North of Glen Arbor in the Leelanau Penisula is an old grist mill that sits along the Crystal River. It looks like many other hundred-year-old mills used for grinding grain, but this one has a unique story to tell. Long after it stopped grinding grain into flour during the 1970s it was turned into a world-class recording studio. You would have never guessed it from driving past this old forgotten structure. I just assumed it was and always has been a mill, but besides grinding flour it was cranking ou the tunes.
It was going to be turned into an arts and crafts center, but the plans fell through and architect Fred Ball ended up with the building. He decided to turn it into a recording studio calling it the Glen Arbor Roller Mills Recording Studio. He spared no expense purchasing state of the art 16 track quadraphonic soundboard and the latest equipment. Acclaimed audio engineer Bill Porter, who was instrumental in shaping the “Nashville Sound” and worked with Elvis along with other big named artist learned about the project. Porter helped with getting the studio set up and had engineer George Augspurger who worked on Los Angeles’s Village Recorder Studios help with the new studio in Glen Arbor.
I could find a lot of information about the equipment in the studio, but what I could not find is a list or any artists that recorded in the historic old mill. I imagine being secluded in northern Michigan in the 1970s it was difficult for artists to travel to it and had a relatively short life as a recording studio. A small sign is posted on the mill’s porch for a nearby resort called the Homestead, so I assume they own the historic building and have plans for the future, but I am thinking it will probably not be a recording studio.
Thank you for Subscribing to Lost In Michigan, If you have not subscribed yet, It would mean a lot to me if you did.