Cheboygan, Michigan

Cheboygan, Michigan
Cheboygan, Michigan
—  City  —
Kingston Theater, downtown Cheboygan
Location in the state of Michigan
Coordinates: 45°38′49″N 84°28′28″W / 45.64694°N 84.47444°W / 45.64694; -84.47444
Country United States
State Michigan
County Cheboygan
 – Mayor Rich Sangster
 – Total 7.0 sq mi (18.1 km2)
 – Land 6.8 sq mi (17.6 km2)
 – Water 0.2 sq mi (0.5 km2)
Elevation 591 ft (180 m)
Population (2000)
 – Total 5,295
 – Density 348.4/sq mi (134.5/km2)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 – Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 49721
Area code(s) 231
FIPS code 26-15000[1]
GNIS feature ID 0623135[2]

Cheboygan is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 5,295. It is the county seat of Cheboygan County[3].

The city is at the mouth of the Cheboygan River on Lake Huron. US 23 connects with I-75 at Mackinaw City and the Mackinac Bridge, about 15 miles (24 km) to the northwest. Rogers City is about 41 miles (66 km) to the southeast. M-27 runs south from the city along the north shore of Mullett Lake to I-75 at Indian River about 18 miles (29 km) to the southwest. M-33 runs due south along the east shore of Lake Mullett to M-68 about 20 miles (32 km) to the south.



Cheboygan was originally a Native American settlement. In 1844, Jacob Sammons, a cooper from Fort Mackinac chose the old native camping ground (then called "Shabwegan") as the site for his cabin. He recruited other settler and a post office named "Duncan" was established in 1846. The name changed to Cheboygan in 1870 and was incorporated as a village in 1871 and as a city in 1889.[4] It was made the county seat in 1853. There was a theater built in town in 1877.

  • In approximately 1890, Cheboygan became the home port for ferryboats to nearby Bois Blanc, an island in the Straits of Mackinac. The Kristen D is a ferry which operates between Cheboygan and Bois Blanc Island.[5]
  • Early in the 20th Century, it was home to the pioneering brass era cyclecar maker Flagler[6]
  • In 1944, Cheboygan became the home port of the former U.S. Coast Guard cutter and icebreaker Mackinaw, serving from 1944-2006. Beginning in 2006, the port continued this role as the home dock of the new Mackinaw, a successor cutter.
  • The name of the city shares the name of the county and probably has its origin from the Cheboygan River, although the precise meaning is no longer known. It may have come from an Ojibwe word zhaabonigan meaning "sewing needle". Alternatively, the origin may have been "Chabwegan," meaning "a place of ore."[7]


  • According to the United States Census Bureau, the Northern Michigan city has a total area of 7.0 square miles (18 km2), of which, 6.8 square miles (18 km2) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) of it (2.72%) is water.

Tourist attractions

Opposite views of the Opera House, which now also houses the City Hall, Police headquarters and Fire Station.


State trunklines

County-designated highways



The Cheboygan County Historical Museum Complex, originally built as the Cheboygan County Sheriff Residence with attached jail cells (1882) and the New Jail addition (1912-14).
Carnegie Free Library building; the first building constructed in Cheboygan to serve specifically as a library. Steel magnate Andrew Carnegie donated $15,000 for the building in 1908, it was completed in 1913, and served as the city library until 1966.[1].

As of the 2010 Census Cheboygan had a population of 4,876. The racial and ethnic composition of the population was 90.8% white, 4.6% Native American, 1.0% African American, 0.2% Asian, 0.2% from some other race and 3.2% from two or more races. 1.2% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race.[8]

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 5,295 people, 2,146 households, and 1,349 families residing in the city. The population density was 779.5 per square mile (301.1/km²). There were 2,365 housing units at an average density of 348.2 per square mile (134.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 91.80% White, 0.51% African American, 4.12% Native American, 0.26% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.38% from other races, and 2.91% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.44% of the population.

There were 2,146 households out of which 31.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.4% were married couples living together, 14.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.1% were non-families. 31.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.94.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.5% under the age of 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 27.0% from 25 to 44, 20.4% from 45 to 64, and 18.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 89.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $25,033, and the median income for a family was $32,692. Males had a median income of $28,417 versus $19,559 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,318. About 15.8% of families and 19.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 31.0% of those under age 18 and 9.1% of those age 65 or over.

Famous former residents

  • Wally Stocker: Lived in Cheboygan during the early 80's. Rock guitarist, perhaps best known as the former lead guitarist with The Babys.

The Babys disbanded in 1981 and he toured with Rod Stewart and Air Supply, as well as Humble Pie Featuring Jerry Shirley, Jimmy Barnes and Zoomer. He currently resides in Deerfield Beach, Fl.

  • Rob Otto: 1988 graduate of CAHS. Radio personality for Sportsradio 1130 WDFN in Detroit, Michigan and television sports commentator for Comcast Television. Otto was one of the original personalities at the former WGFM 105.1 W-Gold-FM in the summer of 1989.[citation needed]

Numerous famous people have owned/own vacation homes in the Cheboygan area.


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  4. ^ Romig, Walter (1986) [1973]. Michigan Place Names. Detroit, Michigan: Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0-8143-1838-X. 
  5. ^ Plaunt Transportation, Inc., Bois Blanc Island Ferry.
  6. ^ It was a 900 pd (408 kg) vehicle which cost US$450. Clymer, p.166.
  7. ^ Michigan County names per the Michigan government. Compare History of the name "Sheboygan" and List of Michigan county name etymologies‎.
  8. ^ 2010 profile of population and housing characteritics for Cheboygan from the US Census

External links

Coordinates: 45°38′49″N 84°28′28″W / 45.64694°N 84.47444°W / 45.64694; -84.47444

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