Barnum Family
starting in 1918
Credit for the following pictures - go to Winnifred Barnum Brott, John Lee Barnum, and daughter Christine Lee Barnum

Following is a nice detailed description from John L. Barnum about his memories of the early days up at Big Star Lake:
Hi ,
Thanks for writing.  Itís great that you are documenting the history of Star Lake .  It has always been very special to me and to my family. 

Some photos of early Barnum family trips to Star Lake are attached.  My grandfather, Dr. Levi Duke Barnum, of Illiopolis , Ill. would travel to Star Lake each summer with his family (wife-Mrs. Winnifred Nelch Barnum, oldest son-Howard, daughter-Winifred Barnum, and youngest son--my dad--Lee Roy Barnum) and, often with close friends from Illiopolis (the Correll family). In 1918, when the attached photos were taken, there was no cottage on their Star Lake property and they would camp out, both during the trip and while at Star Lake .  Roads at the time were mostly dirt and gravel, with sand trails (see photo taken between Baldwin and Newago) as you got closer to Star Lake .  It must have been beautiful, yet primitive, in those days.  As I recall Levi Duke built the original family cottage on Star Lake around 1928 and it remained in the family until the mid 1970ís.  My Aunt Winfred (dadís sister) married Glenn Brott of Baldwin , and they took care of my grandmother, Winnifred Nelch Barnum, in her later years.  Glenn and Winifred expanded and updated the cottage during the 1950ís.  From my earliest memories (I was born in 1943), summers were spent in Michigan at the cottage Star Lake (and also at nearby North Lake , where my maternal grandfather, Dr. John H. Alderson, of Pana , Illinois had built what we fondly called ďGramís CampĒ).  A more wonderful place to spend the summer while growing up could not be imagined.

About 1975, when sale of the cottage was likely to happen, my Aunt Winifred entrusted to me boxes (and boxes) of family negatives that were carefully stored under her bed.  I printed some in sizes up to 11x14, sepia toned them, and gave the prints to Winifred. In 1999, with the advent of digital cameras, I was able to digitize many of the negatives and prepared a CD and give copies to members of the family. 

The Road trip up north from Illiopolis to Big Star Lake


Camping Enroute to Big Star Lake 1918


On the road up to Big Star Lake between Baldwin and Newago



Big Star Lake, Camp- August 23, 1918

Car Camping 1918


First Morning after Camp August 5, 1918


Group Photo at Big Star Lake 1918


Barnum family first cabin


Barnum cottage from the lake (left); On the right is:  a picture that my Aunt Winifred Barnum Brott (Dadís sister), identified while she was still living as ďPete with his BandĒ--my Dad is the jaunty fellow at the far right standing on the fender.  It looks to me like the photo was taken behind the Barnum Cottage, but I canít be sure. Says John L. Barnum


                                           Barnum Cottage                                                                                                           View of Lake from the Barnum Cottage

Credit for the above, Following pictures go to Winnifred Barnum Brott and John Lee Barnum and daughter Christine Lee Barnum


Christy Barnum remembers the following:
The larger white cottage was of course, Star Lake and my Barnum family started going to the area around 1905 or 1906. They would at first camp out. Then there was a real primitive building they stayed in (in the teens) and eventually the white cottage was built which was remodeled over the years. Stayed in our family until the mid 1970's. I believe the white cottage that is still there today was built by my grandfather Lee Barnum with his father Dr. Levi Duke Barnum who owned the cottage and summered there. After his death, his daughter Winnifred Barnum married Glenn Brott who owned  Brott Lumber Company which was founded by his dad, Archie Brott.  Glenn and Winifred had a son, also named Archie, who ran Brott Lumber Company in the 1960ís. and they resided in the home till the late 70's.  Last I heard it gone through major remodeling again.  Mostly as a kid I remember walking down the beach to Gidleys little store. 



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