Earl Young - His Life and Legacy

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Charlevoix Courier, July 10, 1974

'Charlevoix the Beautiful'

EDITOR'S NOTE: Earl A. Young, Charlevoix realtor, is known around the world for his many contributions to Charlevoix. He is about to publish a lengthy book concerning his involvement in Charlevoix during the last 70 years and has offered Charlevoix Courier readers the first chapter of his new book, "Charlevoix the Beautiful." This is first time any portion of the book has appeared in print.


Before the beginning of time, there was a vision, dreaming, and planning for the Master's drawing board to be set up for creation, with all eternity to complete the work. The advance and retreat of the last glacial age of 10,000 years ago became a tool which tore away great quantities of material, great cliffs of stone, and shoved ahead to gouge out future landscapes. And in this way, Michigan was formed with its north and south ridges and valleys, with its varied-sized lakes and streams, leaving our own immediate area uniquely different from any place else -- situated not back on a deep bay away from the blue waters of Lake Michigan and not in an unprotected place, but with the indentation of the big lake shoreline broken only by a winding stream, widening to a jewel-like, land-locked, deep water right up to the shoreline harbor of Round Lake. What tool, what revolving force could have been used to create this, the only spot of its kind, and with only much shallower water less than a quarter of a mile on each side. A perfectly round hole which even today has over 50 feet of water with evidence that in ages past it was at least 80 feet deep. Round Lake really is round except when a few hundred or a thousand years ago a part of the southwest brim caved in at the east end of Antrim Street.

Continuing on into Pine Lake (Lake Charlevoix) - the two arms of the lake have many points and bays and the wooded beauty of 50 miles of additional shoreline which is occasionally broken by several streams; the most important of these are the Jordan River which is navigable for a few miles and has extensive water sheds,and the Boyne River. Many other streams empty into the shoreline. There also is the abundance of pure, clear, cold water from artesian wells.

Charlevoix is also in an area free from floods, earthquakes, cyclone, and tornado menace. Warm days and cool nights in the summer, with 60 miles of water-washed air coming across the blue waters of Lake Michigan. All of this makes for an ideal climate in the temperate zone just a few miles north of the 45th parallel, halfway between the Equator and the North Pole, a zone which is favored by an average of ten gorgeous displays each year of the phenomena of the Northern Lights. Our winter weather is cold and invigorating with ample snow for all winter sports, but the intense cold is tempered by the lake so we are usually 10 degrees warmer than Chicago, 400 miles to the southwest, and unusually warmer than Detroit 300 miles to the southeast. This is a stage setting with a backdrop of ever-changing greens from the dark pines to the varied light shades of green of other foliage in the spring, deepening through the summer to the gorgeous display of autumn, equaled only in one or two other sections of the nation; the everchanging shades of blues of our lakes and magnificent sunsets over Lake Michigan with the even more glorious sunrises over Lake Charlevoix if one would just get up in time to see them.

The early pioneers had no aerial view of the beauty. Maps of Michigan 150 years ago furnished no accurate details, yet as the pioneers discovered this location they had no desire to seek any other spots in which to make a home. This same feeling was experienced in 1878 by the early founders of what is now the Belvedere Club, and in 1880 by the initial group of wealthy, influential Chicago people in their selection for the Chicago Club resort. These two restricted areas with their permanency, always have been a most valued part of Charlevoix's resort history.

The Mound Builders were here centuries before the pioneers and it is regrettable that much of the evidence around Bay Shore and other close-by locations was destroyed by the early settlers who did not realize what they were doing. However, we are not concerned in this book with the history of the Mound Builders and shall leave that to the historians. Originally, most of this area of Michigan was controlled by the Ottawa tribe who came west and separated themselves from the Algonquins of the eastern seaboard. Again, we are not attempting to write Indian history but know that the Ottawas made a treaty with the Government at Washington and supposedly sold all of their claims at 14 cents an acre. The Indians are still waiting for their money.