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For those who dream of living on a private island, Diamond Lake in southwest Michigan can turn dreams into reality. Diamond Lake, with Diamond Island in the middle, offers residents and visitors more than 1,000 acres of water recreation. Cottages, cabins, and homes are tucked along the lake's wooded shoreline and on private Diamond Island.
Diamond Lake formed during the Wisconsin Glacial Age between 10,000 and 75,000 years ago. In 1927, the Diamond Lake Association built a dam at the outlet of the lake that fixed water levels at 852.25 feet; the dam was relocated in 1968. Wetlands and weed beds near the lake's outlet provide abundant waterfowl and wildlife. The lake covers part of central Cass County and is about a mile from Cassopolis and two hours from Chicago. Diamond Lake has a rich recreation history; by 1872 it was already becoming a vacation destination.
Today the homes around Diamond Lake include family residences and lakefront vacation rentals. Diamond Island is 43 acres in the center of the lake; cabins and cottages provide both permanent residences and rentals. A private barge carries residents to the island at regular intervals throughout the year. For anyone who still dreams of living on an island, there is real estate available for sale.
In addition to shoreline residential development, there is also a marina and public boat launch. Diamond Lake has more than enough water for power boating, water skiing and jet skiing. The island is a great place to explore by canoe or kayak. The lake is also a very popular place to sail. In 1989 some lake residents reconstructed the shipwreck of the steamboat "South Bend," giving scuba divers a great place to dive.
Diamond Lake was stocked with walleye as early as 1892. Anglers will find healthy populations of bluegill, yellow perch and smallmouth bass to challenge them. Rock bass and northern pike are also present in smaller numbers. In the winter the ice huts pop up, and anglers that can't wait until spring try their hands ice fishing.
Cassopolis is the county seat of Cass County and the nearest city to Diamond Lake. Established in 1832, Cassopolis, along with nearby Vandalia, have restaurants, shops and a variety of accommodations. Any amenities a visitor might need are easily accessible from the lake.
In the early 1800's, Job Wright moved to Diamond Island and built a cabin. Mr. Wright was seeking isolation and lived on the island until his death in 1842. His grave marker can still be found on the island. Visitors still come to Diamond Lake and Diamond Island seeking solitude. Rather than becoming recluses, however, visitors today come to refresh, relax and rejuvenate. For those who choose to stay and embrace the dream of lake living, Diamond Lake is a place to raise their families and dream a new dream of children and grandchildren playing in the water of this southwest Michigan gem.
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