“Lumber Era Ghost Towns of Benzie”, Presented by Jerry Heiman – Video Replay

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Benzonia Academy Lecture Series:

“Lumber Era Ghost Towns of Benzie: Gone But Not Quite Forgotten”

Presented By:  Jerry Heiman

YouTube Link:


In the late 1800’s, Benzie County was filled with short-lived villages built around large sawmills.  This is the story of two of them, Averytown and Edgewater, on opposite ends of Big Platte Lake.  We’ll learn how and when they began, who lived there, their life, and how the towns disappeared.



Jerry Heiman was first elected to the Benzie Area Historical Society Board of Directors in 2007; he served as President from 2022-2023, as Secretary from 2014-2021.  He also serves as a  member of the Executive, Buildings & Grounds, and Programs & Community Outreach committees.  Jerry has been a tour director for Museum-sponsored historical walking, bicycle and bus tours. He also penned “One Hundred Years Ago,” a column in our local newspaper, for more than a decade, and writes articles for our newsletter.

Heiman is a graduate of Albion College, University of Michigan Dental School, and University of Michigan Hospital Residency program. He served in the US Army Dental Corps 1966-1969 and practiced Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in Midland, Michigan from 1972-1998. He has been a Platte Lake property owner since 1977 and became a full-time Benzie County resident in 1998.

Heiman serves on the Platte Lake Improvement Association Board of Directors, on the advisory committees for Benzie EMS and Benzie Bus, and River Care Committee of Conservation Resource Alliance. He also delivers meals for Benzie Senior Resources.