Special meeting of the Board of Commissioners Jan. 27, 2015

The Emmet County Board of Commissioners will meet for a special hearing regarding a land purchase. The meeting will take place at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015, in the Board meeting room of the County Building, 200 Division St., downtown Petoskey.

THIS WEEKEND! Next Dark Sky Park Program Saturday, Jan. 24: Campfire Snowshoe and Native Storytelling


Time: 4:30-8:30 p.m. Guest House at the park, 15675 Headlands Road, Mackinaw City

The constellation of the great serpent has set and the earth has donned its heaviest winter blanket of snow, which means it's storytelling time at the Headlands International Dark Sky Park in Mackinaw City. This afternoon and evening program is designed for the outdoor adventurer who wants to take a snowshoe hike to the stars.

Joe Mitchell, local tribal member and teller of native tales indigenous to the area, will present his craft at the Headlands Snowshoe and Storytelling event from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 24.

"Storytelling traditions are a beautiful way to explain the geographic peculiarities where they originate," said Headlands program director Mary Stewart Adams. "For example, the aboriginal people of Australia have a specific mood and manner in their stories, as do the Nordic tribes of Northern Europe, and elsewhere throughout the world.  We are fortunate to have gifted tellers in the local tradition to weave the wonder of weather and mystery into the mood of the season."

Program is free and open to the public, and reservations are not required. A limited number of snowshoes will be provided, together with light refreshment, a crackling fire and stories to warm you through the season. Please plan to bring your own snowshoes for this event, as only a limited number will be available to borrow.

Naturologist Maureen Stine will guide the snowshoe hike through the beautiful and beautifully groomed trails of Headlands, leading on to the bonfire where Mitchell will share stories under the stars. Program will be both indoors and out, and guests should dress for weather. Follow the signs for parking.

This event takes place just past January's New Moon, when skies are darkest and stars are at their most brilliant, especially the region of the mighty hunter Orion.


Click here for the 2015 program schedule!

'Essence of Emmet' history magazine, Part II, now available!


 The second in a four-part historical series covering the history of Emmet County, called the "Essence of Emmet" magazine, is wrapping up its print run this week at Mitchell Graphics in Petoskey.

Part II covers the "Century of Change" in Emmet County, from 1813 to 1917. During this timeframe, the way of life in Northwest Michigan underwent drastic changes, from a mostly Native American population to the arrival of the French and ultimately the British. It was the era that saw the railroads arrive and with them, abundant tourism. Marketing of Emmet County began, and some of our "firsts" arrived -- the first doctor, the first architect, and many others. It also was the era that had tremendous impact on the lives of our Odawa residents, who were faced with assimilation, treaties to remain on their lands and pressures to change the only way of life they'd ever known.

If you would like a complimentary copy of the Essence of Emmet, contact its editor, Beth Anne Eckerle, at beckerle@emmetcounty.org, or call (231) 348-1704. The magazine series is produced by a collaborative of Emmet County historical organizations, with credentialed historians as writers and contributors.

Essence of Emmet editions: Part I was published in January 2014, covering pre-contact through 1812. Part III will publish in January 2016, covering 1918-1960; the final installment, Part IV, will be out in January 2017, covering 1961 through contemporary times.

Attention, KIDS and TEACHERS! 2015 Historical Essay Contest announced (with a $100 prize!)

The Odawa presence in Emmet County is one possible essay topic with a wealth of information available locally.

The Emmet County Historical Commission is once again holding its annual Historical Essay Contest, which is open to any third- or fourth-grade student in Emmet County, including home-schooled children.

First-place earns $100, while second-place wins $50. The teacher of the winning student also will receive a $50 stipend to use for classroom supplies.

Here are the rules: Contestants may write about any topic that involves Emmet County history. The essay should be two pages or less, typed double-space. Only one entry per student is allowed. Entries may be submitted individually or through schools or libraries. The student’s name should not be on the essay, only on the entry form (which can be downloaded online, at http://www.emmetcounty.org/historical-essay-contest-531/)

The entry form should be placed on top of four copies of the essay. Entries must be postmarked by April 17, 2015. Click here to find out how to submit entries and for complete contest details.

“We feel this continues to be one way to get young students interested in the really rich, unique history of this place where they live – Emmet County,” said Melinda Spencley, Emmet County Historical Commission member. “There are so many different, interesting facets of our history. In the past, some students have even taken the time to interview their own grandparents about ‘the way things used to be’ in Emmet County, which have made for some terrific essays.”

If you have questions about the contest, call Emmet County Communications Director Beth Anne Eckerle at (231) 348-1704 or email her at beckerle@emmetcounty.org

Emmet County 2015 photo contest announced: WILDLIFE!

A coyote was captured in Resort Township in 2014 by an Emmet County staff member.

The beauty of Emmet County extends beyond the sky, waters and landscape views that surround us each day in Northwest Michigan. There is an abundance of diverse wildlife here, too, that lives among our forests, waters and fields. We want to see your photos of these beautiful creatures that live among us!

To celebrate our unique wildlife resources, Emmet County is holding its third annual photo contest, Emmet County WILDLIFE. This follows on the heels of the successful SKIES and WATERS contests, which drew hundreds of photographic entries. The winner of 2014’s WATERS contest was Linda Gall of Gaylord, with her stunning photo of Petoskey’s Bear River in winter.

Here’s how the 2015 Emmet County WILDLIFE contest will operate: Now through November 30, 2015, please send your Waters photos via email to beckerle@emmetcounty.org  Please include location where photo was taken with your submission. Residents and visitors are welcomed to participate, but the photos MUST be taken within the boundaries of Emmet County.

What’s in it for the winner? The winning WILDLIFE photo will be framed and matted for the winner to keep; it will also be printed on photo board and displayed in the Emmet County Building downtown Petoskey. In addition, the winner will receive two free overnights on a camp site or in a cabin at Camp Petosega on Pickerel Lake in Alanson.

Complete contest details, click here


A program that took place overnight on Winter Solstice 2010 proves an excellent example as to why the Headlands received the MRPA's Innovative Programming Award!

The Michigan Recreation and Parks Association has awarded Emmet County’s Headlands International Dark Sky Park with one of its top annual recognitions: The Innovative Recreation Programming award. The award will be presented to Emmet County representatives Feb. 11, 2015, in Lansing.

“This is a tremendous honor to be recognized for our unique approach in interpreting the night sky and offering unparalleled programming to our guests at the Headlands,” said Mary Stewart Adams, Dark Sky Park Program Director. “We consciously and consistently make an effort to come from a humanities-centered approach when teaching and entertaining about the night sky, rather than the more typical astronomical-minded angle."

In May 2011, the Headlands became one of just about 10 International Dark Sky Parks in the world at that time, joining the likes of vast, protected parkland in the U.S. desert areas and overseas in Hungary and Scotland. Since that time, numerous other regions of the United States and the world have applied for designation to the International Dark Sky Association in Tucson, Ariz., as more and more communities realize the importance of protecting the night sky from the harmful effects of light pollution.

“Congratulations to our entire staff who helped Emmet County earn this prestigious award.”

To read more about the award and the Headlands, click here!




New Visitors' Guide showcases the best of
Emmet County!

Take a look at Emmet County's highlights in our new mini visitors' guide, which will be available just after Jan. 1, 2015! In it, you'll enjoy the amenities and assets that make Emmet County the one of a kind place it is to work, live and play! And as you'll see and read through the pages, Quality of Life is Everything in Emmet County.

If you'd like a complimentary copy of the Emmet County Visitors' Guide, Imagine magazine, Essence of Emmet history magazine or other maps and brochures, contact Communications Director Beth Anne Eckerle at beckerle@emmetcounty.org or by calling (231) 348-1704.

Click here or on the image to download/view the PDF.

Imagine Magazine

Essence of Emmet history

Request a road map/brochures



Imagine magazine


Emmet County's annual magazine, Imagine, features the people, places, organizations and communities that make Emmet County a one-of-a-kind place to live, work and play. Up here, quality of life is everything.

This year's magazine, published by Harbor House Publishers in Boyne City, also includes a number of enhancements, including numerous videos that further showcase the unparalleled natural beauty and the residents who are invested in making Northwest Michigan a place like no other. An expanded section on the features of Emmet County is also a new addition to this sixth annual edition.

To have a complimentary copy of Imagine magazine mailed to you, contact its writer/editor Beth Anne Eckerle with your mailing address: beckerle@emmetcounty.org, or (231) 348-1704.