The Polish community in Leelanau County originally consisted of four small settlements one or two miles apart. These settlements, Shomberg, Bodus, Cedar and Isadore began in 1868 when Polish families first started arriving in the county. The first wave of Poles in the county came to scout out the area. In the 1870s a large second wave came to join the scouting families. Many of these new families moved to Isadore.
As the first generation of Polish immigrants began to retire the younger Pols moved to Cedar, building a thriving town known as Cedar City. When they first moved to Cedar it was a nearly a ghost town, bereft of the trees that had led to the founding of the town.
Today Cedar is Leelanau County’s central hub. People stop by Pleva’s Meat for some nationally known PlevaLean burgers and cherry sausage or Cedar City Market for its huge selection of fine wines, liquor, organic local foods, and local eggs, or just to chat with owner Phil Thiel. Blue Moon Ice Cream is easily recognizable with its bright blue roof and some of the best ice cream around; make sure to try the Grasshopper Shake, or a Morel soft serve cone. The historic railroad depot is now a great antique shop, and Inish Knits is a great place to stock up on yarn. Cedar celebrates its Polish history every year with the Cedar Polka Fest.
Local area links:
Wikipedia’s Cedar entry
Leelanau Peninsula Chamber of Commerce’s Cedar page