Lake Odessa

This is an interesting little town. Just over 2,000 people, it was settled first in the late 1830s and has been called “Russell Settlement” (after the family of brothers that founded it) and “Bonanza.” The town changed its name to today’s Lake Odessa in the 1880s, when the railroad came through. It was named after the city in Ukraine, an interest of one of the founders.

The economy of the town is a mix of agriculture, small scale manufacturing, and tourism-recreation. The town has a grain elevator by the railroad tracks, which part of the Caledonia Farmers Elevator company. The manufacturing plants include a frozen food factory, an egg processing facility, and an food processing equipment firm. The recreation-tourism is related to the lake, which is surrounding by cottages and larger summer homes, many with docks and boats. There are a variety of small businesses and restaurants to serve the community, among them several antique and craft stores. Some of the buildings in the historic business district area look a bit beat up, but they retain their charm.

The first set of images is of the town’s railroad tracks, one of them featuring the grain elevator (which is also in the cover image for the post), the other showing the frozen food plant.

Here’s a few images of the historic business district area. I especially the like small bakery, which apparently makes great doughnuts. One of the reflections images an antique shop reflected the background.

The next two images show buildings that are just outside the business district. One is has a restaurant with an addition. (Look closely and you’ll see that the bricks in the addition look slightly different than the older part of the building.) The second image is just part of the face of a building across the street. I liked how the lines in wooden doors and the siding looked. The last of this series of images looks from the railroad tracks, running behind buildings on the main drag, which you can see between the backs of two buildings.

Finally, and necessarily, three images of the lake itself. In the first, you can see some of the larger weekend/summer homes.The “vacation” or “second home” assumption about the cottages and larger houses mighty be wrong, at least in some cases. But its seems like a good guess.

It was a cloudy late morning and early afternoon when I was in the Lake Odessa area. The cloud cover was often hazy and thin, with definable clouds sometimes present. I did the images with a low light feel to try to capture the mix of brightness and gloom in the light. And, as in the last several months, the images are processed in a sort of Polaroid-style homage.

Stay safe out there. As we anticipate the leaves turning yellow, orange, and red, the COVID-19 map of Michigan is steadily getting worse, with more and more of the state turning from yellow to orange and red.

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