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Northport

Trip Planner USA  /  Michigan  /  Leelanau County  /  Northport
(4.1/5 based on 200+ reviews for 3 attractions)
Things to do: historic sites, parks, wineries
Northport is a village in Leelanau Township, Leelanau County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 526 according to the 2010 U.S. census. When Leelanau County was formed in 1863, Northport served as the first county seat from 1863 to 1883.HistoryIn 1848 Michigan suffered from a smallpox epidemic that affected the entire community of people. Chief Peter Waukazoo and Reverend George Smith moved the community as well as the Holland-area Ottawa Mission up to the Leelanau Peninsula on boats or canoes. When the settlers had reached their destination they called it Waukazooville. Another man named Deacon Joseph Dame had come to Waukazooville in 1854, he had decided to change the name to Northport at this time.Northport was the largest town in Leelanau County for quite a while in the 1800s and 1900s. Several general stores were built in the town in 1859 that sold items such as cloth, thread, needles, foods, axes, and more. There was no doctor in town at this time so Reverend Smith was called on to deliver babies, help the ill, & numerous other things.1850s were a very hard time for the people of Northport, as they sat back and watched as the Civil War unfolded. However, by 1861 they could not just wait anymore, only a few men enlisted and were soon shipped out. As the year went on, they began recruiting more men from Northport who ended up joining the fight. Hard times came and went for the men in the war and the families back in Northport. Finally April 9, 1865 came around and the soldiers had gone back to Northport due to the end of the war.The planting of crops, as well as growing, was a hard time for the people of Northport in the late 1800s. Having sanitary food was a necessity that sometimes was lacking in Northport. Many people that ended up living in Northport came from New York or Canada where the crops & economics were going down the drain.The fishermen, farmers, and other community would gather on the bay and cut chunks of ice for fisheries, hotels, or even private homes.
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