The History of The Village of Cedar, Michigan

 

 

The Polish community in the Cedar area, Centerville Township, originally consisted of three small settlements – Schomberg, Bodus, and Isadore. As in Poland, the towns were about one or two miles apart. Many of the Polish immigrants who eventually settled in the Isadore area had left their native land from just west of Gdansk or from Poznan (Posen). Upon arriving in America, they first settled in cities such as Buffalo, Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, and Toledo to earn money to purchase land through the Homestead Act. Around 1868 the first few families came to Leelanau County from Milwaukee.

As the first generation retired from the farm and more Polish people moved to the area, many people settled in the largest community, then known as Cedar City, in Solon

Main Street in Cedar, July 4, 1918 Unknown Photographer

Courtesy of Leelanau Historical Museum Archives

  
   
Township. In approximately 1885, Lumberman Benjamin Boughey, Cedar's founder, named it Cedar City because it was in a cedar forest. The depot on the Manistee and Northeastern Railroad continued to be known as Cedar City, long after August 15, 1893 when the post office named simply "Cedar" was established. The main street of Cedar looks today much as it did 50 years ago. The businesses occasionally change and now only a few of the owners' names or operators presently reflect the Polish background of the early 1900s. People still identify this place as being a Polish community. In 1905, the Cedar State Bank was begun, which survived the Great Depression, but closed in the late 1930’s. The bank building was later used for the offices of the Leelanau Telephone Company. Every July, since 1975, Cedar is host

Main Street in Cedar, July 4, 1918 Unknown Photographer

Courtesy of Leelanau Historical Museum Archives

 
to the annual Cedar Polka Festival, which began in 1975.
 
  References:
   

Wikipedia. "Solon County, Leelanau Township, Michigan" To visit, click here.

   

Lucia Novak. “The Polish Legacy in Cedar, Michigan.”  www.leelanauhistory.org.

 

"Cedar City Mich." (1909)

  

Almost all of the land around Cedar has been stripped of its forests in this photo.

The wood was needed to rebuild Chicago after the great fire of 1871.

 

"Entering Cedar Mich." (1949)

  

As late as 1949, Main Street in Cedar was still an unpaved road through town.

 

"Air View of Cedar. Michigan" (circa 1962)

   

The back of this postcard reads: "Cedar Michigan is located in Leelanau Co. 14 miles Northwest of Traverse City in

the 'Land of Delight.' The winding Cedar River flows through the town and empties into Lake Leelanau

where canoeing, boating, and fishing are very popular."

 

Old Burry's Restaurant located at the main corners (circa 1960's-1970's)

 
 

 

 

 

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