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Photo by the Little Traverse History Museum

Walk Through Petoskey's Rich History

The rolling hills in the downtown Petoskey area offer a challenge to walkers but an added benefit to a stroll through the city is a look back in time. A walking tour of Petoskey actually is a history lesson as many of the buildings date from the 1870s to the 1930s.lightpost

Begin your tour on the waterfront where the old Chicago and West Michigan Railroad’s Depot is now the Little Traverse History Museum. In the 1890s, the depot was a busy spot as the railway brought freight and passengers to the area. The depot was used through the 1960s and was restored in the 1970s. Artifacts fill the museum and offer a glimpse back in time to the Victoria era.

Walk across the parking lots from the Museum and enter the tunnel under U.S. 31. You’ll be entering the Historic Gaslight District. On the corner of Lake and Petoskey Streets is the site of the business of the son of Chief Pe-to-se-ga, Grandpa Shorter’s. The restored building has been the location of a Petoskey business since the 1880s.

Continue down East Lake Street to Symons General Store. This is an old time general store with a gourmet flare and the structure was Petoskey’s first brick building.

Across the street and just past Pennsylvania Park is the City Park Grill, a restaurant that once included landscaped gardens. The restaurant’s billiards hall and spectacular carved bar was a frequent handout for author and occasional Petoskey resident Ernest Hemingway.

Romanesque architecture is evident in the Penn-Dixie building, next door to the City Park Grill. The arches windows and rusticated sandstone surface were common for buildings of this style.

Mitchell and Division Streets is the location of the Crooked Tree Arts Center. The former United Methodist Church was constructed in the early 1900s and has recently been renovated to include colors that were common in such Gothic Revival architecture.

Next door is the Petoskey library’s Carnegie Building, built in 1909 as the original library.

Across the street the library is housed in the renovated Cook Building. Built in the 1880s, the dramatic facade has graced Mitchell Street for nearly 120 years and has housed many different businesses.

Your tour might include a stop at the Petoskey Regional Chamber of Commerce, at the corner of Mitchell and Howard Streets, where additional walking maps and areas information can be obtained.

Experience Petoskey

Find beauty and relaxation in Petoskey. This 6,000 person community nestled on the shores of Lake Michigan’s Little Traverse Bay is a destination for visitors because it has so much to offer. Read the stories below or go to the Petoskey destination page.

For more information on the history of Petoskey, please contact:

Petoskey Regional Chamber of Commerce

401 E. Mitchell St., Petoskey, MI, 49770

(231) 347-4150

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Experience the Petoskey Area