Friday, November 12, 2010


The Annual Christmas Memory Tree Program was held on Thursday, November 11, at the Lake Odessa Freight Station Museum. Approximately 60 gathered for the tenth year of this holiday tradition. Ornaments were hung as the names were read of almost 600 loved ones. These ornaments have all been donated in memory of someone and represent our family, friends and neighbors. Shown in the photos are above Betty Erickson hanging an ornament in memory of her father, Lee A. Hazel. Below is Rosemary Hickey hanging an ornament in memory of her sister, Marie O'Mara. This is a special time that begins our holiday season at the museum. The Memory Trees will remain up through January....come and check them out!

Thursday, November 11, 2010


A recent donation to the Lake Odessa Area Historical Scoiety was a project completed by Jack and Elaine (Allarding) Garnaat and Phyllis (Lepard) Olmstead. The project is a collected book form and focuses on the history of the Darby School. This rural school was located in southern Campbell Township which later became part of the Lakewood School District. The book includes photographs of the school and students throughout the years, a copy of the abstract and deed for where the school property is located, documents related to teachers and students, a list of teachers plus a great deal of additional information related to the Darby School. This wonderful history is an addition to the collection of rural school histories that are housed in the School Room at the Lake Odessa Museum Complex. This history and others are available for public viewing and anyone interested in the Darby School or others are encouraged to stop by. There are still many other rural schools that need to be chronicled and it is hoped that this project will inspire others to do the same. Thank you for this great contribution and for all the work that was put into this!

Thursday, September 30, 2010


This photograph shows some type of celebration or festival taking place on Main Street perhaps in the 1920/30's. This may be a view of an early community celebration sponsored by the merchants. The shot is taken from the intersection of Fourth Ave. and Second Street looking north. Notice the closed booth has rugs hanging and the other booths seem to be selling wares. Any help on what is going on in this photo? Let us know if you can help identify this!


On Monday evening, July 5, 2010, the Lake Odessa Area Historical Society was pleased to be able to dedicate a new display at the museum. The display focuses on the German Prisoner of War Camp that was located in Lake Odessa in 1944 and 1945. This historically significant event is interpreted through photographs, artifacts and documents highlighting the camp. It was a distinct privilege to have the widow and family of Heinz Hanft, a former prisoner in the Lake Odessa Camp, present for the dedication of this display. Shown above is Edith Hanft viewing the display and a picture of the Hanft family present for the dedication. A large crowd filled the museum to hear accounts of the camp and its impact on the war. Thank you to the Hanft family and to all who contributed to make this display a reality. The display is a permanent feature of the Lake Odessa Museum and may be viewed during the last week-end of each month and during special events.


You just never know what will happen during the Lake Odessa High School Alumni Reunion week-end! It was a great turn out for the event held the last Saturday in June. The Museum was open with displays from 1888 through the Lakewood School System today. Shown above is Elaine (Allarding) Garnaat (Class of 1945) in the bath tub that was in her home on Tupper Lake St. The bath tub is now part of the collection of the Lake Odessa Museum. The Allarding home later became the Lake Odessa Hospital and the bath tub was donated as part of that history. Elaine just couldn't help getting in and bringing back the memories of "bath time." Many other alumni visited the museum and continue to be great supporters of our Lake Odessa history.


Congratulations to Marian Klein on being selected as the 2010 Grand Marshal for the Lake Odessa Fair Parade. Marian was chosen by the Lake Odessa Area Historical Society for her dedication and community service. A reception was held at the Lake Odessa Freight Station following the parade with a standing only crowd. Marian has been a member of our society for many years and is a faithful supporter. Good job Marian!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


It was a privilege to have Fred Morris in attendance at the recent Veterans Hall of Fame Tribute. Fred is a veteran of World War II and has donated his uniform to the Lake Odessa Museum. This photo shows Fred posing next to his uniform as we recognize his service to our country. Thank you to Fred and to many others who have donated items to make our military display so great! The collection continues to expand as we relate the history of our local veterans.


The Lake Odessa Area Historical Society is pleased to announce the selection of Kenneth LeRoy Johnson as the newest veteran honored as part of the Veteran's Hall of Fame. Kenneth was nominated by his children: Melody (Johnson) LaNew, Mike Johnson, John Johnson and Teri (Johnson) Duda who are shown above receiving the 2010 Veterans Hall of Fame Certificate. The tribute, which was held on May 28, was well attended with many others attending over the week-end. There were many new displays and those who brought items relating the military history of our local veterans. A complete history of Kenneth Johnson will be posted on this site soon.....we are honored to pay tribute to him and all our veterans!!

Monday, May 17, 2010


May is half over and summer is on its way! Memories of Lake Odessa include hot summer days at the beach at Jordan Lake. Shown above is a scene at the Wenonah Resort (which was located approximately where the Bowling Alley is today). The beach and resort were a popular place for vacationers to come from the city. The crowd in this picture is large and shows the popularity of this attraction. Summer is on its way and many will once again make memories of good times here in Lake Odessa!


The Lake Odessa Area Historical Society will be hosting the 5th Military Tribute and Display over the Meorial Day Week-end. Shown above are three of last year's honored veterans-Lyle Faulkner, Nyle Yates and Wendell Scheidt. The Tribute for this year will be held on Friday, May 28, at 7 p.m. We will recognize the past recipients and announce the selections for the 2010 inductees into the Veteran's Hall of Fame. This is a wonderful way to honor our veterans and to pay respect as a community for the sacrifice many have made. The Museum will be open the entire week-end with a display of all local veterans. Items to be loaned or donated are being sought for this annual event. Please contact the society if you have any items of interest. The hours for the event will run on Sat. May 29 from 10-2, Sunday May 30 from 2-5 and Monday, May 31 from 12-5.

Friday, May 14, 2010

St. Herman's Tour

It was a great learning experience as the Society toured St. Herman's Orthodox Church in Woodbury this past Thursday evening. Society member, Darya Carney, presented the history of the church building (the former Woodbury United Brethren Church) and the history of the Orthodox Church. She related the meaning of many items in the church and the stories of the various icons painted by Darya. The group gained a great knowledge of the Orthodox faith and many questions followed the presentation. The church has done an amazing job at restoration and continues to work on the project. Thank you to St. Herman's for sharing yourselves and the historical background of this church with us!!

Monday, April 12, 2010


The general meeting of the Lake Odessa Area Historical Society will be held in Woodbury, Michigan, at St. Herman's Orthodox Church on Thursday, May 13. Upon the invitation of Father Michael Carney we will meet at the church at 7 p.m. and given a tour of the work that this parish has done on the church building. The structure was formerly the Woodbury United Brethren Church and since St. Herman's has occupied the church a great deal of renovation has taken place. This promises to be a great opportunity to visit a local historic structure being used for a specific purpose in today's modern world. Watch here for more details.


The Lake Odessa Area Historical Society will be holding a RUMMAGE SALE on Friday, April 23 from 9 to 5 and on Saturday April 24 from 9 to 2. There are always lots of treasures to be found so make sure to come on out!! Donations are being accepted of all saleable items. This is a great way to donate toward the work of the museum and help support the cause. Contact the Society to make a donation of items. Thank you for your interest!!!


Soup and Salad were the menu for last Friday night's fund raiser. It was a great evening and a great crowd. Nearly 100 were served with only two bowls of soup left over!! Thank you to all who supported this effort in any way. The Society continues to raise funds toward the exterior siding of the Hosford House. A bid has been accepted and the goal is to begin work in September. There is lots happening at the Lake Odessa Museum so keep posted and plugged in!!!

Thursday, March 4, 2010


For many years the water tower was a focal point on the street scene of Lake Odessa. This landmark was torn down quite a few years ago but many will remember it with the big letters proclaiming the name of our village. This view is a great one of Tupper Lake Street looking to the east. There is no date marked but must be in the 1940's.


One unique display at "It's Art" was presented by four generations of one family. The Lambert family has been part of Lake Odessa history for many years and their talent witnessed by many. Several oil paintings done by Clare Lambert represented the first generation. These included a painting of the Depot and one of Smith Brothers Elevator. The next generation included two of Clare's children, Jack Lambert and Jean Schwarthing. Shown above is one painting done by Jack of a barn in New York. Many that attended the art display remarked that Jack had been their art teacher in high school. The next generation included art work by Ann DeHoog and Anita Villanueva. Anita is shown above sharing with spectators the gift their family has been blessed with. The fourth generation was represented by Abby DeHoog and Elijah Villanueva. Thank you to the Lambert family for sharing their talent for this display and through the years with all in our community.


The recent art display, "IT'S ART" was one of the most successful events this year. It was a great response with over 43 artists being showcased. There were over 150 pieces of art on display with a wide variety of styles, ages and methods. Those that came to enjoy the week-end were very pleased and many comments were shared concerning future possibilities of similar events. Shown above is the 6 foot bird created by Tony Jackson. This was a popular work with many interested in Tony's creative sculptures. One of the oldest paintings on display was done by Mary Powell in the 1890's. It is the round plate shown above and was first displayed in an art show done by Michigan State University in the 1970's. The top picture shows local artist Karen Anway with a display of her works ranging from scenic to still life. The Freight Station Museum was filled with treasures and we appreciate the wonderful response of everyone involved.....the best response we have is WOW!

Monday, March 1, 2010


This view of Main Street was taken from the second story of McCartney's Store on the northwest corner of Fourth Avenue and Second Street. It is looking to the south and gives a great view of the stores. No date is on this photo which was recently donated to the Historical Society. It appears to be in the 1920's and may be during some type of celebration...notice the decorations on the lamp posts and at the far end of Main Street there is some type of banner across the street. Anyone have any ideas?? It's a great view of our home town!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010


The Annual Doll and Toy Show will be coming to the Lake Odessa Museum March 27 and
28. Plans are underway for a great display with many new items having been donated to the museum in the past year. This is an event that draws many from near and far and always promises to have something of interest to all. Watch for more details soon and make plans to be a part of this year's show.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Coming on February 27 and 28 to the Lake Odessa Museum will be a brand new display centered on the theme-"IT'S ART!" The display will focus on local artwork, past and present, and will include all styles of visual arts-oil, water color, sculpture, photography, etc. The emphasis will highlight the great amount of talent that this area has both in times past and the present. We are hoping that many will bring out that "masterpiece" that has been in storage and help us to create a unique presentation. For those who currently are involved in art it is hoped that you will also share your talents. Shown above is the Society President holding an oil painting done in the 1930's by Esther L. Schuler, of Woodland. This is only one example of many pieces that are in our community. Please contact the society if you have something to display and better yet come and join us the last week-end in February as we discover together..."IT'S ART!"

Chili Supper On A Cold Night!

The chili was good and it was hot! The weather was cold and everyone was hungry! It was a great night for the chili supper at the Lake Odessa Museum with approximately 75 in attendance. A good profit was realized and a good time was shared by many. Four different types of chili were offered ranging from mild (some called it "chili light") all the way to the spicy style. A unique german chili was offered with sauerkraut and spaetzle to top it off. Many were pleasantly surprised at how delicious this was and by the end of the night the pot was empty! Thank you to all who worked and donated toward this project. The Lake Odessa Area Historical Society continues to generate funds for upcoming project and all donations are appreciated.


One of the quilts on display at the recent Quilt and Textile Show focused on the history of the Anway Family. The Anways were early settlers in Odessa Township with many descendants spread across the United States. This wonderful heirloom was created by a granddaughter of Verl and Edna Anway as a raffle prize at the Annual Anway Reunion in 2009. Shown at the center are Verl and Edna surrounded by blocks bearing the images of each of their children. Shown in the group photo are the surviving children of this family at the Anway Reunion in 2009. Back Row, left to right: Joan, Richard and Shirley. Front Row, left to right: Bethel and Geraldine. What a wonderful way to preserve and enjoy family history!

Friday, February 5, 2010


Recently, a young couple was remodeling their home on Sixth Ave., in Lake Odessa, when they discovered some items in a wall. Tucked inside the wall they found letters, postcards, envelopes, advertising, a grade school diploma and a few dishes. These items all apear to have come from the Kart/Sargeant family and underneath all the dust and dirt lies a little bit of history. Two of the letters were written by Leo Kart in 1944 during World War II. One letter was to his mother, Esther Kart, and the other to his sister. The Lake Odessa Area Historical Society was glad to accept these items as a donation to the museum and will add them to our collections. Many have asked "why did people put stuff in the wall?" Does anyone have a good answer? The letter shown above is dated Sept. 10, 1944, and reads as follows:

"Pvt. Leo B. Kart 36956256 Co. H 3rd Group 1st Regt. Camp Reynolds Greenville PA Sept. 10, 1944-

Dear Mom,
I am getting along o.k. and feeling fine so I have nothing to kick about. We sure have some swell fellows here. I don't think it is half bad here. I suppose LeRoy is about ready to go to the navy. I know one thing, he won't run so much there, that's what makes it bad for so many fellows. Here we can only get a 12 hour leave so I think that was what was the matter with Raymond and Bob. Although they get a lot of K.P., and other details here every day, and sometimes at night. I got your letter and those papers you sent back. There is some of the fellows here with me that was at Camp Lee with me. So it isn't so bad. And I got a lot of new buddies here too. Did Clare Lambert hear any more about Jack? I sure hope he is on his way back. There was a bus wreck here last night but I don't know whether anyone got hurt or not. I sure am glad Carol got an ice cream cone. Well that is all I can think of this time so will close and try to write again. P.S. Oh, yes, there were around 1800 War Prisoners at Camp Lee.

As ever,

Monday, February 1, 2010


One of the displays at the recent Quilt and Textile Show featured three Quilts crafted in celebration of the Fifth Annivesary of the Adoption of three children. Grandma Chris created a quilt for each of her grandchildren in recognition of this important event in 2009. What a wonderful way to share memories and celebrate family and love. The quilts are treasured by each grandchild and remind them of their importance to the family. Shown above are Bailey, Tanner and Rheegan and then all of them with Grandma Chris. Thank you for sharing your quilts and this wonderful time in your lives!


The 2010 Quilt and Textile Show is now just a "Stitch in Time!" It was a great week-end with an awesome display. Over 50 quilts and many various textile items were on display ranging in items from the 1850's right up to 2010. Every color, pattern and style imaginable was on view with interest in a variety of items. The oldest textile was from 1851 and was a woven coverlet from the Heeter family. A quilt from the 1860-70 era represented an early star pattern. The most recent display featured a quilt completed in January wonderful to have it at our Show!! Another interesting display focused on the soon to be open Quilt Store in Lake Odessa. Many were intrigued by the fabrics, patterns and projects this display showcased. This was a successful project and many thanks to all who particpated!

Friday, January 22, 2010


Don't miss the ANNUAL QUILT AND TEXTILE SHOW coming to the Lake Odessa Museum on Jan. 30 and 31. Each year brings new displays of historic, commemorative and contemporary works. Several quilts have been donated to the museum in the past year and will be on display for the first time. This is always a great way to spend an afternoon on a cold winter day....come and see for yourself!!