The Ludington Lighthouse, 1956

 My grandfather, mother, sister and I were spending several weeks at my Uncle Louis Cleage’s cottage in Idlewild.  We made a day trip to Ludington, on Lake Michigan, about 30 miles from Idlewild. We had walked out to the light house, which was no longer in use. 1956 was the year I wore glasses.

Pearl, Poppy and me. Ludington, Michigan 1956.
My mother, Pearl, me.

In this picture, taken facing land but on the same pier, you can see how the cement walk slopes down toward the lake.  There was a flat part down by the water where fish had washed up and they were flopping around trying to get back to the water.  My sister Pearl and I climbed down and were throwing the fish back in the water until our grandfather noticed and told us to come up and stop it before we fell in the water.  We did it but we were not happy about it.

Poppy rowing on Lake Idlewild.
Patio. My mother, Pearl and me. Notice the face in the trees to the left. It looks like my grandmother in her younger days. It doesn't look like it belongs there.
Patio in front of the 2 cottages. My mother, Pearl and me. Notice the face in the trees to the left. It looks like my grandmother in her younger days.  Is it really there?
Close up of face in the trees.
Close up of face in the trees.
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38 thoughts on “The Ludington Lighthouse, 1956

  1. Very beautiful pictures. Brings back old memories. I grew up only about 15 miles away from Idlewild in Woodland park, Michigan, an all African American community, from 1938 to 1954. From May to September I would spend practically every available moment up there, swimming, skating rinks when a youngster and swimming, skating rinks and nite clubs when older.

    1. When my uncles got old and sick and moved out of Michigan, they sold the cottage and the people that bought it cut down ALL THE TREES! We lived around the corner at the time and walking past the place was like walking past a slaughter field. They were summer people and my youngest son and I went up and walked around the house when they were gone for the winter. It was so sad.

    1. We lived there for 20 years. up until 6 years ago. It still feels like home, although I probably won’t ever go there again.

  2. Oh, dear, I had glasses just like yours – I so hated those ‘cats eye’ glasses but there wasn’t much choice back then was there!

  3. A perfect fit for the theme again. I like the rowboat photo. It has the feel of a Winslow Homer painting. The ghostly face is quite mystery. When did you notice it?

    1. I noticed it when I was reducing the file to put on the blog. My mother had that photo in a frame for years but I’d never looked at it close enough to see the face.

  4. Lovely spot. And I love the photo top right – great angle. The photographer has just called out your names to get you to turn your heads:)

    1. The photos were all definitely posed. If my father or uncles had been taking them, there would have been some candid shots in there.

  5. Love the shot of poppy and the girls in front of the lighthouse. Great pics for the theme. Your mom was a good looking woman. Lucky to have the use of such a nice holiday cottage.

    1. I’m not at all sure. I don’t recognize it though. And the size seems to be off. Perhaps a floating head we didn’t notice at the time?

  6. Such happy memories in these pictures. It’s funny you mentioning your glasses, I notice your mother had removed hers! That face is definitely there and it’s attached to a body I think. Someone wearing white. You can see a slight change in colour when zooming in between what would be the neckline and the dress, just to the left of that leaf.

  7. I love this post – your mama was a beautiful lady and you and your sister clearly inherited that. 🙂

    I think the face in the trees was definitely there!

  8. I’d never heard of Ludington until my great-grandfather’s diary revealed that his father, recently arrived from Latvia in 1883, had gone there as a peddler!

  9. Loved the face in the trees bit. I’m sure it’s real, but it’s fun to wonder anyway.

    1. It was. My uncles tore the old cottage down and added on to the one you see in the photo. They spent some years living there year around until bad health forced a move closer to hospitals and family doctors.

  10. I love this post – Idlewild was such a special place to me growing-up; it always reminds me of family, friends and long summer days. Such wonderful memories….I remember visiting Idlewild with my grandparents and with Mom and Dad. My last two trips to Idlewild were with my parents, my sister and a couple of childhood friends in the summer of 1989; I remember we visited both Louis and Henry. I think that we visited you and Jim too during one of those trips; I remember playing with your kids by the lake. I don’t have any photos from that time, you are so lucky to have pictures to remind you of your past. Thank you for sharing them.

    1. I remember your visit. We came out one morning and your parents had left a little porch chair on the table. We wondered for a long time where it came from. Unfortunately, I don’t have any photos from that visit.

  11. Lovely pictures.
    Love the cottage but your answer to another comment about it breaks the heart.
    Obviously, these folks did not carry the same sentimental attachment to the place,
    as you did…
    That face is intriguing and I say it is real.
    Someone shied away from the camera and tried hiding behind the tree.
    Love Poppy on the lake!!
    Great frame and must have been a great time for him.

    1. We couldn’t figure out why they bought a cottage in the north woods and then cut the trees down. Poppy came with us to Idlewild a few times and he would go for a day to the house on Old Plank but my grandmother never came. She and her aunt would stay home alone for a couple weeks at a time. I wonder if that was just as much a vacation for them.

  12. Beautiful family. Beautiful photographs of a memorable time. And the face in the trees, was she there?

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