The White Lake Area has a rich background in the arts. This community is home to an active arts council and many talented artists who play a key role in the development of culture in Whitehall and Montague.
The Arts Council of White Lake sponsors childrens arts programs as well as "Artist in Residence" events at the schools. Citizens young and old are awarded scholarships to performing arts camps and programs; the Council also sponsors events such as a visit from the Art Train. The Summer Concert Series at the White Lake Music Shell in Montague is booked and funded by the Council. These outdoor concerts attract families and visitors toting lawn chairs and blankets, gathering to enjoy free live performances on the shores of White Lake.
The Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp hosts thousands of youngsters each summer for arts and performing arts camp with training and instruction by some of the best known performers and teachers in music today. The Camp offers a full schedule of concerts and performances open to the public and operates a summer theater at the Howmet Playhouse in Whitehall. This "Summer Theater" has included musicals, opera, ballet and Shakespeare.
There are several Arts and Crafts Shows in the White Lake Area throughout the year, including the Fathers Day weekend show with over 150 artists, entertainment and more. Galleries in the area showcase the works of local artisans and host artists for picture signings and demonstrations.
The Montague Museum houses a truly unique collection of local memorabilia, including the dress Nancy Ann Fleming wore in the Miss America Pageant in 1963. The White River Light Station Museum is housed in an 1875 historic lighthouse, one of the few still open to the public. Tours conducted by the curator offer visitors a view of the past with an excellent collection of maritime artifacts.
The White Lake Area boasts a broad array of vital industry. The largest single company is the Howmet Corporation, whose 2,500 employees produce highly specialized metal castings, such as turbine blades. Howmets Operhall Research Center, located alongside the Whitehall Industrial Park, is on the developmental frontier for super alloy grain formations and casting techniques. Recent company expansions include a joint venture with Pratt & Whitney to supply castings using a molten metal spray forming process; approximately 500 people will be needed at a new plant to cast directionally solidified and single crystal components for aerospace use.
Whitehall Leather Company has been tanning leather in the White Lake Area since 1866, making it by far the oldest firm in the area. Now a subsidiary of Genesco, it provides leather for numerous applications, including 90% of the boots for the countrys military.
Montague-based MasterTag, Inc. uses sophisticated computerized printing equipment and technologies to make the colorful plastic tags used by thousands of nurseries and plant sellers in the U.S. and abroad to identify their wares. It is among the largest suppliers of tags in the world.
Other industries in the area include Shellcast, Inc., which produces intricately shaped castings using the investment casting lost wax process, and Form All Tool Co., Inc., a small, family-owned firm that designs, machines, and grinds cutting tools for screw machines.
The White Lake Area is a perfect place to establish a business. A well-trained work force, with excellent educational and vocational institutions nearby and supportive communities in both Whitehall and Montague, provides an attractive industrial atmosphere in a beautiful setting on the shores of White Lake and Lake Michigan.
Space is available at the Whitehall Industrial Park, located in the southeast part of the city, as well as across the White River in the Montague Industrial Park. Both industrial parks are connected to US 31 by "all weather" truck routes, and are 20 and 25 minutes, respectively, from the Muskegon County International Airport. The parks extend over a combined area of 594 acres, 117 of which are still available for development.
White Lake Area residents take advantage of first-class educational resources for people of all ages. The White Lake Area is renowned for its outstanding school districts, where parents, teachers, and administration work together to realize the potential of all students and foster a lifetime love of learning.
The Montague and Whitehall school districts educate students from kindergarten through twelfth grade. The Montague Area Public Schools serve approximately 1,600 students in Elementary, Middle School and High School. The district covers 100 square miles of northern Muskegon and southern Oceana Counties. While Montague is a relatively small district, their size allows for very personal relationships between teachers and students.
Approximately 2,100 students are enrolled in the Whitehall District Schools, located on the south side of White Lake. The district includes Shoreline Elementary and Whitehall Upper Elementary, Junior High and Senior High Schools. All are accredited by the North Central Association.
The Montague and Whitehall school districts take pride in their exciting array of specialized programs and extracurricular activities. Both districts are members of the West Michigan Conference, and frequently are finalists in state athletic tournaments. Students can exercise their creative talents in a variety of art courses sponsored by the Arts Council of White Lake, or fine-tune their music skills by participating in Choir, Choral Ensemble, Marching Band, or the Symphonic Band. These programs, along with other programs such as the Drama Club, combine to enrich the lives and academic careers of White Lake students.
Meeting the needs of all students is important to the White Lake Area schools. Gifted and talented students may challenge their minds by participating in Junior Great Books, Odyssey of the Mind, or Science Olympiad. Working with area districts, both Montague and Whitehall cooperate in the operation of an alternative high school for students with special needs.
White Lake Area students from kindergarten through sixth grade may attend St. James Catholic School, which provides students of all denominations educational excellence while incorporating Christian
values and traditions. St. James puts emphasis on the total person; individualized attention is given to each students needs, abilities, and interests. St. James provides many opportunities for personal growth and achievement through science fairs, art fairs, educational field trips, Catholic Schools Week, altar serving, community service projects, and more. Regular communication and various volunteer opportunities keep parents involved and fully updated on current school activities.
St. James Catholic School strives to develop all students to their fullest potential, academically, spiritually, physically and socially, preparing them to successfully continue a lifelong pursuit of knowing, loving and serving God and others.
Over 70% of White Lake graduates go on to some form of post-secondary education. Whether you are a high school graduate or one of the many other community members hoping to improve job skills or simply learn something new, the choices in higher education are endless. The award-winning White Lake Area Community Education Program consistently offers over three hundred classes a year in areas such as computer technologies, adult basic skills, and many more. Other post-secondary opportunities, all within 15 miles of White Lake, can be found at Baker College of Muskegon and Muskegon Community College, where extension courses from Ferris State University, Grand Valley University, and Western Michigan University are offered at the Higher Education Center.
A variety of health care services are available in the White Lake Area. Four family practices offer excellent care from their offices in Montague and Whitehall, including the Lakeshore Medical Center, whose ten physicians support an urgent care center with extended hours, and The Family Medical Practice in Montague, home to one M.D. and a physicians assistant. Both provide a wide range of medical services. Lab and x-ray services and the care of two physicians and a physicians assistant are available at the Colby Street Medical Practice. Integrated Health Professionals in Montague concentrates on a holistic approach to health care tailored to meet every individuals needs. These practices, affiliated with Hackley, Mercy, and General Hospitals in nearby Muskegon, offer personal care with the advantages of modern technology and equipment. The three hospitals are within a fifteen minute drive from White Lake and are renown for their quality care and expert specialists.
Other professional care providers include a number of dentists and ophthomologists practicing in modern offices throughout the White Lake Area. Physical and occupational health are available in local facilities as well as massage, behavioral therapy, and speech therapy. Complete skilled nursing services are provided by area practices as well as the local Visiting Nurses Service.
A number of private residences provide specialized and individual senior care. Heartland Health Care, with facilities large enough to accommodate 125 residents, sponsors a well-rounded program, including recreational and therapeutical activities. An active Senior Center in Montague hosts many senior-related programs and is a popular gathering place for area retirees.
There are seventeen houses of worship in the White Lake Area with most major denominations represented. Area pastors and congregations are involved in many humanitarian and community service projects, including the construction of homes for low-income families through Habitat for Humanity. People from all congregations work together to help build the homes and raise funds for materials. Other church-sponsored community activities include musical presentations such as the "Messiah" during the holidays and other joint concerts throughout the year.
The White Lake Area is one of strong spiritual growth. Residents enjoy a community-wide Easter service as well as outdoor worship at the Music Shell in the summer. Pastor/Superintendent meetings increase communication and cooperation between the churches and area schools, helping to foster close relations between all members of our close-knit community.
City of Montague
Greetings and Welcome
The City of Montague is a great city located on the shores of White Lake just a short distance from Lake Michigan. Our citizens number 3,000 and our city is surrounded by fertile farmland and wooded areas. Our economy is year round and posses a substansial base of light and medium industry, as well as tourism.
Noah Ferry laid out the plan for Montague in 1861 and named it after his father, William Montague Ferry. Several significant buildings survive from this early lumbering period, among them the Dowling House from 1873 and the Ferry Church, built in 1874. As the slow down in the lumbering industry came in the late 1800's and early 1900's, farming and a few small foundries became the mainstays of a diminished ecnomic base. One of those foundries, Whitehall Metal Products, began in 1941 and has become the world's premier maker of weathervanes. They built and erected the world's largest functioning weathervane on the shores of White Lake in Montague.
Since the 1950's there has been a steady growth of both manufacturing and tourism, slow enough to preserve dthe small city atmosphere, yet rapid enough to establish a solid economy. The city has an excellent school system, a band shell where summer concerts take place and a fine park system including a public beach and park area on the shores of Lake Michigan. There are several marinas and an excellent boat launch ramp.
Montague is a beautiful place to live and work...we hope you come for a visit and stay for a while!
Henry E. Roesler Jr.
City of Whitehall
Greetings from the City of Whitehall!
As a lifelong resident of the City, let me welcome you, and encourage you to enjoy the friendliness of our people, and the diversity of recreation opportunities.
Whitehall has a long tradition of hosting visitors, back to a time when they arrived by steamship and stepped ashore near where our Goodrich Park lines the waterfront today. This is a delightful spot dto enjoy a picnic lunch, or stroll along the water's edge. Other parks are located throughout the City, and offer tennis, volletyball, and playground equipment.
City Hall is just a short walk along Colby Street, our main street. Here you'll find city offices, police department, White Lake Community Library, as well as fire and ambulance services. If you need assistance during your visit, let us know.
I hope you enjoy your stay in Whitehall and the surrounding White Lake area, Many have before you, and are still here!
Norman G. Ullman
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