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The Traverse City area was originally inhabited by the Chippewa Indians. The first white settlers, mostly French Canadians, established farms and villages along the Boardman River in the late 18th century. In 1851, a post office was established in what is now downtown Traverse City with Amos C. Brown as its first postmaster; it would be followed by another at nearby Union Corners (now Cherry Grove) two years later. As more settlers arrived and the local timber industry took off, several small communities developed around lumber mills which were built on falls where logs could be dropped from riverboats onto sawmill decks below to begin their transformation into usable lumber products such as boards or shingles for homes or barns being constructed throughout northern Michigan and southern Canada at that time. Among these early mill towns were "Old Mission", "New Mission", "North Village" (later renamed Acme), Fairview ("Ferrysburg"), Nankin Mills ("Trowbridge"), West Bay City ("Bay View") and East Bay City (later renamed Garfield).