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What is the history of Suttons Bay Michigan?

What is the history of Suttons Bay Michigan?

Nestled on the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan lies the charming town of Suttons Bay. This picturesque village is full of history, with a rich cultural heritage that dates back to the 1800s.

The area was originally home to the Anishinaabe people, who hunted, fished and traded on the lands of what is now Suttons Bay. Later, in the mid-1800s, a man named Harry Sutton saw the potential in the area and decided to settle there, opening a sawmill in the village that would become known as Suttons Bay.

The town grew rapidly in the late 1800s, as farmers moved into the area to take advantage of the fertile land, and more businesses sprouted up. The completion of the railroad in 1892 further fueled growth, making it easier for people and goods to move in and out of the town.

In the early 1900s, Suttons Bay was a bustling center of trade, with many successful businesses, including the Bay Theatre, which opened in 1946 and still operates to this day. The town also became known for its cherry orchards, with farmers producing tons of cherries each year that were shipped across the country.

However, as the 20th century progressed, Suttons Bay experienced some economic setbacks, including the closure of many of its factories. In the 1970s, the town was dealt a significant blow when a devastating fire destroyed several businesses, including the beloved movie theatre.

But despite these challenges, Suttons Bay has continued to persevere and thrive, becoming a popular tourist destination in northern Michigan. The town’s quaint downtown area is lined with charming shops and restaurants, and the stunning views of the lake make it an idyllic vacation spot. Check out the old Leelanau County Jail while you’re here too (pictured)!

Suttons Bay has come a long way since its humble beginnings as a sawmill town, and its rich history is a testament to the perseverance and hard work of the people who have called it home over the years. Whether you’re a history buff or just looking for a peaceful escape, Suttons Bay is definitely worth a visit.