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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Novi in Oakland County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Walled Lake Casino

Where Detroiters Came to Dance

 
 
Walled Lake Casino: Where Detroiters Came to Dance Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, January 9, 2021
1. Walled Lake Casino: Where Detroiters Came to Dance Marker
Inscription.  
The huge dance floor was the center of things
for the people who drove to Walled Lake Casino for forty years. The word "casino" originally meant a large building for civic or entertainment activities, and early automobiles allowed city dwellers to explore this distant pleasure, built in 1925. As the "Roaring Twenties" gave way to the Great Depression in the 1930s, Walled Lake Casino became even more popular with music by Benny Goodman, Louis Armstrong and Guy Lombardo. Live radio broadcasts spread the casino's fame nationwide. Dancing continued here with performers like Chuck Berry, the Four Seasons and Stevie Wonder until the building burned down in 1965.

You Auto Know
The dance hall closed during World War II because gasoline rationing cut back on patrons driving to Walled Lake.

This exhibit is sponsored by the Novi Historical Commission.
 
Erected 2014 by MotorCities National Heritage Area, National Park Service.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Entertainment.
Walled Lake Casino: Where Detroiters Came to Dance Marker — top left image image. Click for full size.
The Tinder Collection of Michigan Photography, Clements Library, University of Michigan.
2. Walled Lake Casino: Where Detroiters Came to Dance Marker — top left image
The casino entrance, in the late 1930s, near the lake at the intersection of South Lake Drive and 13 Mile Road.
In addition, it is included in the MotorCities National Heritage Area series list.
 
Location. 42° 30.666′ N, 83° 28.664′ W. Marker is in Novi, Michigan, in Oakland County. Marker is on South Lake Drive 0.2 miles north of West Thirteen Mile Road, on the right when traveling north. Marker is on a path in Pavilion Shore Park on the south shore of Walled Lake, about 220 feet from South Lake Drive. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 43390 West Thirteen Mile Road, Novi MI 48377, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Pavilion Shore Park (within shouting distance of this marker); Worth the Drive (within shouting distance of this marker); Built for Fun (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Sharing the Bounty (approx. 1.3 miles away); Walled Lake (approx. 1.4 miles away); Stonecrest (approx. 1˝ miles away); Novi's Crucial Crossing (approx. 2 miles away); Grand River Bridge (approx. 2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Novi.
 
Walled Lake Casino: Where Detroiters Came to Dance Marker — middle left image image. Click for full size.
Photo courtesy of the Novi Historical Commission.
3. Walled Lake Casino: Where Detroiters Came to Dance Marker — middle left image
A quaint invitation to socializing at the "New Casino." In the 1930s it came to be called the Walled Lake Casino.
Walled Lake Casino: Where Detroiters Came to Dance Marker — bottom left image image. Click for full size.
Photo courtesy of the Novi Historical Commission.
4. Walled Lake Casino: Where Detroiters Came to Dance Marker — bottom left image
At first called the "New Casino," the spectacular dance pavilion had a polished hardwood dance floor of almost 17,000 square feet.
Walled Lake Casino: Where Detroiters Came to Dance Marker — center image image. Click for full size.
Photo courtesy of the Novi Historical Commission.
5. Walled Lake Casino: Where Detroiters Came to Dance Marker — center image
On weekends, thousands of dancers from Detroit and the surrounding area created bumper-to-bumper traffic in the area around the dance hall.
Walled Lake Casino: Where Detroiters Came to Dance Marker — lower middle image image. Click for full size.
Photo courtesy of the Novi Historical Commission.
6. Walled Lake Casino: Where Detroiters Came to Dance Marker — lower middle image
The casino under construction in 1924. Owner Louis Tolletene joined a flurry of development of bath houses and dance pavilions at the lakeshore that began in 1919.
Walled Lake Casino: Where Detroiters Came to Dance Marker — right images image. Click for full size.
Photos courtesy of the Novi Historical Commission.
7. Walled Lake Casino: Where Detroiters Came to Dance Marker — right images
Left: Teddy Phillips' Orchestra, based in Chicago, was one of the last dance bands that played the Walled Lake Casino into the 1950s.
Right: Casino operators Elmer and Albert Tollertene, nephews of original owner Louis Tollertene. They saw entertainment shifing away from dance bands and began to book vocal acts like Mel Torme and the Kingston Trio in the 1950s.
Walled Lake Casino:Where Detroiters Came to Dance Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, January 9, 2021
8. Walled Lake Casino:Where Detroiters Came to Dance Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 14, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 14, 2021, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page has been viewed 45 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on January 14, 2021, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.
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Mar. 3, 2021