Houghton Lake Heights, Michigan

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Houghton Lake Heights, Michigan
Unincorporated community
Houghton Lake Heights, Michigan is located in Michigan
Houghton Lake Heights, Michigan
Location within the state of Michigan
Coordinates: 44°19′39″N 84°46′28″W / 44.32750°N 84.77444°W / 44.32750; -84.77444Coordinates: 44°19′39″N 84°46′28″W / 44.32750°N 84.77444°W / 44.32750; -84.77444
Country United States
State Michigan
County Roscommon County
Township Roscommon Township
Elevation 1,175 ft (358 m)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 48630
Area code(s) 989
FIPS code 26-26163[1]
GNIS feature ID 628666[2]

Houghton Lake Heights is a small unincorporated residential community located at 44°19′39″N 84°46′28″W / 44.32750°N 84.77444°W / 44.32750; -84.77444 (Houghton Lake Heights)[3] on the southwestern shore of Houghton Lake.



The community began about 1883 as a lumbering settlement with the operations of the S. C. Hall Lumber Company. Because of its elevation, it was called "The Heights" and a post office with that name opened on November 24, 1923. The post office was renamed "Houghton Lake Heights" in 1956.[4]

According to Beulah Carman, in her 1979 book about Houghton lake:[5]

On September 13, 1913, four men from Mt. PLeasant, William Cooper, Charles F. Meyers, Morris J. Brown and Fred Russel, bought the 180-acre (0.73 km2) William Houghton farm on the east side of Mt. Pleasant Road for $5,000.00."

She continues:[5]

They formed the Houghton Heights Corporation, subdivided the parcel close to the lake and east of the observation platform into Houghton Heights, First and Second Addition, and South Houghton Heights...In 1915, Tip Calkins from Clare built Dad Smith's Hotel, better known to us as the Heights Inn, to accommodate sportsment who enjoyed the luxury of having meals and lodging provided for them...

By most accounts, the 1920s through to the 1950s were the apogee of activity in the Heights. From 1923 to 1939, Floyd Fletcher operated the "Houghton Queen", a large boat that docked in the Heights that carried up to 68 passengers on a cruise around Houghton lake at a fare of $.25 for adults and $.10 for children. There was also a large waterslide built on stilts (often referred to as Sanford's dock) that was in operation in the 1920s. It was removed each winter to prevent ice damage to the structure.[citation needed]


The Houghton Lake Heights also offered many services in the early to mid 1900s. According to Beulah Carman:[5]

The Heights merchants, because of the variety of stores, hotels, and other attractions, enjoyed a thriving business during the mid-twenties and the thirties, and acquired the reputation and prestige of being the most popular business center of the area. Some of the business places included Bill Park's Grocery, Dr. Snyders Drug Store, the Little Gift Shop, RaWalla Dance Hall, Akin's Hotel, Parker's Barbershop and post office, The Heights Inn, Ray Walling's garage and gas station, Girley's Gift Shop, Tam-a-rack Lodge and Anderson's Patent Medicine Store.

Currently, the Houghton Lake Heights hosts a post office, a public access lakeshore park, and two pubs. Most of the buildings constructed in the 1920s and 1930s have been demolished, however, the Heights Inn still stands, although it is no longer an operating hotel.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Houghton Lake Heights, Michigan
  3. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Houghton Lake Heights
  4. ^ Romig, Walter (1986) [1973]. Michigan Place Names. Detroit, Michigan: Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0-8143-1838-X. 
  5. ^ a b c Carman, B. (1979). LOOKING BACK: A Centennial History of Houghton Lake. Kokomo, IN: Hemmeger Printing.