What Traverse City Looked Like the Decade You Were Born, 1940s–2000s

We’re taking a trip through the decades in our sweet hometown. These Traverse City historical photos offer a look at how the lakeside town has changed over the past 75 years.

A heartfelt thank you to Amy Barritt at the Traverse Area District Library and the Traverse Area Historical Society for helping us collect these images. Browse even more photos online at localhistory.tadl.org and grandtraverse.pastperfectonline.com.

The 1940s

An aerial view of Park Place Hotel on State Street.

The Shriners Mummers Parade during the 1948 Cherry Festival.

Hamilton’s Christmas storefront.

A colored postcard of Traverse City’s shuffleboard courts.

The 1950s

Cherry Festival queen candidates including Miss Lake Leelanau and Miss Manistee.

A lumber crew rolling logs with cant hooks.

The State Hospital. Photo taken February 20, 1959.

Record-Eagle office with WTCM mobile studio van. Photo by Al Barnes.

The 1960s

The lounge at Mt. Holiday.

Looking east from the 100 block of E. Front Street.

Water skiing at Clinch Park in July 1965. Photo by Al Barnes.

The annual T.C. 250 snowmobile race held in January drew thousands to view 50 of the Midwest’s finest snowmobiles and drivers.

Old Indian Mission

Boating in Traverse City

Park Place Hotel, 1962

The 1970s

The intersection of Front and Cass streets.

Bud Moyer’s studio, the Professional Photographic Center.

Holiday Hills

The blizzard of 1978.

Students attending class at Northwestern Michigan College.

The 1980s

Michael McGuire on the first public computer at Traverse City Public Library on September 11, 1980.

Inside Cherryland Mall

Park Place staff photo

Mission Point Lighthouse

The State Hospital

The Traverse Area District Library (the library moved to Boardman Lake in 1999).

The 1990s

Horizon Outlet, 1992

The view from Park Place, 1995

Ribbon cutting at Park Place

Union Street

Hannah Lay Building, 1995

The Early 2000s

Find information about becoming a member of the Traverse Area Historical Society and volunteer opportunities. Or, make a donation.


Traverse City, Michigan