Deer Park, Michigan

Deer Park, Michigan
Unincorporated community
Deer Park, Michigan
Coordinates: 46°40′28″N 85°36′59″W / 46.67444°N 85.61639°W / 46.67444; -85.61639Coordinates: 46°40′28″N 85°36′59″W / 46.67444°N 85.61639°W / 46.67444; -85.61639
Country United States
State Michigan
County Luce
Township McMillan Township
Elevation 640 ft (200 m)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
  Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Area code(s) 906
GNIS feature ID 624494[1]

Deer Park is an unincorporated community in McMillan Township, Luce County in the U.S. state of Michigan. Deer Park is located on the coast of Lake Superior near Muskallonge Lake State Park.


Commemoration of the Western Reserve on Muskallonge Lake State Park sign

Deer Park was originally settled as a Native American encampment.[2] The community was later settled as a lumber-milling town. The Cook and Wilson Lumber Company purchased the first sawmill in the community in 1876. Deer Park expanded after Bradley and Hurst bought the mill ten years later. At the town's peak, it had a population of 400 people, making it one of the largest white pine logging communities. The mill produced 16,000 board feet every 24 hours.[3] The Duluth, South Shore and Atlantic Railroad built a branch from Newberry to Deer Park to serve the mill, though the railroad was eventually removed. A post office opened July 12, 1888 with W.L.M. Powell was the first postmaster.[4] The post office closed on January 15, 1900, due to the town's declining population.[5] By the early 1900s, the lumber supply was gone from Deer Park, the sawmill closed, and Deer Park's population began to decline. The only remaining signs of the lumber industry are piles of sawdust and some pine logs in Muskallonge Lake, which was used to soften the logs before they were milled.[2]

The shipping industry was also significant in Deer Park. The community was located on Lake Superior's Shipwreck Coast. The Deer Park (formerly Muskallonge Lake) Station was the site of one of six Lake Superior stations of the Lifesaving Service between Munising, Michigan and Vermilion Point.[3][6] In 1892, the propeller SS Western Reserve sank about 35 miles northwest of Deer Park with the loss of all but the wheelsman.[7] In 1907, the SS Cyprus sank north of Deer Park; all but one of its crew members died.

Present-day community

Deer Park is currently an unincorporated community with few residents. Its primary attraction is Muskallonge Lake State Park. The community also contains a lodge and a general store, which primarily cater to visitors to the state park. Deer Park is the terminus of County Highways H-37 and H-58.[8]


  1. U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Deer Park, Michigan
  2. 1 2 Muskallonge Lake State Park, Michigan Department of Natural Resources
  3. 1 2 Griffin, Steve (August 21, 2003). "Former lumber town full of history". Midland Daily News.
  4. Romig, Walter (1986) [1973]. Michigan Place Names. Detroit, Michigan: Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0-8143-1838-X.
  5. U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Deerpark Post Office (historical)
  6. USCG "Muskallonge Lake Station" Check |url= value (help). United States Coast Guard. 2008-07-23. Retrieved 2009-08-29.
  7. "Great Lakes Vessels Database - Western Reserve". Bowling Green State University. 2003-07-03. Retrieved 2009-10-01.
  8. Michigan State Highway Map (PDF) (Map). Michigan Department of Transportation. § 3. Retrieved 2010-06-28.

External links

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