LAKE ODESSA, MI. -- We found several interesting facts about this small village in Ionia County. First, there is no Lake Odessa in Lake Odessa. The city got its name from Odessa Township and Jordan Lake. The village was originally built in the 1800s about one mile north of its current location. It was moved south to be closer to the railroad that was built in the area. It was first known as the Russell Settlement in 1840, and by the 1880s was changed to the name Bonanza. It was eventually changed to Lake Odessa.
Perhaps another not-so-well-known fact...it is thought to be home to the only lighthouse built in Michigan located on an inland lake. The structure was built in the 1940s, is attached to a private residence on Jordan Lake next to the public beach area, and is currently in the process of being refurbished.
One the most exciting things we found in Lake Odessa is their newly refurbished and expanded library. It may not sound earth shattering, but this library has a big city feel and look to it! Super high ceilings, real brick, steel columns, granite counter tops, computers, and wifi ready. The plans also included removing part of the adjoining wall to Meyers Bakery and Beanery. That means similar to the traditional Barnes and Noble in major cities, this village library is directly connected to fresh coffee, beverages, pastries, and donuts without having to leave the building.
“We were trying to incorporate a side alley type of look with the industrial type of nature elements you see with the exposed steel columns and beams and bringing in the brick into the interior space also," says Tim Spitzley of Spitzley Architects. This is nothing you'd expect to find in a village...but more so in a much larger city.
Since there are no places to rent DVD's in Lake Odessa, the library prides itself on carrying a wide variety of movies on disk. "“We have a large DVD collection. We don’t have a local DVD rental store anymore in Lake Odessa, so we are it! And we like to get that information out to people. Why are you going out buying and renting this stuff when you’ve got it right here," says library director Connie Teachworth.
If you've never been to Lake Odessa, my suggestion is to spend an afternoon walking their quaint, quiet village lined with mom and pop stores and friendly people. Make sure to say hello to owner/baker Jeff Meyers at Meyers Bakery...they have excellent donuts, pastries, and turnovers. If you visit on a nice sunny day, stop by Lake Odessa's public beach in town on Jordan Lake...you'll also catch a glimpse of the lighthouse we spoke about earlier.