Glen Haven, Michigan is a charming small town nestled on the shores of Lake Michigan. It may seem like just another quaint beach town, but it has a rich history that has helped shape its character and culture over the years.
The history of Glen Haven begins in the 1850s when the first settlers arrived in the area. They were primarily lumberjacks who saw the potential of the land’s vast pine forests. Logging soon became the town’s main industry and sawmills were built to process the logs that were floated down the nearby river. However, the town’s economy suffered a significant setback in the 1870s when a series of devastating fires swept through the forests and destroyed much of the lumber supply.
Despite the setback, the town’s resilient community worked to rebuild the industry. The Michigan Land and Lumber Company purchased the land and set up operations in the area, and a new mill was built that helped to reestablish the town’s economy.
The early 1900s brought another change to Glen Haven. The area’s stunning natural beauty drew tourists from across the state and country. A variety of tourist attractions and activities were added, such as swimming, boating, and camping, which brought more visitors to the area each year. A dance hall, post office, and general store were also established to cater to the tourists’ needs.
Glen Haven continued to thrive throughout the early and mid-1900s. However, as time went on, the popularity of the area waned, and many of the town’s attractions closed down. The decline continued into the 1980s, when the town was almost abandoned. Thankfully, the National Park Service stepped in and preserved many of the town’s historic buildings, including the iconic blacksmith shop and general store. These buildings are now part of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, which attracts over a million visitors each year.
Today, Glen Haven is a testament to the town’s strength and resilience throughout its history. The charming buildings and beautiful landscape provide a glimpse into the past, while the thriving tourist industry ensures that the town will continue to be a destination for generations to come.