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Old postcards from a bygone era

Old postcards from a bygone era

By Judy Reed

Karen Hayden, of Ensley Township, sent us photos of three old postcards that showed pictures of local areas here in the early 1900s.

“My cousin and I were going through family memorabilia yesterday and we found these cards featuring area attractions or locations. Most of the cards in the album were from the very early 1900’s, ie. 1912, ’10, etc.,” she explained.

Colorized postcard of Hartts Resort, Whitefish Lake.

Did you know that Whitefish Lake was once the site of a popular vacation resort? One of the postcards Karen sent was an early colorized postcard from Hartts Resort, located at Whitefish Lake. Hayden said she remembered her dad talking about it but didn’t know anything else about it.

We did some online research and found that Hartts Resort is one of the places listed in a 1913 publication called Michigan Summer Resorts Including the Michigan East Coast Resorts: a Guide to the Summering Places in the Lake and River Region of the State of Michigan. It is listed on page 37.

Hartts is also listed in Polk’s Michigan State Gazetteer and Business Directory, of 1921. It lists businesses in Pierson, and lists Hartt, C W., hotel at Whitefiesh (sic) Lake and also lists another hotel belonging to a Martin, J E at Whitefiesh (sic) Lake.

Clarkes Historical Library, of Mount Pleasant, has another old postcard of Hartts Resort on their facebook page with a bit of info. It says that “Hartts Resort was a known summer escape for residents of Michigan. At only $2 a day and $10 a week families could afford to return year after year. As a young girl Betty Ford spent her summers here with her family.”

Boating on Baptist Lake, Ensley Township.

Another photo Hayden sent us was of Baptist Lake. “(This is) Baptist Lake taken from the north end where the Simcoe family has lived for 150 years,” she said. She added that the photo was probably one of the Simcoe boys. “My maiden name was Simcoe, and my husband and I have a portion of the original Simcoe acreage and a bit of lake front on the nw part of the lake. Been here 51 years,” she said.

TS&M Railroad depot in Cedar Springs.

The final postcard photo she sent was of the old TS&M railroad depot here in Cedar Springs. It was one of two railroads that ran through town. The Grand Rapids & Indiana line ran north and south, and the TS&M ran east and west. The depot was located on the south end of town. The Cedar Springs Historical Museum has a book you can purchase that tells the history of the railroad here, and is full of photos, such as this one.

Thanks so much, Karen, for brightening our day with your photos!

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