Early Petoskey Settlers, The Shaws

By 1876, the Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad had built a line north to Petoskey making it a good place to settle and start a business

This is an account of two early Petoskey Michigan settlers, Charles Nahum Shaw and his wife Emma Eliza (Shattuck) Shaw. Charles Nahum Shaw was born in 1836. His family moved from Massachusetts to Camden, Michigan by the time Charles was 7 years old. Similarly Emma’s family moved from New York in the late 1840s, first to Sylvania Ohio where Emma was born, and then to Michigan where she met and married Charles Shaw in 1875.

Charles’ first wife, Ellen Thorpe, died in 1874 leaving Charles with five children. At the time C.N. Shaw was a gunsmith and a fishing guide in Alleyton, Newaygo County, Michigan.

Bear Creek Village population including adjacent Petoskey was 2,762 in 1880

Soon after Charles and Emma married they moved to Petoskey Michigan and settled in the adjacent town of Bear Creek Village at a time when the streets were dirt and there were few buildings in town. It was there and in nearby Oden that Charles raised his family with Emma. Charles Shaw started and owned a meat market in Petoskey.

Advertisement for C. N. Shaw Meat Market – on Howard St. near Mitchell St, Petoskey MI

Charles Nahum Shaw was also an inventor and he held patents for several food related apparatuses pictured below. In 1885 at the age of 49 he had a patent granted for an ingenious meat freezer. A patent granted in 1890 was for a paddle for handling butter. Another 1890 patent was for an ingenious scoop. A patent granted in 1891 was for a butter cutter.

In 1880 Shaw purchased a thirty-five acre parcel of land in what was then known as Bear Creek and is now a part of Petoskey. He and his wife Emma also owned other parcels of land in downtown Petoskey and in Oden Michigan.

Michigan State Gazetteer, 1877 has both Shattucks and C.N. Shaw living in Alleyton

© 2021 by Bruce Wright

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