History Preserved with a Modern Destination
In the 1800s, Gun Lake was known as a fishing haven for anglers from the Midwest. The lake and surrounding forests made the area a sportsman’s paradise for the Ottawa, Pottawatomie and Chippewa Indians. A recognized leader of the Ottawa Indians of Southern Michigan, was the brave and powerful Chief Noonday, whose name remains on Gun Lake area roads and trails as a testament to his strength and character.
Gun Lake has long been a vacation destination. Back in 1895, as many as 5,000 people would attend a 5-day farmers picnic, setting up camps around the lake, celebrating with endless music and square dancing while traveling back and forth by steamboat to other Gun Lake resorts.
Steamboats on the lake offered moonlight cruises, sparking many a new courtship.
In 1899, Austin and Frankie Dwight purchased 350 acres quiet acres surrounding Gun Lake. These former Chicago residents were too familiar with the fast pace of the windy city and found their peace and tranquility on our shores.
In 1902, the Dwights moved an old house across the street and started building their summer home which came to be know as the “Dwight Villa”.
The Dwights’ summer retreat on this beautiful, wooded site was complete in 1906. The two-and one- half-story home, in Colonial Revival style, featured a full-length porch and a natural exterior of both cobblestone and wood shingles, with a massive fieldstone chimney stack.
Since the couple loved to entertain, they had the enormous living room designed to accommodate in grand style. The Dwights threw lavish parties and dances and hosted musical performances on the lake. Dwight Villa came to be the entertainment center of Gun Lake.
Sweeping lawns, curving driveways, hedges, walnut trees and evergreens adorned the property, along with flowering plants en masse. Mr. Dwight’s hobby was cultivating the Dahlias which dominated the gardens; at one time it was said he had over two hundred different varieties.
After the Dwights passing, this house once revered for its grace and charm stood empty for a good part of 30 years.
In 1978 Roy and Jackie Martin purchased the neglected property then being run as a campground. After a complete renovation of the landmark home the Martins opened Bay Pointe Restaurant in 1983 filled with fine furnishings from the Dwight era.
By 1984 this architectural showpiece was admitted to both the State and Federal Register of Historic buildings for its importance in American history and culture.
Since that time, thousands of families have enjoyed many a remarkable dinner there, thrown hundreds of memorable weddings on the grounds and watched breathtaking sunsets as they strolled the shores of this beautiful West Michigan getaway.
The Martins hosted weddings and social events at the Bay Pointe Restaurant until 2003 when they decided to retire and sell there landmark historical restaurant.
Gun Lake Residents Mike and Patti Powers purchased the Bay Pointe Restaurant in November 2003 and soon after held an auction that garnered a high level of interest from local residents, antique dealers and collectors from the Midwest. The auction was held on December 26th 2003 and over 1000 people attended to purchase memorabilia from the old Bay Pointe Restaurant and historic Dwight Villa.
The Powers started construction soon after and the New Bay Pointe Inn opened November 8th 2004.
Their dream was to build a Gun Lake resort that was a unique and desirable destination. They recognized and honored the history of the landmark property but included many enhancements like exceptional farm to fork cuisine and entertainment year-round with all the comforts and amenities today’s savvy traveler’s desire.
The past 10 years this award winning property expanded several times and now boasts 375 ft. of lake frontage the celebrated Terrace Grille Restaurant, 39 designer inspired guest rooms, the Fireside Banquet and Conference Center and Lakefront Event Pavilion.
The historical BoatHouse Villa (circa 1886) was remodeled in 2013 and boasts 5000 sq. ft. of elegance and privacy on 125 ft. of Gun Lake frontage.
Our culture of engaging hospitality has blessed Bay Pointe Inn with numerous travel and guest satisfaction awards.
Since 2004 we’ve hosted hundreds of weddings, family reunions, corporate retreats and social functions. Summer season highlights the lakefront resort experience with our “Gun Lake Live” concert series at Bay Pointe Inn “One of Michigan’s Top Resorts”