Harbor Springs, Michigan

Harbor Springs is a city and resort community in Emmet County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 1,194 at the 2010 census.

Harbor Springs is in a sheltered bay on the north shore of the Little Traverse Bay on Lake Michigan. The Little Traverse Lighthouse is a historic lighthouse on the Harbor Point peninsula, which shelters the deepest natural harbor on the Great Lakes. M-119 connects with US 31 7 miles (11 km) east and south at Bay View, and Petoskey, which is 4 miles (6.4 km) away on the south side of the harbor.

The area is known for its historic summer resorts, such as Wequetonsing, which was founded by Illinois businessmen and lawyers Henry Stryker, III, and Henry Brigham McClure. They were both connected with the Jacob Bunn industrial dynasty of Illinois.

Harbor Springs, Michigan
Downtown Harbor Springs along M-119
Downtown Harbor Springs along M-119
Location within Emmet County
Location within Emmet County
Harbor Springs is located in Michigan
Harbor Springs
Harbor Springs
Location within the state of Michigan
Coordinates: 45°25′54″N 84°59′31″W / 45.43167°N 84.99194°W
CountryUnited States
 • MayorMatthew Bugera
 • Total1.29 sq mi (3.35 km2)
 • Land1.29 sq mi (3.35 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
669 ft (204 m)
 • Total1,194
 • Estimate 
 • Density931.11/sq mi (359.41/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
49737, 49740
Area code(s)231
FIPS code26-36560[4]
GNIS feature ID0627758[5]
WebsiteOfficial website


Bay Street (NBY 5160)
Bay Street in Harbor Springs, circa 1900s

The European-American settlement started with a mission by French Catholic Jesuits; they called this area L'Arbre Croche, meaning Crooked Tree. In 1847, L'Arbre Croche had the largest concentration of Native Americans in Michigan.[6] French traders renamed the area Petit Traverse, or Little Traverse, when they arrived in the area. After more settlers came to the area from the eastern United States, they changed the name of the village to Harbor Springs, incorporating it in 1880.

The federally recognized Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians are descendants of the numerous Odawa bands that historically occupied this area. They have their tribal offices in Harbor Springs, and a gaming resort in Petoskey. Their reservation lands encompasses approximately 336 square miles (870 km2) of land in Charlevoix and Emmet counties.

Ephraim Shay's hexagonally shaped house.

One of the city's more prominent European-American residents was Ephraim Shay (1839–1916), known for his invention of the Shay locomotive. The hexagonal-shaped house he built in downtown Harbor Springs still stands today and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The local elementary school is named after him.[7]

Another building of interest is the Douglas House on the shore of Lake Michigan. Designed by noted architect Richard Meier and completed in 1973, this house is one of 150 structures listed in 2007 as America's Favorite Architecture by the American Institute of Architects.[8]

Harbor Springs was the location of the Club Ponytail, a famous music hall destroyed by fire in 1969.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.30 square miles (3.37 km2), all of it land.[9]

Harbor Springs is a few miles from neighboring Petoskey, Michigan, on the other side of the bay.


The climate is described as Humid Continental by the Köppen Climate System, abbreviated as Dfb.[10]


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 20171,203[3]0.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[11]

2010 census

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 1,194 people, 558 households, and 294 families residing in the city. The population density was 918.5 inhabitants per square mile (354.6/km2). There were 1,122 housing units at an average density of 863.1 per square mile (333.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 92.0% White, 0.3% African American, 4.8% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.1% from other races, and 2.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.7% of the population.

There were 558 households of which 19.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.4% were married couples living together, 10.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 47.3% were non-families. 43.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 23.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.93 and the average family size was 2.66.

The median age in the city was 55.8 years. 15.7% of residents were under the age of 18; 4.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 14.7% were from 25 to 44; 32.6% were from 45 to 64; and 32.2% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 43.8% male and 56.2% female.

2000 census

As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 1,567 people, 683 households, and 383 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,208.9 per square mile (465.4/km²). There were 1,086 housing units at an average density of 837.8 per square mile (322.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 91.70% White, 0.19% African American, 5.87% Native American, 0.19% Asian, and 2.04% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.57% of the population.

There were 683 households out of which 23.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.0% were married couples living together, 7.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 43.8% were non-families. 39.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.14 and the average family size was 2.88.

City Hall

In the city, the population was spread out with 20.4% under the age of 18, 4.6% from 18 to 24, 22.8% from 25 to 44, 28.3% from 45 to 64, and 23.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 47 years. For every 100 females, there were 81.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 74.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $35,341, and the median income for a family was $46,750. Males had a median income of $29,236 versus $27,167 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,876. About 5.3% of families and 6.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.5% of those under age 18 and 9.8% of those age 65 or over.



Harbor 002
Panorama from the bluff overlooking the city


  • US 31, while not directly serving Harbor Springs, is accessible at the southern end of M-119 four miles southeast near Bay View.
  • M-119 travels around the north side of Little Traverse Bay, through downtown Harbor Springs, and then to a terminus at Cross Village.
  • C-77 is a north-south route beginning at Harbor Springs and continuing north to Cross Village.
  • C-81 is a north-south route running from just east of the city northerly toward Mackinaw City.

Notable people


Harbor Springs Michigan Harbor


Harbor Springs Michigan Post Office

Post office

Harbor Springs Michigan Sign M-119

Sign on M-119

Harbor Springs Michigan view from Bluff in Winter

View of downtown from the bluff


  1. ^ "2017 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jan 3, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-25.
  3. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved March 24, 2018.
  4. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  5. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  6. ^ http://terrypepper.com/lights/michigan/littletraverse/littletraverse.htm
  7. ^ Shay Elementary Archived 2006-07-16 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "America's Favorite Architecture". American Institute of Architects. 2007. Archived from the original on 2011-05-10.
  9. ^ "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2012-07-14. Retrieved 2012-11-25.
  10. ^ "Harbor Springs, Michigan Travel Weather Averages (Weatherbase)". Weatherbase.
  11. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  12. ^ "Pellston Regional Airport Serving Northern Michigan Emmet County". pellstonairport.com.
  13. ^ via Associated Press. "F. James McDonald, Former G.M. President, Is Dead at 87", The New York Times, June 15, 2010. Accessed July 2, 2010.

External links

Coordinates: 45°25′54″N 84°59′31″W / 45.43167°N 84.99194°W

Alice Pollitt

Alice Pollitt Deschaine [born Margaret Pollitt] (July 19, 1929 – March 15, 2016) was an infielder who played from 1947 through 1953 in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Listed at 5 ft 3 in (1.60 m), 150 lb., she batted and threw right-handed.A native of Lansing, Michigan, Margaret Pollitt was born to John and Mary (née Miller) Pollitt. She grew up in a home where sport was considered of vital importance. Her father, who had been a professional soccer player in England before coming to the United States, was also an avid baseball fanatic and motivated her to play the game at a very early age.A two-time All-Star, Pollitt was discovered by an AAGPBL scout while she was playing in her hometown and entered the league in 1947. She played all seven of her AAGPBL seasons with the Rockford Peaches, helping them win three championships pennants by combining a sharp defense and provided stability through the middle of the batting order.Pollitt started at shortstop in her rookie season, then anchored third base for six years as part of a solid and durable Rockford infield that included Dorothy Kamenshek at first base, Mildred Deegan at second and Dorothy Harrell at shortstop.Her most productive season came in 1951, when she collected a .299 batting average and tied with Fort Wayne Daisies' Betty Foss and teammate Eleanor Callow for the most home runs (four). Pollitt also ranked fourth in total bases (158), fifth in hits (121) and runs (88), seventh in average, while tying for second in triples with Kamenshek (9) behind Rockford Peaches' Eleanor Callow (10). In addition, she gained her first selection for the All-Star Team.In 1952, Pollitt batted .270 and stole 35 bases, being selected to the All-Star Team as a reserve infielder. She then posted career-numbers with a .315 average and 14 doubles in 1953, her last year in the league.Pollitt was also one of two hundred players to attend the first AAGPBL spring training outside the United States, which was held in 1947 in Cuba at the Gran Stadium de La Habana.

Andrew Blackbird

Andrew Jackson Blackbird (c. 1814 – 17 September 1908) was an Odawa (Ottawa) tribe leader and historian. He was author of the 1887 book, History of the Ottawa and Chippewa Indians of Michigan.

Chief Andrew J. Blackbird House

The Chief Andrew J. Blackbird House, also known as the Andrew J. Blackbird Museum, is located at 368 East Main Street in Harbor Springs, Michigan. Now a museum, it was built as the home of the Chief Andrew Blackbird family. The house was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972, and currently operates as a museum of American Indian artifacts.

Douglas House (Harbor Springs, Michigan)

The James and Jean Douglas House (or just Douglas House) is a residence located at 3490 South Lake Shore Drive on the shore of Lake Michigan in Friendship Township near Harbor Springs, Michigan.

F. James McDonald

Francis James McDonald (August 3, 1922 – June 13, 2010) was an American engineer and business executive who worked his way up through the ranks at General Motors, ultimately serving as its president and chief operating officer from 1981 to 1987 during the tenure of chairman and chief executive Roger Smith.

McDonald was born in Saginaw, Michigan on August 3, 1922. He was sponsored by the Saginaw Malleable Iron Division to attend the General Motors Institute in Flint, Michigan, later known as Kettering University, where he combined engineering courses with time spent in the company's foundries. He served in the United States Navy as a submarine engineer during World War II.After completing his military service, McDonald went back to General Motors in 1946, at the company's Saginaw Malleable Iron plant. There he designed a new kind of conveyor belt for the facility where the company manufactured engine parts. He was named to head the company's foundry in Defiance, Ohio in the mid-1950s and he was named as general manager of the Pontiac division from 1969 to 1972 and then to head the Chevrolet division of GM from 1972 to 1974, both times succeeding John DeLorean.McDonald was named to GM's board of directors in 1974 and was chosen as its president in 1981. He conceded the failures of the GM X platform and its poor quality profile compared to foreign cars. He oversaw the consolidation of GM's five car divisions into two car-making units, with the goal of streamlining production and improving quality control. The move was criticized for having eliminated the distinctive styling of each of GM's badges and creating similar appearing vehicles. However, the additional bureaucracy and other problems with the plan led to its ultimate dismantling in 1992 by John F. Smith, Jr. He worked with the United Auto Workers to form the UAW-GM Quality Network, a joint effort by management and workers to improve the quality of GM vehicles.During his tenure, McDonald often disagreed on policy issues with chairman and chief executive Roger Smith, with McDonald focusing on running the business and staying out of the public eye. He stepped down from his post in 1987, having reached GM's mandatory retirement age of 65. Asked for any regrets during his tenure at the automaker, he said he "would make the Eldorado seven inches longer", as his 1985 redesign of the vehicle led to lower sales for the car.McDonald served on the boards of companies such as Georgia-Pacific, Halliburton, H.J. Heinz and KMart.McDonald had homes in Harbor Springs, Michigan and Vero Beach, Florida. He died of cancer at age 87 on May 13, 2010, at a hospice in Vero Beach. He was survived by his wife, the former Betty Dettenthaler, as well as by three children, eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Francis Xavier Pierz

Francis Xavier Pierz (Slovene: Franc Pirc or Franc Pirec; German: Franz Pierz) (November 20, 1785 – January 22, 1880) was a Roman Catholic priest and missionary to the Ottawa and Ojibwe Indians in present-day Michigan, Ontario, and Minnesota. Because he attracted numerous Catholic German Americans to settle in Central Minnesota, he is referred to as the "Father of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saint Cloud."

Jaquelin H. Hume

Jaquelin Holliday "Jack" Hume (1905-1991) was an American businessman and conservative philanthropist. He co-founded Basic American Foods, the world's largest producer of dried onion and garlic, and dried potatoes (used primarily for instant mashed potatoes). He was a major donor to President Ronald Reagan, and a patron of the arts.

Jean-Baptiste Assiginack

Jean-Baptiste Assiginack (1768 - 3 November 1866) was an Ottawa leader in the early 19th-century. He was also known as 'Blackbird'.Assiginack is thought to have been at what is now Harbor Springs, Michigan. Early in life he studied at a Sulpician school in lower Canada where he became a Catholic. He seems to have fought with the British at Michilimackinac and Praries du Chien during the War of 1812. In July 1813, Assiginack and Captain Matthew Elliott led a band of Ottawas to the Niagara peninsula. There they added to the British infantry and fought in the Beaver Dams battle. Possibly, Assiginack was subsequently honored with medals for his role in the war. Starting in 1815 he was an interpreter for the British Government on Drummond Island. Starting in 1827 he returned to Harbor Springs to work as a Catholic missionary, hoping a priest would soon join him, but had to carry out the efforts of Catholicizing the local Ojibwe population all on his own.

After the war, in 1815, the Indian Department at Drummond Island hired Assiginack as an interpreter. There he met Captain Thomas Gummersall Anderson, and a long friendship grew between the two men. Assiginack's command of several Indian dialects proved a crucial asset for the Indian Department’s operations in the northern Great Lakes area.After the 1828 transfer of Drummon Island to the United States Assiginack lead a large number of Ojibwe to relocate to Penetanguishene. In 1832 he relocated to Coldwater, Ontario. He had continued his Catholic evangelizing activities, and at Coldwater convinced John Aisance to switch from being a Methodist to being a Catholic. Starting in 1836 Assiginack was the leading Ojibwe in the area around Manitowaning. He generally supported various British treaties over the coming years.

In 1862 he was the leading spokesman for the British treaty while one of his sons, Edowishkosh, was a leading spokesman for the opposition faction based around Wikwemikong.

Jean Smith (baseball)

Jean Marie Smith (May 9, 1928 – March 13, 2011) was an outfielder and relief pitcher who played from 1948 through 1954 in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Listed at 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m), 128. lb, she batted and threw right-handed.Jean Smith entered the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League in 1948, beginning her career at outfield and later doubling as a reliever until the final season of play in 1954. Regarded as a disciplined hitter and a daring base runner, she posted a robust .334 on-base percentage and a 1.77 walk-to-strikeout ratio, while utilizing her speed to snatch 194 stolen bases in 567 career games. A member of a championship team, she also played in five out of seven possible playoffs.

Jocko Cunningham

Joseph Oliver "Jocko" Cunningham (born October 30, 1950) is a former racing driver who competed in the SCCA/ECAR Formula Atlantic series from 1986 to 1990. He finished second in the championship in 1988 and won the championship in 1989. Among his 7 race victories was the series' first oval race on the Milwaukee Mile in 1988. His last season in the series was 1990. He currently resides in Harbor Springs, Michigan.

Liesel Litzenburger

Liesel Litzenburger is a writer in Michigan. Her first novel, "The Widower," was published in August 2006. "Now You Love Me", a collection of short stories, was published in February 2007.

Little Traverse Conservancy

Little Traverse Conservancy is a land conservancy based in Harbor Springs, Michigan, in the United States.It is made up of two Michigan non-profit corporations, Little Traverse Conservancy, Inc., founded in 1972, and Little Traverse Conservancy Conservation Trust, founded in 1990.

Little Traverse Light

The Little Traverse Light is located in Emmet County in the U.S. state of Michigan on the north side of the Little Traverse Bay of Lake Michigan on Harbor Point in West Traverse Township near Harbor Springs, Michigan. It marks the entrance to the harbor at Harbor Springs.

Lovrenc Lavtižar

Lovrenc Lavtižar (December 11, 1820 – December 3, 1858), also known as Lawrence Lautishar, was a Slovene missionary in Minnesota.

Nub's Nob

Nub's Nob is a ski area located in the township of Pleasantview near Harbor Springs, Michigan. Opened by Norman and Dorie Sarns in 1958 as a small ski hill, it has sprawled out to a fairly large resort with eleven lifts. It gets its name from the nickname of founder Norman "Nubby" Sarns.

Raymond Wesley Starr

Raymond Wesley Starr (August 24, 1888 – November 2, 1968) was a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan.

Richard Yates Jr.

Richard Yates Jr. (December 12, 1860 – April 11, 1936) was the 22nd Governor of Illinois from 1901 to 1905—the first native-born governor of the state. From 1919 to 1933, he served in the U.S. House of Representatives from Illinois. Although he failed to receive his party's nomination in 1928 to the Seventy-first Congress, he was later appointed nominee and elected in place of Henry R. Rathbone who died prior to the election. In 1932, he was unsuccessful in his bid for reelection to the Seventy-third Congress.

His father, also Richard Yates, was also an Illinois politician; indeed, the senior Yates was Illinois' popular Civil War governor, and the younger Yates spent a portion of his boyhood living in the Executive Mansion in Springfield, which would one day again be his home. The son was born in Jacksonville, Illinois and attended public schools and, from 1870 to 1874, the Illinois Woman's College (now MacMurray College). He was the city editor of the Daily Courier in 1878 and 1879, and of the Daily Journal from 1881 to 1883. Yates graduated from Illinois College in Jacksonville in 1880 and from the law department of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in 1884. He practiced law in Jacksonville and was city attorney of Jacksonville 1885–1890 and county judge of Morgan County 1894–1897. From 1897 to 1900, Yates was United States collector of internal revenue for the eighth internal revenue district.

In 1900, Yates was elected governor in his own right while he was not yet 40 years of age. He began his campaign as a "dark horse" under the cloak of neutrality, which won him support from Senator Shelby Moore Cullom's "federal crowd". Congressman William Lorimer, who had backed another candidate in a field of well-known men, suddenly switched at the Republican convention, grabbing up a Yates banner and proceeding to stampede the convention. The results of the third ballot were never announced; Yates was then nominated on the fourth. The subsequent, decisive election sent Yates to the governor's chair by 61,233 votes over Democrat Samuel Alschuler of Aurora.

The keynote legislation signed during the governorship of Richard Yates was a new child labor law, the first of its kind in any state, restricting the work week of children to no more than 48 hours. Another significant move of the administration was the signing of a bill permitting municipal ownership of street railways. Yates restricted prison industries, but vetoed a bill calling for a centralized audit of all state agencies. The veto is significant in light of the Chicago press of the day. Highly critical of the stylish governor, who retained the parade pomp of John Tanner and his "sunburst colonels", Chicago newspapers alleged that Yates Jr. was compelling state employees to contribute to a slush fund. Further accusations had it that campaign work was compulsory for state employees under Yates.

In 1904, Yates was the first Republican West of the Ohio to declare for Theodore Roosevelt. An ironic side note is that at the end of his political career, driven from Congress by the landslide which carried TR's distant cousin Franklin Delano Roosevelt and an overwhelming number of Democratic candidates into office, Richard Yates Jr. of Illinois polled more votes than any other Republican in the state.

Yates, despite being a sitting governor, did not receive his party's nomination in 1904; he led the field of six candidates for 58 ballots, before throwing his support behind State's Attorney Charles S. Deneen in order to prevent the nomination of Frank O. Lowden, Yates' chief rival at the convention. In his years prior to Congress, Yates was popular on the Chautauqua circuit, as well as working patronage jobs, such as serving in charge of telephone companies as a member of the state utility commission.Yates served as a private in Company I, Fifth Infantry, Illinois National Guard from 1885 to 1890.

His final act of service was to cast a vote in 1933 against the repeal of the 18th Amendment (Prohibition). After leaving Congress, Yates resided in Harbor Springs, Michigan, and Springfield, Illinois, while writing his memoirs. He died in Springfield and was buried in Diamond Grove Cemetery, Jacksonville.


WHBP (90.1 FM) is a radio station in Harbor Springs, Michigan. The station is owned by Interlochen Center for the Arts, and is an affiliate of the Interlochen Public Radio's "IPR News Radio" network, consisting of News/talk.


WJOG is a radio station which is part of the Smile FM radio network. It began broadcasting in the summer of 2006 as a repeater of WTLI on 91.3. WJOG, officially owned by Michigan Community Radio, is licensed to Good Hart, Michigan, and Petoskey, Michigan. The transmitter is located on a 623-foot tower north of Harbor Springs, Michigan. The station originally operated with 600 w, but increased the power to 6 kW in August, 2009.

Largest ancestries (2000) Percent
German Germany 17.4%
English England 16.2%
Irish Republic of Ireland 14.1%
French France 7.4%
Polish Poland 6.7%
American United States 6.2%
Odawa 4.34%
Municipalities and communities of Emmet County, Michigan, United States
Civil township
Ghost towns
Indian reservations

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