Houghton Lake is an unincorporated community located within Roscommon County that lies next to the body of water that is its namesake. It is buttressed against the lake’s southwest end. This land was originally settled by Europeans in 1873, by the Emery family, who moved to the location after leaving the city of Chesaning. Like many communities and settlements in the central part of Michigan, lumbering was the prime driving force behind the initial move to this community. With many towns, roads, and railroad systems already established in the general vicinity, it was not difficult to get Houghton Lake up and running. In the early 1880s, the settlement had been entrenched, with sawmills being built, as well as shipping facilities. Houghton Lake is conveniently connected to the Muskegon River, which empties directly into Muskegon Lake on the west coast of Michigan, which in turn is connected to Lake Michigan. Lumber could be shipped in large loads to places like Chicago.
The census designated area for Houghton Lake currently has 3,749 residents as of 2010. In addition to bordering a large lake, its 7.5 square miles of area includes 1.6 square miles of water within it. The population density of the community is 634 people per square mile. Premier Green Lawns aims to establish a relationship with as many of these 1,646 households as we can, and help them keep Houghton Lake beautiful.
Despite the fact that it remains in an unincorporated status, Houghton Lake has its own public school system. It consists of one elementary school, one middle school, one high school, and one alternative educational school.
In terms of business economy, Houghton Lake is far more diversified from its founding as a lumber settlement. Small businesses make up the majority of the downtown area, and the majority of the economy of the various shops is centered around tourism.
Houghton Lake is very recognizable by name to any resident of Michigan, and even many outside the state. It is an extremely popular tourist area, and many of the attractions are at least partially based on the lake of its namesake. Originally known as Roscommon Lake, named after the county, the name was changed in honor of Douglass Houghton, who was both a renowned physician and the first state geologist of Michigan, when he died in 1879. It is the largest inland lake of over 11,000 in Michigan, and one of the largest naturally occurring lakes in the United States, with a maximum length of 7.5 miles, and a 4.5 mile maximum width. It goes as deep as 22 feet, but has an average depth of 7.5 feet, and has a 30 mile shore length. The large surface area and relatively shallow depth enables it to warm up and cool down relatively quickly, which is advantageous for the activities of the respective seasons. Fishing is, of course, a very popular activity, with fish of all sizes inhabiting this sizable lake. The largest species is the northern pike, the smallest are bluegill and yellow perch. When the summer comes, you will not find a nice day when the lake is not packed with swimmers, boaters, and jet skiers. Residents and visitors alike enjoy the water, the sandy beaches, and the surrounding wooded scenery.
Houghton Lake has done well at preserving their past, much the same way that Premier Green Lawns would love to help them preserve their lawns, keeping them green and healthy. The preserving of the historical buildings in the community has had good economic consequences for the people. Houghton Lake Historical Village consists of 11 buildings from the 19th century that have been restored. Among these are a town hall, general store, pharmacy, barber shop, chapel, clothing store, and schoolhouse. The buildings are open every Friday and Saturday from Memorial Day through Labor Day, from noon to 4 PM.
Being a resort and tourist based community, Houghton Lake naturally hosts many significantly large events throughout the year. Tip Up Town USA is Michigan’s largest winter festival. It is held on two consecutive weekends in January. The festival consists of a winter carnival, car show, an ice slide, polar plunges, pie eating, and more. There is also a festival king and queen chosen each year.
The Bud Bash is held during the summer months, and is an informal, largely unstructured gathering of people and boats. People tie their vessels together and float. As its name suggests, it is noted for its high alcohol presence, as well as live music. It fuels very good income for Houghton Lake businesses during and around that time.
The Historical Village holds a weekend event each year named the Historical Village Days. This is where education and recreation come together in a positive union. Pig roasts, live music from the era of the 1800s, storytelling, a barbershop quartet, as well as 1800s type games and crafts are held at this event. There are also demonstrations and reenactments from people in period costumes. Historical Village Days is held in August each year.
The occurrences at the annual Pumpkin Run are not like its name suggests. This event revolves around cars – current, classic, vintage, and antique. There is also a DJ and karaoke available, as well as a few contests. However, the primary reason for this attraction are the automobiles.
Houghton Lake is also known for its many smaller arts and crafts shows that are held at many points throughout the year.
For another slice of history, if you are visiting Houghton Lake, you may want to consider staying at the Anchor Inn. It is away from the main downtown area of the community. It has a family restaurant and lounge, and is also hosts the Spears House of Fright, which stems from its rumors of hauntings. This inn has been featured on television and in print in haunted context.
This unincorporated community has an even more interesting history and vibrant present than many chartered cities and towns. It is indeed an attractive place to live and visit. And in the residential area, what better way to make a good first impression than with a healthy lawn. Premier Green Lawns can resurrect and maintain your lawn at reasonable rates.