Along the northwest shoreline of Lake Michigan, tucked within the dunes of the legendary Sleeping Bear and her Manitou Islands cubs lie a wealth of cultural treasures – 366 historic elements to be exact – barns, farms, corncribs, life-saving stations, schoolhouses, meadows, log cabins, fence posts, inns and a lighthouse from the early 19th century. These symbols of days- gone-by grace the landscape and speak of our unique heritage.
They stand where the families left them, etched into the landscape. Imprints of a rich Native American, pioneer and maritime past - integral to the subtle beauty of the Park’s pastoral countryside.
Their significance is surprising. The Port Oneida farming community for example, is recognized by historians as “one of the most prized historic landscapes in the nation!”. It boasts of being one of few, if not the only intact historic agricultural community in public ownership. So important, all are listed on the National Register of Historic Places for their historic or architectural value.
The settlers were waves of immigrants searching for a better life on the Great Lakes. Come hear their stories of logging on North Manitou; maritime life; turn of the Century tourism and farming on South Manitou Island.
These historical symbols teach of times past, but also inspire us today as places for recreation and the arts. This incredible legacy within the arms of the National Lakeshore for all generations to learn from and enjoy.
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