Pellston History

See the Pellston Village Hall page for village services.

At the end of the 19th century Pellston was a Metropolitan center of a railroad and logging empire that spanned from Cincinnati to the Upper Peninsula. Vast lumberyards processed mountains of logs, which were shipped back to lower Michigan and to rebuild after the great Chicago fire.

Eventually, the trees in the area were scoured to the ground, so much so that the University of Michigan established a camp for engineers where they could learn surveying easily because there was clear line site between the barren hills.  When the trees came back, the survey camp became a biological station.

In the 1930’s a series of fires destroyed the mills and most of the town of Pellston. Today the surviving downtown buildings house Antiques Art & Collectibles, one of the most beautiful antiques stores in the world, which provides an anchor for five other antique stores in town.  Other businesses cater to travelers and locals looking for provisions, food and supplies.

When the log mill dam was removed in the 1940’s the beautiful Maple River could flow naturally.  The river trails in Pellston now provide a beautiful walk through the woods alongside the stream and tannin color red falls.  A haven for fishermen and nature lovers, with “walk around town” access to groceries, bank, hardware store, post office, and provisions,  Pellston is a beautiful and convinient place to live, work, shop and play.  

Businesses looking to locate in Northern Michigan will find in Pellston offers robust local economy not only as Northern Michigan’s premier antique-hunting destination, but also with customers from the busy US-31  (6000+ car a day) corridor, from the seasonal cottage owners and visitors,  from the airport and manufacturing operations, and from sport and leisure seekers from far and wide.

Home to the Pellston Airport and industrial enterprise zone, featuring automotive manufacturing; Beef Jerky, Sauces, and Spices;  Jet Service, and Industrial Farming. Pellston is one of the fastest growing communities in Northern Michigan.  

Pellston hosts a regional K-12 school facility featuring an award-winning art department, vibrant sports, robot lab, flight school, trade skills workshops, and programs for academic excellence.

Pellston is a bicycle and snowmobile trailhead for five trails that span three Great Lakes. Featuring paved and gravel trails, which are groomed to perfection for snowmobiles in the winter, Pellston is the perfect place to load up on provisions and embarking on a local or cross-Michigan trek.

Pellston offers several restaurants including the Small Town Grill, Dam Site Inn, and Douglas Lake Steakhouse, and is not far from the Maple River Pub, Hidden River Golf Club, Larks Lake Bar, Hoppies Landing at the Airport, and the Crash Landing across airport.