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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 Out Hamlin Way part 3 Dave Petersen Hamlin is well on its way in their celebration of the sesquicentennial, similar milestones will start coming up for other townships over the next decade. It gives us a chance to visit and revisit those parts of our communities and the County that make this a great place to live. Those who have spent a lifetime here will have stories to tell, and with the influx of new people and hopefully some of the younger ones who live here there will be plenty of listeners to take it all in. If you have not been recording memories of some of your family members this would be a good time to think about doing that again. There are a lot of landmark businesses and things that have happened out Hamlin way that are long gone from recent memories but still live on in those who have been there all these years. It would be nice to see some of those memories preserved, about the resorts, about fishing on Hamlin, about the changes people have seen and the growth of the community. If you have photographs to share with our readers please contact me at 757-3240, e-mail to davep@blackcreekpress.com, or mail in care of the Ludington Daily News, P.O. Box 340, Ludington, MI, 49431 Pic1 The Big Sable Lighthouse although outside the city limits is an important landmark and has been a part of our community since 1867. Originally a conical brick tower the lighthouse was encased in steel plates in 1900. As a result almost every existing picture shows the black and white steel cased tower. Pic2 Carter and Helling established Piney Ridge Resort in 1901 at a cost of 10,000.00. The 40 room Hotel did not however celebrate their formal opening until July 4th 1902. The Hotel was constructed just to the front of the old Hudson Bay Lodge and at 40 x 60 feet and three stories high dwarfed the old structure completely. The old lodge was built in 1894 by William Hudson, a civil war veteran and at one time Ludington Postmaster. Pic3 Many resorts appeared on Hamlin Lake to address the needs of weary travelers and city dwellers trying to find some peace and solice from the rigors of city living. Barnhart's Store at Upper Hamlin Lake, They supplied many services for resorters, delivering groceries, mail, and offering boat repair Pic4 This is a view of the Sauble Inn Dining Room. Long a resort area this has been a popular destination for travelers for over 100 years. Originally the area was best reached by the Dummy Train. The roads at the turn of the century were far from easy to travel on. Pic5 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. Pic6 Originally the Northern Hamlin Lake resorts included the Bugg House, Camp Arcadia, Pleasant Hill and Griswolda. As the county road system improved travel by train slowly diminished until 1919 when the service was stopped. The opening up of the Hamlin area to travel by automobile increased the traffic and the offerings of places to stay and access to the lake and its fishing.

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