Our town was a booming manufacturing town with a rich lumbering history, and then the economy and manufacturing crash has caused a lot of poverty and a downtown that resembled a ghost town. A small band of concerned citizens began meeting in a downtown coffee shop and discussed their concerns. Thus began a grassroots group. They named themselves “Bring It Cheboygan” to capture the potential our town still has for growth. We are now a group of over 100 volunteers and we are growing in leaps and bounds. We applied and are now part of the Mainstreet Michigan program – a state level Mainstreet improvement project that is part of the national small town movement. The goal is to revitalize our community and downtown. We have focused on maximizing our assets and changing our direction to a tourist destination.
The volunteers have restructured windows with historical photos, emphasized bike/hiking/ski trails and our precious Inland Waterway that includes a port to the Great Lakes and a lock, our Farmer’s Market relocated downtown to emphasize our heritage harvest, and we have a diverse support of farmers of different products, restoration of buildings, a new coffee/bakery shop, two new restaurants soon to open, a new yoga studio, a new health foods store, and a new women’s clothing store to open soon. Our Cranberry farm, the largest in the nation, as well as the national ski pole company that makes carbon fiber ski poles for olympians as well as a local bakery The Brick Oven were featured on a recent Michigan television show, Under the Radar.