Haslett's beginnings go back to the 1840s when the swampy surroundings of Pine Lake (later Lake Lansing) were inhabited by 35 farmer families and a one-room schoolhouse.

In 1879 it became a postal station under the name “Pine Lake P.O.”. That same year, Lansing's urban trolley system began bringing people out to Pine Lake for recreation, It was also a resort area for Spiritualists, founded by James Haslett. Around the first day of fall in 1890, it was re-named Haslett Park; five years later, the “Park” was dropped and it was known as just 'Haslett' from then on.

When James passed away, his wife Sarah donated the land to the Haslett Park Association which didn't take long for a full-fledged amusement park to pop up. There was a merry-go-round, roller coaster, tilt-a-whirl and other amusements.

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In the 1870s the Pine Lake House hotel was built but burned down in the 1920s. It was re-constructed as the Dells Ballroom and became so popular, people from all around Michigan and even out of state came to enjoy the dances and other 'things' they had going on there. Rumors flew about some big name gangsters of the time that came and visited the Dell: Al Capone (of course), Mickey Cohen, and Baby Face Nelson among them.

After Pine Lake's name was changed to Lake Lansing in 1930, over the next 100 years Haslett really expanded and continues to thrive. Even though the area is sprinkled with many modern buildings, you can see some old original structures from over 100 years ago if you head east on Haslett Road from Marsh Road.

PHOTOS OF OLD HASLETT AND PINE LAKE (LAKE LANSING) PARK

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