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Eddy's Landing

Eddy's Landing sits on the south shore of Lake Fenton. Here at the foot of the lake were the docks for the "City of Flint" and the "City of Fenton" where the narrow gauge horse car line from Fenton discharged its passengers

Up to 1933 the lake had always been known as Long Lake and the change in name to Lake Fenton was a bitter pill to many old-time residents. But there being 106 Long Lakes in Michigan, caused Dr. Mark S. Knapp, a Fenton physician who had maintained a residence at the lake since 1910, to formulate and circulate petitions to change the name to Lake Fenton. After action by the Board of Supervisors and the Legislature, the name was officially changed.

Lake Fenton is the principle lake in Genesee county and is about three miles in length with the average of half a mile in width. The deepest part of the lake is 90 feet. The lake is two miles north of the City of Fenton

There are two islands in the lake, a 20 acre portion of land located towards the center of the lake near the western shore which was known as Governer's Island , later Bennett's Island and today is called Case's Island. The other a small island, Duck Island, lies near the south-west of the lake and has one home located on it.

"The City of Fenton" was built by Captain David Foster a boat builder from Canada, and Captain G.M. Eddy was the promoter located at the south end of Long Lake.Captain Foster and Eddy quarreled from the start and dissolved the partnership after about one year. Eddy took over Foster's interest. Eddy's summer home and terminal was at the south end of the Lake. Genesee County's first street railway - a horse drawn vehicle, had its terminals at the home. It ran from the Fenton car barns opposite the Fenton Hotel, to the lake.

The Fenton-Long Lake Railroad company was proposed in May, 1891 by Capt. G.M. Eddy. The Fenton village council approved canvassing for $1,000 and track laying began on May 20, 1891.

Article dated 15 April 1891

(on the Street Car to Long Lake)

The Soliciting committee had nearly $900 subscribed yesterday to bonus this project and express the utmost confidence that the balance can be raised within a day or two. Of course, our citizens would not allow an enterprise of this nature to fall through when all one-tenth of the required sum remained to be raised. By the liveliest kind of work, if the matter is closed up at once, the road can be put in and operated this season.

Article dated 30 April 1891

Mr. Eddy has a large force of workmen grading for the street railway to Long Lake. He expects to have the cars running by the latter part of July.

Service started on July 1 that year. The cars were brought from an abandoned railroad line in Muskegon. They were pulled by one horse and when loaded the man got off and pushed. The personnel consisted of a driver and fare-collector with the driver later doing both duties. No turntables were necessary since both ends of the car were identical and you just changed ends at the terminals. The cars were 12 feet long. They ran hourly to the lake during the day and three times a week operated until 11 p.m.. Visitors coming to Fenton by train took the horse car to the lake. The passengers were met twice daily at Detroit and Milwaukee (now Grand Trunk) depot. The driver was paid 25 cents per day. This horse car railway operated until 1916..

The "City of Flint" was built by Captain Foster after a quarrel with Captain Eddy. Foster built the Bayport Hotel and carried passengers from the south end of the lake. His dock was immediately east of Eddy terminal. Eddy's north terminal was east of Foster's hotel at Bay Port, which was called Robinson's Grove and in 1959 became the Fenton township Park off Bowles road.

Eddy, who owned the horse car, did not relish Foster taking his horse car passengers on his boat so he devised various competitive ruses. One was a combination of car and boat fare. Foster retaliated with cheaper boat fares and ended up once carrying passengers free. The boat was finally moored at what is now Johnson's Landing and was dismantled by Ernie Fuller for his Fenton shop. Fares were 10 cents one way, 20 cents round trip, 25 cents all day, 75 cents weekly.

Sailing was a competitive sport on the lake in 1880. As for boats, the "Mettie Helm" named for a Fenton businesswoman, was built by Capt. Bennett and put on the lake in about 1870. Other boats included the "North Star", built by Peter Cartier at his sawmill near Parshalville; "Belle of the Lake"; "The E.W. Case"; "Argentine"; "Little Eddy"; "Mayflower"; "Oriole"; "The Red Wing"; "The Chit"; "Roseland"; and "Anita".

The "City of Fenton" was built by Capt. David Foster, a former Great Lakes captain. The 94 ft. doubledecker ship was the pride of the lake beginning in 1892 when it had its maiden voyage. It accomodated 600 passengers.

The lake's other large vessel, "The City of Flint", was built in 1898 from green oak planking from Argentine at a cost of $5,000. It was 96 ft. long and held 700 passengers. Often these two boats would race to the narrows of the lake. The two boats made four round trips daily from Eddy's Landing at the south end of the lake to Bayport, Johnsons Landing, the Island, Woodhull Landing, Log Cabin Pointe and Lakeside landing. Fares were 10 cents one way or 20 cents round trip. Passengers could ride all four trips for two bits or 75 cents for the entire week. Another smaller excursion boat was the "Maccabee". The "City of Fenton" took its last trip in 1903 and the "City of Flint" ended its career in 1905.

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