This is how the Boyne City Water Works (“1910”) Building looked in the summer of 2008.  Many years of neglect put the City in a difficult position.  Should it attempt an expensive restoration of the building, or simply raze it?  Yes, it had been named to the National Register of Historic Places years before, but it was now a community eyesore.

A group of Boyne City citizens stepped up and began looking for a way to save the building.  The Charlevoix County History Preservation Society is working with the city of Boyne City and this group of citizens to preserve and restore the Boyne City Water Works (“1910”) Building.

How the 1910 building looks in spring of 2011

These pictures were taken May 24, 2011.  Clearly restoration is proceeding well!

1910 Building from the front, spring 2011

1910 building from the rear, spring 2011

Building interior; note metal ceiling, brickwork, window restoration

Milestones in the project:

April, 2009

Presented a PowerPoint progress report and recommendation to City Commission.  To see it, click Commission Presentation April 2009

October 13, 2009

Boyne City Commissioners unanimously voted to support Mayor Stackus’s motion to move forward with seeking bids to restore the building!  Our recommendation that the building be used for 4 purposes (pumping booster station, history display, public restrooms, gateway to Avalanche Preserve hiking trails) was endorsed.   Read City Manager Mike Cain’s memo which became the motion by clicking HERE.

January 26, 2010

City Manager Mike Cain requested approval by City Commission to do two things:

1.  Obtain detailed estimates for restoration, involving two different experts who have both offered their services for free (click here to read memo); and

2.  Seek an Infrastructure Capacity Enhancement (“ICE”) grant covering much of the cost of restoration, based on the building’s being re-purposed as a water booster station.

March 26, 2010

Michael Cain, Boyne City Manager, announces that the city has been awarded an MEDC Infrastructure Capacity Enhancement (ICE) grant of $285,000, to make improvements to the water system and restore the 1910 building to use as a water booster station.

November, 2010


What will the Building Look Like?

Todd Wright has developed this “could be” drawing of the restored building:


CCHPS’s Role Now

You may be wondering what CCHPS’s role in this project will be.  What we hope to do is raise funds through grants, private donations, and fundraisers  to build a history display inside the building, so we can tell the story of the 1910 building to the people who visit it.

How did CCHPS end up with this responsibility?

The history of the water works in Boyne, and the lumber industry that drove rapid growth and the need for a water works, was researched initially by a subcommittee of the 1910 Historic Restoration Group.  That subcommittee included CCHPS members Georganna Monk, Susan Vrondran, Carol Goodenough, and Eleanor Sutliff.  It was chaired by Shirley Howie.

In May of 2006, the CCHPS Board of Directors developed a strategic plan to guide the organization’s activities over the next few years.  One of the items listed on the strategic plan was “Historical Sites preserved and maintained as necessary.”

Recognizing that preservation is a key strategic focus for CCHPS, that it was CCHPS members who made up the history subcommittee, and that CCHPS was better positioned to coordinate the effort than the 1910 Historic Restoration Group was, President Monk told Boyne City Manager Mike Cain in the summer of 2010 that CCHPS would  continue to coordinate this effort.  CCHPS subsequently confirmed its commitment with a letter to Mr. Cain.

Georganna and Susan continue to research the history of the Water Works.   Working with local artists and tradespeople, they are developing a plan for the exhibit.

Once a plan is in place, we will seek grant funding to supplement the funds already raised by the community and the committee, and well as donations made by Questers Petoskey Chapter members, who chose this project for support in 2011.

If you would like to assist with this effort, contact Georganna or Susan.

To see our 1910 Photo Collection, click HERE.  Click “slideshow” on the upper left part of the screen to see an automated slide show of the pictures — the 1910 building when it was in service, the way it looked in the summer of 2008, and the way it looks right now as construction proceeds.