Warren Dunes State Park: Created By Turkey Feathers & Corsets?
The Warren Dunes were named after him, and so was Warren Woods State Park. So who the heck was Edward K. Warren?
In 1879, Warren was co-owner of a general store in Three Oaks. With his own money, he bought up the land that would become Warren Woods State Park...the reason being, he saw what the logging trade was doing to the trees and he didn't want to lose the maple and virgin beech trees in the area. So he kept the land free from logging, all while struggling through money woes, as reported by MSU and Michigan Trail Maps.
What to do? How to make ends meet? Those questions were solved when he created something that revolutionized ladies' corsets. For years, whalebone had been used to stabilize corsets, but since whalebone was becoming scarce, Warren found a solution: turkey wing feathers. With his creation, he opened up the Warren Featherbone Company factory in 1883. His new turkey wing feather corsets were a hit, thanks to being a much softer alternative to whalebone.
After the turn of the century, Warren was a rich man. He proceeded to buy a stretch of Lake Michigan 'duned' shoreline, which to this day is called 'Warren Dunes'.
Warren Woods State Park is a very cool little hike, less than two miles through the woods...but a word of advice: there are millions of insects that will 'bug' and bite you during the summer months. If that is a concern, try going any other time when the weather is cooler (the videos below show people who went during 'bug' season). And, of course, the dunes are a good place to visit almost any time.
In 2010, Bill & Chuck Welter bought part of the Featherbone Factory and turned it into Journeyman Distillery and to this day it's very cool to visit the old factory district.
THE LEGACIES OF EDWARD K. WARREN