Park Lake Beach & Recreation Area: Bath, Michigan – Early 1900s
In the 1890's, Park Lake in Bath became one of THE places to go for summer recreation. Many folks in the Lansing area traveled on Lansing's public tram system out to Bath for boating, swimming, fishing and having picnics.
Because it was so popular, it was expanded in the early 1920's to include the Park Lake Dance Hall - built on pilings right over the water - which brought in many of the big music acts of the time, including Tommy Dorsey's orchestra. Once the Dance Hall's popularity spread, more & more people began showing up, including riff-raff...and during the 1930's the hall caught fire and was destroyed.
I'm surprised no enterprising videographer has volunteered to dive into Park Lake and get some images!
Some folks feel some trouble-makers may have accidentally caused the fire while others claim it was burned down for the insurance, or simply carelessness & neglect on the part of employees. Currently, an ice cream place sits on the beach near the dance hall's former location, while the Park Lake Beach picnic shelter sits at one end of the land where the old dance hall used to stand.
The old resort and pavilion are gone but you can still enjoy ice cream, the beach, picnicking, boating and swimming at Park Lake beach. Whether it's summer or winter, you can still enjoy the park: swimming in summer, and ice fishing contests in winter!
The gallery below shows the beach as it looked over 100 years ago, the old dock from the 1920s, and a few other old photos.
Park Lake Resort & Beach, Bath
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