Hiawatha Sportsman's Club History
As these men explored the lands by visiting the property, traveled on a few trails which were available and under rough going, believed there was a great future for a limited number of people to enjoy.
They set out upon a program to organize a Club which would be different from anything before attempted. It was to be built as a community where nature could be utilized to its fullest. On this property there was found frontage on lakes, streams, and Lake Michigan.
The first land was acquired through the efforts of Dr. William E. McNamara, from the Fiborn Land company, through it's representative, a Mr. Rose. This land included an area on Millecoquins Lake known as Idlewild Resort, which included five cabins. This was near our present Recreation Building.
By April 1930, approximately 500 memberships had been sold. Construction was about to begin on the first 25 cabins.
To reach the Club by car from lower Michigan, one had to cross the Straits of Mackinac on the railroad ferry, Chief Wawatan, then travel on dirt roads from St. Ignace on old U.S. 2, now known as the Hiawatha Trail, to the Club.
Hard times were endured through the 1932 - 1934 Depression. As time passed and the economy became better, we broke Attendance Records in 1941.
1943 we experienced our worst forest fire. Forty men fought the fire for several days. After two rains, the fire was out, but only after burning over three hundred acres.
Some highlights from "Our First Fifty Years"
For a full account of the Club's History please ask about our books: "Our First Fifty Years" and "Into the Millennium"
Historical Pageant of Hiawatha Sportsman's Club 1927-1952
|And years ago the Indians|
Enjoyed this selfsame land
They hunted, fished or loafed around-
A life Hiawathians understand.
They roamed the forests all day long
When night came on, they made "Pow Wow"
And little chiefs and some big chiefs
Won most appropriate names somehow.
|White fishermen were soon here too|
Their nets always repairing
To catch the white fish and lake trout
And also lots of herring.
In scowlike boats they sailed about
Or docked to pack their fishes
In kegs of salt to keep them fresh
For far away folks dishes.