Diamond Lake Mill, West Michigan Lumber Company. The West Michigan Lumber Company built its second large mill in Newaygo County on the south east end of Diamond Lake in 1881. A large company store was also established. A post office with that name was established December 22nd of that year. A station on Chicago and West Michigan Railroad by the name of Diamond Loch was established. It is not known if this the cause or an effect of the town’s renaming. WM Lumber also established a camp on the north end of the lake, apparently to house its workers. The mill and the camp were both served by the West Michigan Lumber Company Railroad, a narrow gauge line, which ran north to the Park City mill, and points beyond. The narrow gauge line provided logs for the mills to cut into lumber that was shipped over the C&WM.
By 1894, the cutting was complete and the sawmill torn down, but the town somehow survived. Over the next several years, In 1904, a Doctor from Chicago named Pechuman, a homeowner on the lake, and a resort owner named Biglow renamed the settlement Ramona. As late as the 1920s, what had once been considered scrap lumber was still being harvested and mills from piles in swampholes left by the West Michigan Lumber Company.
The still in service rail line that served the sawmill began life as the White River Railroad in 1880. It was included in the Chicago and West Michigan in 1881, then Pere Marquette Railroad in 1899, the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad in 1947, and CSX in 1987. It is currently owned by the State of Michigan and is operated by Marquette Rail.
Courtesy of Heritage Museum of Newaygo County