Faithorn Township owes its shape to the meanderings of the Menominee River and much of its scenery to the river and the huge rock formations near. Fractional Town 38-29 is in two fragments, separated from each other by miles. Early surveyors spent considerable time clambering up and down over ledges and broken rocks.
The first settlement in what is now Faithorn Township consisted of four lumber company farms. These farms, or companies, were the Fence River, Kirby Carpenter Company, Ludington, Wells, & Van Schaick, and the Hamilton, Merryman farms on the Old State or River Road.
The purpose of these farms was to care for the stock, consisting of oxen, mules, and horses. Oxen were by far the most numerous. These animals were used in the logging camps. Crops grown on the farms were used to feed the animals, also some were for the men in the camps. Other supplies were hauled from Menominee by supply teams. Almost everything came in barrel lots.
John Dunn was the head of the Fence River farm; Thomas Murray of the Kirby-Carpenter; John Woods of the Hamilton Merryman; while Peter LeCroix managed the Ludington, Wells, & Van Schaick farm.
On the old L.W. & VS. farm Alex LeGrave is now living. Keating & Keating of Watertown own the H.M. farm. Albert Brandt owns the K.C. farm, and the Fence River farm is now owned by James Kelly. Many of the old buildings are still standing on these farms.
About 1878 Mr. George Harter moved in. With the help of Mr. Saxton of Waucedah a post-office was established, called Pembina. It was located at the farm now owned by Clarence LeGrave. The mail was brought from Waucedah twice a week by Clarence Harter.
The first schoolhouse was a log building which is still standing on the George Reid place. It was the first place used for voting.
(NOTE: The [school building] was used for school in the year 1880-81 when eight months of school were maintained fort ten children. In early days Menominee Township embraced all the western part of the county, and this school at Pembina was organized as District No. 5 of Menominee Township. Preliminary plans for the organization of Holmes Township were made as early as 1877 but not complete until ten years later when Faithorn Township and a apart of the present Meyer Township formed a part of the new Holmes Township. It was not until August 21, 1919 that Faithorn Township was set aside as a township distinct from Holmes.)
In 1887 the Soo Line Railroad (Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Sault Ste. Marie) was built through. The mail was then brought in by train instead of being carried from Waucedah.
In 1894 the Wisconsin, Michigan Railroad was built into the village. While the railroad was being built the Harter Hotel and the Junction House were built where Faithorn now stands, to accommodate the railroad men and loggers.
Shortly after this, the first sawmill was built near the hotels by Charles Johnson. Mr. George Harter later purchased it. The store near the river was moved close to the Harter Hotel, and enlarged a few years later. During this time a settlement grew up around the resent town of Faithorn, which was named Faithorn for J. Nathan Faithorn, an official of the Wisconsin & Michigan Railroad. Activities thereafter centered around Faithorn instead of the earlier settlement of Pembina.
(NOTE: In early news items the village is designated as the Menominee River Junction. The village itself was platted as Harter, but became Faithorn instead.)
About this time a teacher's school year was divided, and she taught half the year in the school building near the present Brandt school and other half near Faithorn.A new school was built at Faithorn in 1897. It is now the present town hall. About the same time a new building was put up on the Brandt farm. This school is still in use.
In 1887 the Pemene Dam was built about five miles below the present railroad bridge at Faithorn. It was built to back water for the lumber drives so as to force the logs over the rapids below.
In the early years traveling missionaries held religious services at the schoolhouses. In 1909 under the guidance of Bishop Frederick Eis land was secured as a site for a Catholic church which was erected within a year. As early as 1906 steps had been taken in Methodist organization. At length in 1920 a reorganization was made and land secured for a new Methodist church which was dedicated in 1921.
Some of the old settlers still living at Faithorn (1940) are Mr. and Mrs. Albert Brandt who moved here 56 years ago. They are the oldest residents. Mrs. Grace Salzeider who was a teacher in the first little log schoolhouse is still here. Other old residents are Mrs. Richard Underwood, Mr. Patrick Hayes, M. and Mrs. Andrew Kelly, Mr. Thereon Knapp, Mr. and Mrs. W.A. Garrison, and Mr. John Pivonka. Before the village school was built at Faithorn there was a little school called the Mullins school built between Faithorn and Hermansville. It is no longer standing.
Clarence Harter of Faithorn was supervisor of Holmes Township for a number of years. After the re-organization of the townships effected in 1920, Walter Brandt became the first supervisor of Faithorn Township.
During the past twenty-five years the sawmill has been torn down, the Junction House removed, the first Harter store building burned, and the Wisconsin-Michigan railroad removed. A telephone line has been extended to Faithorn, and an electric light line put through.
--Written by Vivien Hayes, Mary Curran, and Frank Lepins
Source: Menominee County Book for Schools, edited by Ethel Schuyler. Menominee, Michigan: Office of County School Commissioner, 1941.