Surrounded by tall pine trees, and tucked away among the remaining houses in the resort community of Idlewild, I saw this big old two-story building. I am not sure if it was a hotel, school or some sort of community center but it was intriguing. Near the town of Baldwin in the Manistee National Forest, Idlewild was a vacation resort town for African Americans that started in the early 1900s. Because of segregation laws, black people were limited to where they could own property and Idlewild became a popular community for prominent African Americans in the midwest. After the passage of the Civil Rights Act in the 60s minorities were allowed to live and vacation wherever they please and the population of Idlewild began to decline over the decades. It is not a ghost town since there are still several people who live in, or have vacation homes in the area, but many houses have been demolished.
Like I wrote earlier I am not sure what this old building was used for. I took a pic from the road and did not trespass. It has several signs warning against it. I don’t do it and I would not last long in jail. If someone knows what this place used to be, please leave a comment.
I was able to find out more about this building including a photo from the 50s. you can see more on my post HERE
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