Sylvan Lake's history dates back to 1818 when an expedition led by Reverend John Montieth rode into the area to see what was in between Detroit and Pontiac. By 1921, the community had grown sufficiently to be incorporated as a village. In February 1947, the Village became the City of Sylvan Lake.
Proudly calling itself, “The Prettiest Little City in the State of Michigan," Sylvan Lake is the home to 1,753 people in an area of 1.5 square miles. The city is made up of 38% water, with elegant tree lined streets with homes ranging from historic turn of the century lakefront mansions (including some where the Purple Gang used to run their bootlegging out of) to brand new customized homes. Because nearly every house is either on the lake or has lake access, the proximity to water allows for people of all ages to enjoy water recreation such as swimming, skiing, boating, fishing, and even just a relaxing day by the water.
Sylvan Lake has a long history of education, with the Daniel Whitfield School dating back to its days as a one room school house in 1854. The school was closed in 1991 after a number of incarnations, but the city still offers a great educational program. As a part of the West Bloomfield school district, Sylvan Lake children are given a first class education, with six National Exemplary Schools, including the prestigious West Bloomfield High School.
The community's pride in their history and long established traditions has led residents of Sylvan Lake to share a very deep sense of community. In the summer, it’s not uncommon for a citywide get together for fireworks, garage sales, garden contests, ice cream socials, swimming lessons, and the events on the numerous nature trails the city has. The city’s docks and vast parks and recreation system gives the people of Sylvan Lake endless opportunities to get together with the rest of the community and spend time in the outdoors, and have fun all the while.
Sylvan Lake is located in the area of Oakland County sometimes referred to as “Lake County.” With neighboring cities like West Bloomfield and Orchard Lake boasting of equally excellent water access, there is no shortage of things to do. Oakland County is the home to numerous famed shopping areas, from the upscale Somerset Mall in Troy to the hip downtowns of Birmingham and Royal Oak. The nearby Twelve Oaks Mall is another excellent shopping option. As far as entertainment options, the county offers too many to list. From the Palace of Auburn Hills, home to the Detroit Pistons and national headlining musicians, to the outdoor venues of the DTE Energy Music Theater, Freedom Hill, and Meadowbrook, the area features an almost constant stream of live music. Other events like the wildly popular Woodward Dream Cruise and the numerous art fairs held in the area that draw people from around the state.
Sylvan Lake gives the comfort and privacy of a small community while being in the center of the bustling Metro Detroit.