The Shintangle Web Site is our attempt to share our love for this wonderful place with everyone. Five generations of our family have lived on this land. In this section, we will relate a bit of Shintangle history, tell you about the meaning of this unusual name, list some facts and fiction about Torch Lake, and tell you how to get here.
Scroll down or click on the links below to see what is of interest to you.
Partners John Giles and Arthur Springstead purchased the land upon which our cabin is situated back in the 1890s. It was located on the east shore of Torch Lake in Antrim County, Michigan. The partners cleared many of the trees off the land so that they could farm. A large stone pier was located just offshore to facilitate floating logs from this part of the county through the lower chain of lakes to the wood-burning iron works in Elk Rapids. Remnants of the old stone pier are still visible. Photographs of the Central Lake area taken shortly after 1900 show a landscape almost totally denuded of trees. That's hard to believe, given the extensive forests nearby our cabin today.
John Giles was the great-great grandfather of William and Sandra Snaden, children of Jim and Tracy Snaden, the current owners. John Giles was the father of eight daughters. Two, Emma and Josephine, inherited his share of the property. Josephine sold her land in two pieces; the southern piece went to Bill Norton, while Howard North bought the other part. Emma in turn divided her share between her two daughters, Florence and Bertha. Bertha eventually sold her parcel to the Dail Family of East Lansing.
Florence, however, constructed a cabin in 1947 on her parcel, followed by another smaller cabin a couple of years later. Upon her death in 1974, she bequeathed the property to her daughter Marjorie who, in turn, passed it on to her brothers Bill and Jim when she died in 1988. Jim and Tracy bought out his brother in 1990 and they have owned the property ever since.
Shintangle is now the residence of Jim and Tracy.
Shintangle: What Exactly is It?
Shintangle is named for a low evergreen bush that is common in the north woods of Michigan. Lumberjacks, who would get their feet tangled up in it, did not like this bush for obvious reasons. Florence learned this from the stonemason who built the cut stone fireplace, and thought it would be a good name for the property. We have planted some shintangle and we grow some grapes, too.
The picture shows some shintangle in the woods during
Torch Lake is located in Antrim County, Michigan. It is part of a system of interconnected lakes often called the "Chain of Lakes." This lake system begins with tiny Beals Lake and loops some 70 miles through 13 additional lakes and narrow waterways and ultimately empties into Lake Michigan at Elk Rapids, where a dam separates the two bodies of water. It is not possible to travel from one to the other by boat unless you use the lift out service available at Elk Rapids marina.
Formed by glacial action thousands of years ago, in much the same way that glaciers created the Finger Lakes of New York State, Torch Lake stretches 18 miles from north to south, making it Michigan's longest inland lake. Torch Lake is also Michigan's second largest inland lake covering over 29 square miles. Clam River, which flows into the east side of Torch, is said to be the world's shortest navigable river and leads into Clam Lake and the rest of the "Chain of Lakes."
Torch Lake Facts
Torch Lake is classified as oligotrophic as the waters are low in nutrients and it is cold, deep and blue. Torch Lake's waters are crystal clear and fed by undergound springs and has hardly any underwater vegetation. Torch is a perfect lake for swimming!
Here are some other facts and figures about Torch Lake:
Boating: Torch is an excellent lake for sailing, powerboating, canoeing and kayaking, and zipping around on personal watercraft. Strong breezes kick up most afternoons and make sailing quick and exciting. Powerboaters can enjoy skiing and other towables, or just cruise for pleasure. The sandbar at the south end of the lake is a popular place to anchor and socialize. Kayaking and canoeing along the shore is peaceful and relaxing. Jet Ski's or PWC's are also very popular on the lake. Since Torch is a big lake, the wind can stir up some pretty big waves occasionally, so keep an eye on conditions. All boaters should observe the "black star" buoy regulations by staying outside of these buoys by at least one hundred feet.
Fishing: You will find all of the following fish in Torch Lake: Lake trout, rock bass, yellow perch, small mouth bass, muskellunge, burbot, brown trout, rainbow trout, and whitefish. Torch is a challenging lake to fish. With an average depth of over 200 feet, Torch provides a fine habitat for trout. Downrigger trolling is the best way to go after the trout that stay in the cold depths most of the time. Bottom fishing by jigging is effective for bass and perch, but ask local people to show you the best spots.
Torch Lake Fiction
There are a number of exaggerations that have been perpetuated over the years concerning Torch Lake. Probably the most popular myth being told is that Torch Lake was "voted" or "selected" as the "Third Most Beautiful Lake in the World" by National Geographic magazine. The National Geographic states that it has never made any such ranking, but the story persists. Another one of these "stretching of the truths" you'll see are the signs and license plates purporting Torch Lake as the "World's Most Beautiful Lake."
Now while these myths may not be completely true, we truly believe that Torch Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes we have ever seen.
How to Get Here
Shintangle is a day or two drive from many locations in the northeast and midwest. We're about five hours' drive from Chicago, IL or Detroit, Michigan. Driving directions to Shintangle are provided below. If you're farther away or want a faster way to get here, air service is available in and out of Traverse City, Michigan.
Getting to Torch Lake by
If you are in Northern Michigan or already know how to get to Traverse City Michigan, use these directions...
Executive Summary: Get on U.S. Route 31 North at Traverse City. Travel north from the junction of State Highway 72 (M 72) and U.S. 31 to Eastport. Turn east onto M 88. Go 2/10 of a mile to Northeast Torch Lake Drive. Turn south and travel about 4 miles. We are about one mile south of the Brownwood Acres store. Turn into the driveway marked by the Shintangle sign (1653 NE Torch Lake Drive). If you reach Camp Hayo-Went-Ha (the state YMCA boys camp), you have gone one mile too far.
If you need detailed directions, please contact us.
Getting to Torch Lake by Air
The airport code for the Cherry Capital airport in Traverse City is "TVC". Northwest Airlines, American, and United currently fly to Traverse City. It is about an hour's drive from the airport to the cabin. Call ahead and we'll pick you up at the airport, or you can also rent cars right at the airport. (reservations recommended) We are about an hour's drive from the airport. Click on the following link for more information on the Traverse City Airport. Traverse City's Cherry Capital Airport.
Visitors going to Mackinac Island will find it more convenient to use the Pellston Regional Airport. The airport code for Pellston is "PLN". Pellston airport is only a few miles from Mackinaw City and about an hour's drive from the cabin.
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