A National Historic Landmark Est. 1875

A Chautauqua on Lake Michigan

Introduction to the Bay View Association


Bay View draws seasonal residents and day visitors from all over the United States to its annual Assembly Program and associated Music Festival. The Music Festival is nationally renowned and currently recognized as the longest reigning music festival in the United States. Festival students represent most of the 50 states and a number of foreign countries.

Bay View is a seasonal community with residence limited to May through October. Many current cottage owners represent the third and forth generations of their families.

Bay View was founded in 1875 by Michigan Methodists as a camp meeting "for intellectual and scientific culture and the promotion of the cause of religion and morality." From its beginning, the Association has welcomed persons of any denominational affiliation who have desired to assist in perpetuating the Association's principles and purpose.

By the late 1800's, the Bay View Association had become a pioneering institution in public education. It boasted an ambitious summer university, a Chautauqua series attracting tens of thousands of visitors, and a home study program enrolling men and women across the nation. During this period, the raw territory where the early "tent city" was built was transformed into a resort community of such Victorian charm that in 1987, Bay View was designated a National Historic Landmark.

In spite of the Assembly's long history, many northern Michigan residents are still unaware that Bay View's outstanding musical programs, Sunday morning worship services, and weekday Religion and Life Lectures featuring nationally known speakers, are open to the public.

Also open to the public are recreational and cultural youth programs (ages three to 15), and water sports, including swimming and sailing instruction. For more information, see the educational and recreational links here on our site, or contact us directly at 231-347-6225.

For more information on the Chautauqua Network, visit http://www.chautauquatrail.com/.

Interested in renting or owning a cottage in Bay View? Visit our Real Estate page.