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Horton Bay General Store

Since 1876

In 1870, Samuel Horton settled in Horton Bay (formerly Horton's Bay) and established a homestead at this site. In 1876, Alonzo J. Stroud and William H. Ohle set up a sawmill near here and was soon employing up to 30 workers. With the influx of workers, Horton Bay quickly grew into a small community, and the need for a general store and other services became apparent. Ohle withdrew from the sawmill business and concentrated on real estate and construction in the new community. Story has it that Ohle supervised the construction of the Horton Bay General Store, as well as many other early buildings in the community, including the next-door boardinghouse, now the Red Fox Inn.  

The store was constructed as a typical late nineteenth-century general store. The entire first floor carried general stock of groceries, hardware, clothing, and other products, while the second floor served as living quarters for the proprietor. In 1879, the first post office opened in Horton Bay was located in the store.

The store is mentioned in two of Ernest Hemingway's short stories, "Up in Michigan" and "The Last Good Country." Hemingway spent a great amount of his youth on nearby Walloon Lake, but came to prefer Horton Bay. He returned after World War I and was married to Hadley Richardson in the church next door (now gone). 

Horton Bay General Store & Inn undated photo
Horton Bay General Store and Inn  undated photo
Horton Bay General Store 1980 credit M.L. Hartwell
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