The Beginning of M.A.P.S. – 1985

On June 20, 1985 a letter was mailed to interested persons inviting them to a preliminary organizing meeting to establish a lakewide organization for Mullett Lake. Prior to that time there were a number of geographic organizations around the shore of Mullett Lake who were more or less active and more or less organized and more or less effective. Some, like the Grand View Beach Association and the Birchwood Association were well entrenched in their local area, but there was no mechanism for interaction between these groups and no organization to look after all of Mullett Lake. That 1985 meeting was held at the Scotts Bay shore line home of Dolly and Dave Nethercot.

There was, at first, some pessimism about people wanting or caring about such an organization. But in the summer of 1985 there were plans hatched to develop in the Indian River Spreads a large marina and condominium type buildings. This threat to Mullett Lake was a catalyst that helped propel the successful beginnings of The Mullett Lake Area Preservation Society (MAPS) as we know it today.

The original group sought and got professional help from the Tip Of The Mitt Watershed Council (Tip) then located in Conway. With good organizing skills, there were by-laws drawn, membership solicitations made, and a Board of Directors selected who elected the first slate of Officers. The first Annual Meeting of MAPS was held August 2, 1985. By-laws were adopted, a Board and Officers elected and MAPS was off and running.

The first Officers and Directors were:

Marion Appleby, Mullett Lake Village–President
James Horrigan, Mullett Lake Woods–Vice President
Dolly Nethercot, Scotts Bay–Treasurer
Jean Keegan, Round Point–Secretary

Other original Directors at were:

Joseph Bilitzke–Silver Beach
Art Marshall–Birchwood
James Crusoe–Aloha
Walter Petee–Birchwood
Mary Liebner–Long Point
Dick Washington–Mullett Lake Woods
Edward Lynch–Grand View Beach

Ernest Cornwell, Jr. from Mullett Lake Village joined the Board after MAPS was organized to round out the Board at its maximum number or 12 Directors.

With Mary Lou Gonne as publicity chairman the new organization got good media notice. Membership Committee co-chairs, Mary and Bob Koebel, got MAPS off to a quick start. By the end of the summer of 1986 the Membership Committee reported 466 dues paying members were on board. The early dues were $8.00 for an annual membership.

According to a 1986 MAPS Newsletter, that first Board of Directors had eight meetings and dealt with not only the marina threat but other typical problems like swimmers itch, shore line erosion–there was a problem with a boat well on Long Point– County zoning issues, and septic system pollution. MAPS had lots of correspondence in the early days with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the Army Corps of Engineers, as well as Cheboygan County officials as the young organization made its presence known. The marina was never built and the Indian River Spreads are still in pristine condition and are still guarding Mullett Lake from upstream pollution.

Of the Members of that first Board of Directors, Marion Appleby has to be singled out for her countless hours of dedicated efforts for MAPS projects She served as the first President and kept that post for six years until failing health made her give up the presidency but she remained a Board Member, fund raiser and important recruiter until 1997. For thirteen years she championed MAPS. James Carusoe stayed on the Board for twelve years, many of them serving as Treasurer. James Horrigan was on the Board for nine years serving as second President in 1991, 92, and 93.

In later times there were many men and women who have served MAPS in many capacities protecting Mullett Lake. Ruth Bennett served for fifteen years –many of them as Treasurer. James Oliver was Secretary of MAPS for twelve years until health problems forced his resignation. MAPS has been fortunate to have had many, many other talented, dedicated people serve over the years–too numerous to all be mentioned.

The Presidents of MAPS:

Marion Appleby 1985-1990
James Horrigan 1991-1993
Oscar Loeffler 1994-1995
Lawrence Hanson 1996-1998
Philip Welsch 1999-2001
Alan Terry 2002-2006
Tony Naylor 2007-