For as long as I can remember an image of the Cheboygan Crib Light has made its way in to Cheboygan marketing campaigns, wayfinding signs, and logos of the City, Visitors Bureau, and Chamber of Commerce. 

The Crib Light is a unique feature of our community.  Only a few blocks from the heart of Main Street, yet somewhere that is surrounded by natural beauty.  A place many of us enjoy our lunch or take a moment to escape the day and recenter our thoughts. 

But why do we continue to use this image?  What does a lighthouse represent and how does it relate to our community? 

One of perks of being a Michigan Main Street community is the continual addition of resources that build a framework to assist the Main Street DDA program in developing downtown Cheboygan in to a vibrant place.  In February we received a three-day branding session with Ben Muldrow from Arnett Muldrow & Associates.  A community survey was launched on social media and multiple virtual focus group meetings were held to collect ideas on the character and identity of the community.  We learned that people see Cheboygan as a great place to live and a great place to vacation, but they also see Cheboygan as a hidden gem.  Somewhere that isn’t well known outside our region and our state.  We learned that words like friendly, laid back, caring, safe, community, nature, and home all frequently come to mind when thinking of Cheboygan.  Time and time again we heard people talk about the warmth and strong sense of community they feel here.

We heard longtime residents talk about the quick errand that should have taken 15 minutes but turned in to an hour because catching up with familiar faces is more important than rushing through life.   The couple who has vacationed here for years and knew this is where they wanted to retire.  Young entrepreneurs who started their businesses in Cheboygan because being part of this community was so important to them.  Grandparents who say this is a place where their grandchildren can just be kids.  Enjoying the fresh air and space to run. There were young families who said Cheboygan was an easy choice when they were given the opportunity to relocate because it offered the way of life they had been looking for. We heard from parents who watch the stress melt away from grown children who return home from the City and have longed for a swim in the lake and evening around the campfire. 

So, this is why we use the image of the Crib Light to represent Cheboygan.  A lighthouse guides you home.  Cheboygan might be your permanent home, your up north home, or a vacation home for your northern Michigan adventure.  But look deeper, our new logo isn’t just a lighthouse.  The hexagon shape is an artistic twist on what you would see if you looked down on the Crib Light from above.  It’s also the shape of a honeycomb which is natures perfect home.  The green band represents the more than 270 miles of trails crisscrossing our area, the gold band represents miles of pristine beaches and shoreline, and the blue band represents the many rivers and lakes that surround us.  A sunrise gradient in the background is a nod to our location on the sunrise side of the state.   Just as the steady beam of light directs a boat in to a safe harbor, we hope the light and warmth of our community will draw you in. 

Downtown has a unique mix of handcrafted meals, locally sourced goods, and outdoor adventures you won’t find anywhere else. Experience Cheboygan through the eyes of those who see the lake town, the trail town, the art town, the river town, the small town, and those who proudly call Cheboygan their hometown.

Katie Duczkowski is the Cheboygan Main Street DDA Interim Director. She and her husband David are Cheboygan natives and happy to be back home in the community they love. Her interests include traveling, painting, and outdoor activities.

Created on Tuesday, March 16, 2021