In an article in the booklet “Oscoda County 1881’ published by the Au Sable River Historical Society in 1979, the Mio Dam was completed by the Eastern Michigan Power Company in 1916. A temporary steam engine and 3 boilers, used to power construction equipment, was removed over the Robinson Lumber Company’s private narrow-gauge railroad to South Branch on the Detroit & Mackinac, where they could be transferred to standard gauge cars. “Most of the lighter equipment was moved through Comins on the (former) AuSable and Northwestern Railroad as this avoided a transfer from (to) standard gauge to (from) narrow gauge cars for delivery to the Foote dam site which was the next to be developed.”
From this I assume that the Foote Dam site began to be built in 1916 using the temporary power plant from the Mio Dam job, and in 1917 the D&M built a spur to the Solomon, Hayes & Crowley sawmill at the dam site, which could also be used to bring in the many tons of raw materials and the big generators used to build the dam and generating plant. The spur evidently was still in use in 1921, when Solomon, Hayes & Crowley had a short extension (150 ft) built for their use.
And finally, mention is made in the 1917 D&M Annual Report above of a “Wild Cat Hill” on this spur, which is probably the steep grade shown on your map.
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