Nestled along the shores of Lake Michigan

"The Little Church in the Woods"


A dozen cottages had been built along the lakeshore by 1900 and to reach the village churches on foot was not easy.  Accordingly, the summer community accepted the offer from one of the centrally located owners to hold a Sabbath Meeting at their cottage.  The dwelling next door served as a place to which the young children could retire for their lesson during the main portion of the service.

No collection was taken, but the children continued to save their pennies.  Not knowing what to do with them, someone suggested with a laugh, "Save them to build a Chapel."  And this was done.

Lake Shore Chapel was erected, and dedicated on July 17, 1904.  The early service was like an adult Sunday School as frequently one of the members of the group discussed the International Sunday School lesson for the day and six or seven hymns were sung.  Ministers from along the shore or at Camp Gray preached, but the President presided.

As the mode of travel changed from boat, horse, and interurban to automobile and airplane, the area from which the ministers could be invited greatly increased.  Pastors for the entire season could be selected.  The present form of service was adopted to meet the needs of the Lake Shore Chapel, which has no connection with any religious denomination.  The children, who used to retire to the back of the Chapel or to a nearby dune or porch, now go to the Children's Chapel which is a memorial to one of the Chapel's former children.  Additionally, the bell and bell tower, the plantings around the Chapel, the piano, flower vases, Friendship Porch, and Memorial Garden and bench are also memorials to former members of our community.  The flag and the Bible used at the dedication have been preserved.  In 1997, the Lake Shore Chapel was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

A three volume set of the Chapel's history, covering the first 100 years, can be purchased for $40.  Please add $5.00 if shipping is required.  For more information on how to order, please contact us at