Michago

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Michago is a private property in the U.S. state of Michigan along the east side of Lake Michigan between White Lake and Benona Shores at the intersection of Webster Drive and Scenic Drive in Oceana County, which is divided into numerous lots containing houses and cabins that are used mainly as vacation destinations.


Image:Michago-sign-Sept2011-by-DanielJMcKeown-850w.jpg


Image:MichagoBeach_by_EllenMcKeown_copyright2007.jpg

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Image:Michago-2008-byDanielJMcKeown-2532241863 916a6caa53.jpg

Image:LakeMichigan-2008-byDanielJMcKeown-2542782681 20038dbc67.jpg


Image:Family-at-Michago--2008--byDanielJMcKeown--P1110967.JPG

Michael Blecha and his daughter Tricia with their dog Sugar, and Joseph and Patricia Chaput on the porch at their cottage, summer 2008


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Contents


Michago Beach Estates

Michago is on 73 acres near Lake Michigan, divided into numerous properties with cabins and beach houses. The full name of the area is Michago Beach Estates.

Being located right on the coast of the lake in western Michigan, Michago is well positioned to feel the benefits of favorable geography. As weather systems tend to move from west to east, propelled by the jet stream, the unique north-south alignment of Lake Michigan makes its east coast (the western Michigan side) a land of beautifully sandy and accessible beaches up and down that side of the lake. The winters are extreme (as in the rest of Michigan), but during the summertime the cool breezes off the lake and the fresh summer air make the region highly attractive for vacationing.

The major town to the north is Ludington, while the largest nearby center to the south is Muskegon. Smaller towns in the area are listed in the nearby communities section.

Michago evolved during the 20th Century from farmland next to dunes alongside the lake in the early years of the 1900s to the vacation escape that it had become by the 1980s. Today it continues to serve as a destination for several families during the summer, the older generations of whom still remember much of the place’s history.


EDITOR’S NOTE: Patricia Chaput, one of the founders of Michago and my Grandmother, helped create and refine the Timeline section.


Timeline

1921: Father Furman would take a cruise from Chicago occasionally right into White Lake–on one visit he found and bought a house in Montague. That is where Elizabeth Furman & Albert Furman had their honeymoon–and also on that trip came ‘Uncle Eddie,’ Uncle Mike and Fr. Furman (and the cook was already at the house, preparing for the guests). On the trip to Chicago, they left at 6 a.m. and it took until 2 a.m. the next morning.

c. 1929: After driving around the area, Fr. Furman purchases farmland which included an old house, chicken coop, wood shed, and a barn on the property, as well as lakefront.

c. 1930: Fr. Furman dies, leaving the house to his brother John and the rest of the land to John and various nieces and nephews.

1931: The wedding of Ed and Pearl is held at a Church in Montague. Patricia Chaput, 4 years old at the time, and cousin Charlotte were flower girls. Dinner was then held at the Colonial Inn hotel in Whitehall, then the party went back to Michago. In a time before electricity in the area, light was provided for the reception held in the field outside the house by circling the cars and turning the headlights on. Every radio was tuned to the same station so everyone would dance.

1934: Albert Furman acquired John Furman’s piece of land from his mother as he bought the property piece by piece from his cousins.

1930’s and 40’s: Visiting frequently with his wife Elizabeth, son Albert (Bud) and daughter Patricia as well as many friends, Albert modernizes the old house when electricity came to the area by the lake. Water was still brought up by bucket from a fresh water spring down the hill near the beach. Cooking continued on the old wood stove, until purchased by Quinn Sutton in the 1980s from Dan Kyter.

1946: Albert builds the big house, currently blue, on the foundation of the old barn.

1959: Albert Furman dies. In 1961, Elizabeth Furman puts the property up for sale for $65,000.

c. 1963: Chaputs and Nickels and Dieschbourgs form a corporation and purchase the property for $55,000, planning on subdividing and selling lots.
The families share the houses with an eye to building their own in the future.

c. 1963: The partners built a small cottage on the bluff for rental, called the Juneau.

c. 1963: Next door to the Juneau, a larger cottage was built for rent (and the owners’ use) called the Olso.

1964: The “Beaver” was built by the entrance to the property for use and rentals.

c. 1965: Nickels buy the big house for $16,000.

c. 1966: Tom Dieschbourg builds his house on the beach.

1967: Joe Chaput builds his cottage on the bluff with the help of 3 summer apprentices and his sons, Peter and John.

c. 1969: purchase of Annex Cottage, the house next to the Chaputs, built by John Lulich, who had decided to move to Wyoming.

1981: Chaput Beach house built before a law forbidding the building of such types of lakeside cottages goes into effect in the state of Michigan.

1980s: Lake Michigan’s level rises, badly damaging a few of the beach houses and requiring rebuilding.

c. 2006 Old house dating back to the pre-Michago days is torn down and a new house is built on the lot.



notable properties at Michago


The Beach House

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The Cottage

Image:The-bluff-house-at-Michago-Sept-11-2011-by-DanielJMcKeown-700w.jpg


Image:Cottage-on-the-bluff--Michago-2008-byDanielJMcKeown-2545861274 11f7c0b1fc.jpg


The Annex

Image:Annex-at-Michago-Michigan-Sept2011-by-DanielJMcKeown-700w.jpg


Image:The-Annex-at-Michago---500w--byDanielJMcKeown.jpg



roads inside Michago


Michago Drive

Image:Michago-Drive-Michigan--July-2010--160-by-DanielJMcKeown-798w.jpg

Michago Drive is the main (north-south) dirt road running into Michago that connects to the paved county streets Scenic Drive and Webster Road.


Sunset Drive

Image:Sunset-Drive-at-MIchago-Michigan--July-2010--165-by-DanielJMcKeown-1000w.jpg

Sunset Drive is the road that runs parallel to but west of Michago Drive and runs into Toboggan Drive–along it are the sites of the old houses like the “big house” from the Albert Furman era. (see timeline)


Toboggan Drive

Toboggan Drive is the dirt road that crosses Michago Drive and runs east-west down along the creek to Surfside Drive.

Image:Toboggan-Drive-Michago-Michigan-Sept2011-by-DanielJMcKeown.jpg


Surfside Drive

Surfside Drive runs north-south along the lake; it is the dirt road along which the beach houses are built. It crosses Toboggan Drive

Image:Surfside-Drive-Michago-Michigan-Sept2011-by-DanielJMcKeown-700w.jpg


Furman Drive

Image:Furman-Drive-at-Michago-July2010-by-DanielJMcKeown-500w.jpg


nearby bodies of water


Lake Michigan

Image:Lake-Michigan-byDanielJMcKeown-P1100373.JPG


White Lake

Image:WhiteLake-2008-byDanielJMcKeown-2543687912 a8828fc1ef.jpg


White River

Image:White-River--Michigan-July2010-by-DanielJMcKeown-800w.jpg


Stony Lake

Image:Stony-Lake-Michigan--July-2010--17-by-DanielJMcKeown--750w.jpg


Silver Lake

Image:SilverLake-2008-byDanielJmcKeown-2543607158 ba68bed627.jpg


Crystal Lake

Image:Crystal-Lake-Michigan--July-2010--43-by-DanielJMcKeown-800w.jpg


Pentwater Lake

Image:Pentwater-Lake--Michigan-July2010-by-JessicaMcKeown-1000w.jpg



nearby communities

South

Whitehall and Montague are both situated on White Lake.

North

Claybanks is the township of Oceana County that includes Michago

Stony Lake (the town) is a small village on Stony Lake that is part of Benona Shores

Silver Lake (the town) is set right along Silver Lake

Pentwater is a town along Pentwater Lake

East

Shelby is a farming community

Rothbury

New Era


Montague

Image:Montague-Michigan-July2010-by-DanielJMcKeown-800w.jpg


Whitehall

Image:Whitehall-Michigan--July-2010--69-by-DanielJMcKeown-800w.jpg


Benona Shores

Image:Jessica-at-BenonaShores-Golf-Course-2008-byDanielJMcKeown-2545033129 eed093d8e7.jpg



Claybanks

Image:Claybanks-Township-Michigan-6-15-2008-byDanielJMcKeown.jpg

Claybanks Township is a civil township of Oceana County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 831 at the 2000 census.
source: en.wikipedia.org



Stony Lake (the town)

Image:Town-of-Stony-Lake-Michigan--July-2010--12-by-DanielJMcKeown-800w.jpg



Silver Lake (the town)

Image:Town-of-Silver-Lake--Michigan-July2010-by-DanielJMcKeown-800w.jpg



Pentwater

Image:Pentwater-Michigan-July2010-by-DanielJMcKeown-880w.jpg



Shelby

Image:Shelby-Michigan-July2010-by-DanielJMcKeown-800w.jpg

is a village in Oceana County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 1,914 at the 2000 census. The village is located within Shelby Township. (source: en.wikipedia.org 12/12/2007)



Rothbury

Image:Rothbury-Michigan--July-2010--172-by-JessicaMcKeown--750w.jpg



New Era

Image:New-Era-Michigan--July-2010--176-by-JessicaMcKeown-750w.jpg



Hart

Image:Hart-Historic-District--Michigan--July-2010--36-by-DanielJMcKeown-750w.jpg

Hart Historic District



western Michigan lighthouses


White River Light Station

Image:White-Lake-Lighthouse-Michigan--July-2010--77-by-DanielJMcKeown-700w.jpg

(Sometimes referred to as the White Lake Lighthouse, the station is currently an historic site.)


Silver Lake lighthouse

Image:Silver-Lake-Lighthouse--Michigan--July-2010--25-by-DanielJMcKeown-700w.jpg


Ludington lighthouse

Image:Ludington-Lighthouse--Michigan-July2010-by-DanielJMcKeown-800w.jpg



maps


map of the region

Image:OceanaCountyMichigan.jpg

(Michago is west of Rothbury)


map of Michigan

Image:Michigan-map-via-Google-Maps.jpg

(Michago is north of Muskegon along the Lake Michigan coastline)




Links

related items on the web:

–The Michago.com home page from John Chaput

–Daniel J. McKeown’s Michago 2008 post on pacificpelican.us and gallery from 2010 on sf3am.com


Feedback

If you have documents or photography that you would like to share on this wiki, send an email to michago -at- sf3am.com.

Please only send contributions that you own and that you are willing to share on this wiki. Please note what license (copyright all rights reserved, Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike 2.0 or later, etc.)

This page (http://sf3am.com/wiki/index.php?title=Michago) is edited by Daniel J. McKeown



Photos

Image:Dinner-at-Grandma-and-Grandpas--atMichago--6-15-2008-Michigan.jpg


Image:The-Beach-House-at-Michago--6-15-2008-Michigan-byDanielJMcKeown.jpg


Image:Apple-at-Michago-Michigan-Sept2011-by-DanielJMcKeown.jpg


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Image:Southward-view-from-beachhouse-at-Michago-Michigan-Sept2011-by-DanielJMcKeown-500w.jpg Image:BeachHouse-northward-view-Michago--2008-byDanielJMcKeown-2545953732 c1229dfb00.jpg


Image:Cattage-view-Michago--2008-byDanielJMcKeown--2545955414 17ca321d52.jpg
Image:Michago-distant-view-byDanielJMcKeown-2008-2543314211 43898604b8.jpg


Image:Michago-sunset--byDanielJMcKeown-2008-P1100339.JPG


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