Little Eden Retreat Center (Onekama, Michigan, USA)

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Little Eden -- A Christian Retreat Center (formerly Little Eden Camp), a Mennonite (Mennonite Church USA) facility of 10 acres, is located on the north shore of Portage Lake 1.5 miles (two km) west of Onekama, Michigan, and 1.5 miles (two km) east of Lake Michigan, 240 miles (390 km) almost due north of Goshen, Indiana. Some 30 years earlier a lumber camp had been established on the plot, which was later sold to the Church of the Brethren for a recreation camp site, who in turn sold it to a group of Mennonites from Archbold, Ohio, in 1944.

The Mennonite group in 1945 organized a non‑profit corporation known as "Little Eden Camp Ground Association Inc.," with 53 charter members. Association membership in 1955 totaled 84, made up of members of the Mennonite Church (MC) from Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. The association was governed by a board of directors elected annually. Its assets totalled $37,100 in 1955.

Little Eden initially operated on a summer schedule beginning the last week in June and closing the first week in September, usually set up for nine groups of one week each. The 1955 season included five weeks for children including high-school age. The four weeks for adults included: Church Music and Young People, Christian Business and Professional, Christian Fellowship—Family, Farmers, and the Goshen College faculty retreat of two days. Facilities include a hotel building housing the administrative office, kitchen and dining room, social room, auditorium, second-floor sleeping rooms, and a third-floor dormitory, 17 cabins, a number of which house more than one family. The total capacity of the camp in 1955 was approximately 125, although at times children's camps enrolled as many as 200.

Little Eden became a year-round retreat center in 1992. At that time, Little Eden began to host various church and family groups from September through June as well.

Additional Information


3721 Portage Point Drive

Onekama, Michigan 49675-9751




Little Eden - A Christian Retreat Center

Author(s) Leland A Bachman
Date Published 1956

Cite This Article

MLA style

Bachman, Leland A. "Little Eden Retreat Center (Onekama, Michigan, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 8 Jul 2020.,_Michigan,_USA)&oldid=140929.

APA style

Bachman, Leland A. (1956). Little Eden Retreat Center (Onekama, Michigan, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 8 July 2020, from,_Michigan,_USA)&oldid=140929.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 377. All rights reserved.

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