History of the Building
In 1898, the Chapin Mining Company built a residence at 106 North Carpenter Avenue for General Manager James MacNaughton. In 1901, Otto Conrad Davidson replaced MacNaughton as manager and the home served as his family’s residence until 1935. It stood empty until 1945 when Davidson’s widow sold the home to F. Albee Flodin and Martin D. Thomas.
Flodin and Thomas had a vision for the property. It was to turn the home into a clubhouse, primarily to host visiting businessmen. With assistance from Lake Shore Inc., they watch their vision become a reality.
Renovation materials were in short supply due to World War II so many of the renovations were done using original wood from various parts of the residence. In 1945-1946, the bar was built in what is now the ladies restroom using wood from sliding doors and woodwork from within the house. The kitchen was enlarged and improved to function as a commercial kitchen. The main floor was opened up to create a dining room. In 1947, the remodel was complete and the doors were open business.
The Beginning of the Club
In January 1945, F. Albee Flodin and Martin D. Thomas set out to establish a private club in Iron Mountain to host out-of-town businessmen. They purchased the private residence of Chapin Mining Company Manager Otto Conrad Davidson at 106 North Carpenter Avenue.
The inspiration for the Club was two-fold – replicating an experience Flodin and William Lewis had while on a business trip to Pascagoula, Mississippi and fulfilling a need within the community
In February 1945, a meeting of local leaders was held at the 6-7-8 Club on the top floor of the Commercial Bank to discuss the feasibility of establishing a private club.
On December 11, 1946, the Chippewa Club opened as a non-profit, unincorporated association. By law, this type of association cannot own property. Ownership was transferred to three club members for $10,000 and they were designated as trustees. The Club operated in this manner with various members serving as trustees until 1973 when it became a non-profit corporation