Maple City is nestled in the heart of Leelanau County in a grove of grand maples trees. The countryside around Maple City is hilly with many farms, orchards, and lakes. Many Maple City settlers came to the area because of the Homestead Act of 1862 which “allowed anyone to file for a quarter-section of free land (160 acres).” If the homesteader had “built a house on it, dug a well, broken (plowed) 10 acres, fenced a specified amount, and actually lived there” the land was given to that homesteader. “Additionally, one could claim a quarter-section of land by “timber culture” (commonly called a “tree claim”).” A timber culture required that the homesteader “plant and successfully cultivate 10 acres of timber.”
Maple City was founded in 1866 and was originally called Peg Town. In 1866 William Parks and J. T. Sturtevent built a shoe peg factory. When the post office was established in March of 1875 the name Maple was chosen, but the name Maple City was the one actually given. In 1890 a Friends Meeting House was built east of Maple City, and in 1916 the meeting house became a Catholic Church. Today Maple City is between Glen Arbor and Traverse City and just south of beautiful Lime Lake.