The Alva Kepler log cabin in Manistique’s Pioneer Park next to the water tower. The rustic house dates back to the 1880’s and was once part of the Byers’ settlement in Hiawatha Township, 12 miles north of Manistique. The cabin was part of the cooperative community known as the “Hiawatha Village Association.” It was formed in the 1890s when people were struggling from an economic depression at the time. About two hundred people agreed to turn over there assets to the community and live in the village. They had about 225 residents the first year and grew crops and made goods to sell in Milwaukee.
After the first year they were not successful because they could not sell there crops and the cost to ship the products they made were more than they could sell them fore. When Alva Kepler and his brother John were supposed to move into the village the following year they sued to withdraw from the community. Shortly afterwards many other people sued and the homes and items were split up among the members ending the short lived experiment.
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