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Pere Cheney Cemetery is located in
Beaver Creek twp in Crawford County.

The Pere Cheney cemetery, planned in
1878, is a five-acre plot that contains
115 identifiable graves marked with a
variety of funeral artifacts. A narrow,
dirt road through a mostly wooded area
leads to the site, which seems to be a
clearing surrounded by scrubby woods
and is fronted by a woven wire fence
with what used to be a gate.

The Pere Cheney cemetery has historic
significance of the one-time seat of
Crawford County Government and as
the last remnant of a vanished
Michigan lumbering community.
In,1879. Pere Cheney's seemed assured
when State Legislature named the
village the temporary County seat of
Crawford County. However, Crawford
County citizens voted to move the
County seat to Grayling, and in 1881,
the Michigan Central RR company,
which had contributed to Pere Cheney's
early success, moved its train station to
Grayling. The town went into a long
and steep decline; today, Pere Cheney


Pere Cheney was the first settlement in
Crawford County and was settled by
lumberjacks and sawmill hands who
followed the jackson,lansinf&saginaw
railroad north towards mackinaw city.
G.M.(papa) Cheney built the first
sawmill in town and began lumbering
operations there. In 1879, the County
was organized and Pere Cheney was
the first County seat. It was changed
shortly thereafter to Grayling. The
town, which was located about 7 miles
southeast of Grayling, had a hotel,
general store, three sawmills, a railroad
depot, school and post office which
operated till 1911. By 1918, the town
was nearly abandoned.
Investigations are currently
ongoing, being that we are
located so close to the
cemetery. Some evidence
collected has been awesome.