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Harbor Springs is a city in Emmet County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 1,567 at the 2000 census.

Harbor Springs is in a sheltered bay on the north shore of the Little Traverse Bay on Lake Michigan. The Little Traverse Lighthouse is a historic lighthouse on the Harbor Point peninsula that forms the natural harbor there. M-119 connects with US 31 seven mile east and south at Bay View, with Petoskey just five miles away on the south side of the harbor.

Founded by the Jesuits, Harbor Springs was once called L'Arbre Croche, which means Crooked Tree. In 1847, L'Arbre Croche had the largest concentration of Indians in the states. French traders renamed the area Petit Traverse, or Little Traverse, when they arrived in the area. The village was eventually incorporated as Harbor Springs in 1880.

One of the cities more prominent members is the late Ephraim Shay, who was most famous for the invention of the Shay locomotive. The hexagonal shaped house he built in downtown Harbor Springs still stands today. The local elementary school is named after him (Shay Elementary)

The town is also just a few miles from neighboring Petoskey, Michigan, which is on the other side of the bay and offers a wider variety of activities including a multiplex movie theater, a thriving downtown area of its own, and several big-box stores.


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