Stony Lake is just inland from Lake Michigan, one of the five Great Lakes of North America. The Stony Lake Property Owners Association cares deeply (47 feet deep at its maximum, I’m told) about the state of the lake itself, its flora and fauna, about possible sources of pollution and about the immediate banks where many individuals and some organisations have property.
Last year the SLPOA introduced a new activity to their summer calendar – The Stony Lake History Tour By Boat. This event is scheduled to take place annually in August visiting a different property each year. Although my visit was in September I had the good luck to stay with a member of the Association’s Committee and my own private, individual, tailor-made tour was arranged by my hosts. We didn’t actually visit a lakeside home. But that was no problem as I was lucky enough to be staying in one myself – and a very special one it is too!
Aerial View of Stony Lake with the Shore of Lake Michigan Along the Top (the view looks approximately west)
Our Stony Lake Retreat
Some of this commentary is taken or adapted from the notes from which the docents read during the Tour.
“Stony Lake has a lot of tradition. Much of the land, and in many cases the cottages, have been lovingly passed down for generations, shared or sold to friends or family members or even neighbours.
But things change over the years, and the way of life many long time cottagers grew up with is changing too. More people come for short visits … They have less time to participate in community activities. One reason for doing the Tours is to help getting to know each other a little better.”
“In the 1980s The Property Owners Association organized a project to publish A Stony Lake History, which was published in 1986. We hope it can be updated and republished.”
The first house we ‘visit’ is The Huey House built by John and Myra Huey in 1902.
The Public Swimming Beach – I enjoyed a few swims here
The Beach from the Boat
Just across the road from the beach is The Stony Lake Store – once it housed the local Post Office, alas no longer.
As we moved around the Lake I was able to view the several Youth Camp Sites including Camp Miniwanca owned by The American Youth Foundation and in existence since 1924.
Here is the Miniwanca Camp Dock
I’m afraid that whenever I see these camps I can’t help singing this to myself :
Remember Allan Sherman?
Another camp on Stony Lake is the Lutheran Camp with a sandy beach and its own swimming area and on the opposite bank and near to ‘our’ cottage is Camp Ao-Wa-Kiya. “Everyone who has a property on Stony Lake should appreciate the special atmosphere that the three camps on the lake provide. These large chunks of land remain mostly undeveloped, and because of that there is less traffic on the lake. And most nights when the camps are in session the air rings with sounds of happy campers singing and cheering.”
Some Stony Lake Properties that caught my eye
A Stony Lake Boat House
My thanks to John and Julie for being magnificent and generous hosts and for taking me on my own private History Tour Boat.
A Quiet Area of Stony Lake (that’s a heron over to the left there)