150 years ago the bridge still broke down

Proprietor of Fountain City House Maretta L. Cooper, fourth from left, on the hotel’s porch steps.

 At the beginning of December 150 years ago, the channel drawbridge had ceased operation due to the build-up of lake ice.

Three weeks later, the Dec. 23, 1871 Charlevoix Sentinel confirmed that both Round Lake and Lake Charlevoix had frozen shut, and the temperature on Dec. 20 had reached 10 below.

But bone-chilling cold didn’t stop Charlevoix County people from having a good holiday time. South Arm township near East Jordan had scheduled a Christmas Ball. Christmas trees would go on sale both there and in Charlevoix, with a special one to be erected here for the local children, on Christmas night. Apparently, in that era, the priority of putting up and decorating a Christmas tree could wait until the last moment, perhaps even on the day or evening of the holiday.   

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