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ROADSIDE MICHIGAN: The Remains of Glen Haven

The sleepy town of Glen Haven was founded in 1857 under the name ‘Sleeping Bearville.” The first buildings included a sawmill and inn that were constructed right on the beach. By the early 1880’s, nearly a dozen businesses existed, including a blacksmith, general store and cannery (which have been preserved and are still there).

Glen Haven was once an important port town; steamships would arrive in Glen Haven to stock up on wood to use as fuel for their engines, as well as food, clothing and other necessities. But as the years went by, the timber started to run out and the ships began going elsewhere for their fuel.

The old Glen Haven Canning Co. building is still standing by the lakeshore, now being used as the Cannery Boathouse Museum.

There were railroad tracks leading down to the port to load the timber onto the ships. Some of the old Glen Haven dock poles are still visible underwater (see photos above).

The National Park Service bought the village of Glen Haven – now all but a ghost town – in the 1970’s and made sure the remaining buildings were preserved as part of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park.

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!


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