Looking Back at Glen Haven, Michigan: 1900s-1960s
The sleepy town of Glen Haven sits in Leelanau County near Sleeping Bear Dunes. In fact, the village was founded in 1857 under the name 'Sleeping Bearville".
The hotel - Sleeping Bear House – was built that same year, followed by a steamer dock in 1859, then a blacksmith, cannery, coast guard station, lighthouse, saw mill, and store just some of nearly a dozen businesses. A post office was finally implemented in October 1869, closed in May 1879, re-opened in June 1879, and shut down for good in 1936.
Still standing (and preserved) in the 2000s are the blacksmith, cannery (now a museum), general store, and Sleeping Bear Inn. The Mobil station, post office, and general store were all in the same building, as you will see in the photo gallery below.
Steamships would arrive at Glen Haven to load up on clothes, food, and wood for fuel. It was a very important lumber and port town, but when the timber depleted the ships looked for other ports where they could stock up.
There were railroad tracks leading down to the port to load the timber onto the ships and you can still see some of the old Glen Haven dock poles, still visible underwater. Glen Haven would be a ghost town if it wasn't for the National Parks Service that helped preserve the remaining buildings in the 1970s. It is now part of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park.
In the gallery below are vintage photos of the hotel, general store, coast guard station, the dock, the dunes, the dunesmobiles, the old streets, Sleeping Bear Inn, and much more.
Glen Haven is about two-and-a-half miles west of Glen Arbor, off M-109...turn right on Glen Haven Road and you're there. Add this historic stop to your next Michigan roadtrip!
Vintage Photos of Glen Haven
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