In the first half of the 1800s, Petoskey was originally called 'Bear River', thanks to its location at the mouth of the Bear River on the shore of Little Traverse Bay in Emmet County.

The name change to 'Petoskey' is said to come from two sources:
1) it was named after Chief Petosega of the Ottawa (Odawa) tribe, and
2) the word 'petoskey' means “where the light shines through the clouds”.

After the name change in 1879, Petoskey's lumber business gained momentum. Access to Lake Michigan was a huge plus for transporting lumber up and down the coast, to Chicago, and many other midwest ports. With a handful of railways and depots, trains were instrumental in maintaining Petoskey's business growth.

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Beginning in the 1870s, tourists began flocking to Petoskey to enjoy their summer vacations, bringing even more capital. This practice still goes on well into the 2000s.

As with any historic old northern Michigan town, Petoskey has more than its share of hauntings. You can find about a few of them HERE.

Meantime, take a look at many vintage photos of Petoskey in the gallery below, and see a few 'then & now' comparisons as well!



Vintage Photos of Grayling, 1900-1964

Vintage Alma: 1880s-1940s

Vintage Saugatuck: 1860s-1950s



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