Tuesday, November 1, 2011


What an awesome picture that recently surface at the museum! This vintage scene depicts a reunion of the North Jordan School. This school was located in Woodland Township of Barry County and is within the Lakewood School District. There is no identification of anyone and it appears to be outside of a barn. Further research may help pinpoint a year to this but if anyone can add anything let us know!


This past summer during the Depot Day Celebration the Lake Odessa Area Historical Society honored local pharmacies from our history and present day. Alton Nye was an early pharmacist practicing his business for most of his life time here. It was a pleasure to have Alton Nye's grandson Dean Kelley present for the special tribute. Mr. Kelley brought with him several photographs, including the above, to share for this occasion. Mr. Nye is pictured on the right with another man who is unidentified. It looks like they caught their limit of fish that day!

Monday, October 17, 2011

LOHS Souvenir Book

As part of this past year's LOHS Alumni week-end, a Souvenir Booklet was produced including the photo shown above. The booklet is a pictorical history of the Lake Odessa School and is available for $22.00 plus postage. If interested in this keepsake please contact the Historical Society for more details.


Each year the Fourth Grade classes from West Elementary School visit the Museum. This is a highlight as the history of our village is shared with these eager learners. Previous to the museum visist, Elaine Garlock, gives a historical talk. Then the classes each walk to the Museum noting historical spots along the way. Classes are taken through the Depot and the Frieght Station with a sort of "historical scavenger hunt." Thank you to the Fourth Grade teachers who incorporate this into their Michigan History Unit.


One of the most popular items on display at the Lake Odessa Museum is a 1964 New Yorker. Shown above is Emmi Klein a great grand daughter of the original owner of this car Allie Klein Kluinsteker. Emmi recently toured the museum as part of the Fourth Grade Tour and was proud to show off her grandmother's car to her class mates.


The Class of 1966 of Lakewood High School held a reunion the last week-end of September. There were many activities and gatherings and quite a few visited the Museum as part of their week-end walk down memory lane. Shown here are four from the class: Marti (Livingston) Lind, Bill Mathis, Terry Adams and Terri (Mulliken) Allen. It was great to see so many visit Lake Odessa and rekindle old friendships!


The September Display focused on the agricultural history of our area. Many photos, farm tools and implements and other historical items filled the museum relating this important part of community. Several antique tractors greeted the visitors as they entered the parking lot and a big crowd enjoyed this first time display.

Monday, April 18, 2011


Many of the early cottages on Jordan Lake bore names that distinguished them as desirable places to vacation. The Good Shepard was one of the earliest but the Kill Kare Kottage soon followed. This cottage was located to the east of the Good Shepard and Water Witch and attracted a good deal of business. Fishing, swimming and boating were popular and this business featured each. The owners of this business or the builders of this cottage have not been determined...does anyone have information on the Kill Kare Kottage???

APRIL 1947

Here it is April 2011 and the snow is blowing! In April of 1947 heavy rains produced flooding throughout the area. This view shows Jordan Lake flooding over into where Roberts' Cottages were located at the east end of the lake. The waters rose high enough to go over the road and make this area impassable. Does anyone remember 1947 and the floods of that year??

3 X 4 CLUB

The following article was taken from an April 1970 issue of the Lake Odessa Wave: 3 X 4 CLUB FOUNDED MARCH 11, 1910-Members of the 3 X 4 Club gathered at Bonnie's Cafe Wednesday in commemoration of their organization's founding 60 years ago on March 11, 1910. The original club met as a group of farm wives north of Lake Odessa at the home of Mrs. Etta Foght for their first meeting and Mrs. Ella Johnson was the first president, Mrs. Josephine Hunt secretary-treasurer and Mrs. Abbie Johnson corresponding secretary. Their object was to promote sociability among neighbors and to forget for a while the care of home. Reading and good literature and visiting the sick in the community were parts of their program. Besides Mrs. Foght, Mrs. Hunt and Mrs. Johnson, other charter members were Mrs. Laura Swarthout, Mrs. Lettie Curtis, Mrs. Sarah Foght, Mrs. Nellie Culp, Mrs. Charles Stewart, Mrs. Mary Jones, Mrs. Josie Root and Mrs. Frances Curtis. Mrs. Grethel (Swarthout) Walter is the only daughter today of a charter member. Mrs. Nettie Curtis is a daughter-in-law and Mrs. Fannie Curtis is a grand-daughter of charter members. The club now has 12 members and one honorary member, namely Opal Bartlett, Iva Birman, Grethel Walter, Ethel Aalderink, Kay Possehn, Lucille Walter, Gaylia Rathbun, Naoma Shaw, Florence Ritter, Carlene Lindner, Nettie Curtis, Fannie Curtis and Viola Cunningahm. The members were served a ham and chicken dinner by Bonnie and her helpers and a good time was enjoyed be all present. The club still meets on the third Tuesday of the month for a 1:00 o'clock dinner, the same as the original club. The next meeting is to be held at the home of Nettie Curtis, with Opal Bartlett as co-hostess.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


About the year 1906 one of the first cottages on Jordan Lake became known as the "Good Shepard Resort." Dan Shepard, with his wife Hannah, began a tourist business featuring the lake and all its assetts. Dan promoted the leisure activities such as fishing and the resort became well known throughout Michigan. The Resort was located at the southern most point of where Fourth Ave. ends today at the lake. Next door was located another cottage called the "Water Witch." The two buildings were later connected to form one larger Inn. The resort remained in business for many years ending its career in the late 1940's. The building was later used as an apartment building. It was torn down in the past few years following an interior fire.


One of the permanent displays at the Lake Odessa Museum focuses on the Medical Profession in Lake Odessa. We are fortunate to have the desk, chair and other items used by Dr. M. A. Hoffs during his practice from 1929-1968. These artifacts relate the history of Dr. Hoffs and the great service that he provided to this area. The display includes the many other doctors that served Lake Odessa since the early 1880's. The photo above shows Dr. Hoffs seated at the desk which is now on display at the museum.


What an awesome picture this is! The Algodon School (also called the Anway School) boasted a large enrollment in it's early years. This picture taken in the late 1880's gives a wide view including the school house, front yard and the students. The school, which was located in the northwest part of Odessa Township, was one of the first in the area and many early pioneer families sent their children here to learn readin', ritin' and rithmitic!!!

Monday, April 4, 2011


The recent exhibition of "TOTALLY LAKE O!" was a great success. The displays featured items manufactured or produced in Lake Odessa over the years. It was quite amazing to see many of these items and the great variety.....from canned vegetables to metal pieces fabricated for machines. The photo above shows an ironing board manufactured by the Lake Odessa Manufacturing Company in the late 1890's. A recent acquisition of the Society was one of these ironing boards...which made a great display. A local visitor brought in and loaned a "Water-Witch" Fishing Lure which is quite a novelty and brought a great deal of attention. All in all the week-end was of interest to many as the spotlight was on "Totally Lake O!"


Many memories are connected with the Lake Odessa Village Park. It has been a focal point of Lake Odessa since its beginning and continues to host each new generation. Its trees guard the village with their shade and provide a harbor of rest and peace for all who visit. The Lake Odessa Area Historical Society would like to collect stories, memories, events and things of interest connected with the Village Park. Do you have a memory that you could share? Click below on the comment section and leave your thoughts or contact the society by email or regular mail. Your stories make our history stay alive!


The Pere Marquette Railroad extends to the west of Lake Odessa toward Clarksville and to the east toward Sunfield. The history of this area is closely linked to the history of the Railroad in each of these communities. This photo shows a crew working on the railroad near Sunfield in perhaps the 1930's. No identification is connected with the photo so the faces remain nameless. What a wonderful "bit" of history is shown in their faces....a hard day's labor yet greatful for the job!


The Lake Odessa Area Historical Society strives to chronicle history of not only this village but the surrounding area. It is defined generally as any location within the Lakewood School District....and this includes Clarksville! Clarksville has an active Historical Group but over the years many items connected with that area have been donated to our society. This photo shows a creamery in Clarksville...but no other information. Can anyone help out with where it was located, when it was in operation and any other details that may be of interest? It is a wonderful historical photo but further information is needed to give it a story! Can you help!! Let us know if you can!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


The February meeting of the Lake Odessa Area Historical Society featured a history of our local gas stations. President John Waite shared some early background concerning this business and then opened the floor for additional input. Many had come prepared with their own memories and stories concerning the many stations over the years. Photographs added a rich blend as many recalled having "full service," hearing the bell ringing when driving in and the cold pop from the machine. A display covering this history is being collected and any additional information or photos would be greatly welcomed. The photo above shows the stone station located on Fourth Avenue and First Street. This unique building remains today and is an historic testament to the gas station business.