605. Pleasant Plains Auditorium

Pleasant Plains Auditorium

830 N. Michigan Avenue

Baldwin, Michigan 49304

The Pleasant Plains Auditorium in Baldwin hosted numerous musical events from its construction in 1929 through the late 1950s. In 1937 the Prairie Farmer WLS Home Talent Show from Chicago showcased local talent including the young Leonard Keller. Keller went on to form Brown and Keller a well-known regional orchestra. Members included Jim Brown, Len Keller, Fred Bradford and Cleta Drilling.

From 1947 through 1958 the auditorium provided a venue for local, Grand Rapids and Chicago orchestras to play the night away. In addition to Brown and Keller, Howard Updegraff, the Kings-Bosworth Quintet of Pantlind Hotel fame, Everett King, The Rythmaire’s, DeForrest Poole, Jimmy Hogan, Kenny Roberts, Aldie Long and Bill Mendrala’s Orchestras provided music for as many as 300 dancers.  

Many of the dances were semi-formal balls – the Annual Fireman’s Ball, Valentine Ball, St. Patrick’s Day Dance, Fisherman’s Ball, Trout Ball, Pan Fish Festival Ball, Fourth of July Dances and benefits were held from 10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. Sponsored by the Baldwin Women’s Club, Baldwin Commercial Club and various Veteran’s organizations these dances were well attended by locals and guests from as far away as Chicago.

The Auditorium wasn’t the only place one could find music playing in Lake County. Outside of Idlewild, the hot spots were The Bowery at Big Star Lake, the Odd Fellow Hall and Ski’s in the Baldwin area and Carr’s Hall in Carr Settlement and Lithuanian Friendship Club Hall in Irons.

For more information please contact the Lake County Historical Museum and Research Library, 915 N. Michigan Avenue, PO Box 774, Baldwin, MI 49304. Telephone – (231) 898-6500 E-mail - lakecountyhisory@hotmail.com Facebook page – lake county historical society/Michigan. Hours May through December, Wednesday-Saturday from noon to 4:00 p.m. or by appointment.