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The Village of Sawyer, Michigan 49125

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The northernmost community of Harbor Country is Sawyer.  Graced with country vineyards, the occasional curio shop, fruit stands and a local art center that defines this towns “hustle and bustle”. Warren Dunes, with several hundred acres of dunelands, campgrounds and beaches is one of the largest state parks in Michigan. Visit Sawyer's quaint downtown area, which features the old-fashioned hardware store, a brewery, shops, and home & garden showplace.

History

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An Ohio judge, Silas Sawyer, grew weary of the courtroom and decided he would join the westward migration in the mid-1800-s. Sawyer bought a hundred acres and after clearing half of his land, planted it with fruit trees. He continued logging the area and hauled his timber on a horse driven railroad to Fuller Pier where Warren Dunes State park is now. The town grew as an agricultural center and eventually established an open-air market where buyers transported their products by train and truck to population centers. The community also had a thriving lumber trade. In the 1920’s, John Flynn arrived and started his Palm Tea Room as well as the Flynn Soda Grill. The Flynn Building became Sawyer’s most famous and for many years also housed the Flynn Theater which staged live productions. There were recurring rumors that Flynn had ties to a notorious Chicago mob, but in Sawyer, he was nothing but a leading citizen attempting to bring culture to a town better known for its apples and grapes. Sawyer is home to the well-known Tower Hill Camp, which was founded in the 1920’s by the Congregational Church.

Edward K. Warren, of Three Oaks, was a pioneering conservationist. Long before he acquired his enormous wealth, Warren bought 300 acres of woodland in an effort to preserve a forest primeval. Wildlife abounds around the trails, which meander through Warren Woods that remains undisturbed and a natural treasure. Not surprisingly, Warren Woods can be found Warren Woods Road between Three Oaks and Lakeside. Warren Dunes State Park is a 1500-acre preserve located on Red Arrow Highway between Sawyer and Bridgman. Warren bought this land at the turn of the century again with conservation as his goal. Although most in the area saw the land as worthless, Warren wanted to preserve the majestic dunes that soar to more than 240 feet. The Park has a pristine two-mile beach as well as wildflowers and mature forests. Over a million people visit Warren Dunes annually [the state’s most popular park]. For more information: (269) 426-4013 or (269) 469-5409 or the Warren Dunes Site

Area Links:

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Chikaming Township
www.chikamingtownship.org

River Valley School District
www.rivervalleyschools.org