Glen Haven and Vicinity

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Founded in the 1870s as a small sawmill and cordwood-cutting village, Glen Haven now lies within the boundaries of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Its modest wooden buildings, many stabilized by the park, flank the main street (MI 209) that leads west to the lake and terminates at the site of the Day Dock. Only pilings remain of the dock from which David Henry Day (1851–1928) shipped hardwood lumber and cordwood manufactured at his sawmill. After the big timber was cut, Day kept Glen Haven vital as an agricultural shipping point and as a port for vacationers heading north via regular steamship lines, two of which he operated between northern Michigan and Milwaukee and Chicago. In spite of the loss of the dock, sawmill, and narrow-gauge railroad, the 1920s-era village is remarkably intact. Today the national lakeshore adaptively reuses the D. H. Day Store (Glen Haven Store) as an outlet for the Eastern National Parks and Monuments Association's merchandise. Here villagers gathered and tourists once bought tickets for dunesmobile rides on Sleeping Bear. The restored blacksmith shop offers demonstrations of how iron is transformed into objects. The Glen Haven Canning Company building that served fruit farmers of the area now is the Cannery Boathouse Museum, which displays small wooden boats.

Writing Credits

Kathryn Bishop Eckert

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