ELK TWP. — Nearly 50 people gathered on Aug. 14 at the Elk Township Hall to get in touch with the area’s past.

During a special Elk Township Historical Society meeting, Robert Fox gave a presentation about his great-great-grandfather, Robert Fuchs, a German immigrant who was one of the founders and first settlers of Elk Township.

The afternoon began with refreshments followed by the presentation.

The Fuchs family (Fox in English) settled on property between Harper and Elbow lakes over a century ago, buying the land from the Stronach Lumber Company. The family had no horse or farm equipment, and made their livelihood from scratch in true pioneer fashion.

Whenever the family needed supplies, they walked to Manistee — 23 miles one way. They took jobs at lumber camps, and eventually clear-cut their land and began a farm.

“The family went through a lot of hardships, but they persevered and made a life for themselves,” said Lou Fitz, Elk Township Supervisor, who attended the presentation. “The farm was sold to a sportsman’s club and finally the land became national forest. You can still see concrete foundations where buildings were on the farm.”

Twenty-five to 30 descendants of the Fuchs also attended the presentation, coming from different states to attend their family reunion. Different family members participated in sharing memories during the program.

“During the presentation, Robert Fox presented a picture of the Fuchs family in front of their farm house to hang at the town hall,” Fitz said. “Robert Fuchs was township supervisor in 1914 and built the town hall we use today. In fact, 100 years after he built the hall, we renovated it. It is an honor to walk in his footsteps 100 years later.”