Sylvan Lake Inn

Object ID: 2003-005-019


In 1893 a number of Detroit businessmen conceived the idea of establishing a resort and restaurant about three miles from Pontiac on one of the most picturesque spots in all Michigan-Sylvan Lake. The officers of the company were Merrill B. Mills, President, and D.D. Jayne, Secretary. Beautiful groves were cleared and drives were laid out. A grand hotel was erected for $25,000. The site included a golf course, riding stable, bathing beach, bowling alley, and billiards. The grounds were lighted by electricity. Because of the resort, lines of the Pontiac electric railway extended to the lake and during the summer months cars ran every few minutes. The year 1891 was planned to be a banner year for the hotel. The hotel burned in 1903 and later the Mills Family gave a restricted deed to the Free Press. The site became the location of the Free Press Fresh Air Camp.