Below are some photos from various eras of the Bahle family's collective history.


A Sense of Place from Nicole Davenport on Vimeo.

This was a piece I created for the Bahle family of Suttons Bay, MI. It's the story of Owen Bahle, a descendant of Norwegian immigrants who braved the waters of the Atlantic and carved out a new life in the harsh surroundings of northern Michigan. Owen is filled with a deep sense of pride in his family's history and their involvement in the growing a ragged pioneer community into a prosperous small town. A nice little bit of Americana.


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Coyote on Crystal River in Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore. Thanks to J. Martin of Glen Arbor for this pic of a coyote on the frozen Crystal River in winter

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore - Near Munising, Michigan. Not all of Michigan is flat, we actually have cliffs at Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore on Lake Superior

The St. Marys Challenger on Suttons Bay, 2008. The oldest freighter on the Lake, built in 1906. Went to the scrap yard late in 2013

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Cherry harvest shaker crew in 1975. Let us know if you know any of us!

Suttons Bay from the sky in 1960, before the marina was built

On the beach in 1965, back when the Bahle's kids had more hair

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Lena Sogge Bahle at the U.S. Lifeboat Station at Charleviox, Michigan in 1912

Good shot of the docks at Bahle Pier around 1885. This tug, dubbed "The Sylvia", and others brought the lumber schooners in and out of the dock

Tom Bahle ice boating on Suttons Bay in 1912

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Our great grandfather's schooner, the O.M. Nelson, leaving Suttons Bay. The schooner was lost near Green Bay

Lar E. Bahle's Tug, Emma,at High Island in Lake Michigan

Our poor lawn furniture waiting for spring days

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Suttons Bay's Union School, now known as the "The Rock Pile", built in 1908 and in use into the late '60s

Otto Bahle shot pictures of himself and the crew of the car ferry "Pere Marquette 18". It was lost on September 10, 1910

Label for "Ma" Smiseth's Brand Montmorency Cherries back in 1920s

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The Leelanau Rowing Club waiting in the fog in 2011

My grandmother Lena Sogge Bahle as a young woman around 1914

Our grandfather, Otto Bahle, in the Newport News Naval Station 1917, during WWI

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Owen Bahle's 89th Birthday Party on June 5th, 2009

Rich and Chris doing honest work at the Bahle cabin

Stu Hollander and Karl checking out the 9th hole during the construction of Leelanau Club in 1998

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The final sunrise of 2011 on Suttons Bay - felt like a spring morning!

Lincoln Street on March 3, 2012, after the worst storm of the season. We lost power for days.

In memory of James Bulkley. We miss you, Jim

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President Obama's note of condolence on the death of Owen Bahle in November 2012

Owen with his mother, Lena, and 4 little ones sitting on the Loading Dock in 1960

On the Lake Michigan ice pack during the winter of 2014, the coldest winter on record

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Otto Bahle (far left) and friends at the beach in Milwaukee, 1910

Owen Bahle at a swim party with his friends in 1929

Main Street Suttons Bay in the 1880's. Bahle's is on the right

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Lois at an early age testing a Simplicity Lawn Tractor

Classic photo of dad, Owen Bahle, with my brothers Richard and Robert

Hank and Karl when the Leelanau Club was being built. This is the 8th tee almost a year before course opened

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Lighthouse at Leelanau State Park. One of the best secrets of Leelanau county, where we happen to live, is the Leelanau State Park north of Northport

Lake Michigan at Leelanau Lighthouse. Just below the light looking west

Bird hunting in MIchigan's Upper Peninsula, somewhere near Munising

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Fall At The Leelanau Club. This is the 10th tee, with a hint of snow in the clouds

In memory of Stu Hollander. Stu, Ross, and Karl during our last round together in 2007

Rabbi Chava on Lake Michigan's ice pack in 2009

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Before cherries, the lowly potato was the primary cash crop for Leelalnau farmers. L.E. Bahle was one of the local brokers who bought and shipped Perry Palmer's 1910 harvest off to Chicago or Milwaukee.

It's time for that odd Michigan tradition, Deer Camp! Otto and Tom Bahle at camp in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan; taken some time around the late 1950s. Otto Bahle went for years and never fired a shell. Instead, he enjoyed cooking and playing cards, and perhaps a bit of whiskey as well.

Even though they are no longer with us, we would like to say, "Happy 69th Anniversary Owen and Leila Bahle!" From left to right: Ethel Brehmer Rushmore, Leila Brehmer Bahle, Owen Bahle and Robert Rufli - November 1, 1947 -

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Here are Lois and Bob Bahle selecting and cutting their Christmas tree down around 1959.

Fall baseball playoffs were a grand event here in Leelanau County. Keeping up that tradition, here is the 1915 Provemont team from just up the road of us here in Suttons Bay.

Back around 1958, three little Bahle children eagerly await Christms. From left to right: Rich, Lois, and Bob Bahle pose under the family's extra-large Christmas tree.

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All five Bahle siblings posing for a Christmas photo in 1959. From left to right: Rich, Karl, Lois, Chris, and Bob.

Tom Bahle (Otto's brother) sailing ice boats with friends and family out on a thoroughly frozen Suttons Bay. Photo taken around 1915.

Men's ski race, most likely on Bremer Hill, a few miles south of Suttons Bay. Often a Model-T engine would be used to power a rope tow for an easy lift back up the slopes. Taken between 1950-1960.

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While it may not be ski season around here, little Owen Bahle looks like he sure enjoyed his time out. Taken circa 1926.

Coach Selby's 1938 Suttons Bay basketball team is here to congratulate SBHS's 2017 team on their district title win. Go Norseman!

The 1937 Tennis Season has arrived in Leelanau County. From left to right: Owen Bahle, Glen Thomas, and Cole Gronseth are standing on the puclic tennis courts just off the main street in Suttons Bay.

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If you grew up in Northern Michigan you understand the great importance of the fruit industry on our economy, so it follows that we would have had a Blessings of the Blossoms service. Traverse City High School Chorus - June 1947

The local kids have just about finished high school and are off to the next phase of their lives. Glen Thomas and his friends in front of Hoyt's Drug Store in 1938.

No summer here in Northern Michigan is complete without a trip to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Shown here in 1949, Sleeping Bear Dunes has been named "The Most Beautiful Place in America" by ABC's Good Morning America. Take a little piece of the Dunes home with a souvenir shirt printed exclusively for Bahle's!

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Every town in the county supported their local baseball team. Sporting the suit in the second row is our own Otto Bahle - then manager of Suttons Bay's team. The home field was Duester Park, located on the north edge of town. Taken in 1913. Take a little piece of our local history home with with this image on a souvenir shirt printed exclusively for Bahle's!

Lena Sogge - the future Lena Bahle - at the July 4th Celebration in Suttons Bay. Taken in 1916.

Once the Cherry Festival is over it is time to harvest. Chris and Karl Bahle here are helping with the cherries in 1962. Directions from Dad were to listen to the crew boss and stay out of trouble.

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Judging by how happy he looks, Santa must have been very good to little Owen Bahle back in Christmas of 1925.

Rock the Hermit may have been the most photographed person in Leelanau County in the early part of the 20th century. Take a little piece of our local history home with this image on a souvenir shirt printed exclusively for Bahle's!

Who is up for a snowball fight? Owen Bahle and Bob Rufli are looking for trouble here in 1928.

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Featuring our own Karl Bahle (number 52), 1973's senior football players pose here, ready for a game.

Since the kids off in college, perhaps it's time for a care package from Bahles? Here we have Rose Sogge at the Ferris Institute in 1912.

The fall colors come and go around here, but there's always time for one more trip to the top of Sleeping Bear Dunes! From 1959, we have Otto and Lena Bahle with friends, out on a chilly Dunes tour.

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Here is a Happy Thanksgiving postcard sent from Amelia Bahle to Lena Sogge on November 24th of 1915.

Oscar Shugart's winter street scene looking south on our main street circa 1908. On the left you can find Sogges, the Village Library, Smieseths, Lathers Livery, and OL Bahle & Company.

Nothing spreads holiday cheer quite like Christmas cards, letters, and postcards! Here we have a postcard sent to Lena Sogge from sometime around 1910.

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With elections always right around the corner, we'd like to celebrate a milestone in Michigan history: Women's Right to Vote is now 100 years old! Shown here is a celebratory poster from the League of Women Voters from 1918, featuring three generations of women headed to the polls.

Owen Bahle's family Christmas tree from 1925.

Lois Bahle playing in the yard at Christmas time around 1952.

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In 1876, Lars Bahle opened a small dry goods store here in Suttons Bay. Who could have imagined that we would still be here in the same location 143 years later! Pictured here is Lars with his youngest son Loren and wife Emma.

Every winter, we look forward to once again enjoying our local ice skating rink! Here is the Suttons Bay Village Rink in the late 1940s.

Ruby and Elenor Sogge here are dressed for a day of skiing in 1915.

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We last gave the ladies side of the store an update this big about forty years ago. Here we have Rich Bahle, Walt Malbock, and Jack Seaman (from left to right) working on putting up the current lighting system and the lovely tin tile roof we made sure to keep.

One of our vintage store signs - currently on display behind our Men's checkout counter. We are excited to offer this branding on a baseball cap. Grab one of these limited items before they're gone!

The Ladies of the Grange prepared the luncheon for the Suttons Bay Rotary Club for many years and served it in the basement of the local Grange Hall. Photo circa 1950-1960.

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While it is now the Village Marina, here around 1900 we can see it as the Peterson Mill, one of four mills that operated here in Suttons Bay.

This is the new public school for Suttons Bay, photographed in 1909, shortly after it was built. Known as the Union School, we currently have the original sign shown in the photo hanging in our women's department.

Fall is a wonderful time to visit Leelanau county! Fountain Point (pictured here in about 1910) was - and still is - a unique place to come spend a few days in our wonderful area.

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Our wonderful bay is sometimes a refuge for lakers to take shelter from storms on the open Lake. Here is the St. Marys Challenger taking refuge in 1998. She was the oldest operating vessel on the lakes. Bahle’s was only 30 years old when she was launched in 1906

Who remembers dressing in coats and ties at college? Owen Bahle at Michigan State, sitting on the steps of Mason Hall in 1914.