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Thread: Idlewild, Michigan

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Northern Michigan
    Posts
    1

    Default Idlewild, Michigan

    Hi all,

    I'm a newbie and stumbled onto this site in a Google search.

    A recent thread on Marlborough, Michigan mentioned Idlewild and I wanted to start this thread because it is an absolutely fascinating place, both to visit and to read about.

    Idlewild is near Marlborough and is not a true ghost town although much of what is left of it is abandoned. It was at one time one of the premier black resorts in the country and one of the few places African Americans could go on vacation in the summer back in the 1930's - 40's and not be discriminated against.

    It was so popular that it hosted big name black entertainers of the time such as Sammy Davis Jr, Louis Armstrong and heavyweight champ Joe Louis.

    The town was built around a local lake and extended for 2-3 miles in all directions and included many motels, cabins, clubs, recreation areas and private homes.

    On US-10 just East of Baldwin can be seen many of the abandoned motels and other stores and buildings...all easily accessible and offering terrific photographic opportunites.

    A few years ago, I believe the discovery channel did a special on the history of Idlewild which brought the area some brief national attention but it died out quickly and the place remains virtually the same as it has been since 1940's.

    Idlewild is a MUST SEE for anyone visiting Michigan looking for ghost towns.

    I have some pics and will post a few when I can.

    Cheers,
    Jim

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    119

    Default

    I had the post about Marlborough. The wife snapped a few pics of Idlewild. I will scan them in and post them when I get a chance soon.

    I spotted a book in Barnes & Noble about Idlewild. I hope to pick it up in the future.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    4

    Default

    I saw a documentary on Idlewild on I believe a Michigan public TV station when I was living in Michigan a few years ago. I thought they mentioned that Ophrah had bought some land in Idlewild...perhaps on the lake...and I thought there might have been a revitalization of the area.

    There was a movie that came out in the last few months which I believe was about Idlewild's hey-day. The name of the movie, not surprisingly, is "Idlewild".

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0417225/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    119

    Default

    I know there are a couple books out about the town I have seen in Barnes & Noble.

    IIRC, the movie really didn't have anything to do with the town here in MI. As a matter of fact, I think it comes out on DVD Tues.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Now that I look at it is appears that this movie takes place in the South. I had assumed that it would capitalize on what I thought was renewed intereste in Idlewild, Michigan.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    119

    Default

    Went there today along with Marlborough. I will start a new thread with some of my pics from both.

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