Lookout Inn – Spruce

I found a reference in The Cass City Chronicle, for March 8, 1940, that there were three ski tows in lower Michigan: at Cadillac (Caberfae?), Petoskey (Petoskey Winter Sports Park?) and in Alpena. I was unaware of any prewar skiing in the Alpena area. I contacted the Alpena Public Library for help and Bob Lyngos in Special Collections was kind enough to send me 8 great pictures of early skiing in the area just south of Alpena which he guesses date from 1949. That is 9 years later than the statement about the tow, but still earlier than anything I knew about in East Michigan.

The pictures; from The Alpena News Collection,  Alpena County George N. Fletcher Public Library, Special Collections; show people skiing, riding a tow rope and working on the tow equipment at a place apparently known as Lookout Inn near Spruce.

Riding the Tow at Lookout Inn

Riding the Tow at Lookout Inn

Skiing at Lookout Inn

Skiing at Lookout Inn

Skiing at Lookout Inn

Skiing at Lookout Inn

Soaring at Lookout Inn

Soaring at Lookout Inn

Working on the Tow at Lookout Inn

Working on the Tow at Lookout Inn

More Skiing at Lookout Inn

More Skiing at Lookout Inn

Working on the Tow at Lookout Inn

Working on the Tow at Lookout Inn

Looking Out Over the Slopes at Lookout Inn

Looking Out Over the Slopes at Lookout Inn

Today, near Spruce, on US-23 south of Ossineke, there is a restaurant on the east side of the road called Rosa’s Lookout Inn. Across the road is a hilly area with a lookout tower part-way up the hill. It is private property with a couple houses on the hill, but brush and trees have been cleared and it may be the remains of the slopes shown in the photos.

I do not know if the current restaurant is related to the 1949 Lookout Inn pictures (no buildings or towers are shown in the photos), nor do I know if the Lookout Inn pictures are related to the article about a rope tow near Alpena in 1940.

If you have any information about tow-served skiing near Alpena in the pre-war or early post-war period, please post it or send it to us via the instructions on the About MILSAP page.

Advertisements

One Response to Lookout Inn – Spruce

  1. Merry Lou Loyer says:

    In the 60s my parents owned Look Out Inn across from where Babe and Paul Bunyan were located. There was no tow or anything at the old ski area, but my brother used to carry his skis across the road and walk back to the hills and ski.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s