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Hamlin Lake Preservation Society


Protecting Hamlin Lake for Future Generations 

Return to Home Page <<= History <<= 1946

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Mark R. Johnstone, Piney Ridge Road

 My parents bought their property on the west side of Hamlin on Piney Ridge Road in 1946.  We built a modest cottage and spent the summers at the lake with my dad commuting between Chicago and Hamlin on weekends.  We had no car, so the Chicago and North Shore commuter train between Chicago and Milwaukee and the PM car ferries served to make the link.  My dad logged over 1.3 million miles on the steamers under their four of five different owners.

 For groceries, I’d row across Hamlin  Lake to Shellenbager’s at South Bayou for milk and bread.  A year later, Twin Points opened a small grocery shelf at their resort office.  For more substantial items I would get a ride into Ludington on the Hanson’s Evergreen Dairy milk van that used to make the trip out to our side of Hamlin at least twice per week.  The walk back carrying a tote was arduous, but once passed the Lincoln Lake bridge, the load became lighter.  What wonderful memories I have from the days of my youth.

 Back in those good old days, Ludington’s June and early July weather was usually quite rainy and foggy.  And as such, our twin beacons to maritime safety, Ludington and big Point Sauble lighthouses, would put on their dramatic sound show.  Back then, Ludington’s signal consisted of a sequence of six short and gentle Bee-O’s with a seventh Bee-O being ten times the duration of the first six with a long protracted Eeeeee-eeeee-eeee-O in opposition, Sauble, has a lighthouse personified classic signal with a steady Beee-Oooooo.  Its pitch, I’m sure was the lowest on the lakes.  I believe that I once was told that the frequency was 140 HZ on the Bee portion dropping to 60 HZ on the Ooo portion of the signal.

 The joy of all this sound would be the week or longer that these two giants would duel with each other, night and day without a break.  They would drift in and out of sync over a fifteen minute period.  The sound became so comforting that when the sun finally appeared, the silence of the horns was deafening.  But, I am sure that you all remember it in a similar manner.  Oh, to curl up with a book and once again be bathed in that blanket of comforting sound while reading something by Mark Twain.


  Hamlin Lake Preservation Society, PO Box 178, Ludington, MI 49431