Watervale Historic District
Watervale historic Casino and Post Office, 2018
|Location||975-1422 Watervale Rd.,|
Blaine Township, Michigan
|Area||25.5 acres (10.3 ha)|
|Architectural style||Late Victorian, Bungalow/craftsman|
|NRHP reference #||03000624|
|Added to NRHP||July 10, 2003|
|Designated MSHS||December 19, 1991|
The Watervale Historic District is a resort, originally constructed as a lumber camp, located at 975-1422 Watervale Road on the shore of Lower Herring Lake in Blaine Township, Michigan. It was designated a Michigan State Historic Site in 1991and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.
Blaine Township is a civil township of Benzie County in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2010 census, the township population was 551. It is located in the southwest portion of the county. There are no significant population centers in the township; the nearest towns are Arcadia to the south, Benzonia to the northeast, and Elberta to the northwest. M-22 is the township's main thoroughfare.
The National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) is the United States federal government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures and objects deemed worthy of preservation for their historical significance. A property listed in the National Register, or located within a National Register Historic District, may qualify for tax incentives derived from the total value of expenses incurred in preserving the property.
Leo F. Hale began a logging and shipping operation in this area in the early 1890s.In 1893, Hale, along with William and Mary Vincent, platted out the village of Watervale on the south shore of Lower Herring Lake. They built about 20 houses, many of which were shacks. There were, however, at least eight painted frame houses. The village also contained a meat market, general store, and post office.
As the logging boom waned, Hale went bankrupt, and by 1900 had lost most of Watervale; it was eventually nearly abandoned.In 1917, Dr. Oscar H. Kraft of Chicago purchased the town and adjacent land to use as a resort for his family. He restored several buildings, and opened it that summer as a public resort. Kraft's niece, Vera Noble, and her husband Vernon purchased the resort in 1960; Vera ran Watervale until her death in 2005, when it was passed on to her children.
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