Learn History

There are many ways you can learn about the local history of the Sleeping Bear Dunes area. Many of our Visitor Guide Booklets are on historical topics, and they can be downloaded FREE or you can pick them up at the Visitor Center in Empire.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore has several museums you can visit:

  • Maritime Museum – Glen Haven
    • The Maritime Museum is the former US Life-Saving Station and U.S. Coast Guard Station. You can walk through the boathouse and the main station.
    • The Museum is open from 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day and Noon – 4:00 PM until mid-October.
  • Cannery – Glen Haven
    • The Cannery was used by D.H. Day to can fruit from his farm as well as the local area and North Manitou Island.
    • Today the Cannery is a museum of Great Lakes Boats.
    • The Cannery is open from 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day and Noon – 4:00 PM until mid-October.
  • General Store & D.H. Day Exhibit – Glen Haven
    • Step into the General Store to see what it might have been like when D.H. Day ran the town. You can also walk to the back of the store and into the exhibit room that tells the story of his life and entrepreneurial business operations.
    • The General Store is open Noon – 5:00 PM on weekends from Memorial Day weekend through July 4. It is open every day from July 4 through Labor Day.
  • Blacksmith Shop – Glen Haven
    • The Blacksmith Shop in Glen Haven is a working shop, so you can watch as the blacksmith makes or repairs items from steel and wood. Visit with the blacksmith and learn about his techniques and history of Glen Haven and other logging villages in this area. Items made at the Blacksmith Shop are available for a donation at the shop.
    • Shop Hours: Open Daily from 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day and Noon – 4:00 PM until mid-October.

More information on these sites can be found on the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore web site: www.nps.gov/slbe/planyourvisit/placestogo.htm