Big Star Lake Hotel
Hotel History, Pictures, & stories


The Hotel, which is no longer in existence, had an interesting past with various owners.  The first owners from what I have found were Elmer G. and Mary E. Smith whom I located in the 1910 Census of Lake Township, Lake County, Michigan. Elmer is listed as “Landlord” of “Hotel”.   Living with them is Elmer’s Mother in Law with the last name of Shively(spelling?), I can not make out the spelling of the first name.  The 1900 and 1890 Census no longer exist for Michigan so I could not go back further in time.  However going forward in time we have the 1920 Census, also of Lake Twp., Lake Co., MI.   No one is living with Elmer and Mary at that time, and their names are listed as “Keeper – Summer Resort”.   Census of 1930 Elmer G. Smith is “Resort Keep – Summer Resort” and Mary E. Smith.   Henry Shively(sp?), Elmer’s Brother in law was living with them, and listed as a “laborer – Road Construction”. 

Wayne and Peg McKinney, who also owned Canterbury Park , and the land and cottages that extended to the south of the hotel, were the next owners.  In the fall of 1955 The hotel was then purchased by Stanley & Mary Czuchna.  More stories, and also one about Al Capone as a regular guest at the Hotel, you can find on as told to me by John L. Barnum, Jerry Czuchna, and Kevin Blanchard.  






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Baldwin, MI.
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