Loon Lake Magic

Loon Lake is just down a hill from Big Bass Lake yet this other lake has a magic all its own. For those that once lived on that lake in the 1950’s and 60’s, at night they were treated to the theatre organ music of the Loon Lake Pavilion. From almost anywhere on that lake you could make out the bright colors from that facility in the evening.

I’v always thought of Loon Lake as more of a fishing lake than a recreational lake. I’ve seen a lot of fishermen out there at almost any time of the day but precious few doing things like water skiing. Between it and Big Bass Lake it was the quieter of he two and that’s not all bad.

Without the constant flow of speedboats crusing around, Loon Lake residents can enjoy the peaceful serenity of their lake. For about half its length, a winding road follows its shoreline. For those that live on this lake, let us know a little something more about life on Loon Lake by way of a comment.

2 thoughts on “Loon Lake Magic

  1. In regards to Loon Lake, it was my Summer Home from 1955 to the early 2000’s. In fact the picture above is from our property on the hill across from the rink. I’m not sure who got the word that Otto Bartlett owned the roller rink, but from the time I started there in 1960 to the time the Westman’s lost in in taxes, it was owned by Lloyd and Jean Westman. If it was a dance pavilion before, my time, I don’t go back that far. Although Otto has been gone for a good many years and I was too young to attend, I was at Ruth’s funeral in Vicksburg, Michigan, and had the pleasure of working with Dixie at Kalamazoo Valley Community College before we lost her to breast cancer. I also attended her funeral. Dixie’s brother, Bruce, I no longer have any idea where he is, nor his son, Neil. As teens, Neil and I used to fish together, he’d walk over to Loon Lake from Ruth & Otto’s home after they moved out of the store, on Big Bass, and we’d get into there family canoe where he always managed to roll it in reasonbly shallow water so that we had to swim and dive to bring our tackle, rods, et al, back to shore. Neil would be in his mid-to-late 50’s now, Bruce in his 80’s and I don’t know where any other family is. If my pictures weren’t packed away to move, I’d post one of the Loon Lake Roller Rink during the 70’s and 80’s. If anyone wants to be in touch, they’re welcome to holler. As for Loon Lake being a “quieter” lake than Big Bass, I was one of the MANY water skiiers who had to zig-zag around the point from the Rink side, which shallowed out then dropped off, and the shallow side in the water below our property. There was a time when trying to get to sleep at night I’d go around the lake in my mind from the entrance of what is now Maple Street, to the end where there was a 3 cottage resort owned by Geno and Verna Bartoletti. They had 3 kids, 2 gals and a son, who I stay in touch with along with Verna. The issue of building the “mansions” on the lakes I agree with with a very sad heart. That’s the reason I have trouble going back for any reason, except to put flowers on graves of many dear friends… more friends than my home town of Portage, MI. What memories you’ve opened. Good ones. Dave Morris, if you’re not able to keep this going, I hope someone does… it has been the brightest light in my life that changed greatly since leaving the wonderful great times of Loon Lake and Big Bass Lake.


  2. P.S. To whomever referred to Loon Lake as magic, you are oh so right. “Back when” it was the sanctuary that my heart breaks now to see what has happened to it. And I did go fishing with my folks often, and particularly with Dad in the evening hours where we casted our hula poppers out at the end of the lake where the 3 roads came together and most of the lily pads where to be thrilled to bring in a bass for dinner the next night.
    Water skiing kinda went away when the ski-doo’s took over the lake, while Lake County had a set of rules for water safety and protocal, as with driving a car, they were followed reverently until the ski-doos boats and scooters took over and did as they pleased. It was no longer safe to water ski. Loon Lake can never be “home” again.


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