Fire raged through the historic Michillinda Lodge on Lake Michigan in Fruitland Township early Sunday, December 2, 2012, leaving behind nothing but smoldering ruins.
Nearly every fire department in Muskegon County sent tanker trucks to provide water to battle the blaze in the four-story building at 5207 Scenic.
The Lodge dates back to 1904, but some argue the history of Michillinda Lodge stretches back to 1894 when the Rev. Theo Willson took three members of his congregation from Moline, Ill., on a walk south of Sylvan Beach, where they had been staying. Sylvan Beach began as a cottage community in 1883.
Since the fire, Michillinda Lodge consists of nine buildings offering 26 guest units in total. The resort positions itself as both family-oriented and historic in nature, and it includes numerous on-site amenities, ranging from an outdoor swimming pool and a miniature golf course to a campfire and a 400-foot (120 m) private beach on Lake Michigan. Additionally, Michillinda Lodge accommodates weddings and receptions, as well as reunions and other gatherings. Before the restaurant in the main lodge was destroyed in the fire, it provided dining for both resort guests and the general public.
For more history about the Michillinda Beach Resort, see Dave Alexander, “Michillinda Lodge traces its history back to between Muskegon County’s lumber and industrial eras“, MLive, December 3, 2012.