Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Claimed to have been one of the only inland lighthouses in the State of Michigan, Ernest G. York completed it's construction in 1938. The Lighthouse on Jordan Lake was built with cement and was originally painted white. The actual lighthouse structure which originally stood alone is fifteen feet wide at the base and thirty feet high. The peak of the roof stands at thirty-seven feet. There are three levels within the lighthouse with the light and lens on yet another level. For many years a red blinker with Corning glass lens was operated each evening. A concession for the beach was operated on the first floor. A boat livery was maintained with the Yorks having twenty boats for rent. Mr. York died in 1942 and the lighthouse passed ownership over the years but remained a local landmark. Currently it is privately owned as a residence. The lighthouse has been declared a State Historical Site and holds many memories of Lake Odessa residents past and present.

Monday, September 28, 2009


This elk mount was one of the awesome displays that were part of the Hunting and Sports Show this past week-end at the Lake Odessa Museum. Many new faces were seen as a steady crowd enjoyed this annual show. Items included hunting trophies, mounts, pictures, equipment and related memorabilia. One interesting donation represented the "sports" idea with a golf club that was given to a local man by Frank A. Page. On Sunday there was even a live bobcat on display! You never know what you will find when visiting this museum! Thank you to all who worked hard to organize this event. This display is growing and many combined for a great success!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Displays such as the one shown above will be featured this week-end, September 26 and 27, at the Lake Odessa Museum Complex. A wide collection of various items ranging from deer hunting to a recent addition of a vintage golf club will be showcased as part of this event. On Sunday the Museum will be open from 2-5 p.m. and will host Bill Yoder as our special guest. Bill will bring a young live bobcat for the enjoyment of those interested. Stop by and see what other surprises you may find and check out the painting progress on the Depot too!


The Village Park in Lake Odessa was originally called Wagar's Grove. In the early years it became known as the Grove and was a gathering place for many events. The intention of this park was to preserve a natural piece of land so that many could enjoy the trees in their original setting. After some early disagreements as to the use of this property it was deeded to the Village in 1889 with the following agreement: "that the land should not be sold by second parties or their successors in office nor the timber removed from the same but should be held as a public park for the use and benefit of the citizens of the Village of Lake Odessa." Soon after this in 1889 a fine was established for anyone found with cattle pastured in the Village Park. Over the years this haven has witnessed countless picnics, reunions, social gatherings and events. It has hosted concerts, rallies, art festivals and political meetings. But most of all, it has given many a place to relax. The addition of Swifty's Place play ground has added a wonderful dimension for children. Many stop and enjoy our Village Park and many hold special memories of this focal point in the history of Lake Odessa.


The past two and a half weeks have seen a great deal of progress in the painting of the Lake Odessa Depot! Twenty-four different volunteers have scraped, primed, painted and worked on this project. Several have donated added monies, food and helped out in many ways. The work is coming along steadily and the results are super! The cupola is completed except for the windows which need some extra work. Even the copper ball on top of the cupola received a cleaning and some fresh protection against the weather! Work will continue as volunteers are able to work. Thank you to everyone who is helping out in any way! What a team and what a super job!!!

Friday, September 18, 2009


On December 1, 1939, Ford Goodemoot purchased the Standard Oil Station from George Barkdull. This station was located on the southwest corner of Fourth Avenue and Tupper Lake St. and had been built about 1923. Ford was in business here until 1942 when he sold it to Homer Bartlett. This picture was taken about 1941 and shows Leon Stearns, who was the Bulk Dealer for Standard Oil, and Ford Goodemoot. There were several stations in Lake Odessa during this era as the automobile was quickly becoming the popular form of transportation.


What a great picture showing Fred Smith in his barber shop about 1919. Fred puchased this business from Archie Thomas in 1914 and was a barber in Lake Odessa for many years. Delos Trowbridge shot this photo which shows Fred cutting a Mr. Darby's hair. It is a wonderful "moment in time" as the early barber shops were a gathering place for the local men.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


It was a great week-end as many gathered to scrape, prime and paint the Lake Odessa Depot! Lots of work was completed with the project about half completed. Painting will continue this coming week-end as the fresh look emerges! Thank you to all who have worked so hard to make this happen. Watch the blog for further pictures and updates!

Thursday, September 10, 2009


This photo shows the Lake Odessa Hunting Club about the year 1908. This local group of men traveled to Northern Michigan each year and spent weeks hunting deer and other game. This photo and many others of this club will be part of the display at the upcoming Hunting and Sports Show at the Lake Odessa Museum. This show will be held Sat. and Sun. Sept. 26 and 27. Plans continue for a great display and those with items to loan or share are still being sought. Contact the society for more information.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


This flyer dated Aug. 31, 1894, is a real treausre! The flyer was printed as a program for the Ladies Aid Society of the M.E. Church for a program they were sponsoring. The great value in this is the many advertisements that were used in the printing of the program. Listed as merchants in 1894 are: L. A. Hunter-millinery, Mrs. R. C. Blair-Milliner, G. A. Weed-furniture dealer, McKelvey and Townsend-hardware, H. C. Morse-jeweler, Wright and Friend-general merchandise, E. C. Tew and Sons-General Merchandise, Mrs. Miner-Milliner, McCartney Bros.-dry goods, I. M. Tolles-dry goods, J. A. Robbins-jeweler. Miss L. Friedly has an advertisement at the lower part of the page and if noted is quite involved in the program. Others are listed and represent some early businesses in our village.


A Hunting and Sports Show will be hosted at the Lake Odessa Museum on September 26 and 27. This annual show showcases our local interest in hunting and outdoor sports. The photo above shows a recent display and encourages everyone to submit recent and current items featuring hunting and sports. One of the goals of this display is to showcase current adventures and to share them with others. The society is currently seeking historical and current items and photos for display. If you are able to share anything please contact the society. Make plans to come and see this great display....there is something for everyone!!!

WHAT FUN IN 1913!!!

This photo was taken by Delos Trowbridge about 1913. The license plate on the car is dated 1913 and it is assumed to be current or possibly 1914. If there was a contest to see how many kids could be put into a car this may have been the winner!!! There is an inscription on the top of the photo that has faded over the years and only the first two words can be read...."A load...." Shown in the photograph and not necessarily in order are: Lawrence Howard (sitting in the background) Art Lake, Francis Dnham, Keith Lepard, Mr. Jackson (the driver), Trever Dunn (?), ____Englehart, Harriet Lake, Marjorie Coykendall, Milford Hoover, Keith Leak, ____Jackson (on fender), Jackson girl, Florence Urtel, Agnes Earl, Dorothy Leak, Pauline Strong, Lester Coykendall, _____Richards, Jackson boy, Wayne Shade. These are the names written on the back of the photo but it is difficult to determine which name goes with which face. If anyone can help identify these better please post a comment below or contact the society. The wooden building shown in the back was a Candy Store owned by McCoy's. Is it any wonder all these kids are in front of this store????


It's time to paint the Depot and we need everyone's help! We will begin the project on Thursday, September 10, with a pot luck supper at 6:30 p.m. There will be scraping, priming and painting throughout the entire week-end. Come out and help as much as your schedule will allow. We are hoping that many hands will make this project go quickly. How exciting it is as many have already expressed an interest. Watch the blog for pictures of this work effort to maintain the historic Lake Odessa Depot.