Growing Up In Glen Arbor Michigan

My name is Judy Aragon one of the owners of Glen Arbor Bed and Breakfast & Luxury Condos. I grew up in a beautiful, little town, called Glen Arbor, Michigan. One of the last children born into a family of twelve children, this area gave me my perspective of what small towns should be like.

As a child, there were always extra kids around.  We would round up the Glen Arbor kids to play a few innings of baseball in the backyard and always had extras at the dinner table. The large pine trees, with an open pine-needled area in the backyard, made the perfect fort and hiding place.  Playing pirates with my brother, by standing on and rocking the picnic table back and forth as our ship and stashing sparkling, broken glass in his Captain Crunch treasure chest as our booty was the best. It was quiet enough most of the year in town that we were free to play hopscotch and jump rope in front of my parent’s grocery store, Warnes Grocery (now Bear Paw Pizza and Market).  We often rode our stingray bikes around the post office and played 7up with a tennis ball against the wall of the post office until Leo, the postmaster, would chase us away because of the noise against the wall.  I loved to go to the Totem Shop for comics, or the Arbor Light, now Petoskey Pete’s to look for special treats.  It used to be my grandfather’s grocery store, and I was told that they would roller skate or dance on the upper level. Art’s Bar, Rich Quick’s gas station, and the Cottonseed were on the corners near our house.  Rich Quick’s station now serves as a t-shirt and souvenir place and the Cottonseed used to be a diner.  Yes, even in little Glen Arbor MI, things were going to change.  We were free and safe and able to run to a friend’s house to play without being afraid.  It was a time when we were able to have freedoms that even our children didn’t have because we had a community that looked out for each other.

Both parents had multiple jobs as if it wasn’t enough to just take care of all the kids.  My parents started the grocery store way before I was born and lived in the back of it while they were building my childhood home.  I would dust the lower shelves of the store as a little girl (my parents taught us all the meaning of hard work from a very young age), to get a penny or nickel treat.  Everyone pitched in to make the home and business run smoothly.  My dad was also a custodian at the local school, Glen Lake, a volunteer firefighter, and a member of Lion’s Club.  My mom ran the store when he was at his other jobs, operated her business leased from first the State Park and then the National Park system, and was an active member of the Glen Arbor Women’s Club.

My first real job was working at the Dune Stand, the business my mother ran where she sold food and souvenirs to tourists and busloads of school children who came to enjoy Sleeping Bear Dunes.  I remember thinking as a teenager that it would be nice to just play and enjoy the summer.  But I learned that it is through hard work that I can achieve what I want to in my life.  My mom allowed many others to grow and learn while working for her.

I grew up climbing the dunes, going for dune rides at my aunt and uncle’s business (yes this used to be allowed), rock hunting, canoeing, biking, running on the beach, and swimming in the crystal-clear water of Glen Lake and Crystal River.  It felt like paradise!  I went through the Glen Lake school system and all my siblings were proud “Lakers”, active in sports, music, and community, making friendships that have lasted to the current day.

When I was 19, I left Glen Arbor and Central Michigan University and headed to Colorado to find a summer job and experience time away from home.  One of my first questions was, “Where is the water?”.  The mountains have their beauty, but it wasn’t quite the same to me.  It was here that I met Michael Aragon, my husband of 39 years, and raised three wonderful daughters.  We would travel back to Michigan whenever we were able to and bring our children to remain close to family and experience the beautiful area.  The water and family always called me back home.  Mike told me someday I would have a home on one of the local lakes.  In 2019 that dream came true.  We now are living here for more than six months of the year.

Michael, active in Colorado real estate, found a natural transition to investing in property and the great community in Glen Arbor.  We are looking to invest long-term, wanting to build something meaningful in the community for our children and those who love the area as much as we do.  The updating of Glen Arbor B&B and the surrounding buildings is the start of this.  We hope to be active in the community during our time here and want to support the other local businesses and people that make the area what it is.  Changes are taking place, but Glen Arbor will always have a special place in my heart, and I hope with the building and renewal of the area, many more people will come to treasure it the way I do.







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5 bed & breakfast suites and 3 luxury condos


Bed and Breakfast rooms Glen Arbor Michigan

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5 bed and breakfast suites with new bathrooms and amenities


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Luxury Condos

3 completely renovated luxury condos with everything you need


Glen Arbor Bed and Breakfast and Luxury Condos

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