I was curious about the name “Charlevoix”, so I put the word in a translator – from French to English.....And it came back “Charlevoix”. Oh, well.....

I'm sure it has some kind of meaning, but in this case, I guess it's just a name. To be exact, the last name of a French explorer, Pierre François Xavier de Charlevoix. Pierre was born in 1682 and came to this area in the 1700s. He was a French Jesuit priest whose humanitarian acts impressed and brought him much appreciation and respect...and eventually the area was named after him in 1836, seventy five years after he passed away.

We know Charlevoix as a great summer getaway location, but how did it get that way? In a nutshell, when the Civil War came to a close, Charlevoix was visited by some businessmen from Chicago. They loved the area so much, they formed kind of a 'summer vacation' club, a place where people could live and engage in a myriad of activities. The club was dubbed “The Chicago Club” and visitors came from all over, traveling by train, steamship, autos, horse & buggy...whatever mode of travel they had.

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More clubs popped up, and sure enough, the area's popularity reached the ears of Chicago's gang members. It was a perfect place to set up their activities during Prohibition with gambling parlors and hidden drinking establishments. A barge that was transformed into a floating speakeasy traveled to and from Charlevoix and Boyne City along Lake Michigan, with the guests treated in style. Naturally, the most fun was had during the summer months.

Over time, Prohibition went away as did the mob, but the summer fun continued. Old and new generations kept coming to enjoy the summer homes and beaches, and they still do to this day.

FAST FACTS:
America's first nuclear plant, "Big Rock",  was located in Charlevoix from 1962-1971.
The famous “gnome homes” or “mushroom houses” bring tourists all year long.

Take a roadtrip to Charlevoix if you haven't in a while...now look at the gallery below of some vintage Charlevoix photos, going back to the early 1900s!

Vintage Photos of Charlevoix

MORE VINTAGE PHOTOS!

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Miscellaneous Lansing, 1870s-1960s

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