A new book out this week digs deep into the history of one of Northern Michigan’s most popular tourist destinations.
“The Inland Water Route,” explores the history of the waterway which runs from Petoskey up through Cheboygan and connects with a number of lakes and rivers along the way.
The book features more than 200 vintage images, including early boats on the river, businesses, homes and cottages.
Twenty-seven-year-old author, Matthew Friday, is a fifth-generation resident of Cheboygan County. He hopes the book will capture some of the magic and history of the Inland Water Route.
“I just felt there wasn’t a real comprehensive history about the route,” Friday said. “I knew there was all this history that people just didn’t know about — such as the stops along the way and the boat lines that operated along the river.”
In the 1800s, the waterway became a popular route for the logging industry and fur traders. As time went on, the waterway soon blossomed with tourist boats, hotels, resorts and cottages.
“The waterway is such a huge part of the area and has such a great history. It was really one of the driving forces of our economy and still is to this day,” Friday said.
Now, thousands of recreational boaters use the Inland Waterway each summer.
Images featured in “The Inland Water Route” come from a number of private collections and local historical societies — many of which have never been published before.
“I hope his book will be enjoyed by all ages and remind them of the great history of the Inland Water Route,” Friday said.
Friday is the owner of Great Lakes Historical Consulting. He also serves on the board of directors of the Historical Society of Cheboygan County and the city of Cheboygan’s Historic Resources Commission.
“The Inland Water Route,” published by Arcadia Publishing, is available at local retailers, online bookstores, or through Arcadia Publishing at www.arcadiapublishing.com or (888) 313-2665.