Businesses on the Lake

Did you know that two of the oldest lake associations on Magician Lake were Happyland (on the north side of the lake) and Maple Island Resort Association, which still exists today for the residents of Maple Island? 

People came to Magician Lake, mostly in the summer, to escape the heat and find the cool lake breezes while sitting on the front porches of their lake cottages. Fish were abundant, and fishing was one of the main sources of lake entertainment. However, pavilions were often built that would house games, picnics, music, and dance as common sources of community entertainment. Old pictures of life at Magician Lake would often see men and women dressed in white shirts and blouses with long skirts and dark trousers enjoying summer at the lake. Wooden rowboats and canoes dotted the shoreline with a few wooden piers that were often times more permanent than removable. 

Life was far different with kerosene lamps, less noise from boats and motors, and entertainment provided by less technology. Sit some quite morning or late evening and imagine the history that has gone on at Magician Lake for decades before us.

Magician Lake never really had a fancy dine-in restaurant like others around the Sister Lakes Area, but rather we had the soda fountain type. Polk’s Boathouse was one example where it was a big deal to row or motor down and tie up your boat at the big brown Boathouse (near the channel) for an ice cream cone or a hot dog. Music would be playing from the jukebox and you were always interested in “who else” might be there if you were a teenager. 

Down at the far east end there were two businesses – the old Hull Grocery Store and Bob’s Harbor Resort and Rentals. If you lived on the west end of Magician Lake, it might be an all day trip to visit those places and come back home. You could be gone in a boat rowing around or using a small horse motor, never wearing a life jacket, and no one really worried about you as there was very little traffic to bother you and certainly no big power boats or jet skis.

The now BT’s pub was once a meat market run by the Dick Curran farm (red barn on M152) who raised black angus cattle. Later, it was a grocery store run by the Guy family, and then finally, it became a tavern called The Gunn Inn, then The Weekender, and now BT’s Pub.