Youth Island (Hubbell's Island) - White Lake Township MI 

Address: White Lake
City: White Lake Township
State: MI
Zip: 48383
County: Oakland
Number of visits to this page: 431
General Information:

Personal recollection

I was raised Presbyterian (Southfield United Presbyterian Church 10 Mile E. of Lahser - now defunct) and the Detroit-Area Presbyterian church bought Hubbell's Island and constructed 2-3 buildings. One was a boy's dorm upstairs combined with a hall and kitchen downstairs. A second smaller structure was built for the girls dorm. There was a volleyball net in between. There was also a fire pit which we used for Vespers every night. There was a fairly large cross and benches next to the fire. There was also a dock, boathouse and a small beach complete with a lifeguard chair and swimming area.

As my mother was active in the Church (first female Deacon), she would cook for the kids at the island camp. Each church would get 1 week of time per year. I would tag along as a kid and later went as a normal camper when I was older. We used to tow our old MirroCraft speedboat out there and use if for skiing. It had a fairly rare 75HP Mercury Outboard. I used to fish off the dock too. I really loved this place and even though it was "church camp" we and the other kids got into plenty of mischief out there (mostly harmless pranks).

As church attendance declined, at some point the Presbytery sold the island. My old church was sold off too. The structures were eventually torn down and there is nary a remnant of the place now. The last time I was out there was several years back and you could sort of make out where the structures were but if you didn't know where to look you wouldn't have noticed. The island had electricity and water so somebody built a large house out there apparently.

From Highland Township Historical Society

White Lake has two principal islands, the smaller of which - at the south end - is within the boundaries of Highland Township. This island has been known by several names over the years. As the old postcard below indicates, it was once called "Bi-Hu-Li" Isle or Island. While sounding vaguely Hawaiian, the name incorporates the first two letters of the last names of Messrs. Edward J. Bissell, Frank S. Hubbell and M. B. Liddell; all of whom were early and prominent patrons of the campgrounds on White Lake. It later became known simply as "Hubbell's Island" or "Hubbell Island."

Following its purchase by Presbyterian Church it was often called "Youth Island" in recognition of its use as a summer retreat. In 1999 a proposal was made to change the name yet again to "Hansen Island," but this was rejected by the US Board on Geographic Names (USBGN) in February, 2000. Curiously, the USBGN's "official" designation of this geographic feature is "Hubbels Island," i.e., with only one "l" and no apostrophe.

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 Photos:6
Youth Island (Hubbells Island) - PHOTO FROM WHITE LAKE WEBSITE - LARGER ISLAND WAS THIS LOCATION
PHOTO FROM WHITE LAKE WEBSITE - LARGER ISLAND WAS THIS LOCATION
Youth Island (Hubbells Island) - PHOTO FROM WHITE LAKE WEBSITE - LARGER ISLAND WAS THIS LOCATION
PHOTO FROM WHITE LAKE WEBSITE - LARGER ISLAND WAS THIS LOCATION
Youth Island (Hubbells Island) - MY CHURCH GROWING UP
MY CHURCH GROWING UP
Youth Island (Hubbells Island) - OLD PHOTO
OLD PHOTO
Youth Island (Hubbells Island) - HISTORICAL MARKER
HISTORICAL MARKER
Youth Island (Hubbells Island) - AERIAL PHOTO WITH CALLOUTS
AERIAL PHOTO WITH CALLOUTS
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