Depot History

The Suttons Bay Law Offices of Suttons Bay Attorney Dan Penning in the Suttons Bay Depot

The Suttons Bay Depot was built by the Leelanau Transit Company in 1920.

The tracks which used to run Track Side and through Suttons Bay were built by the Traverse City, Leelanau, and Manistique; a company which was formed by the Grand Rapids and Indiana to build and operate a car ferry from Northport to Manistique. The line was completed in 1903 and proved to be unsuccessful immediately. By 1908 the car ferry was gone. In 1919 the line was purchased by the Leelanau Transit Company and leased to the Manistee and Northeastern. In later years the tracks were operated by Pere Marquette, and C&O.

During the 1960s the tracks north of Suttons Bay were abandoned, and the tracks south of Suttons Bay were used by the Leelanau Scenic Railroad between 1989 and 1995. The whistle would blow and puffs of smoke would billow from the mighty engine and tourists and train buffs would flood the village of Suttons Bay for a quick stop to visit the shops and buy souvenirs until the whistle blew and the conductor yelled “All Aboard!”

In 1996 the tracks were removed and the formation of the Leelanau Trail began. The late Stuart J. Hollander was instrumental in the successful development of the Leelanau Trail.