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WEEKLY HIGHLIGHT

12/18/09

Orchard Beach State Park, Manistee County, Michigan

PhotoOrchard Beach State Park, on the shore of Lake Michigan, is one of the most intact examples of a Michigan state park developed in the 1930s and 1940s under National Park Service guidelines. Most of the park's buildings were designed by Ernest F. Hartwick and built by the Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Orchard Beach was first opened and operated by the Manistee, Filer City and Eastlake Railway Company in 1892. After World War I, when the trolley line ended service to the park, the Manistee Board of Commerce purchased the parcel. The board, in turn, deeded the property to the state in 1921 so Orchard Beach would become part of Michigan's new state park system, established in 1919. The park retains the majority of its CCC-era buildings and physical layout.

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