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Port Oneida School

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c. 1860. Port Oneida Road, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, MI 22 (Harbor Hwy.), approximately 4.5 miles northeast of Glen Arbor

From the west side of Port Oneida Road that once led to the dock on Lake Michigan and across from Kelderhouse Cemetery, a long path runs to the simple end-gable Port Oneida Schoolhouse. Its broad shed-roof porch shelters the front entrance, and a bell within a roof-mounted tower called students from the surrounding farms. With only one room in which all ages were taught at the same time, the little wooden building stands at the very heart of Port Oneida. It served as the school until the early 1940s, and then as the Port Oneida Community Club. Today the Glen Lake School District owns and maintains the building for use as a community gathering place.

Farming at the Water's Edge: An Assessment of Agricultural and Cultural Landscape Resources in the Proposed Port Oneida Rural District at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Michigan (1995) notes that the school is sited in the glacial meltwater channel, at the base of a ridge that students used as a sledding hill. During an Arbor Day celebration in about 1900, they planted the sugar maples that grow in a row on the southern edge of the schoolyard; the Kelderhouse family, who lived across the road, tapped the mature trees to make syrup in the spring. Two privies and a hand water pump survive nearby.

Writing Credits

Kathryn Bishop Eckert


What's Nearby


Kathryn Bishop Eckert, "Port Oneida School", [Maple City, Michigan], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

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