nahma, michigan

Nahma, Michigan offers its visitors the opportunity to step back in time and get an idea of what a "Company town" was like at the turn of the Century and the early 1900's.

Nahma is located near the mouth of the Sturgeon River on Big Bay De Noc. At the peak of the lumber industry, Nahma had over 800 people that lived in its town. The Bay De Noquet Lumber Company employed over 1500 men at the mill and in the lumber camps.

old general storeIn 1951, Nahma was sold to an Indiana playground manufacturer, with big plans to turn the town into a resort. Those headlines caught the eye of a Life Magazine editor and the article title read, "Sold-One Town". The playground manufacturer lacked capital to initiate their grand plan and today Nahma sits as a quaint, quiet community based with commuters, retirees, and summer residents.


Nahma was a mill town along the north side of Lake Michigan, just west of the Garden Peninsula. The town and mill were established as early as 1856, when it gained its first post office. According to Michigan Place Names, Nahma is an Indian word for sturgeon.

Nahma was the home of the Nahma and Northern Railroad, which went north from Lake Michigan for miles into the Upper Peninsula to reach logging camps. The N&N had 51 miles of track north of the Lake.

The Bay De Noquet Lumber Company headquartered in Nahma, Nahma was the base for its operation Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The company had a 70 year life span in Nahma from 1881 until it cut and processed it's last log on July 26, 1951. The Bay De Noquet Lumber Company processed over 2,500,000,000 board feet of lumber in Nahma.

The Bay De Noquet Lumber Company had its own railroad system called the Nahma and Northern. The railroad system had seven locomotives, many Russell Cars (designed to haul timber), one caboose and 75 miles of track that had spurs to the lumber camps where the large stand of timbers were.