Mancelona ( is a village in Antrim County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 1,408 at the 2000 census. The village is located within Mancelona Township.
The town was founded in 1872 when the Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad built a station at the location. The town sprang up quickly, and by 1900 a large charcoal furnace, iron works, and pickle factory (all of which have since closed and have been demolished) were operating within the community. The Iron works (the Antrim Iron Company) was founded in 1886 and for many years was the main employer in the town. During its heyday, the Iron Company possessed its own railroad, the Mancelona Northwest Railroad. The M&NW tracks went about 2 miles to the west of Mancelona from the Iron Works, and the main purpose of the railroad was to transport lumber to the iron works for harvesting. The Antrim Iron Works closed in 1945, and was demolished in the mid-1980s. Because of the ease of transportation along the railroad and US 131, the town became a minor industrial center.
Mancelona is probably best known for its annual buck pole, a deer hunting contest that has drawn hunters from across the State. Additionally, Mancelona hosts the annual "Bass Festival", a four-day event featuring a Grand Parade, carnival, flea market, and other community activities. The Bass Festival is held the first weekend in June. In 1999.
After a 52 year run the Mancelona Bass Festival was set to vanish during the fall of 2007. The community and citizens of Mancelona and the surrounding areas wouldn't let that happen. The festival was resurrected and the 53rd event took place in the summer of 2008. While things may have been a bit different, they mainly stayed the same. The Mancelona Bass Festival, Inc. is dedicated to keeping this local tradition alive for years to come.
A lot of people worked hard for over fifty years and giving recognition to everyone that participated and prepared for the festival in the past is a challenge. We hope you can help continue our rich history and become of part of it in the future. To find out more about the history of Mancelona and the area, please visit the Mancelona Historical Society Museum, or Mancelona Bass Fishing Contest.
A new high school was opened, and renovations to the middle school were completed. Up until recently, the town had three factories that employed most of the town. The largest factory, a Dura Automotive Systems plant, closed in February 2009 and the community has had a change for the worse. Many of the once thriving shops are now abandoned, and the poverty rate has risen considerably. In August 2009, contaminated groundwater caused by the Dura plant made headlines as it now threatens the Cedar River.
Buck Pole Contest
Hunters Orange is everywhere to be seen during firearms deer season in Antrim County! Mancelona Chamber of Commerce plays host to northern Michigan's oldest and most popular Buck Pole, where hunters gather every year to share stories, photos and enjoy the warming tent, food booths, bonfire and chances to win great cash prizes. The buck pole also features a raffle drawing with numerous prizes.
When you just want to get away from it all, get a breath of fresh air, and enjoy some quiet time to yourself, the many parks and scenic gems in the Mancelona area provide spectacular views and ideal conditions for that alone time. Some of these secret hideaways are so well hidden, they are unnoticed by many who drive right on by. Whether you are looking for a place to do a little fishing, hiking, have a picnic lunch or take a nap beneath a shady oak tree, Antrim County has the place for you!
We've even thrown in the GPS coordinates to help you find them easier. Don't forget your camera. The views at many of these locations is nothing short of spectactular, and you may even see a deer or two during your journey.
Snowmobiling & ORV - Trails and maps, some groomed, lots of great information and links. Scroll down.
Horse Back Riding- Both Hobby Horse in Mancelona (231-587-8090) and Lakes of the North (231-585-6000) offer horse back riding.
Canoeing - Swiss Hideaway Canoe Rentals (231-536-2341) and Long's Canoe Livery (989-348-7224)
Camping- Antrim 131 RV Campground (231-587-5665)
Fishing- Lake Bellaire, Clam Lake, Intermediate Lake, Torch Lake, Elk Lake, Birch Lake, Bass Lake, Six Mile Lake, Lake Skegemog
Palmer Park in Mancelona
GPS: GPS: 44.89539 N, -85.06270 W
Baseball diamonds, pavilion, playground, basketball court, tennis court, restrooms. Palmer Park is located in the southeast corner of the Village of Mancelona on Palmer Park Road, between US 131 & County Road 571 (Darragh Road). To reserve the pavilion for private functions, please contact the Village of Mancelona, 231-587-8331.
Railroad Park in Mancelona
GPS: GPS: 44.90416 N, -85.06611 W
Located on the east side of US 131 at the traffic light. Picnic area, playground.