About The Slabtown Neighborhood: Traverse City

“I was born on 9/11/1953 in the Slabtown Neighborhood just one block below Willow Hill school. The house was on North Madison and was recently built by my parents. I walked everywhere as West Bay, Elmwood Cash & Carry, and Darrow Park were all nearby and kept neighborhoods kids busy and engaged with each other. In many senses the Slabtown Neighborhood of today shares the same characteristics. Great families and a vibrant community.”

– Scott Hardy, Traverse City Real Estate

Slabtown Neighborhood- Traverse City, Michigan

The Slabtown Neighborhood in Traverse City, Michigan stretches from Inchochee Woods on the West to Division on the East. It runs North to Bay Street and South to Front Street.

It’s a historic Traverse City, Michigan neighborhood.

Slabtown was named for the building materials used by 1880’s home builders (lumber slabs) to construct the original Slabtown homes. Originally considered a working class neighborhood during the formative lumber years it is now a highly desirable residential area.

The Slabtown area has always been a younger families enclave and considered the definition of a walkable neighborhood. It once housed the Elmwood School and Elmwood Cash & Carry allowing the residents to walk to school and for basic goods shopping. It also had Oleson’s Food stores and Ideal Dairy on Front Street.

Slabtown Landmarks

Grand Traverse Bay, Hickory Hills, and Munson Medical Center are just a few of the landmarks in, or around, the Slabtown neighborhood. Grand Traverse Bay is a nationally known summer playground that is readily accessible from the Slabtown area. There are three beaches and ski hills in that zone and all them feature sandy beaches (or snowy hills) and the fresh, clear, water of Lake Michigan. It’s a great neighborhood to buy or sell a home in Traverse City.

Slabtown Schools For Kids

There are several public school choices for Slabtown. Here are just a few:

Willow Hill Elementary

Located in the middle of the Slabtown Neighborhood on Hill Street and the 2nd largest of TCAPS in town schools

Willow Hill offers K-5 elementary classrooms with pre-school offerings. WHS lies just below the former Inchochee Farms apple orchard and is 5 blocks from the shores of Grand Traverse Bay.

Central Grade School

Two blocks off the intersection of 7th and Union St.

This is the largest (by square footage and population) elementary school in the district. It is also the oldest school having once served as the only high school in the Traverse City area. It currently houses a traditional K-5 school population along with the TCAPS TAG (Talented and Gifted Program) and several pre-school classes.

TCAPS Montessori at Glenn Loomis

Located on Oak Street just a ½ bock from 14th Street

TCAPS only dedicated Montessori school. Bussing is not provided to Glenn Loomis but the demand for this location makes it one of the larger schools in the TCAPS offerings.

Middle and High Schools West Middle School is located at 3950 West Silver Lake Rd. and the TC West High School is 5376 N. Long Lake Rd) The Middle schools house 6-8 grades with the two high schools serving the 9-12 graders. West High School is an academic award winning school with a complete offering of performing arts and athletic programs for all range of student interests.


Places You Can Walk To From Slabtown

From: Travel and Leisure Magazine 8/2016

America’s Best Beaches     image013

No. 5: Traverse City, MI

Award winning wineries, a buzzing microbrewery scene, a film festival headed by Michael Moore, and some of the most gorgeous beaches in the country, Traverse City, Michigan is one hip town. The lone Midwestern winner, it attracts visitors to the shores of Lake Michigan each year for its week-long National Cherry Festival—the region produces over 300 million pounds of the red fruit annually. Balmy summer temperatures also bring nature lovers to nearby Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park, where the 2.8-mile Sleeping Bear Point trail offers pinch-yourself views over the lake and nearby islands.

West End Beach

image015Running in a sandy arc from the city’s Open Space to M-72, West End Beach has long provided a measure of Traverse City’s summer vital signs. Locals and visitors stake out space on shore, while boaters anchor nearby, creating a boat-to-shore social scene. The region’s most active volleyball action fires up here as well, with the fit and oiled competing nearly every evening all summer long. An easy walk to downtown delivers T.C.’s restaurants, cafes and a break from the sun.

 Hickory Hills

image011A local ski hill owned by the City of Traverse City and used year-round for skiing and summer hiking along with being one of the areas premiere disc. golf locations. Hickory Hills sits on the western boundary of the Slabtown neighborhood and is the local training option for Northern MI novice skiers. It also is a summer hiking and disc. golf mecca. image009

Munson Medical Center

image018A world class hospital within walking distance of the southern fringes of the neighborhood. What more can a family ask for. While the main campus is still growing (possibly not UP however) the number of services offered are growing as well.


  • I still remember the corner of Randolph and Elmwood with the Elmwood School (I didn’t go there) and Elmwood Cash & Carry (I did go there). I loved having a neighborhood grocery store with a meat counter. I wondered for years if that concept should be revived for Slabtown….maybe even use the same location if it became available. Don’t also forget about the Slabtown Landmark, Sleders Tavern. Many a softball team or after rehearsal dinner party has met there (guilty on both counts)…



Slabtown Neighborhood Board Members:
Mike Gaines, President
Email Mike

Gary Olson, Vice President
Email Gary

Cynthia Brzak, Secretary
Email Cynthia

Polly Cairns, City Staff Liaison
(231) 922-4450
Email Polly