Hackert Lake Flyover

November 1, 2022

Hackert Lake Flyover

Video by Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief

AMBER TOWNSHIP — I grew up near Hackert Lake (well, actually, I grew up near Crystal Lake, but for the sake of accuracy, I’ll call it Hackert Lake here – read more below about that comment). In the ‘70s and ‘80s it was a great place to be a kid. My family lived just on the outskirts at the corner of Amber and Hansen roads. There was always some adventure to be had either in the Fitch orchards or near the shores of the lake. My family would camp regularly at Crystal Lake Campground and when we weren’t camping there, us kids would sneak in to buy something at the camp store. 

The public access is where many of us either learned to swim or practiced our swimming. 

Regarding the name, I have a 1904 Mason County Plat Book confirming the name was Crystal Lake. Judging from some research in local newspapers, it appears people started calling it Hackert Lake as early as 1940. The U.S. Board of Geographic Names published a decision in 1948 that the lake would be known as Hackert Lake. 

It’s likely the name was changed because it seems almost every county in Michigan has a Crystal Lake. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources considers it Hackert Lake. 

The name Hackert honors the legacy of Charles and Sarah Hackert who came to Amber Township in 1861 in a covered wagon with four other families, according to a 1954 Ludington Daily News article. Charles Sr. and Sarah stayed at Peters Lumber camp at Crystal Lake until they located their farms in southern Amber Township. The Hackerts continues to farm land in Amber Township including in area adjacent to the lake. 

A piece of note that may be of interest, especially to local farmers. In 1878, Charles Hackert and James Fluery brought the first threshing machine to Mason County. 

Hackert Lake is a 125-acre glacial lake and is located within the Lincoln River watershed. It has a maximum depth of 52 feet and a shoreline length of 2.35 miles. The Michigan DNR public access is located south of Hansen Road where it intersects with Quarterline Road. A recreational pass is required for parking. The access does feature a boat launch capable of launching most watercraft that can be used on the lake. 

Though the access road is in line with Quarterline Road — which runs south of Hansen Road for just under a half mile — it is not a county road. For that reason the houses on the access road have a Hansen Road address (which is very difficult for local first responders). 

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