Friday, February 13, 2015


The Lake Odessa Area Historical Society met for its General Meeting Thursday, Feb. 12, at the Lake Odessa Museum.  The program focused on the history of the Chicago, Kalamazoo and Saginaw Railroad and was prompted by the discovery of C. K. & S. artifacts by two young men from the area.  Brady E. and Varik P. both 8th graders uncovered several items on a local farm in Woodland Twp., Barry County.  These items included an actual piece of the railroad track, some railroad spikes and a section of the driveshaft from a steam locomotive.  Their discovery led to the donation of these items to the Lake Odessa Museum for its growing collection of local Railroad history.  A member of the C. K. and S. Railfans was a guest speaker for the evening sharing the formation and early history of the railroad.  These items plus the collection of Railroad items from the Luther Brodbeck Collection form the foundation for this new and growing display.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

PIONEER DAYS IN ODESSA-A great photo of one of the early log cabins that were part of pioneer life in Odessa Township.  This cabin was located on section 8 of Odessa and was lived in by Vernon C. Watkins.  He was a settler in the 1860's.  It is not sure if he built this cabin or a previous owner.  Vernon Watkins' daughter, Jennie, married William E. Kingman who later owned this property and cabin.  It is presumed that the Watkins/Kingman family is shown in the photo but no positive identification is given.  The early history of this area is a testament to the determination of those pioneers to improve this part of Ionia County.  More information is being sought on the Watkins/Kingman family and other pioneer families of this area.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

This postcard shows the two homes on the southwest corner of Fourth Avenue and Jordan Lake Street (M-50).  The residence to the left (which sits right on the corner) was the home of the Fellows family for many years.  It was one of the earliest homes on this section of land and is significant for its architecture and historical importance.  Can anyone add more history?  
QUILT SHOW COMING SOON!!!  The Annual Quilt Show will kick off 2015 at the Lake Odessa Museum.  The event will be held on Saturday Jan. 24 from 10-5 and on Sunday Jan. 25 from 2-5.  Both historic and contemporary quilts will be displayed with many new items being exhibited.  Come and check it out!  A bake sale will be held and a good lunch offered too! 

Thursday, February 21, 2013


What an awesome photo!  The reverse indicates that the gentleman is Earnest Cunningham.....can anyone identify for sure?  And can anyone tell us the make and year of the car?  The penant is lettered "Lake Odessa" and creates a sense of excitement for whatever occasion this is! 

Monday, April 9, 2012


The most recent exhibit at the Lake Odessa Museum was entitled "Here Comes The Bride." The displays featured wedding dresses and all other items associated with a wedding. It was an outstanding event due to the hard work of Lynda Cobb, Dawn Deardorff and Thelma Curtis. Many local residents brought in items to share which reflected both the past and present. Shown about is a view looking into the Freight Station and below is Betty (Peacock) Carey next to her wedding dress worn when she married Morris (Pete) Carey. The Lake Odessa Museum has new exhibits and displays throughout the year and we encourage everyone to stop by and check us out!

Monday, January 16, 2012


The January meeting of the Lake Odessa Area Historical Society featured an overview of the bars, saloons and taverns in our village's history. The first saloon was built by Charles Scheidt in 1888 and was located on the south end of Main Street approximately in the location of the present day Page Memorial Building. This saloon served the village for many years later being operated by Andrew Reahm and then James Scheidt. While James Scheidt operated the business it became the property of the Haehnle Brewing Company of Jackson, Michigan, from 1894-1904. The business later changed hands several times and was operating as late as 1908-9. Shown above is this business advertising the Haehnle Beer. Many other bars located in the village over the years and many memories and trivia were shared at this meeting. It is planned to compile this information into some format so anyone with additional information on bars and saloons is welcome to contact the society.