Want to explore the area? Want to know something about our area? Want to just experience a beautiful view?
Spend an afternoon and hike to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain. There at the top you will see a stone monument to "Bart". Who was Bart you might wonder. Wonder no longer. Bartlett King was instrumental in establishing Troop 1 of the Marquette Boy Scouts. Since the scouting program was new to the United States, there was much interest among the boys who attended a local church. King and Perry Hatch organized the troop in 1910. The boys enjoyed the many activities that were provided, but were really involved in the camp outs the troop organized. One of the favorite camp out areas was that of Lake Superior beach at the mouth of the Sand River near Shot Point. Since the road leading to the beach was often muddy and hard to manage, the troop enlisted the help of the lighthouse keeper, Captain C. Kimball. He would use his launch to take the boys, their provisions and a small dingy to their site. He would leave them there and return for them a week later. Another favorite spot was Little Presque Isle Beach. This was easier to reach as the boys could take the local trolley as far as it could go and then hike the final 7 miles carrying their provisions. During this time, King was a great example for the boys. Whether it was teaching them camping skills like tying knots, finding food in the woods or even learning to hunt, King was there to show them courage, love of country, and self respect. After getting his 'life certificate' from what is now NMU he went to teach in a logging camp. Through hard conditions that others avoided, he taught his students the same lessons he had promoted in Troop 1. So it was not a surprise that in 1917 he joined the 107th Division in WWI. Although his 'job' was to move supplies to the front lines, he was also expected to report on the movements of the Germans. He led his division through some unbelievable conditions and as able to even encourage his men to move 9 on the original 11 trucks to safety. No matter what the conditions - weather, fighting, sickness - King continued on. However, at the age of 24, King fell sick to pneumonia and died only 35 days before the end of the war. Three years after his death, King was returned home to Marquette. His casket, draped in a flag with the Distinguished Service Cross and France’s croix de guere (The War Cross) passed in front of the members of Troop 1. It was later that summer of 1921, that Perry and the scouts of Troop 1 met at the Sugar Mountain's base in an obscure cove to scour the stone‐covered beach and gather more than 1,400 perfect baseball sized pieces of black and white and red flected granite for the obelisk to Bart King. Some stuffed rocks into backpacks and their shirts, before starting the steep climb up the 477‐foot northeast face of Sugarloaf. For 4 months, they hauled over 100 bags of sand, 3,000 pounds of cement and lumber and tons of rock. Each day the boys made 10-12 trips where they often collapsed from exhaustion. To supply water for the mortar, a six‐foot wide and 20' long tarpaulin was held by the boys during cloudbursts, trapping the rain and filling a giant wooden pickle barrel at one end of their canvas sluice. With the guidance of a Marquette stone mason, the rocks were pushed into the soft freshly mixed cement in even rows until eventually it stood twelve feet high with a foursided point visible even from the King family’s Marquette residence three miles away. So now you know the story behind a courageous man who meant so much to so many.