Fountain Point

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Fountain Point
Fountain Point porch 2 2010.JPG
View of the fountain from the porch of Fountain Point Resort
Location 990 South Lake Leelanau Drive, Suttons Bay Township, Michigan
Coordinates 44°58′05″N 85°42′26″W / 44.96808°N 85.70726°W / 44.96808; -85.70726Coordinates: 44°58′05″N 85°42′26″W / 44.96808°N 85.70726°W / 44.96808; -85.70726
Built 1889
Architectural style Late Victorian, Bungalow/craftsman
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 03000623[1]
Added to NRHP July 10, 2003

Fountain Point is an historic landmark located in Suttons Bay Township, Michigan, which is part of Leelanau County and the Leelanau Peninsula. Its name is derived from a fountain of sparkling artesian spring water,[2] situated on a large point on Lake Leelanau,[3] which has been continuously gushing since 1867.


Circa 1860, a French fur trader, Aymar De Belloy, was plying his trade near the narrows of Carp Lake—also called Lake "Leelanau", said to mean "delight of life" in the language spoken by local Native Americans[4]—and became convinced of the beauty and bounty of the area and purchased a parcel of land.[5]

He attempted drilling for oil, and after a long struggle in 1867 he struck a gusher of sparkling water at a depth of 900 feet (270 m).[6] Following de Beloit’s disappointment over his failure to strike oil, the land changed hands several times until 1887, when it was purchased by Lydia Morrison of Cincinnati, Ohio. In June 1889, she established "The Fountain Point House," a Victorian-style mansion, and guests began arriving for the summer by steamboat and buggy. The main three-story building was the center of activity, and it included a large dining room, kitchen and lounge.

By 1903, the Traverse City, Leelanau, and Manistique Railroad began operating between Traverse City and Northport, stopping at Fountain Point, improving transportation of people and products.[7]

Over the years, several cottages were built, and Fountain Point has become a popular destination featuring rich history and simple family pleasures. In addition to the resort, the point itself also includes smaller private residences.

In 1975, Fountain Point Resort was listed on the State of Michigan historic registry,[8] and in 2003 it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.[1]


Fountain Point Resort is one of the oldest recreational hotel complexes of its type in the state,[9] and encompasses 54 acres (22 ha) of land, including a half-mile (0.8 km) of lakefront and the fountain.[10] It is presently owned by Susan Jay Nichols; the property has been in her family for three generations. Her oldest son, Erik Zehender, manages the property.[5] Located near the quiet community of Lake Leelanau, it is open to the public, reservations only, and features swimming, boating, tennis and numerous other indoor and outdoor activities.[11]

Special events[edit]

The resort, which boasts a "no TV" policy, features summer concert series and numerous other cultural and outdoor activities.[12][13] The area's natural beauty makes it a unique location to exchange wedding vows.[14] From time to time the resort hosts lectures on various topics, such as gardening.[15]


The resort partners with the University of Michigan to offer rowing camps,[16][17] and is home to the Lake Leelanau Rowing Club.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010. 
  2. ^ Perlman, Howard (September 28, 2012). "Artestian water and artesian wells". U.S. Geological Survey. 
  3. ^ Google (October 22, 2012). "Fountain Point" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved October 22, 2012. 
  4. ^ Staff. "Lake Leelanau, Michigan 49653". Info Michigan. 
  5. ^ a b Staff. "History: A Short History of Fountain Point". Fountain Point Resort. 
  6. ^ Village of Lake Leelanau. "A Brief History of Lake Leelanau". Leelanau County Board of Commissioners. 
  7. ^ Firestone, Kathleen Craker. "History of Suttons Bay". Suttons Bay Chamber of Commerce. Archived from the original on August 14, 2007. 
  8. ^ Staff. "Fountain Point". Historic Sites Online. Michigan State Housing Development Authority. 
  9. ^ McMackin, Marla (May 17, 2003). "Register May Gain Historic Properties: Fountain Point, Watervale Both on State Register". Traverse City Record-Eagle. Archived from the original on June 29, 2003. 
  10. ^ Staff. "Fountain Point Resort". Pure Michigan Travel. Michigan Economic Development Corporation. Archived from the original on February 2, 2009. 
  11. ^ Staff. "Resort Amenities". Fountain Point Resort. 
  12. ^ Chicago Magazine 2011
  13. ^ Grand Rapids Symphony, July 28, 2013
  14. ^ Youtube wedding video at Fountain Point
  15. ^ Northwest Michigan, September 2013
  16. ^ Fountain Point website/news release Spring 2013
  17. ^ Grand Traverse Insider, October 25, 2010
  18. ^ Lake Leelanau Rowing Club

External links[edit]