New Baltimore: Early History

New Baltimore, MI in 1911

New Baltimore Michigan is located right on Lake Saint Claire about thirty miles north of Detroit. The first people who settled in the area were Native American tribes that arrived there about five thousand years ago. Eventually French trappers and merchants arrived and lived among the Native Americans. The first person to settle the specific area of New Baltimore was a man by the name of Pierre Yax in 1796. Soon after Yax settled the area a man named Fabian Robertjean purchased the land through the government. The name New Baltimore was not the original name of the town. In 1845 Alfred Ashley built the first sawmill and dock. He then gave the town his name, calling it Ashley with a post office known as Ashleyville. The name did not last long though and in 1855 the post office and town was renamed New Baltimore.

Being that it is located right on the water, there were many benefits of settling in New Baltimore. Early Native Americans settled here most likely because of the towns proximity to the lake. This access to water is what drew many settlers and the town became an important port between Detroit and Port Huron. Many agricultural and manufacturing products were exported from New Baltimore during the towns early stages of existence which helped to draw people from all over that wanted to be involved in the growing economy.