A Failed Voyage Aboard the ‘Titanic’ Caused This Sanctuary to Happen: Loda Lake, Michigan
Loda Lake Wildflower Sanctuary is near White Cloud in Newaygo County, and is the only wildflower sanctuary within Michigan's National Forests.
Aside from being a preservation area for wildflowers, plants, pollinators, and wildlife, this was once homeland for two families: the Hansons and the Beers. The two families bought 5,000 acres of this land on Bass Lake back in the early 1900s and the Hansons built a farm that included a house, barn and outer structures. There are also sites of a former 1909 sharecropper garage and 1911 servant's quarters. The remains of many of these 1900s buildings can easily be seen by trail hikers, and you'll see them in the photo gallery below.
Around 1911, the Hansons daughter Marjorie was engaged to Albert Schmidt. Mr. & Mrs. Hanson and Marjorie embarked on an overseas journey to Europe to meet up with Albert. When it was time to head back to the United States, the Hansons and Schmidt were supposed to all meet up one last time. However, Schmidt did not arrive at the planned time and was very late in meeting the family to see them off. Due to his tardiness, the Hansons' ship sailed off without them.
The ship that set sail without the Hansons was the Titanic.
When the Hansons finally did make it back to Michigan, Mr. Hanson had a special art studio built for Schmidt, as a way of thanking him for making them miss the boat!
In 1937, daughter Marjorie sold the property to the Forest Service and the Hansons' land was engulfed as part of the Manistee National Forest. Around the same time, the Garden Clubs of Michigan were scouting for some land where they could start a wildlife preserve.
In the early 1940s, it was decided to change the name of Bass Lake, as Michigan had many, many lakes by the same name. So “Loda Lake” it became (Loda was the wife of Chief Simon Pokagon, chief of the Potawatomi tribe that inhabited the land in the early 1800s). Finally, in 1949, the sanctuary was established. Today, there are many hiking trails that take you past the old buildings and if you dare go further, there is an old school house to see.
Abandoned Farm at Loda Lake
MORE ABANDONED MICHIGAN:
Abandoned Grandparents Trailers, Northern Michigan
Abandoned Stone Building in Bay Shore
Abandoned Trailers in Northern Michigan