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.

About Bay View & The United Methodist Church

Bay View was founded in 1875 by Michigan Methodists as a camp meeting “for scientific and intellectual culture, and for the promotion of the Christian religion and morality.” At its organizational meeting, members elected officers and adopted the Articles of Association under the Summer Resort Act of 1889, a general law of the State of Michigan. The pastor of the Methodist Church in Petoskey served as the first liaison agent for the committee. Although conceived by Methodist clergy and laity, promoted by the joint Michigan Methodist conferences, and often sustained at critical moments by Methodist congregations, Bay View has been ecumenical in management and life. From its beginning, Bay View has welcomed persons of any denominational affiliation who have a desire to assist in perpetuating the Association’s principles and purpose. Bay View has consistently retained and continued to follow closely the principles of spiritual growth and cultural advancement initiated and steadfastly practiced by its Methodist founders. The resident bishop of the Michigan Area of The United Methodist Church is an ex-officio member of the Bay View Board of Trustees.

By the late 1880’s, the Bay View Assembly became a pioneering institution in public education with an ambitious summer university, a home study program enrolling men and women across the nation, and a Chautauqua series attracting tens of thousands of visitors. During the same period, Bay View developed into a community featuring Victorian cottages replacing the early “tent city”. In 1987 the National Park Service designated Bay View as a National Historic Landmark because it is… “one of the finest remaining examples of two uniquely American community forms, the Methodist camp meeting and the independent Chautauqua. Designed for the first purpose in 1876 as the country’s only romantically planned campground, and adapted for the second from 1885 to 1915, Bay View constitutes an extraordinarily well executed ideal Victorian community which, because of its continuing corporate existence and the ongoing collective values of its membership, remains in an excellent state of preservation of both form and spirit. Bay View is a major example of American religious, cultural, social, and educational ideals embodied in an artistically shaped community plan.”

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.

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A National Historic Landmark

Bay View Association, Emmet County, Michigan. Bay View, Michigan, is one of the finest remaining examples of two uniquely American community forms, the Methodist camp meeting and the independent Chautauqua. Designed for the first purpose in 1876 as the country’s only romantically planned campground, and adapted for the second from 1885 to 1915, Bay View constitutes an extraordinarily well executed ideal Victorian community which, because of its continuing corporate existence and the ongoing collective values of its membership, remains in an excellent state of preservation of both form and spirit. Bay View is a major example of American religious, cultural, social, and educational ideals embodied in an artistically shaped community plan.

To learn more about the history of the Chautauqua Movement in the United States, visit the Chatauqua Trail Network web site at: www.chautauquatrail.com

History of the Bay View Association

In September 1875, a group of Michigan Methodists met in Jackson to organize a Camp Meeting, a popular form of religious gathering at that time, “for intellectual and scientific culture and the promotion of the cause of religion and morality.” They chose Bay View as the site because of its salubrious summer climate, its beautiful location on the shores of Little Traverse Bay, and its availability by railroad and lake steamer.

About Bay View & The United Methodist Church

The following year ground was cleared and tents put up to house the several hundred people who came for six days of religious talks and sermons delivered from the “preaching stand,” which was the first building erected on the grounds. It is now a part of the Bay View Historical Museum. By 1877, streets, parks, and public areas had been platted and twenty simple cottages had been built. Ten years later there were 125 cottages, a hotel and a chapel. The religious program expanded and grew into a Summer Assembly of eight weeks. Chautauqua-type literary and scientific circles were formed. The Bay View Reading Circle (1893-1921) had study groups extending across the country and included 25,000 members.

Bay View quickly became a part of the Chautauqua Movement, a uniquely American institution committed to bringing the four programs of Religion, Recreation, Education and the Performing Arts to a broad spectrum of the public.

Although Methodist in origin and still associated with the United Methodist Church, Bay View has always been ecumenical in spirit. Summer Assembly programs have included prominent leaders in all denominations and such universally-known personalities as Lorado Taft, the Chicago sculptor; Madam Ernestine Schumann-Heinck, the world-famous contralto; Maude Ballington Booth, the “Little Mother” of the prisons; Helen Keller, the deaf and blind lady who overcame her handicaps with great courage; Frances Willard, the temperance leader; Kate Douglas Wiggin the author of “Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm”; William Jennings Bryan, the great political orator of his time; Dr. Booker T. Washington, the black educator; Dr. S. Parkes Cadman, the peerless Brooklyn preacher; Dr. Ralph W. Sockman of the National Radio Pulpit; and Dr. George Arthur Buttrick, theologian, author, preacher, and editor of the widely-used Interpreters Bible and Dictionary. Outstanding pulpit voices and stars of the Opera and Concert Hall have been heard in Bay View through the years.

The Summer Assembly Program, at the present time, carries on the tradition of the years. Artists and students of the Music Festival, activities of the Theatre Arts Department, Sunday Services of Worship and the popular Sunday Vesper Concerts bring thousands to the John M. Hall Auditorium each season.

Education has always been important in Bay View. A so-called “university” was begun in 1886 with many departments. The School of Music was the forerunner of the Conservatory which brings students from many parts of the country. Albion College conducted a summer school on the grounds from 1917 to 1969. A recently-introduced series of seminars offering training in a variety of skills varying from knitting and needlepoint to Spanish and bridge, together with the daily “Religion and Life Hour Forum” carry on the long tradition of adult education.

Recreation and sports have not been forgotten at Bay View. Tennis, swimming and sailing are enjoyed by all ages. An active program of clubs, games, athletics, crafts, camping, hiking and music for children of all ages is carried on under full-time leadership. A social program for Junior and Senior High young people under trained leadership, is centered in the “Rec Club” building on the beach. The Campus Club, a separate member organization, has its own building and provides indoor games and the outdoor sports of shuffleboard, croquet and bowling on the green. The Woman’s Council has been in existence for over 50 years and also has its own building, where weekly meetings are held with programs and social hours. The Garden Club has added and keeps adding much to the beauty of the public grounds of Bay View by planting and maintaining flower beds, ornamental boxes, and hanging baskets.

The Bay View Library was established early, and has been cited as the best summer colony library in the United States. The Bay View Historical Museum, organized in 1964, occupies the two oldest buildings on the grounds. Its purpose is to present a picture of early Bay View cottage life and activities, and to preserve the objects illustrating how Bay View pioneers lived. The Bay View Archives collects and makes available for study the record of the Association and other materials related to its history. There are now several families who have been a part of Bay View for six generations. Bay View residents have a great interest in the preservation and restoration of their cottages, most of which are famous for their Victorian “gingerbread” decorations. Evelyn Hall is known to be “one of the finest examples of American Victorian ‘Steamboat’ architecture.” The Centennial Celebration of 1975 created a further spirit of comradeship and pride in the Bay View heritage.

The residency period for cottagers is May through October. The business of the Association is cared for by a nine-member Board of Trustees, three of whom are elected annually and one of whom serves as President. The year-round staff includes the President, Executive Director, Business and Superintendent’s Office staff and Security. The community is comprised of more than 440 cottages, most of which were built during the first 25 years, and over 30 public buildings.

This summary omits the names of many devoted members of the Association who have loved Bay View, and through the years have given their support of both money and time to its program. Without this selflessness such a unique community of kindred spirits could never have been maintained against the prevalent commercialism of our modern age.

Bay View is still, as the Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad in 1882 said in its Resorts of Northern Michigan, “Simply a collection of grand, good people of all creeds, who, because of common consent and under democratic government, flock here in the summer to renew their friendships and help each other to all other enjoyments possible.”

FOR ADDITIONAL REFERENCE

Arnold, J.F., “Bay View, The Summer City of Michigan” New York, The Albertype Co., 1894, reprinted 2002 by the Bay View Historical Museum.

Bay View Library Board, Historic Bay View Cottages: Bay View, Michigan 1875-1975. Available at the Library.

Doerr, Mary Jane, “Bay View: An American Idea” Priscilla Press, March 1, 2011.

Fennimore, Keith, “The Heritage of Bay View, 1875-1975” Grand Rapids, Michigan, Wm. B. Erdman Pub. Co., 1975.

Schloff, Charles E., “A Pictorial History of Bay View. Petoskey, Michigan” Mitchell Graphics Inc., 2000.

Weeks, John A., “Beneath the Beeches, The Story of Bay View, Michigan” Grand Rapids, Michigan, Eerdmans Printing Company, 2000.

Prepared by: Vernon L. Bobbit and the Bay View Historical Commission

Board of Trustees

organizational structure
Dominic Scott

P.O. Box 1476 Bay View
231-347-2497

130 S Canal Street #10P Chicago IL 60606
312-258-9094
EMAIL
PRESIDENT, 2021

Carol Neithercut

Carol Neithercut’s parents bought the family cottage in Bay View the year she was born and she has been spending her summers here ever since. Neithercut became a leaseholding member in 1973 and a cottage owner in 1996 when she took over her grandparent’s cottage. All three of her brothers own cottages, as well as two cousins.

Neithercut, 61, has been involved with the Long Range Planning Committee for six years, and chair of the committee for four years. She also served one term as a member of the Theatre Arts Committee. She resides in Chicago, Illinois.

Prior to starting her own company, “Neithercut Strategic Marketing,” Neithercut worked in marketing and strategy for RR Donnelley, the world’s largest commercial printer, in Chicago. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Syracuse University, a Masters degree in Counseling from Wheaton Graduate School, and an MBA in Marketing from Michigan State University. She began her marketing career at The NPD Group, one of the world’s largest marketing research firms, where she worked for 16 years.

Neithercut currently is in her ninth year as a Director of the Board of the Metropolitan Condominium Association. For seven years, Neithercut was an advisor and executive mentor with Women Unlimited, which provides leadership and business acumen development guidance to women leaders. She is also in her eighth year as an Account Director with Taproot Foundation, which provides pro bono consulting to needy, not-for-profit organizations. Neithercut attends the First United Methodist Church of Chicago at the Chicago Temple.

Dominic Scott
P.O. Box 1318, Bay View
231-347-6209
 
2086 River Point Ct., DePere, WI 54115
920-680-1835
VICE PRESIDENT, 2022

Robin Sims Caldwell

Robin is a lifetime resident of Bay View and became the owner of the Thistle Dew cottage in 1974. She has been a camper and leader in the Boys & Girls Club, a member of both Morning Council and Campus Club, a member of the Finance Committee and served as an Assessor for the Bay View Board of Assessors. She graduated from Carroll University with a degree in Psychology/Sociology in 1977. She and her husband, Jon started Eye & Vision Clinics in 1981 and she served as its CFO/Clinic Manager for 35 years. She has a daughter, Rachel and a son, Spencer who are both lease holding members. She is a member of the First United Methodist Church in Green Bay, WI. Although she lives in Green Bay in the winter, she calls Bay View HOME!

 
Dominic Scott
PO Box 1162, Bay View
347-6910
 
13442 The Square Poway CA 92064-1310
858-618-1712
EMAIL
SECRETARY, 2021

Fred Weber

Fred Weber, first came to Bay View as a child with his mother, Barbara Weber, in the summer of 1955. His great-grandmother, Marguerite Lewis Rutter, bought a cottage on Knapp Avenue in 1935, but sold it in 1956. He bought his own cottage on Knapp in 2000. When he is not in Bay View, he lives in the San Diego area, where he is a member of San Rafael Catholic Church.

Weber has been regularly attending Board meetings since 2001, and his involvement in Bay View has been varied. He served one term on the Education Committee; gave a Scarrow Friday Forum talk on chemical weapons destruction; and taught a week-long class on Understanding Military Power. He chaired an ad hoc committee that studied and recommended Automated External Defibrillators. He served on the By-Laws Committee from 2012-2014. He served as an usher at Religion & Life lectures during 2014, providing Rev. Daniel Moser with attendance and contribution data not previously recorded; and helps sort books for the Library Book Sale every year. He volunteered his time for the Bay View Listening Project in 2014 as a facilitator, planning committee member, and on the Final Report writing team.

Weber had a long U.S. Army and follow-on civilian career in operations research/systems analysis, computerized modeling and simulation, and research and development. He earned a Bachelor of Science from the Military Academy, and a Master of Science from the Naval Postgraduate School. He served in an Armored Cavalry Squadron, on the faculty at the Army Intelligence School, and in arms control. He has years of experience in computerized simulations and in model design and development. He has been a team leader for application of advanced technology to training and to arms control. Weber is now retired from Northrop Grumman.

Dominic Scott
PO Box 1055, Bay View
231-439-9724
3637 Northfield Trail, Kalamazoo, MI 49009
269-375-8986
TREASURER, 2022

Eric Breisach

Eric first came to Bay View in 1957, six months before he was born. His father taught history and philosophy at Bay View. Eric and his wife, Tobi, bought their cottage in 1999. Eric served on the Development Committee for three years and was the founding chair of the Legislative Committee. He is a lawyer and formerly a CPA. He holds a JD, magna cum laude, from WMU Thomas M. Cooley Law School and an MBA in Finance with high honors and a BBA in Accountancy, summa cum laude, from Western Michigan University. He is Treasurer of and Vestry Member at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Kalamazoo where he met Tobi in 1975. He served for 12 years on the Kalamazoo Public School Board and helped to turn around the 13,000-student urban district. During his tenure, KPS secured funding in perpetuity for The Kalamazoo Promise® that pays the college tuition of every KPS graduate.

Dominic Scott
PO Box 1088, Bay View

231-347-7573

3147 Bonnell Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506

616-942-6473


EMAIL

2021

Peggy Child Smith

Peggy Child Smith is a lifetime Bay View participant and leader whose family continues to be involved in all areas of the program after nearly 100 years.  For the last 35 years, she has been finding and addressing opportunities in many areas of our community; especially fund raising, Morning Council, Historic Awareness, Performing Arts, and Recreation.  When not working on a Bay View project, she has owned two small businesses, sat on the board of 501(c)(3)s, and been a long-time fundraiser.  Peggy is married to Dave Smith, has raised four children (all of whom participate in Bay View, and two of which are members), and has hosted six Rotary youth exchange students in their winter home in Grand Rapids, MI.  She has also lived in Japan and Thailand, but no matter where Peggy is, her heart is always in Bay View. Peggy is a member of the First United Methodist Church in Grand Rapids.

Dominic Scott
1075 Brockway Ave., Bay View, 49770, P.O. Box 1362

451 Chantilly Lane, Chelsea, MI 48118
2023

Karl Hansen

Karl has been coming to Bay View since 1963. He has been an active participant in the Boys & Girls Club program growing up and a member of the Recreation department staff at the waterfront and Boys & Girls Club. His family has participated in the Bay View experience for over four generations. He has been a marketing professional in the food processing industry for 30 years, at Cargill Meat Solutions, KraftHeinz Foods, John Morrel, American Seafoods, and Dawn Foods, in marketing leadership, strategy, product & brand marketing management and innovation roles. He is on the Wisconsin Alumni Board of Directors for the Cincinnati chapter and member of Bay View Campus Club. Karl is married to Michelle Hansen, who is active in the Campus Club, Development committee, Woman’s Council and Archives. They have two daughters who have grown up in the Bay View program. His family has had the opportunity to enjoy and grow with Bay View through its programs and people. Karl is a member of the First Methodist Church in Chelsea, MI. Karl earned a Bachelor’s of Business Administration – BBA in Marketing from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and a Masters of Business Administration – MBA from Western Michigan University in Marketing & Finance.

Dominic Scott
P.O. Box 1264, Bay View
604 Hightrail, Allen, TX 75002
972-727-9793
EMAIL
2023

Dianne Boyd

Dianne Oniu Boyd first came to Bay View in 1969 and became a leaseholding member in 1991. She is a Registered Nurse with a BSN from Oakland University and is currently working as the Assistant for Worship and Liturgy and Parish Nurse at Saint Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in Dallas, TX, which is also her home church. Over the past 25 years Dianne has served on the Theater Arts Committee, Worship Committee, and the Bay View 2000 special committee, as well as being the President of Morning Council. Dianne and her husband Timothy reside in Allen, TX and have 2 adult daughters.

Dominic Scott
1993 Stephens Ln., BL 18 L 11 Bay View
250 Water Street #307, Petoskey, MI 49770
EMAIL
2022

Walt Byers

Walt Byers started coming to Bay View in 1980 and has been a leaseholding member since 1990. He retired in 2016 after a 40 plus year career in bank management and commercial lending. He and his wife, Nancy, now live in Petoskey when not at the Bay View cottage. He served on the Bay View Development Committee, past Chair of the Woods Advisory Committee, member and past President of the Bay View Racquet Club, Parade Master of the Bay View Fourth of July parade, and co-Chair of the Little Traverse Crop Walk that is held on the Bay View Campus each year. In the Petoskey community, he is a member of the Petoskey Rotary Club and a board member of the Crooked Tree Arts Center. They have 2 adult children, a son-in-law, and 2 grandchildren.

Dominic Scott
1738 Woodland Ave., BL 2 L 6 Bay View, P.O. Box 1506
2425 North Park Blvd. #3, Cleveland Heights, OH 44106
216-310-8312
EMAIL
2023

Julia Healy

Julia grew up coming to Bay View for church, concerts, musicals, movies, and hot dog roasts, though her family’s cottage was on Crooked Lake. With children of her own, she first rented in Bay View and then bought a cottage in 2012. Son Andrew and daughter Emma attended Club from Tot Lot on, eventually working as leaders for several years.  

Julia served as Chair of Cottage Walk 2015, and President of Morning Council from 2016-2018. She is currently an at-large member of the Woman’s Council board, a five-year member of the Education Committee and a four-year member of the Long Range Planning Committee.

Professionally, Julia works as a development writer for the Cleveland State University Foundation; before that, she wrote for the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing Development Office at Case Western Reserve University.

She has also worked at a variety of consulting firms including Towers Watson in Cleveland, William Mercer in Philadelphia, and Lochridge & Company in Boston.  She was a high-school English teacher in Grosse Pointe, MI for four years and earned her B.A. in English from the Honors College at the University of Michigan.  She enjoys being a second-grade reading tutor at the Breakthrough Schools network in the inner city of Cleveland.

Dominic Scott
EX OFFICIO, NON-VOTING TRUSTEE

Bishop David Bard

Bishop David Alan Bard is the presiding bishop of the Michigan Area. Prior to arriving in Michigan in September 2016, Bishop Bard was serving at First United Methodist Church in Duluth, Minnesota since 2005. He was elected to the episcopacy on July 13, 2016 at the North Central Jurisdictional Conference held in Peoria, IL. He has been in ministry for more than 30 years and served in many roles within both the Minnesota Annual Conference and the General Church.

Bard was a General and Jurisdictional Conference delegate in 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012. He was an episcopal nominee in both 2004 and 2008.

Within the Minnesota Conference, Bard was chair of the Episcopacy Committee and the Higher Education Ministry Team, and he served on the Board of Ordained Ministry and the Congregational Response Team. He was also the conference parliamentarian. He was a district superintendent from 1998 to 2005 and spent three years on the Commission on Religion and Race.

Within the General Church, Bard serves on the Study on Ministry Commission, the Committee on Faith and Order, and the North Central Jurisdiction Committee on Episcopacy. He has also previously served on the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, the Commission on General Conference, and the Commission on Theological Education.

Bishop Bard received a BA from the University of Minnesota, Duluth in 1981; his Master of Divinity was earned at United Theological Seminary, Twin Cities 1984; and in 1994 he received a Ph.D. from Southern Methodist University with a focus on Christian ethics

Bard has a wife, Julie, and three adult children. In his free time, he enjoys music, reading, baseball, and walking outside