Idlewild in Lake County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
The Island / The Flamingo Club
The Island, once accessible only by footbridges, was the center of life at Idlewild from the 1910s into the 1960s. Early advertisements for the resort described Island Park as having a beautiful bathing beach and a small "parlor" or clubhouse, on the east shore. Built in 1916, the parlor was the social hub. By 1923 the Idlewild Resort Company boasted in the Chicago Defender that the island had a dance pavilion, saddle horses, a new 62-room hotel, and a "cottage city" of 29 sleeping cottages. Locals called these "doghouses" due to their small size. During the 1930s and 1940s, entrepreneur Virgil Williams ran a hotel and nightclub here. Detroiter Phil Giles purchased them in the 1940s. For some 20 years Giles savvy marketing of Idlewild's nightlife drew audiences from the midwest and beyond.
The Flamingo Club
Detroit hotelier Phil Giles opened the Flamingo Club in 1955. A 1956 Chicago Defender article reported it was classed with the top nighteries in the nation. As early as the 1920s, resorters had many options for evening activities, including card parties and dances. By the 1930s the Islands clubhouse had been renovated as the Idlewild Club Casino. During the next thirty years venues like the Paradise Club and El
Erected 2009 by Michigan Historical Commission-Michigan Historical Center. (Marker Number 2204.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Michigan Historical Commission marker series.
Location. 43° 53.755′ N, 85° 46.919′ W. Marker is in Idlewild, Michigan, in Lake County. Marker is on Martin Luther King Avenue 0.1 miles west of Northrup Road, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1002 Martin Luther King Avenue, Idlewild MI 49642, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 1 other marker is within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Lake County (approx. 3½ miles away).
Also see . . .
1. Idlewild Historic District. Center for Geographic Information (Submitted on May 16, 2012, by Cameron Zwart of Belding, Michigan.)
2. Idlewild. Lake County, Michigan (Submitted on May 16, 2012, by Cameron Zwart of Belding, Michigan.)
3. Idlewild. Yates Township (Submitted on May 16, 2012, by Cameron Zwart of Belding, Michigan.)
4. Historic Idlewild. Historic Idlewild (Submitted on May 16, 2012, by Cameron Zwart of Belding, Michigan.)
Categories. • African Americans •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 16, 2012, by Cameron Zwart of Belding, Michigan. This page has been viewed 629 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on May 16, 2012, by Cameron Zwart of Belding, Michigan. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Photo of Side One. • Can you help?