Thumb Throwback – Pointe aux Barques in 1900


The year is 1912. The Titanic sunk on her maiden voyage after colliding with an iceberg in April. New Mexico and Arizona are admitted as states and William H. Taft is president. After a long train ride from Detroit your looking for a place to get your family away from the hot smelly city in the summer. The air is fresh and you can smell the open water of Lake Huron nearby. This place has potential.


The following excerpt was taken from a publication issued in 1912 to prospective buyers of cottage estates at the elite Pointe aux Barques resort located at the very tip of Michigan’s Thumb. Started in 1896 it remains an exclusive resort community for over 100 years.


Summer Social Companionship

Point Aux BeachIt was in 1896 that the Pointe aux Barques Resort was formed having for its purpose the upbuilding of a family resort where community of interests would lead to the most delightful of social companionship the summer of life with nature. The spot is ideal for the purpose The air is clear and bracing the temperature at all seasons from early summer till late fall its delightful the waters are warm on the shallow bathing beach and health cannot escape pointcottageWithin a few hours ride of the populous cities of southern Michigan it is easy of access and the train service is specially arranged to meet the convenience of the residents Two trains reach the Pointe every week day Detroit afternoon papers are delivered the same day of issue and the convenience of thus being in touch with the metropolis is evident


Immunity from the Undesirable

turnip rockThe Pointe is unique in one particular No excursions or excursionists are ever seen there The Pointe aux Barques Land Company controls or owns the land available for picnic purposes and the cottagers are thus guaranteed immunity from the undesirable element which too often mars the pleasure of an otherwise ideal summer home spot.

Many handsome summer homes have been erected the pride of the point cottageresidents has been to build nothing that was not substantial and architecturally pleasing And in keeping with the spirit of the residents the Company itself has been content with nothing but the best in the way of improvements The resort is platted with an eye to beauty of surroundings rather than to economy of land the streets are winding and picturesque and the walks are well laid and kept up.


The Hotel

point ClubFor the accommodation of transients a hotel was built and the plans were carefully followed out in every detail of comfort and convenience The old colonial style of architecture was followed and the building which is 142 feet long by 40 feet wide and three stories in height is the picture of comfort. A veranda sixteen feet wide surrounds the east and north sides of the building affording a cool lounging place The house is finished in white pine with hardwood floors A wide fireplace in the spacious lobby encloses a cheerful fire point club2on chilly days or evenings and grates are fixed on the several floors in which fires are kindled as occasion demands The dining room is spacious having seating capacity for three hundred guests and the ladies parlor gentlemen’s smoking room lavatory toilet rooms kitchens store rooms etc are all on the first floor The sleeping rooms on the second and third floors are spacious well lighted and ventilated and there are bathrooms and toilet rooms on each floor A perfect system of plumbing is one of the sanitary features.


Water Quality, Then as Now

pointcaveThe Company has been at great expense in perfecting the sewerage system expert engineers having been employed and a large amount of work done which insures a perfect system The sewage is carried into the waters of Saginaw lay while the water supply is secured from the cool depths of Alaska Bay the Pointe lying between and the outlet of the sewer being far removed from the intake of the water crib.


Private Golf Links

As at all resorts worthy the name Pointe aux Barques has a most excellent golf course and the links are open to the use of all guests at point turnipthe hotel There are nine holes in the course and the naturally favorable lay of the ground has been artificially improved by the erection of hazards and bunkers until the course is pronounced one of the finest in the state To the golf enthusiasts this means a great deal and it is with much pleasure that the Company calls attention to the excellent schedule of events for the season of 1912 in weather which is uncomfortable for outdoor sports the bowling alley and billiard Point Aux Lightroom at the hotel present an indoor attraction which is greatly appreciated. Connected with the hotel by a covered passageway the bowling alley is convenient and comfortable and the ladies find as much pleasure in the contests of skill as do the gentlemen This is the favorite amusement of the younger boys and girls and while their elders are struggling around the links chasing the elusive little white ball the youngsters make merry on the alleys There is matching the summer resident likes so much as a place which combines the features of being easy of access and yet exclusive Pointe aux Barques combines these two features perfectly The care which has been taken to keep out the undesirable excursion crowds has been before spoken of The ease with which the Pointe is reached by rail will be appreciated.

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