Waters is located at the southern border of Otsego County in Otsego Lake Township.  The town was established in 1872 and was originally named Bradford Lake.  Later the name was changed to Wrights Lake and finally Waters.  Henry Stephens moved his lumbering operation to Waters in 1891. 

After inheriting his father's fortune, Henry (Tom) Stephens, III. moved to Waters in 1912 and built his home and the largest dairy barn in the state at that time.  He also built the famous bottle fence.  The barn was later converted into the Waters Inn.

In 1927, Remi and Edna Schotte purchased 1,800 acres which encompassed the Waters area.  They donated land for the fire department, post office and township park.

The photos below are from various sources.  Many of these pictures are on display at the Township Hall located in downtown Waters and included in the book "Waters Michigan:  The Town With The Bottle Fence" published by the Otsego County Historical Society.   

Click on the thumb nail below 
for larger view of photo

Horses were used to haul logs from the forests to the train that transported them to the saw mills in Waters.  The man to the far left with folded arms is James White.

The nickname for the larger locomotive was "The Bull"

This logger engine was called the
"Short and Dirty"

This a steam engine they called a "Peanut Roaster"
It was the small train that brought the lumber from the yard to the drying kiln and then to the planing mill

Stephens Lumber Company

Camp 11

The Little Yard Engine at work at the Stephens Lumber Company was nicknamed the "Dinky"

Bradford Lakes looking southeast

Foreground shows skids where logs were rolled off flat cars into the lake

Michigan Central Railroad depot in downtown Waters

Site was on the currently vacant log facade building north of the old Trading Post

Residence of Henry (Tom) Stephens which can be seen in the photo to the right with the barn

The home was destroyed by fire in 1935



The famous bottle fence built by Henry (Tom) Stephens in 1914-1916 on the east side of US 27