Crockery Lake has a wonderful history, complete with a dance hall paddle boat, two indian camps, and much more! Visit the attached link to Chester Township for more information:
As many of you know, Crockery Lake has a rather colorful background for a small lake out in the sticks. A few years ago we ran a story about the steam boat party barge that ran in the early 1900′s and was the victim of arson because it was too disruptive. The steam boat sank to the bottom of the lake and as far as I know, has never been located.
There is a map (a portion of which is attached to this newsletter) which shows that Crockery Lake was once the home to two Indian villages. Both villages were located on the south side of the lake–one village at each end of the lake.
Information in the book is limited. It does not state when the villages were occupied, nor does it state what kind of Indians lived there. Any site that was regularly visited was considered a “village” while occupied. Not all villages were permanent. There was no indication of whether the Crockery Lake villages were permanent. There was no information on how large the villages were. Most villages were occupied by a small number of people–in our case probably less than fifty persons. The location of villages was based upon litter left on the sites–broken pottery and implements; fireplaces and firestones; refuse pits. I found it interesting that in Ottawa County, these were the only villages recorded. The map indicates three foot trails which the indians used from the Crockery Lake villages. The longest one connects to a main trail which in turn connects with Cranberry Lake and Grand Rapids.
If you are interested in looking at the source of this information, it can be found at the Grand Rapids Public Library, Special Collections Section (3rd Floor), Archaeological Atlas of Michigan by Wilbert B. Hinsdale, 1931, Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press. If anyone any other historical data concerning the lake, we would be happy to include it in one of the CLA Newsletters.