Lake Louise History
Reclamation, Beauty and Hope
These blue lakes, towering hills and colorful forests are dedicated to Christian youth by Charles, Edward, William and Jennie Horner in grateful memory of their mother Inis Atchison Horner, whose childhood home was in the highlands of Scotland.
“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills.” – 1946
The 300,000 evergreen trees in our 2000 acre forest were planted by Mr. and Mrs. Harold Redman of Alma, Michigan during the years 1950-1958 and are dedicated as a service to the youth of Michigan Methodism who shall be the bearers of promise in future generations.
5,500 Acres And A Dream
As the logging era in Northern Michigan waned and Great Depression descended upon the United States, the Horner family of Eaton Rapids, MI held approximately 5,500 acres of “stump land” surrounding a spring-fed lake in Northern Michigan.
In 1934, the Horner family approached their pastor, Rev. Stanley Niles, desiring to give these lands away. Together, the Horners and Rev. Niles envisioned a youth camp and cottage sites for clergy families surrounding the lake.
They created Lake Louise Christian Community, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, to receive the gift and hold the land in trust for the two United Methodist Michigan conferences, and by extension, all Michigan Methodists. Yet, our ministry transcends traditional Christian denominational lines, welcoming all persons of Christian faith, and seeks to offer an environment in which all persons feel welcome, regardless of faith tradition.
The transformational camping experiences of children, youth, and adults of the Methodist Church linger in their memories and continue forming their lives and faith long after they leave.
1935, Christian Camping Begins
Christian camping at Lake Louise began in 1935 and continues uninterrupted to this day. Until 1997, the Detroit and West Michigan Conferences used Lake Louise to facilitate many of their camping programs. And, in 2006 sent the last conference designed and funded programs to Lake Louise. Today, the Lake Louise staff works with dedicated volunteer deans and counselors to develop and offer vibrant Christian camping programs.
Independent and self-sustaining, Lake Louise’s Methodist heritage remains a formative agent in our identity and ministry. As we embrace our history and seek to be a camp and retreat center that is an asset not only to the Methodists of Michigan, but to the local Boyne area community and all people seeking respite and renewal, we look to the future filled with joy, a sense of privilege to be entrusted with these lands, community, and ministry, and hope for the future.
Lake Louise Christian Community still holds title to 2,400 acres of the original gift of 5,500 acres. Roughly half of the property was sold back to the State of Michigan in 1935.
The Lake Louise Christian Community is committed to preserving the undeveloped character of this land. As such, the remaining property is harvested in a sustainable manner for timber. And, The Michigan Department of Natural Resources was recently awarded a Forest Legacy Grant placing 750 acres of Lake Louise property into a conservation easement inperpetuity. This tract of land is called the Gitcha-ninj Nebish Forest using the Native American name for the lake.
Lake Louise stands unique among camp and retreat centers in Michigan and invites you to experience, discover, and engage the beauty of this place.