Attention Readers
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, C & G Newspapers has temporarily suspended its print publications. We look forward to resuming our print operation in the coming weeks. In the meantime, continue to find local news on our website and look for us on Facebook and Twitter. We hope you stay healthy and safe.

Orchard Lake Museum hosts presentation on Sylvan Lake institutions

By: Mike Koury | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published January 19, 2016

 Sylvan Lake resident and historian Helen Jane Peters teaches visitors about the connection between Sylvan Lake and Pewabic Pottery.

Sylvan Lake resident and historian Helen Jane Peters teaches visitors about the connection between Sylvan Lake and Pewabic Pottery.

Photo by Sarah Purlee

Advertisement

WEST BLOOMFIELD — The Orchard Lake Museum, 3951 Orchard Lake Road, along with the Greater West Bloomfield Historical Society, held its monthly open house Jan. 10 and focused the day on the connection between two Sylvan Lake institutions.

“Our monthly open house is an opportunity for people to come in and see what we have,” Greater West Bloomfield Historical Society President Gina Gregory said. “We’re looking to highlight all the decades of history, because it’s fun to connect with the past.”

This month featured a presentation on the connection between the Sylvan Lake Inn, which burned down in 1903, and Pewabic Pottery.

Helen Jane Peters, who headed the presentation, spoke about the connection of the two historical places and how two people involved with the places, William Stratton and Mary Stratton, ended up marrying each other.

“William Stratton was the architect for the Sylvan Lake Inn,” she said. He married Mary Stratton, who owned Pewabic Pottery, which is now known as Pewabic. “(William Stratton) designed the building that became (Pewabic) Pottery, too.”

Stratton designed Pewabic Pottery for Mary Stratton in 1907 before they became a couple, and they later married in 1918.

Peters said that after the inn burned down, the land was deeded to the Detroit Free Press for its Fresh Air Camp, which ran for almost 60 years before closing down in 1962. After the closing of the camp, the property was given to the city of Sylvan Lake.

Peters’ presentation also featured tiles that were recovered from the Fresh Air Camp. The tiles, which were installed at the camp more than 100 years ago in 1910, read, “Warm the hand & cheer the heart.” Peters believes the tiles may have come from the Sylvan Lake Inn, though that hasn’t been proven.

“It’s interesting that these two creative people married and that they both had a connection to Sylvan Lake through their own craft,” she said.

Advertisement