Some Things Remain Nearly The Same at Camp Martin Johnson


This is the road that leads to the old CMJ infirmary. It is now called Homestead Circle Road but I’d wager the road looks just about the same when CMJ was operational. But aside from the tennis and basketball courts, little else is recognizable about the former camp that ceased operations in the late 1970’s.

That is unless permission is granted to tour the now privately owned Four Winds Island which largely remains the same as in the days of the camp.  Graffiti is still found on the walls of the cottages of that island from campers and staff alike. 

The dirt road also has appeal especially since the full course around Big Bass Lake has been paved for years now.  For a time the section around Lakeview Cemetery and the camp was unpaved.  Sadly even the nameplate on the burial site of camp founder, Martin Johnson, as been removed and only a boulder marks his grave. 

For the man who wanted his land to remain a camp forever, he was betrayed by the Hyde Park YMCA for many youth organizations in Michigan could have made use of that land for a summer camp.  Johnson’s house is now a Heritage Museum in nearby Irons, Michigan, at the entrance to Skinner Park. 

If you want to locate traces of Camp Martin Johnson they are strewn all about with the exception of this dirt road leading into camp.  Yes, some things DO remain the same!

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