The Village of Three Oaks, Michigan 49128
Three Oaks is the arts and cultural center of Harbor Country with a live performance theater, fine arts cinema, art galleries, eclectic shops, and one of Michigan's largest organic distilleries. It is the quintessential small town with a historic main street featured in the movie "Prancer".
The Village hosts the largest Flag Day celebration in the nation and the state's largest bicycle event, the annual ”Apple Cider Century” which brings more than 5,000 cyclists to enjoy 100 miles of Harbor Country trails.
The Village of Three Oaks is governed by a Village Council, which employs a Village Manager.
Three Oaks Township governs areas outside the Village limits.
Imagine this: the President of the United States makes his way to a tiny Michigan village to dedicate a war memorial. He’s greeted by a fellow who has turned turkey feathers into a worldwide industry and declared "Three Oaks Against the World." Well, Edward Warren shook the hand of President McKinley in 1899 at the Three Oaks train station and heard President McKinley eloquently dedicate the Dewey Cannon Monument to the good people of Three Oaks and their contribution to the Spanish-American War. The campaign Warren waged against every other city and village in the nation, to raise the most per capita contribution for the war effort and its veterans, was yet another victory for a most incredible businessman and benefactor. But we get ahead of history.
Three Oaks was linked to the rest of our current Harbor Country communities by the timber and bricks, which were shipped to Chicago and other Great Lakes cities, and, of course, there was the railroad. The crews aboard The Central Michigan Railroad passing through the village recognized there were three oak trees, which appeared to be one because of their mass and proximity. Everyone on board recognized the Three Oaks, as did local residents. Want to name a town? But, back to this Warren fellow. He had a store in town in the late 1880’s which was doing fine but not outrageously flourishing. One day he noticed a clerk fix a broken whalebone corset stay with a turkey feather quill. An industry was born at that moment. Turkey feather quills were becoming garment stays and buggy whips, as well. The Three Oaks economy was booming. The Warren Featherbone factory still stands in Three Oaks.
When the Warren Featherbone Company exited Three Oaks, agriculture and local commerce became the village’s income source, but of course tourism also contributed. A fellow by the name of Ed Drier, recognized in Fortune Magazine, opened a butcher shop, which remains a cherished piece of his and the community’s heritage. Ed’s wife and daughter maintain his standards and humor.