The Shalda Cabin

The Shalda cabin is located at the intersection on M-22 about 7.7 miles past the intersection with M-109 in Glen Arbor. Just before you get to CR-669, you will see Shalda cabin on your right standing alone in a field.

Shalda Cabin
Shalda Cabin

Kerry Kelly 2007

This cabin is believed to have been built in the mid-1850s by Bohemian immigrants who settled in the North Unity and Shalda Corners area. North Unity was located near where Shalda Creek empties into LakeMichigan a couple of miles west of the GoodHarbor dock (located at the end of County Road 651). Several families moved here from Chicago in 1855, and because there was no time for each family to stake their homestead claim before winter set in, they built a barracks 150 feet by 20 feet with rooms partitioned off for each family.

Inside the Shalda Log Cabin
Inside the Shalda Log Cabin

Kerry Kelly 2004

The village thrived during the next few years as more people arrived. It had a schoolhouse, sawmill, and store. In 1859, it was awarded a post office, and John Shalda built a gristmill on the Lake Michigan outlet of the creek that bears his name. In 1871 (the same year as the Chicago Fire) the village was destroyed by fire, so the villagers moved inland to Shalda Corners (M-22 & CR 669).

Shalda Log Cabin
Log Construction of the Shalda Cabin

Kerry Kelly 2005

This cabin was in poor condition when the Lakeshore obtained the property. It was surrounded by brush and weeds and the lower logs were rotted. Significant reconstruction work has been done to restore the cabin to its current condition. The cabin shows early log construction techniques of the Czech and German immigrants who settled in North Unity and Shalda Corners. They had brought methodology for building cabins from hand-hewn timbers from their native Black Forest of Central Europe. Note the dovetail notched corners of the logs, and that the logs were hewn to make them flat and improve the fit between logs. The Kraitz cabin and North Unity School were built in a similar style at about the same time.

Last updated: April 10, 2015

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Empire, MI 49630


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