Dec. 2, 1920

An incident of business quite interesting to the people of this city and this section of the state was completed today through the forwarding of a deed to the secretary of the Michigan State Park Commission conveying ownership to that organization of the greater part of the wooded tract between Lake Cadillac and Lake Mitchell the northern limits of which form the south bank of the canal that serves to unite the two lakes. The property that was conveyed to the state commission by the deed forwarded today included all of the tract of land which through many years has been known as Idlewild. In order to insure to this city and its people the permanent value and beauty of the wooded tract between the two lakes Mrs. W.W. Mitchell recently purchased the tract, known as Idlewild, from its longtime owners, the Cadillac Resort Club, and through deeding it to the State Park Commission assured its permanent retention and improvement by the state organization for park purposes. The amount paid by Mrs. Mitchell to the former owners of Idlewild was $3,600. Anticipating the formal conveyance of the property, the State Park Commission has already made some improvements on the land, including a roadway that will make its interior accessible to automobiles and other vehicles without in the least disturbing the natural beauty of the wooded section. The state commission counts this gift to the state for park purposes, by reason of its favored location and natural beauty, as one of the best that has been conveyed to the state. Through this gift, Mrs. Mitchell has assured to Cadillac and its people through all future years the virtual possession of a park site that will increase in beauty year by year and will serve as a central location in connection with other desirable lakeshore improvements.

Dec. 2, 1970

Because Wexford is the fifth snowiest county in the lower peninsula, it's going to get $36,943 to get all that white stuff off the roads. A report from the Michigan Department of State Highways read at today's meeting of the Wexford County Road Commission showed Wexford had a snowfall of 118 inches in the 1969-70 winter, two inches more than the winter before. Missaukee County had 77 inches, 22 inches less than the 1968-69 winter and will get $4,569 snow removal funds. Osceola County had 66 inches last winter, three inches more than the winter before. Snow removal funds go to counties with an annual snowfall of at least 70 inches, so Osceola County doesn't qualify. Only four counties along the northern shore of Lake Michigan, all of which had an increase from the 1968-69 winter, topped Wexford in the lower peninsula. Michigan's average snowfall last winter was 82 inches, four inches less than the winter before.

Dec. 2, 1995

Caberfae Peaks will have the starring role in a documentary film to be aired Sunday on WCMU-TV. The 90-minute PBS film looks at the early days of skiing and winter sports in Michigan, beginning in the 1880s with Norwegian ski clubs in the Upper Peninsula. The film, which airs at 8 p.m., was put together by Traverse City based film maker Bill Jamerson. He said the idea for the film came while he was researching his first documentary, "Camp Forgotten" about Civilian Conservation Corps. "I wanted footage of the CCC building Caberfae," Jamerson said. "I tracked down Earl Huckle and he had 1940 film footage of Caberfae. A couple of years went by and I thought, 'Boy, I bet I could find other old ski movies,' Then it steamrolled." Huckle, who died earlier this year, is interviewed during the documentary that chronicles the growth of ski jumping and winter carnivals that flourished in the 1920s and 1930s. It follows the development of ski areas after World War II and ends in the 1960s, when Michigan's "golden era" of skiing came to an end. Jamerson spent two years researching and filming the program, "Winter Wonderland." "The golden era was in the 50s and 60s where there was unprecedented growth in ski hills," Jamerson said. "In the late 60s there were 90 ski hills in Michigan. That is a tremendous number. But with the inexpensive air travel out west, people started going west and local ski hills lost customers. In a 10-year period we lost more than half of the ski hills." He used 38 different films, including several films provided by Huckle. Other footage includes scenes of winter enthusiasts snow shoeing, ski jumping and skiing at Caberfae in the early 1940s. It also includes footage of downtown Cadillac. "Caberfae was built by CCC boys and they would ice the toboggan runs and clear the slopes," Jamerson said. "It was a city-run club, not a private hill at that time. What really stood out was that it was a city-run, volunteer-oriented ski area. The purpose was to generate winter tourism. It brought the community together and gave them something to do in the winter."

Cadillac News