Fouch, Michigan

Fouch, Michigan

Fouch was originally established by an African-American, by the name of Smith, who settled on the south end of Lake Leelanau sometime before the Civil War. Smith built a dock, known as Smith’s landing where settlers who lived on Lake Leelanau could dock and then walk into Traverse City to buy supplies. Hardly anything is known of Smith, and it is said that he only stayed in the area for four or five years.

In 1866 the 21 year old John R. Fouch, a Civil War veteran, arrived from Ohio. Fouch homesteaded 260 acres of land in Elmwood township. The acreage included Smith’s landing. Fouch built a small summer resort at Smith’s landing, a post office and railroad station.

In 1892 the Manistee and Northeastern Railroad came through Fouch from Solon to Traverse City. The stop at Fouch allowed people to travel by boat to Smith’s landing and take the train into Traverse City, allowing them maximum time in the city. In 1905 Fouch built a resort hotel and named it Carp Lake House. The resort burned in 1915 and was never rebuilt. In 1927 Fouch sold the land to Daniel and Julia Perrin, of Detroit. They established a cabin colony and called it Perrin’s Landing. The Manistee and Northeastern Railroad was abandoned in 1934, taking away the importance of the town. Today Fouch/Perrin’s Landing is nothing more than a ghost town.

Leelanau on Location



16 replies
  1. Pavlov
    Pavlov says:

    To suggest that Perrin’s landing today is nothing more than a ghost town would be highly inaccurate.

    This article is from 10/2007.

    Today there is indeed a bar/restaurant/party store and gas station there. The only gas station on south lake leelenau.

  2. Kris Fuller
    Kris Fuller says:

    I have an old picture of the hotel Wisteria that was located in Fouch. Does anyone know anything about it?

  3. Michele Perrin
    Michele Perrin says:

    I can tell you that the description of how Perrin’s Landing came to be named is inaccurate, since it was my own grandparents who created Perrin’s Landing. My grandfather, Earl Perrin, owned and operated Perrin’s Landing from the early 1930s until his death in the 1980s and was occupied by my Grandma, Dorothy Perrin, until she died in the 1990s. They had a lodge with a store, a stocked trout pond, many small cabins and campsites and boats for rent or charter. They even operated in winter as an ice-fishing desstination. My Aunt Cynthia Perrin Schroeder still lives in the area.

  4. BJ Ingwersen
    BJ Ingwersen says:

    Got to this blog doing research for writing: story of my Father’s logging days in Leelanau. Am interested in learning more of Perrins landing as my Dad stayed i9n a cabin there, I believe with my Mom and two daughers in the late 40’s or very erly 50’s. Am trying to describe what it was like there (community, events)then. If Ms. Perrin has any more knowledge to share….?

  5. Ione (Schreur) Lake
    Ione (Schreur) Lake says:

    I used to go there with my family in the mid 50s through the 60s. I am writing a piece about it now. I would love to hear more about the family. Julie Perrin taught me to float and I had a huge crush on John. Mr. Perrin was always nice to me and my times up there were the best in my life.

  6. Jerry Fouch
    Jerry Fouch says:

    Kris fuller did you ever post that picture of the Hotel Wisteria? Michelle Perrin I’m sure we have talked or at least aknowledge one another on numerous occasions when I was a young boy. I spent many summerdays at the Fouch farm growing up and many of those days at Perrins Landing fishing, swimming or just raising cane. I remember on a couple of occasions your Grandpa would give us food to feed the fish. I believe they were brown trout, huge brown trout!! Have you posted any pictures on the web? would love to hear from you.
    Jerry Fouch

  7. Michele Perrin Gustafson
    Michele Perrin Gustafson says:

    So great to see the posts from folks who loved Perrin’s Landing as I did! We spent summers there and those were some of my very besg memories! My dad was Richard (called Dick) and my uncle John was a real cutie. He lived with us for a while when I was a kid. My Aunts Julie and Cynthia were great. Cynthia Married PEte Schroeder, and she and Pete and their kids Shelley and Mike lived right at Perrin’s Landing, and may still (I am not in touch with them.). My Grandma Dorothy Perrin died making the left turn onto Fouch road in the 1990s. I wish I had pictures form those days but I have none at all. If anyone has any photos, I would be so grateful if you would e-mail them to me at Thanks, Michle

  8. Dan Gehring
    Dan Gehring says:

    All I remember was Perrin’s Landing when I was a kid. Earl and Dorothy treated us like royality. Johnny and I were best of friends. I even remember Dan Perrin so you know how old I am. Usually came up with my grandparents, Ross and Norris Carey. We had a cousin across the lake. I have nothing but the best of memories at the landing. I still remember Earl tossing us up in the air about a hundred feet out in the lake. Johnny and I would siene minnow and gather worms for fishin. I have a couple of post card photos I could send. Sorry thats all I have. I would like you to know that Perrin’s Landing is one of my most remembered places in my life. I will never forget those days. We were from Noblesville, Indiana. Hope you get this. Dan Gehring

  9. Michele Perrin Gustafson
    Michele Perrin Gustafson says:

    Dan: Thanks for sharing. I guess Dan Perrin must have been Earl’s father. You might even remember my Great-Great Aunt Ida who lived to be over 100 and used to visit Perrin’s Landing often. You might also remember a pet black swan who used to terrorize us kids! I remember the trout pond and getting to feed the huge trout and the baby ducks that we often saw there. I learned to fish there, as it sounds like you probably did, too.

    Do you remember how my Grandma Dorothy was always a bit hard of hearing? She would guess what she thought we said a lot of the time, with hysterical results sometimes.
    Anyway, thanks for bringing back the memories!

  10. BJ Ingwersen
    BJ Ingwersen says:

    What a small world. I have not visited this blog since early last year. My Dad and Mom were good friends with Earl and Dorothy and lived at the landing for a short time in the late 40’s, I think. Last time I was on this blog, I was doing research for a story about my Dad. My wife and I ride by the landing often on our bicycles. Back in the 90’s, before I even knew my wife, she happened upon an accident scene at Perrin’s , and gave CPR(she’s a nurse)to Dorothy. I kind of remember the black swan, feeding the fish, and falling through the ice when I was small.

  11. Mike Schroeder
    Mike Schroeder says:

    My grandparents were Earl and Dorthy Perrin and as commented earlier, I grew up at the resort and still live just a few miles from it. Many of the posts from friends, guests and family, speak of memories generated from the wonderful times there. I feel very fortunate to have spent the best times of my life getting to know all these people and sharing in their vacation fun. Every day was a holiday. Pot-luck dinners on the beach, bonfires, fishing, swimming and even romancing made my childhood at Perrin’s Landing like a storybook character we know a Huck Finn.
    Thank you to all who shared it with my family and I.

  12. Mary Barth Forguson
    Mary Barth Forguson says:

    Sorry to join this conversation so late. I have many great memories of Perrins Landing and Fouch. My grandparents, Les and Mary Barth lived in the red cabin up the hill, across from Frances and Dorothy Hunt. The Bells had a cabin further up the hill on Fouch Rd. I spent every Memorial day weekend, two weeks around July 4th and then Labor Day weekend while I was growing up, in one of the cabins at Perrins Landing. Then, the rest of the year, I spent every other weekend with my grandparents. I went back once, in 2014. I cried when I saw a broken down trailer home where my grandparent’s red cabin was. Perrins Landiing was not what I remembered. I guess we need to let the past stay in memories.

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