Loading, Please Wait...
Lake Magazine
May. 26, 2017 #42-317 LK1
PDF
TXT
aA
Marvelous Bus

BY BARBARA STODOLA

If you want to find someone’s house in the Long Beach/Sheridan Beach area of Indiana, more than likely they’ll mention a bus stop: “Turn at Stop 21,” they’ll say. Or Stop 26, or Stop 28. Nobody seems to find this peculiar, even though the “stops” are no longer used – as bus stops, that is. As directional aids, they’re invaluable.

Nobody seems to remember what year the bus started running, or when the service was discontinued. But everybody knows what route it took – straight down Lake Shore Drive, along Lake Michigan. The original bus (pictured above) was an open-air affair dating from the 1920s, the boom years of Long Beach. Day-trippers could get on board at Michigan City’s Washington Park, a popular amusement park that had rides, a shooting gallery and a bandstand. Some of the riders were surely from nearby Ramona’s Resort, which took in lodgers at its Mother Goose Village (with rental cottages named after Tom Thumb, Cinderella and Bo Peep).

As you went farther up Lake Shore Drive, you’d find small cottages built by Michigan City businesspeople and rented to Chicagoans. They’d board, too, and most passengers rode to Sheridan Beach. There, they’d walk a few blocks and climb a low dune to reach the public beaches.

Farther up the road, the cream of Michigan City society spent summers in their lakefront homes, and the buses brought in the supporting staff – the golf caddies, the stable boys, the serving and scouring teams. They would serve the scores of invited houseguests – college classmates, cousins, in-laws and prospective in-laws – whose names were dutifully recorded in the local weekly, The Long Beach Billows. This publication still makes good rainy day reading. Copies are on file at the Long Beach Community Center.

Just turn at Stop 24.

1 of 1
picture2
Nobody seems to remember what year the bus started running, or when the service was discontinued.
But everybody knows what route it took – straight down Lake Shore Drive, along Lake Michigan.