The Local History Gallery

A growing collection of images and historical
dialog about the White Lake area &
surrounding W. Michigan

Website & Imaging: Jerry Grady     Research: Barb Brow



Things That Float

The Ark

The Ark

The Ark

The Ark

For some 31 years, the Ark could be seen rolling with the waves while being anchored in White Lake at the end of Scenic Drive.

The original owner of the Ark, Earl Sherman, built the raft in 1930 out of timbers that lined the White Lake Channel. On the raft he constructed a covered building with an open water fishing area in the center.

In 1947, Earl sold the Ark to Robert Benner of Miamisburg, Ohio. He rebuilt the Ark using some of the old timbers, floated the structure on 110 fifty-five gallon oil drums, and fastened it with four cables – two to the shore and two to special anchors in the water.

Inside the building was a lunch counter where coffee and hamburgers were served to the fisherman. There was even a pot-bellied stove for warmth in the winter months and a number of three foot by six foot wells in the floor for fishing. Men sat on benches by the wells and cast their lines over the surrounding railings into the cold White Lake waters hoping for a great “catch”.

For 75 cents a day, men could fish with all the comforts of home, including a bathroom of sorts. Fishermen could purchase minnows and ice fishing poles on the Ark. For 15 cents they could have a hamburger and coffee.

Around 1949, the Ark ownership changed to Gerald Baker and the Ark was moved to the Montague side of the lake at the end of Chicago Boulevard (now Indian Bay Road). In the early 1950s, Lozier Wantz owned the Ark.

The Ark operated year around seven days a week. Winters were the best season. The Ark was successful through the mid 1950s when its usefulness declined as perch became scarce in White Lake.