Northern Balsams (also known as Chalk Creek)
This community, developed in Holmes Township, grew up in connection with huge electric power plants at Chalk Hills and White Rapids. Construction of the plants was begun in 1926 and completed in 1927. Each of the plants was equipped to develop over 10,000 horsepower, and they were among the largest plants of the country.
While the dams were being constructed and the buildings erected, large forces of workmen were on the job. Many were accompanied by wives and children who secured such living quarters as they could. The first school was organized in a renovated bunkhouse and was crowded with the children of the workers. The teacher was Miss Olga Oakland of Marinette.
The power company planned a beautifully landscaped village with well-spaced, attractive homes for the families of men who would operate the power plants. A commodious well-equipped school building was prepared for the children. This burned within a few years and was replaced by another. Northern Balsams was the first in the county to have a one-room school equipped with electricity, running water, and a furnace.
Rosebush Lake was formed in connection with the development of the hydroelectric plants, and was named for the president of the power company.
Legend tells of an Indian battle in the Chalk Hills area long ago, and another legend of more recent origin says that there was once an Indian mission where, in 1941 and earlier, Rosebush Lake flooded the land. This is disputed by those who believed the mission was on the Wisconsin side instead. Joe DeCota was the first permanent settler. (DeCota, DeCoto, DaCota, and Dakota are various spellings of the name. His descendants simply write Cota. Joe's death record shows his given name as Anton.)
In 1941, Northern Balsams was hemmed in by the river and an extensive game preserve.
In those earlier days, for the sake of convenience, people had their mail addressed to the post office at Wausaukee, Wisconsin. A bridge at Chalk Hills crossed the Menominee River.
Source: Menominee County Book for Schools, edited by Ethel Schuyler. Menominee, Michigan: Office of County School Commissioner, 1941.