In 1858, in what was then a remote wilderness, the Rev. Charles E. Bailey and four families from his Ohio Congregational parish founded Benzonia colony. It was to be an "educational Christian colony" modeled after the earlier Congregational settlements at Oberlin, Ohio and Olivet, Michigan. As an integral part of the new community, Grand Traverse College was chartered in 1863. Its first building was erected on this corner. During the pioneer era it provided college preparatory work and teacher training. The school was reorganized as Benzonia College in 1891. It supplied college-level education until 1900. Benzonia Academy was then maintained until changed conditions led to its closing in 1918. Benzonia College and Academy fulfilled the founders' dream of bringing educational opportunity to northern Michigan.
Erected 1964 by Michigan Historical Commission. (Marker Number S0245.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Churches & Religion • Education
Location. 44° 37.091′ N, 86° 5.964′ W. Marker is in Benzonia, Michigan, in Benzie County. Marker is on Michigan Avenue (U.S. 31) north of Traverse Avenue, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Benzonia MI 49616, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Mills Community House (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Bruce Catton (about 400 feet away); Crystal Lake (approx. 0.7 miles away); Joyfield Cemetery (approx. 4.6 miles away); Honor Area WWII Honor Roll (approx. 5 miles away); First Congregational Church (approx. 6.9 miles away); War Memorial (approx. 7.1 miles away); Marquette's Death (approx. 7.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Benzonia.
Also see . . . Benzie County Travel. (Submitted on September 5, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Credits. This page was last revised on September 5, 2016. It was originally submitted on September 5, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 423 times since then and 66 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on September 5, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.