Historic Community of Ponshewaing

Historic information on the community of Ponshewaing

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Ponshewaing, some say means “Peaceful Waters”, others say “Winter Home”.

About 1884, the G. R. & I.  Railroad was expanded from Oden to Alanson. Gravel was needed for the rail bed, therefore gravel was excavated for the construction from the area just west of where you are now standing. Many Indian skeletons and relics were found during the construction.

During summer months, trains called “Dummies” consisting of an engine and two passenger cars fitted with wooden seats, ran from Petoskey to Alanson every hour and a half. With no depot, Ponshewaing was a flag stop on the railroad. The summer waiting station contained two wooden benches with their backs together, a cement floor and a roof.

A boardwalk ran from the station to the Ponshewaing Hotel. Hotel proprietors, would greet train passengers and take them to their boat liveries.  Several boats would be towed via launch to Crooked and Pickeral Lakes various fishing holes in the morning, later, in the afternoon, the launch would tow the fishermen back to the hotel.  Other fishermen would not hesitate to row 5-6 miles to find their secluded fishing hole.  Rates for room, meals, and boat were two dollars per day.  The hotel was built around 1900 on the exact site of an ancient Indian Village. The Hotel property consisted of a two story boathouse at the lake shore  and adjacent to it was a trout pond. Ponshewaing was also a stop for many boats servicing the communities along the water route. The hotel also had a wood working shop and farm building for the small farm that the owners operated.

The hotel burnt down during the 1950′s, only the stone pillars marking the driveway, (which can still be seen from U.S.31), and the hidden well head of the flowing well, remain.

Source:IWRHS

GPS: 45° 25.15680, -84° 48.11760