Home » Michigan » Petoskey

James W. Loewen (1942-2021)

We mourn the loss of our friend and colleague and remain committed to the work he began.



Basic Information

Type of Place
Independent City or Town
Metro Area
Politics c. 1860?
Unions, Organized Labor?

Sundown Town Status

Sundown Town in the Past?
Was there an ordinance?
Don't Know
Don’t Know
Year of Greatest Interest
Still Sundown?
Probably Not, Although Still Very Few Black People

Census Information

The available census data from 1860 to the present
Total White Black Asian Native Hispanic Other BHshld
1890 2833 7
1910 4778 17
1940 5019 27
1950 6468 27
1960 6138 16
1970 6342 16
1980 6097 15
1990 6,056 5,834 22 7
2000 6,080 5,726 20 6
2010 5670 31 268 21

Method of Exclusion

  • Zoning

Main Ethnic Group(s)

  • Unknown

Group(s) Excluded

  • Jewish


“In every city where I work, if I am there on a Friday, I like to go to synagogue. So I was sitting with some
people at lunch and asked if there were a synagogue in town. They sort of looked puzzled that anyone would ask such a thing, and one suggested there
might be one in Charlevoix during the summer but she didn’t know of any in Petoskey. I asked if any Jewish families lived in town, figuring I could ask
where they went to temple, and that’s how the conversation turned to the fact that there were still houses that had agreements not to be sold to ‘members of the Hebrew persuasion’, (I think that was
the terminology that was used). But both people, one a realtor and one a radio station exec, assured me such restriction was no longer the case, but they still
couldn’t name me any Jews who lived in town.”
-posted to the web, 2005

An anonymous sender emailed us: “There has been a synagogue in Petoskey for over 100 years. There have been several Jewish families in Petoskey in that period. There is a section of the local cemetery with a large amount of Jewish gravestones. I cannot comment on the real estate practices in Petoskey, but there certainly is no shortage of Jewish families here.”

The president of the local synagogue in Petoskey stated: “Our low population presence might mean that a lot of people don’t know that there is a congregation in Petoskey. Also, a lot of people are not learned about Judaism. However, ignorance is not the same as exclusion. While our members observe much ignorance and some petty annoyances, overt discrimination is not experienced in any direct way.