 1763

Chicago: McClurg. 1905
Parrish, Randall Go to Book

George Randall Parrish (1858-1923) grew up in Kewanee, Illinois and began a legal career in Wichita, Kansas. In the early 1880s he left his law practice and worked at a number of odd jobs throughout the west, eventually becoming a newspaper reporter. This was one of many adventure stories he published. See the Illinois Fiction page on this site for more.

A plain account of sundry adventures befalling Chevalier Raoul de Coubert, one time captain in the Hussars of Languedoc, during the year 1763, in which he gallantly draws his sword for France and his English lady-love in the stirring times of Pontiac’s conspiracy. Meeting with treachery from both white men and red, he takes desperate chances, escapes from his enemies and wins honor, wealth, and love.
– Book Review Digest

Buy the print version: A Sword of the Old Frontier: A Tale of Fort Chartres and Detroit Being a Plain Account of Sundry Adventures Befallling Chevalier Raoul de Coubert, on … Hussars of Languedoc, During the Year 1763,

North of Saginaw Bay

Sand Lake, MI: Tall Timber 1952
Petersen, E. J. (Pete)Go to Book

“An old saga of the north woods is retold in this account of a fourteen-year-old timber-cruiser who works unaided to solve the mystery of his father’s death.”
Buy the print version: North of Saginaw Bay

The White Squaw; A Sequel to “North of Saginaw Bay”

Sand Lake, MI: Tall Timber 1954
Petersen, E. J. (Pete)Go to Book


Buy the print version: The White Squaw; a Sequel to North of Saginaw Bay

Once a Wilderness

NY: Reynal & Hitchcock 1937
Pound, Arthur Go to Book

“The changing background of our state [Michigan] from agriculture to industry is exemplified in this story of the Mark family, pioneer farmers in the vicinity of Pontiac.”
Buy the print version: Once a Wilderness

The Adventures of Captain McCargo

NY: Random House 1956
Ratigan, WilliamGo to Book

“Dashing Great Lakes Captain matches wits with danger from Detroit to the Upper Peninsula.”
Buy the print version: The Adventures Of Captain McCargo

Wacousta; or, The Prophecy: A Tale of the Canadas

London: Cadell 1832
Richardson, JohnGo to Book

A renegade Englishman allied with the Ottawa Chief Pontiac seeks revenge on the daughter of the woman he could not have. Set in Detroit and Michilimackinac in 1763.*
Buy the print version: Wacousta or, The Prophecy: A Tale of the Canadas

A Land I Will Show Thee

Grand Rapids: Eerdmans 1954
Schoolland, Marian M.Go to Book

“The Founding of Holland, Michigan, by a small group of Dutch immigrants seeking a religious refuge.”
Buy the print version: A land I will show thee;: A novel

Montlivet

Boston: Houghton, Mifflin 1906
Smith, Alice PrescottGo to Book

“A rather well written love story with enough adventure with Indians to keep you turning the pages. Early trading days, when the French, English and the Indian were contending for supremacy, give the setting. The story centers about Armand de Montlivet who masquerades as a French trader and saves an English youth.”
– ALA Booklist
Features Fort Michilimackinac.

Buy the print version: Montlivet – Scholar’s Choice Edition

Michigan Novels and Historical Fiction

Spring Flight

NY: Knopf 1925
Smits, Lee J.Go to Book

“Kenneth Farr, just before World War I, combines newspaper and advertising work with relaxation on the Detroit River.”
Buy the print version: The Spring Flight

F.O.B. Detroit

NY: Harper & Brothers 1938
Smitter, Wessel Go to Book

“Two young men exemplify the effect which the atmosphere of an automobile factory has on the emotions.”
Buy the print version: F. O. B. Detroit

Felice Constant, or The Master Passion; a Romance

NY: Stokes 1904
Sprague, William C.Go to Book

Set in Fort Detroit at the time of the British occupation.
Buy the print version: Felice Constant, or, The master passion: a romance

The Long Winter Ends

NY: Macmillan 1941
Thomas, Newton G.Go to Book

“Suffering from homesickness and cold, a Cornish miner working in the copper country anticipates reunion with his family in the spring.”
Buy the print version: The long winter ends

The Red-Keggers

NY: Grosset & Dunlap 1903
Thwing, EugeneGo to Book

“Changing times for the people of Red Keg, five miles from Midland, as the farmer’s plow replaces the lumberman’s ax.”
Buy the print version: The Red-Keggers

Alice Wilde: The Raftsman’s Daughter. A Forest Romance

NY: Beadle 1860
Victor, Metta Victoria FullerGo to Book

His proposal of marriage rebuffed by his cousin, a New York man meets the beautiful daughter of a Michigan sawmill owner and falls in love. Set in “Center City” in the 1840s.*

Metta Victor (1831 – 1885) was raised in Wooster, OH and lived about 1850 or 1851 in Ypsilanti, MI with her sister. She later moved to Mansfield, OH, where she married a newspaperman, and they soon moved to New York City. She had an extremely prolific and successful writing career, publishing poetry, romances, mysteries, short stories, humor and even cookbooks under a dozen pen names. At one point she had a 5-year, $25,000 contract with the New York Weekly.

See also: Books about 19th Century American Women Authors
Buy the print version: Alice Wilde: The Raftsman’s Daughter: A Reprint of the Classic Beadle Dime Novel

The Backwoods Bride; a Romance of Squatter Life

London: Routledge 1861
Victor, Metta Victoria FullerGo to Book

A new landowner accosts a group of squatters who have settled on his property and falls in love with one of their daughters. Set in southern Michigan in the 1840s.*
For a brief biographical sketch of the author, see her other entry on this page.

Michigan Novels and Historical Fiction

The Blazed Trail

NY: Doubleday. 1902
White, Stewart Edward Go to Book

“It is a record of outdoor life, of life in the logging-camps along Lake Superior, a story of the fight of men with nature. … the author carries the hero from his first experience as a raw hand through all the phases of logging to the time when he is owner of a great logging-camp. When he has finished, the reader knows as much about the preparations of a log for the sawmill as he would know if he had read a government report on the subject.”
– Literary Digest

Stewart Edward White (1873-1946) grew up in Grand Rapids, MI and was a graduate of the University of Michigan. An avid camper and outdoorsman, Theodore Roosevelt said he was “the best man with both pistol and rifle who ever shot” at Roosevelt’s rifle range at Sagamore Hill. White wrote fiction and non-fiction about adventure and travel, with an emphasis on natural history and outdoor living. Beginning in 1922, he and his wife Elizabeth wrote a number of books about spiritualism.

“White’s books were popular at a time when America was losing its vanishing wilderness. He was a keen observer of the beauties of nature and human nature, yet could render them in a plain-spoken style. Based on his own experience, whether writing camping journals or Westerns, he included pithy and fun details about cabin-building, canoeing, logging, gold-hunting, and guns and fishing and hunting. He also interviewed people who had been involved in the fur trade, the California gold rush and other pioneers which provided him with details that give his novels verisimilitude. He salted in humor and sympathy for colorful characters such as canny Indian guides and “greenhorn” campers who carried too much gear.”
– Summary by Wikipedia and David Wales

Buy the print version: The Blazed Trail

The Riverman

NY: McClure. 1908
White, Stewart EdwardGo to Book

See the biographical note about the author at The Blazed Trail, on this web page.

A story of Michigan rivermen which deals with the fortunes of a log-driving firm. The hero is a river-boss who is induced by a New York lawyer, roughing it for his health, to join him in organizing a company to handle expeditiously all of the logs of the section. The treachery of the partner is outlined in detail against the sterling strength of the rugged hero. Local color and atmosphere abound.
– Book Review Digest

Buy the print version: The Riverman by White, Stewart Edward published by Echo Library (2009) [Paperback]

The Adventures of Bobby Orde

NY: Doubleday 1908
White, Stewart EdwardGo to Book

The nine-year-old son of a river boss has a number of outdoor adventures and helps clear a neighbor of a murder charge. Set in the lumber mill town of “Monrovia.”*

See the biographical note about the author at The Blazed Trail, on this web page.
Buy the print version: The adventures of Bobby Orde

In the Michigan Lumber-Camps

NY: Broadway 1904
Whittier, Charles AlbertGo to Book

From the “Boys Vacation Series”. The author wrote in the Introduction that he, “purposes to take his readers on “personally conducted” tours through the interesting and instructive regions …” “The incidents related are based upon the actual experiences and adventures of a party of boys who spend every school vacation in travel under the guidance of a gentleman in hearty sympathy with his young charges …”
Buy the print version: In the Michigan lumber camps

Michigan Novels and Historical Fiction

Anne

NY: Harper 1910
Woolson, Constance FenimoreGo to Book

Traces the fortunes of Anne Douglas, a young orphan of strong impulses, fine character and high devotion to duty. Scenes laid on Mackinac Island and in New York.
Buy the print version: Anne: A Novel (Classic Reprint)

Castle Nowhere: Lake-Country Sketches

Boston: Osgood 1875
Woolson, Constance FenimoreGo to Book

Buy the print version: Castle Nowhere: Lake-Country Sketches (Sweetwater Fiction: Reintroductions)

Where Copper was King; a Tale of the Early Mining Days on Lake Superior

Boston: Small, Maynard 1905
Wright, James North Go to Book

The author wrote in the Introduction that he, “…has been urged to take upon himself the office of chronicler, lest the memories of that rough and difficult and, in no slight degree, heroic life be irrevocably lost …” “The characters whom he has attempted to draw are real characters, who played parts of more or less prominence in the Lake Superior country forty years ago; and the incidents – distressing, tragical, and ridiculous – which he has described are taken from real life, with but little coloring or exaggeration.”
A story of the copper mining industry on the Keweenaw Peninsula in the 1860s, with much detail given about the techniques, dangers, and working conditions associated with mining.*

Links to Museums & Historic Sites in the Michigan U.P.: Thinking of Visiting Northern Michigan?
Buy the print version: Where copper was king A tale of the early mining days on Lake Superior 1905 [Hardcover]

*Plot Summaries were found in Beasecker, Robert, “Michigan in the Novel 1816-2006: An Annotated Bibliography, Second Edition”(2016)


You can find more works like these at our other History of the Great Lakes States ‘Fiction’ pages.

Great Lakes Fiction|Ohio Fiction|Indiana Fiction|Illinois Fiction|Wisconsin Fiction


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