February 15, 2002

Detroit News
Francis X Donnelly
615 W. Lafayette
Detroit, MI 48226

RE:  Article, Sunday February 3, 2002, Black History: Remembering Idlewild Good-time ghost haunt 'Black Eden'

Dear Mr. Donnelly:

First let's start out with my name, I am Mrs. Mildred A. Kyles. I live and work in the City of Detroit. My family has owned property in Idlewild for more than 40 years. I have owned property since 1979. Idlewild is not a big community but rather a small community with more than four churches and they are not chasing a ghost. Some have returned there because of the small town atmosphere, lots of space and good air.

Sure the night clubs are long gone and the after hour places are long gone, but the beauty of Idlewild Lake, Paradise Lake, The Twin Lake, Little Idlewild Lake, Water Mill Lake and other lakes are most enjoyed by us year round. In the summer water skiing, boating, fishing, sunning or just relaxing on the beach, watching the sun rise in the morning and set in the evening is very relaxing.

In the winter there is snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and ice fishing. This is all part of living in idlewild. We start opening our cottages in April and we are there until Labor Day and others are there until after deer hunting season.

I am President of the Detroit Idlewilders Club, Inc. Chapter. Most of the members have been going to Idlewild for more than 50 years. Our National Idlewilders is made up of Chapters from Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Mid-Michigan and St. Louis. Members also live in Las Vegas, Kansas City, California, Minnesota, Florida and New Jersey.

The Detroit Idlewilders has invested in the community by adding an addition to the original structure of the Detroit Idlewilders' Clubhouse on Lake Drive, where many gather for entertainment & fellowship.

  • The Lot Owners' Clubhouse is where many events take place all year long, for those that stay year round or those that come up only for a season with Board of Director members from all over the country.
  • There is the newly renovated Morton Motel, the Idlewild Party store and The Red Rooster Bar & Lounge.
  • The Idlewild Historical Museum has opened and it is a place to gather to view the displays of idlewild's rich history.
  • The Mid-Michigan Chapter had the Contours perfoi7n at the Lot Owners' Clubhouse and a book signing with Mr. Ossie Davis and Ms. Ruby Dee.
  • Dr. Ronald J. Stephens' book signing of his book Images of America, The Black Eden of Michigan.
  • The Art League of Michigan, Harlem Renaissancelldlewild Performance, August 2001 at the Detroit Clubhouse.
  • The Poetry in the Woods group had Mr. Dick Gregory signing books and records.
  • The Five Caps, Inc. Enterprise Board has built many new homes in Idlewild. They will be adding others in the future.

This is just to give you an overview of what happens in our Great Idlewild Resort Community; also known as the Black Eden.

We do enjoy going to Baldwin, MI. There is Jones' Ice Cream, Kat's Meow, Pandora's Box, Ben Franklin, Sporties and our newly renovated Lake Oceola State Bank. Sometime just drive to Traverse City or Ludington for a day.

I invite you to come up to Idlewild when the season opens and spend a weekend. From that visit, perhaps you can write another article on Idlewild with the another point of view.

If you'd like to discuss this in more detail, I can be reached at (313) 368-1917.


Mrs. Mildred A. Kyles, President Detroit Idlewilders, Inc.