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    The History Of Cass Lake, Michigan

    March 17, 2021 at 12:13 am · · Comments Off on The History Of Cass Lake, Michigan

    The History Of Cass Lake, Michigan

    Michigan happens to be a popular destination for fishing and water sports due to the presence of many freshwater lakes, such as Cass Lake in Waterford Township West Bloomfield.

    Cass Lake MI is one of the freshwater lakes in Michigan that is just 30 miles from Detroit. Cass Lake is strategically located in the affluent Oakland County, which is the reason why there are a lot of activities at Cass Lake in West Bloomfield.

    Fishing enthusiasts and water sports lovers have made Cass Lake the great destination it is today.

    While there is a lot of information out there about Cass Lake, what many people don’t know is that Cass Lake has a rich history and some of the most exciting facts, compared to other lakes in the Metro Detroit area.

    So what is so amazing about Cass Lake in Waterford Township West Bloomfield that would make you wish to visit the area and even participate in some recreational activities that take place at Cass Lake Front?

    Cass Lake Was Named After Michigan Governor Lewis Cass

    Cass Lake in Oakland County is named after former Michigan Governor Lewis Cass, who once served in the military before joining politics to become the governor of Michigan.

    The Former Michigan Governor Lewis Cass also served as a member in the cabinet of two former presidents.

    Cass was very active in US politics, which is perhaps the reason why he had a lake named Cass Lake in his honor.

    After being elected governor in 1813, he is remembered not just in Oakland County and areas around Cass Lake in Waterford Township West Bloomfield, but the entire state of Michigan as having negotiated treaties for the establishment of American settlement for the Native Americans.

    He also contributed towards survey expeditions that took place in the northwestern parts of the state, and areas around Cass Lake.

    There are many other commemorations other than Cass Lake that were done in honor of Michigan Governor Lewis Cass, such as Cass Avenue in Detroit Michigan, Cass City and Cass River.

    Cass Lake Was Where The First Michigan Explorers Toured

    The first explorers in Michigan first explored West Bloomfield before heading East, with the blessing of the then governor Lewis Cass, after whom Cass Lake is named after.

    They then entered the eastern parts of Waterford Township through Long Lake road, leading to Cass Lake, first experiencing Orchard Lake Village and Keego Harbor.

    After Orchard Lake Village and Keego Harbor, they then travelled North towards the shores of Orchard Lake and Cass Lake Waterfront. They also explored other lakes in Michigan such as Union Lake and Pine Lake.

    The name West Bloomfield in Oakland County was inspired by the wild flowers that the first settlers found in the greater West Bloomfield area where Cass Lake is located.

    This area of West Bloomfield in Oakland County was also attractive to early settlers because of its large field and farms around Cass Lake Front.

    However, many people are of the view that the main giveaway of West Bloomfield to settlers was the lakes, such as Cass Lake, the sparkling pond, canal front and waterways.

    To date, the greater Oakland County, and specifically Waterford, West Bloomfield and Cass Lake in Oakland County, Orchard Lake Village and Keego Harbor, still remains one of the most affluent areas to settle.

    Cass Lake Michigan 1st

    Cass Lake Was Formed Through Glacier Activity

    Cass Lake in Waterford is a glacial lake that was formed as a result of glacier activity. A glacier lake is formed when ice erodes the land creating some form of depression, and when the ice melts a water body is created, which is how Cass Lake was formed.

    It is believed that Waterford and Bloomfield in Oakland County, as well as the larger Michigan area, could have been glaciated – something that led to the formation of many glacier lakes and canal front including, Cass Lake.

    This is the reason why Cass Lake waterfront, in Orchard Lake Village and Keego Harbor, is home to numerous watersports activities.

    It is estimated that almost 50% of all lakes across the world, including Cass Lake, are glacier lakes, which implies that during the last Ice Age, almost half of the water bodies we have today could have been formed as a result of glacier activity.

    Cass Lake Front borders Waterford Township West Bloomfield, Orchard Lake Village and Keego Harbor.

    Cass Lake Inspired Early Industrial Growth

    Some of the lakes in Michigan, such as Cass Lake in West Bloomfield Township, are the reason why Detroit, and the state of Michigan, attracted some top industrialists during the Industrial Revolution.

    Most of the people were attracted to Cass Lake Front area for fresh water and the availability of mill power that was in the area.

    Powered by the water from nearby rivers and Cass Lake, Orchard Lake Village and Keego Harbor, the milling industries set the stage for what is one of Henry Ford’s village industries.

    Ford’s strategy was to set up small auto plants in areas where people could have easy access and decentralize operations from the main industrial location.

    Since most of the early industries were powered by hydroelectricity, they were strategically built along waterways, such as Cass Lake canal front.

    To date, there are still signs of the significant role played by waterways and lakes, such as Cass Lake waterfront, in developing modern day Oakland County in Michigan.

    Cass Lake Boosted Property Value

    Most people cannot deny that there exists a relationship between property value and waterways around Cass Lake in Oakland County.

    In West Bloomfield and Waterford, for example, property along Cass Lake tends to cost higher than in surrounding areas. There are people willing to pay top dollar just to own a lakefront home on Cass Lake.

    Even if there are building regulations regarding construction of property near waterways and lakes, such as Cass Lake in West Bloomfield Township Oakland County, existing property is in high demand, which might explain why it is valued higher than in neighboring areas around Cass Lake Front.

    Oakland County and Cass Lake are also regarded as one of the most affluent areas in Michigan, a situation that is attributed to the presence of many lakes and waterways, including Cass Lake, in the area.

    Sales data has established that waterfront homes and the Canal Front around Cass Lake are likely to sell almost double the price of a property located more than a hundred meters away. Cass Lake Front and Orchard Lake, therefore, are the reasons why properties around them have a higher sales value.

    The presence of parks, such as State Park, for recreation has also boosted property value in the area. State Park is critical to the local economy of the area.

    State Park is also part of the many parks in the area that attract people to the Cass Lake area.

    These Lakes Were Once The “Up North”

    There were times when people in Metro Detroit viewed the lakes in Oakland County, such as Cass Lake Waterfront in West Bloomfield and Orchard Lake areas, as the “Up North.”

    This phrase was meant to portray the canal front of Cass Lake, Orchard Lake Village and Keego Harbor as reserved for the affluent.

    During early years, people scrambled for property in Oakland County, especially around Cass Lake in West Bloomfield Township and Orchard Lake.

    Housing companies also established cottage rentals for people who needed privacy around Cass Lake and Orchard Lake.

    Today, those cottage rentals are permanent dwellings at Cass Lake in Waterford Oakland County and Orchard Lake.

    You can still see some of these cottages along the Cass Lake and Orchard Lake shorelines in Waterford, West Bloomfield and Keego Harbor in Oakland County.

    For most people, lake view dwellings around Cass Lake and Orchard Lake makes them feel like they are on vacation on a daily basis. The beautiful sunsets and bonding with nature is what drive people to the North.

    Cass Lake Michigan

    Cass Lake and Keego Harbor Orchard Lake still attract a lot of interest. Boating activities, fishing, watersports and the swans are some of the activities that take place at Cass Lake and Orchard Lake.

    During winter, Cass Lake is a popular destination for a fleet of iceboats. Due to the lake’s close proximity to several other areas in Oakland County, boat traffic, especially during the peak seasons, is usually very high at Cass Lake in West Bloomfield.

    Cass Lake Michigan

    There is no doubt that Cass Lake Michigan is an amazing and very critical lake, not just to the people of West Bloomfield and Waterford, but the larger Oakland County.

    It is not just fishermen that are likely to enjoy a visit to Cass Lake. During summer, sunbathers flock to Cass Lake, Orchard Lake Village and Keego Harbor to enjoy along the sandy beach with an estimated shoreline of one mile at Cass Lake.

    Once you decide to cool off from your busy schedule, you can rent a pontoon boat at Cass Lake in Oakland County, and go canoeing, or simply enjoy a good swim on a hot sunny day.

    The activities at the lake are not limited to fishing and swimming, as there is always something for everyone at Cass Lake Waterfront in West Bloomfield to enjoy.

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    Keego Harbor, MI History

    June 22, 2020 at 1:20 pm · · Comments Off on Keego Harbor, MI History

    Keego Harbor, MI History

    Maybe you are a history buff, or perhaps you just want to know more about the city you will soon call home? Whatever the case, Keego Harbor has a fascinating history and beautiful city motto “Heart of the Lakes.”

    Where is Keego Harbor, Michigan you ask? Located in Oakland County, Michigan, Keego Harbor is a small town with humble beginnings. Fun fact: this Michigan city is the third-smallest in the entire state. With that being said, Keego Harbor, MI actually has a lot to offer its residents and visitors.

    For starters, this small city’s motto, attributed to several nearby lakes, makes it clear that boat life is more than just a fun phrase. Here, residents take full advantage of Cass Lake, Union Lake, and Upper Straits Lake. Moreover, this city is not far away from Sylvan Lake and Dollar Lake.

    Keego Harbor, MI History

    Of course, this amazing city was not always an outdoor recreation and watersports mecca. In fact, life in Keego Harbor in the early 1800s was more focused on farming, fishery, domestic work, merchants, and trade skills. Nevertheless, there were a few well-off individuals who frequented these parts strictly for a little R&R. That being said, let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. Let us start at the beginning.

    Early 1800s

    Like most of the country, Keego Harbor was first settled by Native Americans. However, the non-native residents first began settling here in the mid-1820s. As briefly mentioned, these settlers were your typical working class of the time and made a living on their newly acquired land.

    It was not until the late 1890s that there was an influx of employment opportunities and people. Thanks to the Detroit Urban Railway building, a trolley line that connected Detroit to Pontiac by way of Keego Harbor in the 1890s, the Heart of the Lakes went from a small working-class town, with some Cass Lake, Michigan vacation rentals for the affluent, to a more accessible area for businesses and residential communities. Though things were beginning to look up for this area of Michigan, Keego Harbor had yet to be declared its own official city until the early 1900s.

    1900s to 1950s

    One of the pivotal moments for this area of Michigan came in 1912 when a lawyer and real estate investor named Joseph E. Sawyer bought a substantial amount of property here. Sawyer then proceeded to develop his land and carve out a canal from Cass Lake to Dollar Lake, which later he referred to as the Harbor. Sawyer then took the Ojibwa word for fish “keego” (from The Song of Hiawatha by Longfellow) and named the entire area Keego Harbor.

    With big plans in mind, this future city was going to be a major Oakland County resort/vacation spot. However, these ambitious plans were put on hold indefinitely. Yet, another blow to the area was that despite having the name of Keego Harbor in 1912, this particular spot remained a part of West Bloomfield Township until 1955. On March 25, 1995, Keego Harbor finally became a city.

    1960s to 2000s

    Now an official city, Keego Harbor made a name for itself as not only a tourist attraction and vacation spot, but also as a wonderful place to live. Single-family homes, small lakefront cottages, and amazing apartment complexes steadily increased in numbers.

    Consequently, the population grew; and in the early 2000s, roughly 3,000 people called Keego Harbor home. This overall growth led to more businesses, Keego Harbor parks and rec areas, Keego Harbor restaurants, and an abundance of recreational facilities. What is more, two beach accent points and a boat launch took beach and boat life to the next level.

    In terms of the demographic of Keego Harbor, as time went on, this small town/lake area of Michigan became more diverse. Furthermore, this laidback community also began having a mix of both white-collar and blue-collar workers. Learn more about the history of Cass Lake, Michigan here.

    2001 to Present Day

    Now, this fabulous beach town is home to almost 3,500 people. Nevertheless, present-day Keego Harbor continues to offer a welcoming and close-knit community with almost endless recreational activities.  Thus, if you are moving to a brand new apartment in this city, you will feel at home here in no time at all (learn how to find an apartment in a new city here).

    Moreover, now that you have a better understanding of this lake town’s roots, you will become one of the locals with ease. In the meantime, get ready for life at the lakes and probably the best summers of your life. Checkout all of the free summer activities for kids near Keego Harbor, MI.

    Everyday Life in Keego Harbor

    A quick look at daily life in Keego Harbor will show you a family-friendly community of hard-working individuals who love a good bonfire by the lake. Residents here also do not mind spending their downtime enjoying this city’s sleepy resort-like downtown area. Nights are often spent at fantastic lakefront restaurants and bars. Weekends are spent exploring nature trails, biking paths, museums, local markets, and annual festivals. You can even try your hand at learning to stand-up paddleboard (speaking from experience, it is definitely not as easy as it looks). Of course, if you still need a few more reasons to look forward to apartment living in Keego Harbor, then come out to Cass Lake Front Apartments and see for yourself.

    Exploring Your Community

    By now, you may have noticed that Keego Harbor is quite the place to live. So, take your time moving into your new apartment (here are some tips for moving into an apartment), and when you are ready, hit the town.

    Whether you are about that boat life or not, there is still a wealth of fun waiting just around the corner from your new apartment. For starters, you can take a stroll down memory lane and check out the Orchard Lake Museum. This particular museum allows you to get a close-up to what once was.

    Historical Sites

    Moreover, the Orchard Lake Museum itself is a historical site. Built in 1854, this museum was once the Orchard Lake House, and later the Orchard Lake Hotel. The hotel operated until roughly the late 1930s. At that time, the Orchard Lake City Hall was constructed in place of the 1850’s hotel and is the current structure that houses the museum. As you may recall, West Bloomfield Township and Keego Harbor were once the same; thus, even though this museum is in West Bloomfield, it still highlights the past of this lovely area. Another historical site in the area worth checking out is the Old Indian Trail Historical Landmark.

    Outdoor Recreation & Fitness

    Of course, you can go to the beach and go sailing through the lakes if you so desire, but don’t forget there is more to Keego Harbor’s outdoor recreation than its many lakes. For instance, there are gorgeous outdoor parks, like Fran Leaf Park, Sunset Park, Baxter-Morgan Park, Firefighters Park, and Hester Park. Choose any of these incredible outdoor spaces for a picnic by the pond, a leisurely bike ride, a soccer game, a refreshing swim, or to watch your children play outside for once. Likewise, if you want to maximize your fitness potential on the days you are not outside living your best life, then stop into Bloomfield Fitness for a personal training session or two.


    Finally, if you are a foodie or you have currently been surviving on carry-outs, Keego Harbor has got you covered. There are several restaurants and bars that will satisfy any and all cravings, like the Brewhaus Bar and Grill, The Lodge, Harbor Steak House, Gino’s Restaurant, and Indo. Embrace Nutrition is also a lovely smoothie and energizing tea spot if you are health-conscious with a sweet tooth. Plus, you can drive a few miles towards Orchard Lake Road and dine at J. Alexander’s or grab some freshly prepared goodness from Whole Foods Market.

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