Garden Island is approximately two miles north of Beaver Island; It is an uninhabited island – at least by mortals - but is pretty well full of snakes. Everywhere you go…snakes. Not to worry, though. So far the only breeds are garter and water snakes – they will startle you but are non-poisonous.

As if watching out for snakes isn’t enough, practically everywhere you go there is poison ivy…oh yeah, and plenty of mosquitoes. Sounds fun so far, right kids?

Although there are no people here except for visitors, the island did actually have a town at one point: a village named “Success” that had its own post office. A sawmill was constructed in Success but it only lasted one year: 1912-1913. Their main source of income was fishing, and once commercial fishing faded, the town folded and residents moved off the island. In fact, the very last person who lived on Garden Island was Peter Monatou who passed away in the 1940s. Even so, some people have been buried here beyond 1940.

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There aren’t too many dangerous animals here, unless you count coyotes. Otherwise, there are mostly deer and rabbits…..and NO skunks or porcupines.

There are remnants of the old village of Success, with the remains of some structures found in the woods. But before the Europeans took up residence, the island was home to the Ojibwa Native American tribe.

The Garden Island Indian Cemetery has been called the largest Native American cemetery in the United States – with over 3500 graves dating from 1851-1935. Some marked - some unmarked, lost, and forgotten. The cemetery is still in use  and protected by tribal members of Little Traverse and Grand Traverse. 40 acres of the cemetery is private property and you need to seek permission if you wish to visit.

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