Sitting in Grand Traverse County, Interlochen got its name from its location between two lakes: Duck Lake and Green Lake. The town was once part a ghost town by the name of Wylie which has been absorbed into the current community.

A Quaker by the name of Willis Pennington came here in 1900 and opened a drug store; soon he opened a camp for children.

In 1927 Pennington met up with Professor Joseph Maddy of the University of Michigan and persuaded him to bring his National High School Orchestra Camp Association to Interlochen. It is now the National Music Camp with separate camps for boys and girls.

99.1 WFMK logo
Get our free mobile app

The camp flourished, and by 1944, both camps became the foundations of what became the Interlochen Center for the Arts.

In the late 1800s, while Interlochen was growing, the town had stores, mills, a factory, two railways, saloons, hotels, blacksmith...just about all the usual things you would find in a downtown area of the 1800s.

The lumber trade depleted the pines and soon businesses were forced to close, people moved, and Interlochen was on its way to becoming a ghost town.

The Buckley & Douglas Lumber Company turned “200 acres of untouched forests” between the above-mentioned two lakes, and Pine Park was born. Vacationers came in droves to camp, fish, and swim and the town was back on track.

Around 1917, the Michigan Legislature bought Pine Park for $60,000, established the Michigan State Park Commission, and turned Pine Park into Interlochen State Park, becoming Michigan’s third state park (behind Mackinac Island and Michilimackinac).

Below are some vintage images of Interlochen from 1888-1920s...

Vintage Photos of Interlochen: 1880-1920s


Vintage Images of Gaylord

Vintage Photos of Muskegon

Vintage Photos of South Haven

More From 99.1 WFMK