Suttons Bay, Michigan, is a small town located in the northwest part of the state, near the Leelanau Peninsula. While it may seem like a quaint and sleepy town, there have been several significant historical events that have taken place in and around Suttons Bay. In this article, we will explore seven of these events.
1. The Treaty of Detroit (1807)- One of the most significant events in Michigan's history was the signing of the Treaty of Detroit. This treaty was signed by several native tribes, including the Ojibwe, Wyandot, and Potawatomi. The treaty ceded over 3 million acres of land to the United States, including the area that would become Suttons Bay.
2. The Crawford Expedition (1763)- In 1763, a group of British soldiers and American traders led by William Crawford set out on an expedition to attack several Native American villages in the Ohio region. The expedition was not successful, and many of the members were captured and tortured by the Native Americans. One of the members of the expedition was Jonathan Heart, who would later build the first permanent structure in Suttons Bay.
3. The Great Lakes Storm of 1913- In November 1913, a massive storm swept across the Great Lakes, causing significant damage and loss of life. One of the areas hardest hit was the coast of Lake Michigan. Several ships were sunk off the coast of Suttons Bay, including the James Carruthers, which is still the largest shipwreck in the area.
4. The Establishment of Suttons Bay Village (1854)- In 1854, the village of Suttons Bay was established, named after Harry C. Sutton, who was one of the first settlers in the area. The town quickly grew into a bustling community, with industries such as lumber, fishing, and agriculture driving the local economy.
5. The Cherry Industry (late 19th century)- In the late 19th century, the cherry industry began to take off in northern Michigan, and Suttons Bay played a significant role in this growth. Many local farmers began to plant cherry trees, and the town became known as the "Cherry Capital of the World."
6. The Leelanau School (1929)- The Leelanau School was founded in 1929 in Glen Arbor, just a few miles from Suttons Bay. The school has a unique approach to education, focusing on experiential learning and community service. Over the years, the school has attracted many famous alumni, including Madonna.
7. The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (1970)- In 1970, the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore was established. This park covers over 70,000 acres and includes several miles of shoreline along Lake Michigan. The park is home to several hiking trails, campgrounds, and stunning natural features, including the famous Sleeping Bear Dunes.
In conclusion, Suttons Bay may seem like a small and unassuming town, but it has a rich and fascinating history. From Native American treaties to shipwrecks to the cherry industry, this area has played a significant role in the development of Michigan and the Midwest. Whether you are a history buff or just looking for a relaxing vacation spot, Suttons Bay is well worth a visit.
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