AKA Lakeview Park
This began when the Lakeview Dance Pavilion, which opened July 4, 1914. Big-name groups The McFarland Twins and The Victors performed there in the 1930s, according to Lenawee County historian Dan Cherry. By the 1940s, it was drawing even bigger bands, including those led by Guy Lombardo and Tommy Dorsey.
O.E. "Pokey" Green, who had worked several years as a hardware and implement salesman, arrived in 1945 to manage the pavilion. He told the Citizen Patriot he first became interested in dance pavilions in the 1920s when he called square dances in the summer. In 1955, as the big-band era was dying out and rock 'n' roll was being born, Green bought the business.
"I could see great possibilities in the field of entertainment and recreation," he told the Citizen Patriot in June 1966. "The kids need a place to blow off steam." Green was committed to hiring only groups that ranked high on popular lists.
"People are hungry for entertainment – good entertainment – and that's what I intend to give them," he said. Teens heard Del Shannon sing his No. 1 hit "Runaway" there. Roy Orbison, the Mindbenders, the Animals, Freddie and the Dreamers, Brenda Lee, Frankie Avalon, Joey Dee and the Starliters, Bobbie Vinton, Paul & Paula, the Four Seasons and more all crossed the stage.
On Sept. 2, 1963, the original pavilion burned to the ground in a fire caused by faulty wiring in the band shell. Green rebuilt a 16,000-square-foot building he called Devil's Lake Pavilion. It opened in April 1964.
Then, on April 11, 1965 – Palm Sunday – that pavilion was destroyed by an EF4 tornado that caused widespread damage throughout southern Michigan.
After surveying the damage, Green told the Citizen Patriot he thought about not rebuilding. But he did, and this time it was a 20,000-square-foot building. Green's Pavilion opened on Labor Day 1965 to a paid attendance of 10,000.
By the summer of 1966, more than 1,000 teens a week were coming to the pavilion, which was open Wednesday through Sunday nights during the summer and weekends in the winter.
Between big-name acts, up-and-coming bands played Green's Pavilion. This included Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck, who performed with the Yardbirds on Aug. 10, 1966. Bob Seger and his first band, the Last Heard, also played there.
In 1969, Green retired and turned the business over to his son Jack so he and his wife, Ethel, a Lenawee County teacher and former principal of Jackson's Tomlinson School, could relax at their Wampler's Lake home.
Jack Green was a World War II Army Air Corps veteran who became a nightclub and Broadway song and dance man and then manager of a commercial film studio in San Francisco.
Green died in April 1970 at age 72. According to Cherry, the pavilion was sold in 1973 to the Tibbs family, who converted it into the Tibbs Bros. Pavilion grocery store.
In 2013, Jerry's Market bought the store, revamped it and renamed it Jerry's Pavilion Market, Cherry said. Sections of the original wooden dance floor still are in the store, he said. [MLive Leanne Smith 2013]