In the latter half of the 19th century, Traverse City’s West Bay waterfront was a loud, smoky collection of sawmills, docks, stables and warehouses.
Wood harvested from throughout northern Michigan was hauled to saw mills here to produce slab-boards and lumber and Christmas trees shipped to ports around the Great Lakes.
Workers were only allowed to physically drag what leftover slabs they could to construct a basic home near the mills. Thus the neighborhood known today as Slabtown was created – because early structures housed the people who labored nearby on the Bay (many of them Bohemians from what was Czechoslovakia - until 1993).
Today, Slabtown with frontage to the Bay, is a sought-after neighborhood with 3 parks - Ashton, Darrow and Veteran's Park – all offering terrific spaces to relax and play. Also, notable are the Hickory Hills Ski and natural preserve areas.