Chautauqua Trail: Bay View Association

Guest Blogger: Allison Moon, Advancement Communications Intern


A Chautauqua on Lake Michigan Storybayview_07

“Bay View is really home to me,” Betsy Loyd Harvey said. “When I think of going home, I go to Bay View.”

Can any Lakesiders relate? Does this sound familiar to Frank Gwalthney’s kids at Ocean Park?

Harvey is the fifth generation of her family to spend thesummertime in Bay View, Mich., a Chautauqua on Lake Michigan.

Harvey’s great-great-grandmother first visited Bay View to breathe in clearer air when she had hay fever.

The next generation, Harvey’s great-grandparents and their children, traveled to the Chautauqua community every summer for a safe place to vacation and participate in programming, similar to what theBay View summer residents’ experience today.

In a journal kept by Harvey’s great-grandfather, he recounts the difficulty of leaving his family in Bay View to return to work in Ohio.

“I could not help but think of the great number of things I needed to do at the factory… I could scarcely keep back the tears as the train pulled out and Anna looked the same.”

Today, Harvey said technology enables some parents to work from the Chautauqua, allowing them to stay longer.

However, in families with two working parents, children often stay in Bay View with their grandparents for the summer.

“Bay View is so intergenerational,” said Harvey. “I’m friends with my parents’ friends and my grandparents’ friends. You don’t see that as much anymore, but it’s so important.”

Another unique feature of Bay View is the average length of stay.

“Bay View is set up for longer stays,” Harvey said. “Many of the classes are several weeks long. If you sign up for a four-week art class, the group will expect you to be there for all four weeks.”

Harvey added that this creates a closer, less transient community.

“You really get to know people and look forward to meeting with them again the following year,” said Harvey.

Sunday worship services also bring community members from the surrounding area to Bay View.

Bay View is a Chautauqua community located near Petoskey, Mich.

The grounds feature many wooded areas and more than400 cottages, all with a similar Victorian style.

Similarly to Lakeside, Bay View was established in 1875 by Methodists in Michigan as a camp meeting place “for intellectual and scientific culture and the promotion of the cause of religion and morality.”

Today, Bay View’s mission focuses on the four Chautauqua pillars –religion, education, cultural arts and recreation – and seeks “to provide a Christian perspective in a changing world.”

Visit to learn more about Bay View, and explore the other communities along the Chautauqua Trail.


Join our Front Porch conversation. How many generations of your family have spent time at Lakeside? What are the most interesting similarities you seen between the other Chautauqua communities so far? Tell us in the comments below.

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