Monday, February 23, 2009


The Village of Bonanza, located at the corner of Bonanza Road and Jordan Lake Road in Odessa Township, started to flourish in the 1870's. This small hamelt holds the beginnings of present day Lake Odessa and provided the foundation which this area built upon. It's first business was a blacksmith shop operated by Hugh L. Hunt. In 1872 Samuel O. Hosford started a mercantile business which led to other businesses locating here in the 1870's. The village grew to include a church, school, hotel and several other stores. The photo above was taken by Lorenzo K. Showman about 1886-87. It was taken from the west looking east and shows many of the prominent buildings of that day. The largest building visible was the hotel which was later moved into Lake Odessa. The church structure sat to the east of the hotel and only the rear section can be seen. Bonanza met its fate with the laying of the railroad to the south in 1887-88. Buildings, businesses and the general population were eventually moved to the new town of Lake Odessa. Bonanza had provided the roots for this community to grow and with its demise made the way for Lake Odessa to bloom.

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