Charlevoix Mushroom House Information and Tours

Charlevoix’s “Master Builder in Stone” Earl Young was born March 31, 1889, in Mancelona, Michigan and moved to Charlevoix with his family at age 11. An insurance and real estate agent by trade, this self-taught builder began his craft in 1919.  His first project was his personal home located on Park Avenue. He would continue to build for the next fifty years, completing 26 residential and 4 commercial properties, most  of which remain today.

Each of Young’s houses is unique and was designed to blend in with its surrounding landscape, and feature indigenous materials, like stones found along the shores of Lake Michigan and hand-selected by Young. Young would collect boulders from farmers clearing their fields and would keep them buried or sink them in Lake Michigan until he had the perfect place for them.  This application of stonemasonry is the signature of Young’s designs, along with wide, wavy eaves; exposed rafter tails; cedar-shake roofs; and a horizontal emphasis in design.


Downtown Earl Young Walking Tours

The Charlevoix Historical Society is partnering with the Round Lake Gallery of Art to offer downtown walking tours that will focus on the Earl Young Park Avenue houses. The tour will continue over to the magnificent Charlevoix Public Library, down to the lower channel to view the Weathervane Inn, past the bridge, and into East Park. The excursion will be led by an experienced tour guide from the Charlevoix Historical society, beginning and ending at Round Lake Gallery at 325 Bridge Street. Tickets can be purchased at Round Lake Gallery prior to the tour and reserved by calling the Gallery at 231-675-2117. Advanced booking is recommended but not necessary. Price: $12 per person, children 5 and under free. For more information, please call the Charlevoix Historical Society at 231-547-0373 or email us at 

Scheduled Walking Tours have ceased for 2016, but are still available for private groups and private events. Call the Society at the number above for more information. 

Step-On Guides for Coach or Group Tours

Attention tour professionals, coach operators, and visitors to Charlevoix! Experienced and knowledgeable step-on guides from the Charlevoix Historical Society are available now to tour world-famous “Charlevoix the Beautiful”! Your tour will travel throughout the city and take you past the renowned Earl Young “Mushroom Houses”, past the stunning Victorian summer resorts, across the famous drawbridge, and into the heart of the bustling community. The experience can last approximately 1 to 1.5 hours or can be timed to fit your needs. This tour is also available to non-coach groups who are willing to provide transportation for themselves and the representative from the Charlevoix Historical Society. We can provide a guide for this wonderfully historic and entertaining tour for merely $100 per coach. To book a tour guide or for more information, please call 231-547-0373, or email us at 

Tour – information PDF

Tour – PDF form

Please see our information PDF for a closer look at what a Charlevoix Mushroom House Tour with the Charlevoix Historical Society can offer visitors to our lovely town. In addition to calling or emailing with tour reservations, interested parties can also fill out the PDF form and return it to the Charlevoix Historical Society by email at or by mail to: Charlevoix Historical Society, PO Box 525, Charlevoix, MI 49720