History Preserved with a Modern Destination
In the 1800s, Gun Lake was known as a fishing haven for anglers from the Midwest. The lake and surrounding forests made the area a sportsmen’s paradise for the Ottawa, Pottawatomie, and Chippewa Indians. A recognized leader of the Ottawa Indians of Southern Michigan was the brave and powerful Chief Noonday, whose name remains on Gun Lake area roads and trails as a testament to his strength and character.
Gun Lake has long been a vacation destination. Back in 1895, as many as 5,000 people traveling by horse and carriage attended a 5-day farmer’s picnic, setting up camps around the lake, celebrating with endless music and square dancing while travelling back and forth by steamboat to Gun Lake’s earliest resorts. Steamboats on the lake offered moonlight cruises, sparking many new courtships.
Austin H. and Frankie Dwight purchased the site of the current Bay Pointe in 1899. These former Chicago residents, far too familiar with the fast pace of the windy city, longed for serenity. When the Dwight’s found the peace and tranquility they were searching for on 350 acres surrounding Gun Lake, they decided to build their summer home. In 1902, the Dwight’s started building their dream home, which came to be known as the “Dwight Villa”.
In 1906 the Dwight’s summer retreat was completed on this picturesque site. The two and half story 6000 sq. ft. home was designed in Colonial Revival style, featured a full-length porch and natural exterior of granite, local cobblestone and wood shingles with a massive fieldstone fireplace. The exterior stone was repurposed to build our existing seawall. Since the couple loved to entertain, they built an enormous living room designed to accommodate in grand style. The Dwight’s threw lavish parties and dances and hosted musical performances on the lake. The Dwight Villa was the entertainment center of Gun Lake. Today, Bay Pointe continues this local tradition of celebrations, entertainment and hospitality.
Sweeping lawns, curving driveways, hedges, walnut trees and evergreens adorned the property, along with flowering plants in mass. Mr. Dwight’s hobby was cultivating the Dahlias which dominated the gardens. At one time, it was said he had over two hundred different varieties. Today Bay Pointe showcases extraordinary gardens with walking paths intimate sitting areas and water and fire features.
After the Dwight’s passing, this house once revered for its grace and charm stood empty for 30 years. In 1978, Roy and Jackie Martin purchased the neglected property then being run as a campground. After a complete renovation of the landmark home, they opened Bay Pointe Restaurant in 1983 filled with fine furnishings from the Dwight Era. By 1984, this architectural showpiece was admitted to both the State and Federal Registry of Historic Buildings for its importance in American history and culture.
Bay Pointe Restaurant hosted hundreds of weddings, meetings and special events until 2003 when the owners decided to sell their historical restaurant and retire.
Long time Gun Lake residents Mike & Patti Powers purchased the landmark restaurant in November 2003. Shortly after on Dec. 26th they held an auction garnering a high level of interest from over 1000 local residents, antique dealers and collectors from the Midwest seeking interesting memorabilia from the historic Dwight Villa and Bay Pointe Restaurant.
The Powers started construction soon after and the new Bay Pointe Inn and Restaurant opened for business November 8th, 2004.
Their dream was to develop an inspiring Gun Lake resort that was a memorable vacation destination and entertainment venue. They recognized and honored the history of the landmark property but introduced lodging, extraordinary farm to table cuisine, refreshing craft cocktails a desirable wine list and year-round entertainment combined with all the amenities today’s savvy travelers desire.
Since opening; this award-winning property has evolved with several expansions. Bay Pointe now encompasses 375 ft. of Gun Lake frontage on 30 wooded acres offering exceptional lakefront dining, 39 spectacular guest rooms and suites an indoor pool the historical BoatHouse Villa and the new Bay Pointe Woods compound showcasing 18 private cottages and a modern equestrian designed conference center with 150 Ft. covered porch. Bay Pointe offers a variety of indoor and outdoor venues for weddings, meetings, special events and entertainment surrounded by peace and tranquility.
Message from the President
Our team is a very carefully selected group of professionals who share the idea that there may be a better way to do things regardless of how we have done things in the past.
Guests in the new millennium are no longer satisfied with dining experiences that only offer good food and beverage. We must view the dining experience as entertainment and we are performers. It is no longer enough to simply meet guest expectations; we must strive to exceed their expectations, every time.
Maintaining innovation and quality in the products we sell, the services we provide, and the way we treat our associates is the cornerstone of our success. Our management team is committed to empowering you to make decisions that affect your job. After all, you are the experts at what you do every day. It is you who can lend the best insight towards constant improvement. We encourage your input and guarantee an open door to all management for all associates. Please always remember, all of us have a guest regardless of what task we perform. You are my guests, and it is my responsibility to not only meet your expectations but to exceed them.
-Mike Powers, Founder and CEO