The Local History Gallery
For the White Lake Area

Website & Imaging: Jerry Grady     Research: Barb Brow


Cabins, Camps, Trailer Parks 

Page 2: Motels Hotels
Page 3: Bed & Breakfasts


Dunbar/Sun Ray Cabins

Dunbars Cabins

Sun Ray Cabins – 1950ca
In February 1940, Dale Dunbar purchased a 160-acre stretch of property, south of Whitehall, intersected by US 31, that once belonged to the Covell Estate. His plans for the property were to build overnight tourist cabins there.

His plans included construction of a scenic drive leading to the cabin development on his property. He offered to donate the cut timbers from that roadway to the American Legion for their building on White Lake, if they were willing to cut the trees.

In 1947, Dunbar sold his cabin property to Joseph Nast of Chicago and the wooded part of the property on the other side of US 31 to Walter Hunt. Mr. Joseph Nast and his wife Madelyne changed the name of Dunbars Cabins to Sun-Ray Cabins and operated them for many years. Mrs. Nast died in 1968 and he died in 1971.


Tourist Camp or Tourist Park


Tourist Camps or Tourist Parks were popular from 1930 to the 1960s. The first mention of the Tourist Camp in our area was in a September 1926 newspaper article reporting on the successful resort season. The article implied that the camp was greatly improved, and the tourists had much praise for the local camp, both as to location, equipment and cleanliness. Some said it was the most scenic and orderly maintained camp in West Michigan. The fact that it was “greatly improved” sounds like it may have been around for a year or so prior.


Trailer Park in Whitehall, 1930 postmark - Exact location unknown


Goodrich Park








In 1938, the WPA worked to grub-out old stumps and prepare the site for a community
building which included showers & toilets, a laundry room, and a concession stand.

This is the City Dock Launch Basin (above) - When the Steamships were operating, this area was used by the launches to pick up and drop off passengers. It was also used to bring resort guests back & forth to town. In the 1940s, a boat livery was setup here and tourist campers could make use of 10 row boats that were available there.

1940 saw 246 trailers use the park during the season.



This ca1965 postcard shows the general area where the Tourist Camp/Trailer Park would have been located - at the end of Colby Street – now known as Goodrich Park. You can still see the slip where the launches came to pick up the passengers arriving by Steamer. It’s unknown at this time exactly when the Tourist Park ceased operating.



Roadside Park


In 1936, a roadside park was established between Whitehall and Montague just south of the bridge. You can see 4 picnic tables along the road on White Lake side of the causeway.



Tourist Cabins – Camp Joy

According to limited information, Jerry Krieger and his son Sheldon built and operated Camp Joy from 1930 until 1947. It was located south of Whitehall on US 31 between Bell Road and Michillinda. They sold the camp to Arthur Peterson in August 1948. It is also not known how long Mr. Peterson operated the tourist cabins, some of which can still be seen in the area.