Hawks, a Former Michigan Lumber Town
The village of Hawks - in Presque Isle County’s Bismark Township - was established in 1895 when the Detroit & Mackinac Railroad came through. It was named after James Dudley Hawks, president of the railway. At the time, the railroad referred to the village as “LaRoque”.
Even though the name is alternately spelled as “LaRocque”, the family the town was nicknamed after spelled their last name “LaRaque” as depicted on their gravestones. Antoine LaRaque was born in Canada in 1845 and died on the 4th of July, 1894 in a boating accident while on his way to an Independence Day celebration in Rogers City.
Becoming a lumber town, Hawks had its own post office in 1899 with a Mr. Horwitz as first postmaster. In the next few years, Hawks had a handful of general stores, the Sorgatt & Mileke Hotel, a second hotel, saloon, sawmills, shingle mill, two wooden bowl factories and a few other businesses.
In 10 years time, the pine trees had all been cut down, lumber was depleted, and the railroad ceased to come through. The post office also pulled up stakes.
In 1926, Hawks acquired another post office which is still in operation.
Although the town is currently listed as Hawks, in the early 1900s it was still being referred to as “LaRoque”. If you roadtrip through, it’s right on County Road F21, eleven miles southwest of Rogers City.
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