Aerial view – 1950s

In this view of the island from the 1950’s we can see several interesting changes that have happened here over the years. First off, the is indeed an island, with no connection to the mainland. The island was dependent on a fleet of boats to ferry everything and everyone from Henderson Harbor, some of which […]

The Bar at the Black Catte

In the years that Association Island was operated by the YMCA, the Black Catte Café served up more family-friendly beverages than it did when General Electric was here. In this photo from the 1960's we see campers enjoying some cool refreshments at the bar-turned-lunch counter. For more on the rich history of the island, read […]

The Island Ferry Boats

When General Electric operated Association Island, they maintained an entire fleet of boats. It was necessary, as there was no road access in those days so everything and everyone needed to be transported across the bay from Henderson Harbor. Pictured here are the two largest ferry boats of the fleet, the Islander II and the […]

The Black Catte Café

The Black Catte Café was built as a bar and restaurant over 75 years ago. In this photo from 1940 we see many campers enjoying a break from the daily activities that General Electric had available to them. The wild carousing that took place at the bar is legendary, and helped cement the island's reputation […]

The Old Elm Tree

During the time that General Electric operated their retreats at Association Island, meetings would be held in the shade of this enormous elm tree, seen in this post card from 1954, where executives and common workers could freely discuss the issues of the day. This is also where the Elfun Society was created as a […]

Marching band review.

There was a great deal of ceremony brought to the activities on the island during the General Electric days . To bring an appropriate level of pomp and circumstance, GE employed a marching band to provide music for arrivals and departures, as well as cruises on the lake.  In this photo from around 1930, the […]

Arriving by Air

In the 1950's, General Electric chief executives and VIPs would arrive at the island via GE's amphibious airplane, a Grumman Mallard. The plane would land on Henderson Bay to the East side of the island and park on a ramp near the boat lagoon and Island House. For more on the rich history of the […]

Lagoon and Boathouse, 1922

This image comes from a post card that was postmarked in 1922. It depicts the lagoon that lies between the the Island House and Conference center today. The Island House would be out of frame on the right side. The boathouse had a movie theater and dance hall on the second floor. Today, you can […]

Island House

The first building that you see when entering Association Island is the Island House. This two-story structure originally housed the island staff during the season. Today it serves as the campground offices and general store. 

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