By dhowell - Posted on 02 January 2008

Into Manchester Township in the year 1829 came John Bruin Crane and Mr. and Mrs. Ambrose Ely from Chariton, New York and settled in what is now Iron Creek. This area had no other inhabitants at the time. It is believed that Ely Road is named for this family. After a few years they sold to George Byrne for $1,000 and moved on to Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Mr. Crane set out sweet chestnut trees along the road and reportedly carried apple trees from Clinton to plant on his farm. He built a house and settled near Crane's lake. He never married and before he died went back to New York state.

A Judge, Edward Clark, had the area platted for a village by George Byrne, a surveyor who came from Windham, Connecticut, and the village was named Windham. But it never materialized. Joseph Moore, a cabinet maker also lived in the area. His small son was drowned in the flume at the sawmill on August 3, 1842. The first log house on Ely road was replaced with a large frame building intended for a hotel.

In the scanty history of the area it appears that the people were original. No one copied. The community stood in a class by itself, but as a village Windham didn't succeed. The sawmill is long gone and the general store was in operation a very short time. The area is scenic but in recent years Iron Creek has become an area of trailer houses, stretching along the shore of the lake.