My special place is Rainbow and Reed Lakes in Baldwin Michigan. I spent many of my pre-teen and teenage summers there at my aunt and uncle's cottage.
Their first cottage was a small rental located on Rainbow Lake. It was on a narrow dirt road which was really not much more than a path. We did not have "indoor facilities" if you know what I mean. In the later years they built their own cottage and we had an indoor commode, however we still did not have a bathtub or shower and so we continued to bathe in the lake.
There was no mail delivery and we walked miles each day through the woods to a small market to buy the daily newspaper. Our days were filled with walks around the lake, listening to 45 rpm records on our portable record player, fishing for Blue Gill and bonfires on the beach at night.
Baldwin Michigan is located in the northwestern area of the lower Michigan peninsula. The 2000 census shows Baldwin has a whopping 1,100 residents. It basically remains a summer tourist town with the Shrine of the Pines and Jones Ice Cream shop being the main attractions. I fell in love with mint chip ice cream because of Jones homemade ice cream.
My last visit to Baldwin was with my girls in the late 1980's, at that time it hadn't changed much from my summers there as a kid. I noticed that there were a few paved roads and the cottages had started to receive mail delivery. I had also noticed that the lake water level had dropped remarkably so there was more beach but that could have been a seasonal fluke.
Memories of Baldwin will always be special to me and that picture in my living room is a constant reminder of those carefree days on Rainbow Lake.
Is there a special place from your childhood? Tell me where that place is and why, have you ever returned?