Walking Tour – #4 The Music Conservatory

As you continue heading towards the Hotel, you will see Marker #4 on the right, just before the entrance to Quayle Court. The building shown here stood on level ground somewhere nearby. It was built in 1908 to accommodate the music studies that were a growing part of the Epworth Summer School. There were three studios and practice rooms for use by teachers, students, and visiting artists.

The building was commissioned and built with funds donated by Mr. Justus S. Stearns, a Ludington businessman who managed the Hotel from 1901-1911 and enthusiastically supported the entire Epworth concept. The Mary Wood Chase School of Musical Arts ran from July to September, overseen by the talented director/teacher, Ms. Chase. According to a 1918 Ludington Daily News article, her staff included teachers of voice, piano, violin, French, natural education, natural science, and Dalcroze eurythmics—this last being rhythmic movements to music thought to increase one’s musical understanding. Also offered were courses in music education for teachers. The school’s recitals were always a highly anticipated part of the Epworth summer program. 

After World War I ended, the Epworth Summer School program was discontinued. The building was seldom used, and in 1928, it was torn down.  Never ones to waste anything, the good Methodists reused the lumber salvaged from the demolition to remodel the lower level of the original Pavilion.