The History of Petoskey & Emmet County
Emmet County, so named in honor of Irish Patriot Rober Emmet is located on the Northwestern tip of Michigan's Lower Peninsula. The County was organized in 1853. The early French fur traders and missionaries called it L'Arbe Croche, or Crooked Tree, after a tall tree overhanging a high bluff which was used as a landmark for approaching canoes.
Emmet County's seat, the City of Petoskey, has a strong and varied past.
Rambling Victorian homes in the community of Bay View serve as a reminder of great history as a summertime destination of vacationing city dwellers for several generations. On a late fall day in 1873, a reporter from a Grand Rapids newspaper dubbed the Petoskey area "Land of a Million Dollar Sunsets", when he was dazzled by one of our usual , beautiful sunsets as he stepped off the train. By the summer of 1874, Petoskey was a regular stop for many rail lines originating from throughout Michigan. Travelers boarded the trains to escape the often smoggy, dusty big cities and luxuriate in the fresh air and healing natural springs. Luxury resort hotels were constructed along the rail line as well as depots to accommodate all the new visitors, including the young Ernst Hemingway on his way to spend summers on Walloon Lake and in Petoskey.
Along the Bear River, water power was harnessed to run sawmills, flour mills, hardwood flooring factories, butter bowl manufacturers and furniture-maiking facilities.
Little steam ships drom along the bay, making regular routes to southern and northern delivery stops.
Tourism continues to be a major economic force and has grown to include winter attractions as well. The county and city are now a four-season destinition offering world class alpine skiing, numerous kilometers of groomed and natural cross-country trails, championship golf courses, all types of water sports, breathtaking Autumn views and an amaizing 26-mile bike trail along the shorline known as the Little Traverse Wheelway.
The City of Petoskey continues a history of quaint shoppign and panoramic views.
Northern Michigan Regional Health System leads the pack in health care in Northern Michigan and calls Petoskey home.
Our families love living in Northern Michigan. Our education system is highly respected and included the Petoskey Public Schools and well as North Central Michigan College.
Click below and you will find a printable copy of our visitors guide, which is filled with information about the Petoskey area.