Our exhibit celebrates the 1950s and 1960s in Presque Isle County, Michigan, when the population of the county boomed nearly 10% in a decade…most of it in Rogers City, which grew from 3,873 to 4,722 residents in a single decade.  Just like anywhere in the country, Presque Isle County was wearing leather, listening to Elvis Presley, and heading to the drive-in for a burger.  Our 50s and 60s exhibit celebrates the music and memorabilia that was unique to the area, as well as the growth…and the loss…that our area experienced during that time.


Presque Isle County is on the shore of one of the world’s largest lakes, and home to one of the world’s largest limestone quarries.  In the 1950s and 1960s, vacationers packed their cars and headed north.
  • Quarry View opened with a visitor center that saw over 300,000 visitors in just one year.
  • Michigan Limestone celebrated its 50th year of operation in 1962.
  • Harbor View Park, sitting just across from the quarry’s central operations, displayed the pilot house of the SS Calcite, a self-unloading bulk freighter that was put into service in 1912.

The Economy Thrives

Several iconic businesses opened in the area, encouraging more people to live, work and play in the area:

  • Rogers City Hospital (1950)
  • Servicemen’s Club (1953)
  • Shaffer’s Bakery (1958)
  • Pat’s Drive-in (1960)
  • Karsten’s Dairy Bar (1960) and Restaurant (1965)

Presque Isle County Was True to Its Schools....

As the population of the county grew, they focused on growing their educational infrastructure and preparing their young ones for a better future.

  • The city of Onaway built a new high school in 1963.
  • Rogers City followed suit, opening their new high school in 1964.
  • Rogers City’s former high school, now known as the Grambau Center, was repurposed as administrative offices.

It's a Time of Growth . . . and Loss...

Even with the county’s growth, Presque Isle experienced losses that still hurt today.

  • In 1953, Carl D. Bradley sunk with 31 men aboard, most of them from the port town of Rogers City. The Cedarville sank in 1965, devastating the town with more lives lost.
  • Iconic town sites were demolished, including the Presque Isle County Savings Bank and the Yellow School House in 1964
  • Urban Renewal began, which would change the face of Rogers City forever.


Try Your Hand at Some Presque Isle County 1950s and 1960s Trivia!

Read the trivia questions below and then hover over the box to learn the answer and read about the area’s amazing history.

The Bradley Sank in 1958

How many survivors lived to tell the tale of its sinking?

Two Sailors Survived

Frank Mays and Elmer Fleming were rescued by the Coast Guard early the following morning.
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The Quarry View Attracted 300,000 Visitors

What did visitors see at the Quarry View?

Calcite Limestone Quarry

The world's largest limestone quarry has been in operation since 1912.
Learn more

The Pilot House of the SS Calcite

It was on display at the Harbor View Park in 1961. Where is it today?

The 40 Mile Point Lighthouse

It's still one of the many area attractions tourists can visit in Northeast Michigan.
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And thank you for supporting the Presque Isle County Historical Museum!