We have a beautiful national park right here in Michigan, but Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is also abundant in history. From early Native American cultures to shipping, logging and agriculture it lends some interesting stories. Before highways goods people needed were transported by ships on the Great Lakes. The Manitou Passage, which was located between the mainland of Michigan and the Manitou Islands, made this an ideal spot for steamer ships to get wood to refuel. Settlements and docks were built and trees cut to meet the need. One of the settlements in this area is called Glen Haven. Today, it’s been restored so people can get a glimpse of what this logging village was like.
Sleeping Bear Dunes name came from the Native American Legend of Sleeping Bear. According to legend, long ago, along the Wisconsin shoreline, a mother bear and her two cubs were driven into Lake Michigan by a raging forest fire. The bears swam for many hours, but eventually the cubs tired and lagged behind. The Mother bear reached the shore and climbed to the top of a high bluff to watch and wait for her cubs. Too tired to continue, the cubs drowned within sight of the shore. The Great Spirit Manitou created two islands to mark the spot where the cubs disappeared and then created a solitary dune to represent the faithful mother bear.
Read more about Sleeping Bear Dune National Lakeshore in today’s All About Michigan!
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