The Village of Good Harbor

G.H. Dock PiersThe Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore page on the village of Good Harbor begins:

Good Harbor is located in the northern part of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore at the Lake Michigan end of County Road 651. The only evidence of the village is a few dock pilings near the Lake Michigan shore.

The earliest logging activity in the area was in 1863 just two miles west of this site, H. D. Pheatt, a partner in Fayette and Thiess built a dock on the bay and began cutting cordwood fuel for passing steamers. He was a veteran seaman, who retired here having sailed the Great Lakes for 41 years. Wood and logs were cut between Lime and Little Traverse Lakes and taken across Little Traverse Lake on scows pulled along a cable stretched from shore to shore. A tramway extended from the shore of Little Traverse Lake to the company dock on Lake Michigan. In 1869 Pheatt sold the business and bought 200 acres about a mile down the bay. He built a gristmill in 1882 powered by Shetland Creek, which connects LimeLake and Little Traverse Lake.

The village of Good Harbor was started in the mid-1870s when a man named Vine built a small sawmill and dock. He got white ash logs from the surrounding area, which he cut into 4″ lumber for wagon tongues and shipped it by boat to Milwaukee and Chicago. His mill was in operation for a couple of years before he sold out to Henry Schomberg of Milwaukee and Jake Schwartz of Leland, who began making barrel staves, headings and hoops to supply packaging for shipping pork, fish, apples and other products around the Great Lakes.

Read on to learn about Schomberg’s mill that cut 8,000,000 board feet of lumber per year at its peak, which side of Main Street you had to be on to go to a tavern and the folding of the town in the early 20th Century.

Photo Credit: G.H. Dock Piers by ETCphoto