Albion Interactive History / Businesses / Montcalm Resort

Albion Interactive History

Albion Interactive History / Buildings / Starr Commonwealth

Montcalm Lake Resort

There was one disturbing aspect on the vista – when Starr gazed southeast across Montcalm Lake, his view stopped at mid-water. What laybeyond he did not want to see, nor did he for some time. Other people saw it often, for it was popular resort owned and operated by Mr. John Fox, a tavern keeper in Albion (though he permitted no spirits at the lake). Beginningwith a few rental boats, a scattering of picnic tables, and a refreshment stand with soda and candy, he soon added a “tip-up bowling alley” and other “amusement producingparaphernalia”. According to local resident Marge Gorman, “Mr. Fox was a very pleasant man who had a little fox terrier that would do tricks. Whenever you went out there for a picnic orsomething, he would rise up on his hind legs, shake hands with you and show his teeth. It would smile, you know, so it was called Smiley.”

As soon as the Albion College students discovered Montcalm Lake, they too made frequent excursions to the little resort. After all, the fare from the city was only six cents, and an evening off campus in mixed company was a rareprivilege.

Eventually, the entire area about the lake became Commonwealth property, and the resort grounds are now covered with pines.

Source: Keith Fennimore. Faith Made Visible: The History of Floyd Starr and His School. Albion, Michigan: Starr Commonwealth. 1988.

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