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Mason County Memories


"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus" ~ Mark Twain


History Columns are arranged by year of publication in the Ludington Daily News



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History Column 277 Hamlin Lake Resorts Dave Petersen Since Spring is in the air I though we would take a look at some of the Resorts on Hamlin Lake. Preparing for the summer season is as much a sign of spring in the Hamlin lake area as spotting that first Robin. Hamlin has a long history in the business of Resorts, the Dam was rebuilt in 1914 not because of the logging which brought it about but the prospering Resort Industry which had sprung up around Hamlin Lake. Hamlin Township is preparing for its sesquicentennial next year, so brush of those old family albums and pull out those old resort brochures because we are going to want to see as much of that township's history as we can find. Do you have a family story or photographs you'd like to share with our readers? If so please feel free to contact me at 757-3240, email to davep@blackcreekpress.com or mail in care of the Ludington Daily News PO Box 340 Ludington Mi 49431 Pic 1 Several of the Resorts on Hamlin Lake offered Launch service to ferry their guests back and forth between the resort and the stops of the Ludington and Northern Railway in Hamlin. You have to remember that the roads in those early years were not very good, and travel by the Dummy Train and Launches were the easiest. Pic2 Piney Ridge on the west side of Hamlin Lake burned to the ground in 1938, it was originally built in 1894 by William Hudson and named Hudson Bay Resort Pic3 Sauble Inn on the South Bayou was destroyed by fire in 1941, originally built in 1895 by Charles Gatke it came to house up to 150 guests at one time. The Sauble Inn Resort was serviced by the Ludington and Northern Railway (Dummy Train) and during the resort seasons you could expect tha train to make a round trip every half hour as it ferried resorters back and forth for the price of 25 cents for a round trip. Pic 4 Spending Sunday taking a ride in the open air cars of the Dummy Train out to Hamlin was the popular way to spend the day back in the early 20th Century. Close your eyes and take yourself back to a day where you were chugging along the tracks, taking in the fresh fragrance of the lake, and the antics of the wildlife. Change is not always progress, I think we are missing out on something. Pic5 C.V (Clayt) and Katherene Shank owned and operated Shank's Resort on upper Hamlin Lake. They moved to Ludington in 1952 with their two sons Gene and Dean. Note the ad boasts both hot AND cold running water. A luxary at the time to be sure. Pic6 In 1951 Mary and Fernando Baker were the new owners of the Arcadia Resort on Upper Hamlin Lake. (Located at Barnhart's Landing) Pic7 10 years earlier Mrs. Grams advertised that Arcadia Resort was the place where the big ones didn't get away and in 1930 Arcadia was known for the fine cooking of Bernadine Schmidt. If we go back to 1904 we see that I.O Harsh had been busy preparing the grounds for the influx of summer tourists.

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