Historical Marker Program

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Link to state’s site with map/search engine to find historical markers:

https://www2.dnr.state.mi.us/HistoricalMarkers/

The Michigan Historical Marker Program was initiated in 1955 under the direction of Governor G. Mennen Williams. On October 22, 1955 the first Michigan Historical Marker under the new program was dedicated. By the program’s 60th anniversary in 2015 more than 1700 marker locations had been recognized in 81 of Michigan’s 83 counties.

The purpose of the marker program is to educate as well as commemorate important places, people, or significant events in Michigan’s history. The marker program is administered by The Michigan History Center and each marker is owned by the State of Michigan.

“The Michigan Historical Commission and Staff of the Michigan History Center applies rigorous scholarship and research to ensure that each marker best represents the story it needs to tell.”

As of 2020, Benzie County is fortunate to have 10 historic markers located within its borders.

In the north of the County is the marker at the Platte River Fish Hatchery commemorating the Pacific Salmon program initiated in 1966. To the west in Frankfort and Elberta, three markers recognize The First Congregational Church, Marquette’s Death, and Car Ferries on Lake Michigan. Four markers are present in the township of Benzonia within walking distance of each other. One is located at the location of the Benzie County Historical Society and Museum recognizing the historical significance of the Museum’s home, originally the Benzonia Congregational Church. At the location of the Benzonia Library are 3 markers: Bruce Catton, Mills Community House, and Benzonia College. To the south of Benzonia on Route 31 in Joyfield Township is the Joyfield Cemetery which has a marker recognizing the Cemetery’s connection to the area’s first African American landowners.

The most recent marker to appear in Benzie County is situated in the southeast corner of the County, in Thompsonville at the site of the Thompsonville Junction.