Fenced and Forgotten, Pointe Des Chenes divided

Google view of the park.

A $275,000 investment which would have allowed Pointe Des Chenes to continue campground operations, was turned down at Council February 8, 2021.

During the meeting, Susan Hamilton-Beach said they would secure the overnight camping part of the area, no further details were offered.

SaultOnline reached out for the cost to secure the site, however we were provided only with an explanation of the process.

“Approximately ½ of the site has permanent chain link fencing. For the remainder, Public Works will use agricultural fencing which is quite inexpensive. We will use roll fencing with cedar poles to apply some form of division between the two areas for now,” said Hamilton-Beach. “The buildings will be boarded up for security reasons and staff will be on-site while the day park is open. Since the site is shared with the day park and campground, until a future use is determined, permanent fencing is not planned.”

There was no mention Monday as to the future past the fencing and boarded up buildings. It was stated the city has not asked companies if they are interested in purchasing the land and no one has come forward.

The city could take the steps to sell the property, or like 85 Hudson just hold it with no further plans for the land.

How the city could spend $350,000 to buy out a strip club with no plans for the land, but not spend less than $10,000/year to fix the issue at the campground if it lasted 30-40 years as was suggested Monday, remains unknown.


  1. What people don’t realize is that this park, which was leased to the Lyons club for many years, makes Money that was to go back into the community filtered through the Lyons club. Which I have no doubt it has.
    This park has been at capacity for many years except last year due to covid rules. The interest is still there with 100 people on the waiting.
    There are 108 sites most are seasonal. Seasonal rates are 2000.00 or more per year and campers pay for power on top of that. They charged for other people coming in to visit the campers and charged those people if they stayed overnight at specified rates. Not including those camping overnight, for a week at a time or monthly again at set rates.
    This park makes Money!!!
    Was there no contingency plan incorporated in the lease for upkeep
    and repairs to the the day park and campground which would end up to be at no extra cost to the tax payers.
    There is so much more potential out there, that can be done for the benefit of the community of SSMarie.
    There is potential for funding for the required repairs in this situation research is required.

  2. I am wondering why the city doesn’t want to spend the money here even to make it a nice day park and beach. What did we spend on the splash pad, hub trails, skating paths, Frisbee golf, pickle ball, and possible paving to top sail island ? I am not even going to mention the Bay street spend, the two parallel bike paths for bay and the water front or the community gather center downtown.

    Maybe the city should look a spending a couple of million and try to make this a real attraction other than thinking it was a money pit. No other city would discard natural waterfront beach in a prime spot. Something smells rotten in Demark !!!

  3. Please continue to keep this in the spotlight Dan. Something doesn’t sit right with this decision.

    The amount of money brought in with yearly permits would definitely offset the repairs required. In addition, the contamination source should also be responsible to cover those required costs.

  4. I agree that closing the campground without any real input from the city was utterly unfair. Only the input of the city council’s and almost every word from Hamilton beach was a complete fabrication of what she wanted council to believe, and the only reason was so that she could close the park.And dont think the city does not believe for a second some real estate developer is ready to scoop up the land.

  5. Where did all the money that these campers paid for these lots go, it did not go into maintenance for the campground. Must have went into city coffers to pay for skating rinks or swimming pools downtown. Maybe it is time for that area to become it’s own ward because they are not getting represented this way.

  6. Maybe a interview with the campers who have to vacate the property is in order . They would likely have input to what has taken place and what the future could hold for this campground that has been used by locals and tourists .

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