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Lake James Property Owners Association, Inc.

Roscommon County, Michigan
Courtesy of the Houghton Lake Resorter

Lake History

DeTray Realty Contracts To Sell $3 1/2 Million Lake James Development

A contract has been signed by DeTray Realty Co. of Houghton Lake with the Wanaki Co. whereby the DeTray company will handle all sales of property in the $3 1/2 million real estate development at Lake James, near Prudenville.

The developers predict the Lake James lakefront residential area will, in the near future, bring hundreds of new summer and year-around residents to Houghton Lake.

Jim Cole, the lake builder, started excavating for the artificial lake in August, 1960 and formed the Wanaki Co. for the project. As the work progressed, Mr. Cole was joined by Robert H. Chapin, Inc. of Drayton Plains, known as the "Build Michigan Realtor," as consultant.

This Spring, with Lake James near completion, the sales contract with DeTray Realty was signed to usher in the lot selling phase. A new DeTray office is being built at Lake James. Harold Tift, DeTray vice-president, will be in charge of Lake James sales.

Building Lake James started last August with the arrival of heavy earth moving machines. Hundreds of acres of timber were logged by local workers from the 1,900 acre tract. Thousands of yards of earth were moved to build a dam more than 2,000 feet long. A quarter-mile section of County Road was raised by the developer to permit Lake James to have ample depth. A tube bridge is being installed under this road to allow 6-foot headroom for boat passage.

Several weeks ago Lake James was filled by closing the dam at Denton Creek and the water reached within one foot of maximum in nine days. This filling was to verify all the paper calculations by the Lake James engineers. Once the engineers' figures were verified, the lake was drained to allow the earth movers to finish contouring the shorelines.

Plans call for refilling Lake James about May 15. Because the first section of Lake James is less than half its planned area, there will be work going on for more than a year.

When completed, it will contain more than 1200 lake front home sites. Several homes will be built soon.

Mr. Cole and Mr. Chapin planned the Lake James development with good building restrictions with a view to stability, security and resale value. They point out that the hundreds of new residents coming to Lake James will bring added retail and service business in the entire Houghton Lake area.

Courtesy of the Houghton Lake Resorter. Original Article dated: May, 1961.

Revised Monday May 02, 2011 3:57 PM