Contributed by Dave Benner
Bob Benner, owner of The Ark, stands next to an ice fishing shanty he rented.
I’ve been a fan of historical postcards of the White Lake area for years now. One of my favorite scenes is of “The Ark.”
Not probably the Ark you may be thinking of though. I mean White Lake’s own Ark. Happily, I came across a postcard of the Ark just recently in a collection of area postcards owned by Montague resident Janice Wisniewski.
I only knew a little about it. I knew it was a small square building where you could get food and drink and fish in the winter through the ice. I was intrigued by its basic concept - providing a warm place and food for ice fishing enthusiasts. It wasn’t until I contacted Dave Benner, whose parents operated the Ark for much of its time in the area, however, that I realized there was a lot more to its story.
Dave gave me a 1987 copy of Muskegon Magazine that featured a detailed article about White Lake’s Ark. Originally more of a covered raft with fishing holes, the Ark was built by Earl Sherman in 1930.
Tanya Cabala is a lifelong resident of the White Lake area. A former educator and professional environmental advocate, she is currently the owner of Great Lakes Consulting, which provides project support and grant writing services to environmental and community nonprofit organizations. More information is available at www.tanyacabala.com. Tanya loves her hometown, loves writing, and loves to hear from her readers. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or (231) 981-0016.
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