Historic Boyne City

John Miller and the "Dream Cabin"

Step back in time to an era when horses outnumbered cars as the main form of transportation, logging was the main industry, and every yard had an outhouse! Read about the first permanent settlers in Boyne City, John and Harriet Miller, the father of Boyne City, George Beardsley, and other prominent families like the Morgans and the Whites (W.H. White Lumber Co.). 

Following a dream that Harriet Miller had of a cabin on a lake shaped like a bear, the Millers set forth on their journey to find what would be home to them and for many of us today.  John & Harriet Miller landed on the northern shores of what is now known as Boyne City on November 14, 1856.  Upland they found their dream home, a vacated cabin.  South of the Miller's cabin flowed a river that reminded Harriet of a river in their home country of Ireland.  Thus how the Boyne River got its name and the unplatted land is now our beautiful town of Boyne City.

To read about all of the rich, colorful and intriguing history of Boyne City's past, you can purchase the book "Settlers to Sidewalks " by Boyne City Historian Bob Morgridge.

You might also enjoy taking a virtual tour of the old buildings and store fronts.  You may read the caption by the many buildings listed or listen to the narrated audio available with each building showcased.  Just click on this link and be prepared to go back in time.

Boyne City Historical Museum

Our museum is temporarily closed during its design phase.   After completion the historical items will be housed in City Hall in a great space designated specifically for the museum. 

A new historical display space has been incorporated in the City Facilities building that allows for the display of the LaFrance Fire Truck and the City's restored clock from the early 1900s.

During the planning and design process, the committee working on the museum project is seeking input from the community. Please take a few moments and share your ideas in the short survey (click here) that will be given to the professional consultant for consideration. Help us share our past and tell our story for years to come.

We have great collection of historical photos. Through the years the museum has acquired photos of the old logging camps, BCG&A Railroad, W.H. White Lumber Mills, and much more.

This kitchen area displays an old wood burning cook stove, utensils, cookware and a table setting of dishes. Complete with the spice canisters, recipes books, and a butter churn, this kitchen might be typical of one used by the early settlers of Boyne City. Notice the attention to detail in the dresses, quilts, material and wallpaper samples from the late 1800's.
Browse through countless old newspapers and historical books written by local residents.

There is a section dedicated to the railroad.  Many photos, tools, and remnants.

Throughout the museum you will find relics of Boyne City's founding family, the Millers; John, Harriet and sons Hugh and James. 

Museum Pre-planning survey.pdf

Help Preserve History - Support the Museum

Would you like to make a donation to the museum?
You can mail donations to the following address: Boyne City Historical Museum 319 N. Lake Street
Boyne City, Michigan, 49712 or call City Hall for more information (231) 582-6597.

Items for sale


•Sidewalks to Settlers               $18.00
•People Places Happenings     $  6.00

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