Travel Spotlight, Idlewild | Beautiful & Historic Idlewild Michigan!!!

Historic Idlewild, Michigan

Idlewild feature loftandlearn

This Post is near and dear to my heart because since the young age of six weeks I have also called it home…Idlewild has always been a welcomed vacation retreat for our family that has provided the most wonderful and treasured moments. Fortunately our home and land in Idlewild was passed down for generations has provided a refuge and gathering of fun for all. Many of my most fond memories were made here. From riding bikes, learning to roller skate at the Idlewild club roller rink, fishing, enjoying fish fry’s, camping, hiking, playing volleyball, swimming, boating, exploring, and every board game under the sun was just the tip of the iceberg here in Idlewild.

Late night strolls searching for Snipe (Thanks Grandpa) Ghost stories, roasting marshmallows by the camp style fire and watching fireworks was such an amazing blessing and contributed to an awesome childhood retreat. Idlewild is the type of place that gets under your skin in the most beautiful way and as an Adult I have come to appreciate all the more.

Idlewild Music Heritage Festival loftandlearn

Idlweild Canoe

Idlewild Jones Ice cream

Idlewild historical center

Idlewild Historic Sign loftandlearn

Idlewild is a vacation and retirement community in Yates Township, located just east of Baldwin in southeast Lake County, a rural part of northwestern lower Michigan. During the first half of the 20th century, it was one of the few resorts in the country where African-Americans were allowed to vacation and purchase property, before such discrimination became illegal in 1964. It surrounds Idlewild Lake, and the headwaters of the Pere Marquette River run through the area. Much of the surrounding area is within Manistee National Forest.

Called the “Black Eden”, from 1912 through the mid-1960s, Idlewild was an active year-round community and was visited by well-known entertainers and professionals from throughout the country. At its peak it was the most popular resort in the Midwest and as many as 25,000 would come to Idlewild in the height of the summer season to enjoy camping, swimming, boating, fishing, hunting, horseback riding, roller skating, and night-time entertainment. When the 1964 Civil Rights Act opened up other resorts to African-Americans, Idlewild’s boomtown period subsided, but the community continues to serve as a vacation destination and retirement community, and as a landmark of African-American heritage. The Idlewild African American Chamber of Commerce was founded in the summer of 2000 for the purpose of promoting existing local businesses and for attracting newer ones to the Lake County area.

Establishment (1912 – 1920s)

Idlewild was founded in 1912. During this period, a small yet clearly distinguishable African American middle class – largely composed of professionals and small business owners – had been established in many urban centers, including several in the American Midwest. Despite having the financial means for leisure travel, racial segregation prevented them from recreational pursuits in most resort destinations in the region.
Seeing an opportunity, four white land developers and their wives organized the Idlewild Resort Company (IRC). Erastus and Flora Branch, Adelbert and Isabelle Branch (from nearby White Cloud, Michigan), Wilbur M. and Mayme Lemon, and A.E. and Modolin Wright (of Chicago), organized IRC during the pre-World War I era. To secure land rights, Erastus Branch built a cabin, homesteaded the land for three years, and eventually obtained the title to the land through his Branch, Anderson & Tyrrell Real Estate Company, which became the central focus of the resort community.
One folk saying suggests that the community’s name refers to “idle men and wild women”. Current residents embrace this version of the story by selling playful T-shirts with this phrase at the annual Idlewilders summer festivals.
IRC organized excursions to attract middle class African American professionals from Detroit, Chicago, and other Midwestern cities, taking them on tours of the rustic community, and selling lots. A 1919 pamphlet used by IRC to promote the community, entitled “Beautiful Idlewild”, describes it as “the hunter’s paradise” renowned “for its beautiful lakes of pure spring water” and “its myriads of game fish”. One prominent personality to relocate to Idlewild was Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, who in 1893 was the first surgeon in the United States to perfom open-heart surgery. Williams, Herman O. and Lela G. Wilson of Chicago, three of Williams’ associates from Chicago and Cleveland, and twenty others were among the first group of African American professionals to join IRC’s excursion. Later, tours were conducted by train from Chicago, Indiana, Detroit, Grand Rapids, St. Louis and other cities.
IRC had acquired over 2,700 acres (11 km2) of land. The company sold a good deal of that land, and then turned the island in Idlewild Lake over to Williams and Louis B. Anderson of Chicago, and Robert Riffe and William Green of Cleveland, who collaboratively formed the Idlewild Improvement Association (IIA) and helped build the clubhouse. IIA sold property to such notables as NAACP co-founder W.E.B. Du Bois, Cosmetic entrepreneur Madam C.J. Walker, Fisk University president Lemuel L. Foster, Albert B. Cleage Sr. of Detroit,Fannie Emanuel of Chicago, and novelist Charles Waddell Chesnutt. Madame C.J. Walker, the first self-made U.S. woman millionaire of any race, owned property in Idlewild, Michigan.
IIA was also responsible for recruiting other middle-class professionals, such as NAACP field secretary William Pickens, H. Franklin and Virginia Bray (a missionary and his wife who together founded the first formal church in Idlewild), and the Reverend Robert L. Bradby, Sr. of Second Baptist Church of Detroit (who contributed to the development of the Idlewild Lot Owners Association). IIA encouraged this new influx of community leaders to foster racial pride, economic development, decency, and respect to Idlewild.

The annual Idlewild Chautauqua was organized by Reverend Bradby. These week-long events added an intellectual flavor to the recreational life in the community, attracted people from across the country, and were praised by Michigan Republican Governor Fred W. Green

 

The height of Idlewild popularity (1920s – 1964) courtesy of Wikipedia

Idlewild became known as the “Black Eden of Michigan”. As this new black intelligentsia began to settle in the community, some relocated as activists and members of Marcus Mosiah Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), some as followers of Du Bois’ National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), others as believers of the late Booker T. Washington’s political machine, and others as potential investors. For the majority of these professionals who brought their families, the idea of land ownership conveyed black social status and membership in this community.
Idlewild gained national stature among African Americans during the period between the World Wars. For example, the Idlewild Land Owners Association had members from over thirty-four states in the country. In addition, the Purple Palace, Paradise Clubhouse, Idlewild Clubhouse, Rosanna Tavern, and Pearl’s Bar provided summer entertainment for tourists and employment opportunities for seasonal and year-round residents in the community. The Pere Marquette Railroad built a branch line to the area by 1923. A post office opened that same year. The Idlewild Fire Department was established, and a host of new entrepreneurs began entering the community. Paradise Palace became McKnight’s Convalescent Home.

Idlewild pics

Idlewild pics..

Idlewild beach loftandlearn
Following World War II, Idlewild attracted what some sociologists have labeled the new African American “working” middle class. With the construction of a few paved roads in Idlewild, a reinvestment in the township’s only post office, and greater availability of electricity, a new generation of entrepreneurs began to invest in Idlewild. Phil Giles, Arthur “Big Daddy” Braggs, and a host of other African American businessmen and women took advantage of the market by purchasing property on Williams Island and Paradise Gardens, and began developing these areas into an elaborate nightspot and business center. The cottage started by Albert Cleage in the 1940s was expanded by his sons Louis, Hugh, and Henry.

Many African American entertainers of the period performed in Idlewild.

Della Reese, Al Hibbler, Bill Doggett, Jackie Wilson, T-Bone Walker, George Kirby, The Four Tops, Roy Hamilton, Brook Benton, Choker Campbell, Lottie “the Body” Graves, the Rhythm Kings, Sarah Vaughan, Cab Calloway, Louis Armstrong, Dinah Washington, B.B. King, Aretha Franklin, Fats Waller, and Billy Eckstein, and many other performers, entertained both Idlewilders and white citizens in neighboring Lake County townships throughout the 1950s and early 1960s. Arthur Braggs produced singers, dancers, showgirls, and entertainers, which helped Idlewild to become the “Summer Apollo of Michigan”. Braggs produced the famous “Arthur Braggs Idlewild Revue” which not only performed in Idlewild but was also taken on the road to Montreal, Boston, Kansas City, Chicago, New York, and other cities. Braggs’ show helped Idlewild become a major entertainment center and contributed to the financial prosperity of the area.

Idlewild Post

Idlweild room 1960

Idlewild Pics..show

Decline and redevelopment efforts (1964 – present)

Following the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, business in Idlewild declined. Other vacation resorts were beginning to accommodate African American visitors, and with federal law requiring that they be accepted anywhere, African Americans began taking advantage of this opportunity. The national recession in the early 1970s further contributed to an economic downturn in Idlewild, which led to a population decline as local employment options dwindled. Idlewild became a lesser-known family vacation and retirement community, primarily attracting retirees who remembered it from its boom period.
In the 1970s township officials organized a planning commission, zoning board, and other initiatives as a way to encourage community input and to offer specific practical solutions to improve the community. Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) were obtained for demolition, additional roadwork, and other structural changes, which resulted in a complete makeover of the island, renamed “Williams Island” in honor of early community leader Dr. Daniel Hale Williams. In the 1990s, with federal and state funding scarce, attention was turned away from building projects toward the renovation of existing township properties. The federal government designated Lake County as an “Enterprising Community”, which facilitated the development of sewer and natural gas systems. Businessman John O. Meeks purchased and renovated the Morton Motel, and founded organizations to develop and promote the community, including Mid-Michigan Idlewilders and the Idlewild African American Chamber of Commerce.

The National Idlewilders Club continues to organize annual events, including the Idlewild Jazz Festival. The National Idlewilders consists of local chapters in six cities, and Idlewild Lot Owners Association has local chapters in eight cities. Attendance at the annual summer festivals has steadily increased since 2000.

This Post is dedicated to My Late Grandpa, Eugene Henderson Sr. He embodied the very essence of the spirit of Idlewild. From his fascinating tales, Acey Duecy and Bid Whist play,  fishing adventures, and all around love for life and travel was contagious.  I am so grateful to have shared the same moment in time. His presence will always be felt.

Below are pictures from his “Going Home Celebration last summer in Idlewild”

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015
Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015
Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015
Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

 

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

 

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

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#getdownmom #showemhowitsdone
#getdownmom #showemhowitsdone

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#familydanceoff #love
#familydanceoff #love

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Aunty Mern & Kingston

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

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Grandpa Celebration Idlewild July 2015

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Hilton Resort Waikoloa Village, Hawaii. Your Family’s Next Extraordinary Vacation! | Travel

Hilton Waikoloa V. cover shot loftandlearn

Hilton Waikoloa Village is by far the most amazing resort I have ever seen! When visiting the Big Island you must schedule at least a couple of days to witness this unbelievable resort for yourself.

Map of Big Island, Hi loftandlearn

Hilton Waikoloa Village on Travel Spotlight loftandlearn.com

Set on 62 acres along the Kohala Coast, this sprawling tropical resort hotel features a tram system around the site. This massive property boasts many other unique and stunning features including stunning art and a dolphin swim experience not to be missed. Gorgeous museum pieces fill the walkways. You don’t really feel like you’re staying at a hotel, you just want to wander and look at the pieces that the developer has placed throughout the property, in theme with the towers. It’s Breathtaking.

While living in Waikoloa before moving to the Kona side of the island I was able to work on this amazing property for Hilton Grand Vacations and I met some life long friends Renee and Kamalani. Kamalani, a native of Kona, HI will also be a contributor to Loft & Learn giving us first hand insight to Hawaii Life and her amazing travels as well..Stay tuned for that!

www.loftandlearn.com kamalani


 

Here are some cool and little known facts about the Big Island of Hawaii. I picked up this info from a young student named Rustin whose mother published it on her blog. Great Job Rustin!!

http://www.hawaiilife.com/articles/2011/03/hawaiian-history/

The Big Island of Hawaii

“Big Island” is not the name of the island, but only a reference to it. “Hawaii” is the actual name, but people say “Big Island” as to not confuse the island’s name with the rest of the nation.

  • The Big Island is Hawaii’s largest at 4,038 square miles. It is twice the size of all other Hawaiian islands combined.
  • The largest contiguous ranch in the United States is in Hawaii. The Parker Ranch near Kamuela has about 480,000 acres of land.
  • At 800,000 years the Big Island is the youngest of the island chain. However, it was the first island discovered by voyaging Polynesians.
  • Kilauea Iki Volcano is the world’s most active and largest volcano.
  • Ka Lae is the southernmost point in the United States. It is located at 18:54:49 N, 155:41:00 W. There is a constant 27 knots per hour wind blowing East to West, 24 hours per day, and 365 days per year.
  • Two of the tallest mountains in the Pacific—Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa—dominate the center of the island. Most of the world’s macadamia nuts are grown on the island.
  • Mauna Kea is the tallest mountain in the world (measured from its base at the ocean floor).
  • The island houses the world’s biggest telescope and more scientific observatories in one place than anywhere else in the world.
  • The island is the worldwide leader in harvesting macadamia nuts and orchids.

 

For Amazing Hawaiian Recipes that you can make at home please visit this website Cooking Hawaiian Style http://www.cookinghawaiianstyle.com/index.php/most-popular-recipes

sun-noodle-fried-saimin-s

http://www.cookinghawaiianstyle.com/index.php/hawaiian-recipes/recipes/detail/3177/sun-noodle-s-fried-saimin


 

Hilton Waikoloa Village Waterfall

Dolphin smooch hilton waikoloa   hilton waikoloa village art

Hilton Waikoloa Village Waterfall   Hilton Waikoloa Village

kohala pool hilton Waikoloa Hlton tram

 

hawaii waikoloa loftandlearn    hilton waikoloa Ace

hilton waikoloa village ace

hilton waikoloa ace--

Hawaii Waikoloa Mommy & Ace

 

Aloha!

malaika@loftandlearn.com

 

 

 

 

San Juan, Puerto Rico | Family Travel

San Juan Puerto Rico, Travel Spotlight!

loftandlearn.com Puerto Rico--

Puerto Rico--

 

While I was pregnant with Kingston we took an amazing family vacation on a cruise to the Southern Caribbean. We we fortunate to be able to stay a couple of extra nights in San Juan. Our time in  San Juan Puerto Rico was phenomenal. We toured the Famous cobblestone streets, shopped, Gambled in the casino, and really enjoyed our trip to one of the famous forts. It was affordable yet fantastic. I can’t wait to return to see the rest of this beautiful Island.

 

loftandlearn.com puerto rico

San Juan Fun Facts:

San Juan is the capital of the island of Puerto Rico, the fourth largest island of the Caribbean.

It is located on the north side of Puerto Rico. Its coastal borders are the Atlantic Ocean and the San Juan Bay.

San Juan suffered many attacks from English and Dutch forces during the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The Spanish-American war took place in 1898. After this war Spain ceded Puerto Rico to the United States under the terms of the Treaty of Paris, which was signed later that year. From that moment to the present day Puerto Rico has been a territory of the United States of America and San Juan continues being the capital.

San Juan Culture

People:

  • Puerto Ricans are a mixture of native Taíno Indians, Spanish Conquistadores and African slaves.
  • Happiest people in the world! – as indicated by The University of Michigan’s World Values Surveys (WVS).
  • Very festive and warm.

Language: Spanish, English and Spanglish!

Food: Typical Puerto Rican food is very similar to Cuban food. It has Spanish/European, Taíno, African and American influence. Locals call this blend comida criolla. Main dishes are elaborated with grains, plantains, meats and poultry, vegetables, root vegetables, etc. Some of the most common dishes are the traditional arroz con habichuelas (rice and beans), arroz con pollo (rice and chicken), arroz con gandules (rice and pigeon peas), pasteles, alcapurrias, mofongo, etc

 

San Juan National Historic Site
The San Juan National Historic Site (World Heritage Site) is comprised of Castillo San Felipe del Morro, Castillo San Cristobal, most of the city walls, the San Juan Gate and Fort San Juan de la Cruz just across the entrance to the bay. The Spanish spent over 250 years fortifying the prized location of Puerto Rico, since through it, Spain controlled all access in and out of the Caribbean.

http://www.nps.gov/saju/index.htm

 

Puerto Rican dishes

Puerto Rican Red Beans and Rice

puerto rico dish

http://www.food.com/recipe/puerto-rican-red-beans-and-rice-42698

Empanadas (Puerto Rican Style)

loftandlearn.com empanadas

http://www.bigoven.com/recipe/empanadas-puerto-rican-style/338740

Great Books for the Kiddie club with Puerto Rican influence

Juan Bobo and the Pig Mondo Folktales

 

Family pics..

IMG_20130715_171517  IMG_20130715_162114 IMG_20130715_161010  IMG_20130715_171731

IMG_20130715_164743  IMG_20130715_160250IMG_20130713_202011  IMG_20130715_170158

 

Travel Spotlight | Washington D.C.

Washington D.C. (Learning Family Vacation)

Travel Spotlight

As I mentioned before Ace & Kingston were fortunate enough to travel with the Stepters’ last summer. This weeks spotlighted location will be on Washington D.C. where they had a blast!
Ace and Kingston had a ball hanging with his cousins Cortney(CJ) and Michael (Cheeks) as well as Aunty Mern and Uncle Cleve and loved touring the monuments, especially the Space Museum.

loftandlearn bf- D.C. loftandlearn.com bf D.C.   loftandlearn.com -bf-D.C... loftandlearn.com --bf--D.C. loftandlearn.com-BF D.C.  loftandlearn.com bf-D.C.loftandlearn.com--bf..D.C.

Fun Facts about Washington D.C.

Washington, DC is located in the mid-Atlantic region, about 90 miles inland from the Atlantic Ocean, south of Maryland, north of Virginia and 233 miles south of New York City. The city is separated from Virginia to the south by the Potomac River

The city was founded in 1791. Georgetown, which is one of the city’s most famous neighborhoods, was founded before Washington, DC, in 1751. It was incorporated as part of the city of Washington, DC in 1791. Before Washington, DC became the capital of the United States, other cities that served as capital include New York City, Philadelphia and Annapolis.

Washington, DC is not a city or state, nor is it part of any other state. It is a unique “federal district,” created specifically to be the seat of government.

Washington takes its name from our first president, George Washington. The “Columbia” in “District of Columbia” stands for Christopher Columbus.

 

CJ was fortunate to return to D.C. for the 20th Anniversary of the Million Man march. She was so Excited and inspired to see so many people there to support from All races and backgrounds.

loftandlearn.com --BF D.C.--MMloftandlearn.com-D.C. MM

Recipe with Local Flare (Excellent recipe I picked up from All recipes)

Crab Cake Recipe
http://allrecipes.com/recipe/19489/maryland-crab-cakes-ii/photos/222154/

loftandlearn.com crabcake