Bay Harbor History

History-Making Transformation

Bay Harbor’s history is a perfect example of a Cinderella tale. That’s because for more than 100 years, these 1,200 acres of prime, lakefront land had been home to a massive cement plant and mining operation. After the operation closed, developer David V. Johnson saw the vast potential of the property and found a way to bring his dream of developing the most luxurious residential community on earth right here. In fact, his dream translated into the largest land reclamation project in North America, beginning on July 12, 1994, when the cement plant was demolished, with Governor John Engler and thousands of onlookers in attendance. The project’s second phase occurred in 1995, when the barrier between Lake Michigan and the quarry was blown away, letting 2.5 billion gallons of water rush in to form Bay Harbor Lake—an amazing new nautical locale for the Great Lakes.

Today, Bay Harbor is one of the Great Lakes’ most exclusive resort areas, offering a deep-water marina, a premier yacht club, championship golf courses, exclusive restaurants and boutiques and first-class lodging options. And, there are 32 distinct, upscale neighborhoods offering homebuyers a wide spectrum of sizes, styles, locations, lifestyles and budgets. Visitors now flock to this spectacularly beautiful town on Little Traverse Bay and residents are proud to call Bay Harbor home.