The Local History Gallery
For the White Lake Area

Website & Imaging: Jerry Grady     Research: Barb Brow



Land Transportation

Thompson Transfer

First Motorized Taxi Service

The following is from a news item that appeared in the Centennial Edition of the White Laker Observer on January 30, 1974, indicating that Will Ohrenberger was the owner of the first “Taxi” service in the area.

The first “Commercial” motor passenger service in Montague was conducted by the late Will Ohrenberger, father of Charles Ohrenberger II (who was named for his grandfather.)

This was not really a scheduled service. About 1910 or 1912 Will had one of the first automobiles in Montague. It was a two-seated Buick, white, with no doors.

Will had it for his own pleasure, but he would take parties to Muskegon for $5. It was something to talk about when anyone engaged Will for a trip to the city.

Whitehall Road was gravel at the time, the only gravel road in the region. It was merely called “the gravel” road and everyone knew what road you meant.

The Buick would go chugging over the gravel surface at probably 20 miles an hour. A brass horn, with a rubber squeeze bulb, was mounted beside the driver (on the right hand side of the car) to warn horse drawn vehicles, and chickens, of the approach of the mechanized monster.

In 1912 Henry Banks, a local livery stable owner, bought the first car expressly for the purpose of public service.

In 1946 there was an ad that appeared in the paper for Robert Barteau, Operator of the White Lake Taxi Service and another one in 1949 with Floyd Fernow as Operator. It is unclear exactly how long either of these businesses operated.




Bus Travel


Train Travel

Current Chamber of Commerce


This depot in Whitehall was located at Sophia and Lake Streets. It was closed and dismantled in 1926. The Montague and Whitehall depot (at top) was then built at the present location which is now the home of the White Lake Chamber of Commerce. 



Viewed From Lake St. at Slocum


Storm of
August 22nd, 1910