Chassell Township has a long and rich history with logging, sawmills, and farming, especially the strawberry and potato farms. Within its boundaries is the Village of Chassell. Native American people lived around South Entry - the eastern entrance from Lake Superior into Portage Lake - and in Chassell Township long before settlers came into the area.
In 1855 the site of the village of Chassell was acquired from the State of Michigan by the St. Mary's Canal and Land Company. And in 1867, the site of the village of Chassell was purchased by Mr. John Chassell for farmland from the St. Mary's Canal and Land Company. Then in the 1880s, the site of the village of Chassell was purchased from John Chassell by the Sturgeon River Lumber Company for a sawmill and townsite, the railroad began running through Chassell, and the Jacobsville sandstone quarries opened. Finally, on April 14, 1888, Chassell became a chartered Township.
Chassell also offers many recreational opportunities for fishing, hunting, boating, swimming, canoeing, snowmobiling and both downhill and cross country skiing.
The Strawberry Festival is held in July on the first weekend after the fourth. There are plenty of vendors selling strawberry shortcakes, food, art, gifts, and much more. The parade always brings in the largest crowd as both sides of the street are packed from the gas station all the way down to the Chippewa Motel. An old-fashioned Christmas celebration is held the second weekend in December. The town now has art and antique shops along the main street, and the Chassell Heritage Center in the old elementary school is an interesting museum. (Open during July and August.)
Chassell is well-known for being located at the headwaters of the Sturgeon River. Fishing is spectacular. There is also fishing on Portage Lake, Keweenaw Bay, or the many lakes and streams in the area. In the summer, enjoy mountain biking, hiking, boating, canoeing, kayaking, hunting, bird watching, nature photography, and the beautiful clear blue water of the bay. Chassell is located on the Keweenaw Water Trail.
Chassell is on the Snowmobile Trail, so there is easy access to the many miles of groomed snowmobile trails throughout the Keweenaw Peninsula. The Chassell Trail takes you to Painesdale and the famed Bill Nichols Multi-Use Trail from Mass City to Houghton. Turn right (north) for Houghton and the Keweenaw.
Cross country ski on the many trails, including the 8K groomed cross country trail that starts in Chassell. Maps are available locally, and the trails are well marked, but be sure to take a compass.
The small town of Chassell produces some outstanding sports teams. l956-57-58, the Chassell High School Basketball teams established a Michigan State Record, which still stands. The Chassell basketball teams won the State Championship in class "D" in '56-'57 and '58 and established a Michigan State Record of 65 consecutive wins.
Chassell, Michigan, is located just 9 miles south of Houghton and Hancock or 19 miles north of Baraga, MI, on Highway 41.