Dave Norris and Mike Elsner have done posts on the Big Bass Lake Boat Graveyard but the graveyard that represents Camp Sauble has farm implements and if only they could talk. Much of what went on at Camp Sauble had to do with horticulture. But what exactly was Camp Sauble? It was part of the Michigan Penal System but for men that were due to be released in the near future.
Camp Sauble was originally opened as a prison camp in 1960. Sitting on 40 acres of State-owned land, Camp Sauble had a maximum capacity of 156 prisoners and employed 31 staff members (not including medical staff). Among the programs offered were group psychotherapy, substance-abuse treatment, job skills, and Alcoholics Anonymous. It was located about two miles due east of Free Soil.
My initial reaction was that this was a kids camp when I first passed it by. In a sense perhaps it was as it was often referred to as The Ice Cream Camp. It was so-called because a nearby ice cream plant donated ice cream to Camp Sauble.
It has been closed for several years now and the town of Free Soil has yet to determine what the facility will be used for in the future. Perhaps a resort or maybe even a kids wilderness camp since it is located in the heart of the Manistee National Forest.
Yet I do wonder what tales the specters of that farm implements graveyard could tell us about Camp Sauble. Yes, I do wonder?