Village of Summerville
Q. Reader Steve Wilson asks if there are any stories or historical information about the Village of Summerville on Long Lake. He locates it as the southwest corner of Long Lake, in Alpena Township.
A. Specific details are hard to come by, but long-time residents remember Summerville as a resort area in the early decades of the 1900s, with a golf course and a popular dance hall, Summerville Haven. Possibly the copper tubing of the irrigation, like that at the Winyah golf course, was torn out for scrap metal in World War II. In Special Collections at the Alpena County Library are references to the Village of Summerville and 1903 maps that show the resorts along the shoreline.
The local resorts at the Village of Summerville are pictured in Bob Haltiner's book "The Town In Bits and Pieces". Photo captions are:
"COUNTRY CLUB--Long Lake -- ca 1912. Located just off Maple Grove Road, the Country club was a popular spot for area golfers. The building burned to the ground and the golf course grew over with brush and was forgotten.
MAPLE GROVE HOTEL, Long Lake near Alpena -- ca 1918.
KILLIANS HOTEL, Long Lake -- 1921.
HOTEL ADRIAN, LONG LAKE, co., Mich -- ca 1916
SUMMERVILLE HAVEN, Long Lake near Alpena - 1950"
Other bits of information in Haltiner books include: Nancy Knoodles, Alpena's infamous "lady of the night,"owned land in Summerville, according to her 1925 estate papers. Pioneer John Beck, owner of Beck's Brewery in Alpena and a colorful character as well as an outstanding Alpena businessman, brewer, hotel owner and lumberman, was one of the first summer resort owners and owned resorts in Summerville.
Many historic photos are on the walls of the Maplewood Taverm at 3930 French Road.
Readers, if you know stories about Summerville, please send them to one of the addresses below.
Q. A reader asks, "What is the average snowfall per year in the Alpena area? Are we having less snow because of warmer winters?"
A. Tim Locker, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Gaylord, explains, "The annual snowfall average for the Alpena area from 1916 to 2012 is between 75 and 80 inches. The last two seasons have been well below average. Last season Alpena had 53.3 inches and this year 45.5 inches.
The last couple years' lack of snowfall is not due to warmer temperatures. It is actually from a lack of Synoptic snowfall. Synoptic snowfall is snow that is received from storm systems (i.e. Low pressure systems, upper level disturbances). The last couple years the synoptic snow has either been tracking too far south or too far north.
Tim Locker added, "We get this information from our Cooperative Observers, who are volunteers that have NWS equipment at their location (usually their home or work) and records the weather elements every day. These locations do change locations around the Alpena area throughout time as they retire or move."
Please send comments or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or to "Questions, Anyone?" The Alpena News, 130 Park Place, Alpena, MI 49707.