In the 1950s and 1960s recreational vehicles were called Camper Trailers or House Cars and were typically home-made. Genny (Genevieve) Jennings, one of our and FMCA’s founding members, explained that she and her husband spent four years, from 1959 to 1963, converting an old school bus and a cargo trailer into their camping rig. They used bus and trailer with bunk beds to accommodate their family of eleven for travel throughout the country. She said early FMCA members often converted school buses and passenger buses, like Flxible and GMC, into RVs.
The following historical note is from the FMCA web site: Ted Austin, of Owosso, Michigan, and Dennis McGuire, of Alma, arranged a meeting of fellow coach owners in Corunna. on June 2, 1963. It is believed to be the first meeting of any coach owners to take place in the United States, and families in attendance later formed the Michigan Knights of the Highway chapter.
That June campout and meeting was reported in the June 3d Owosso Argus-Press. Charles Benore, of Durand, was elected the first president of the Michigan Courtesy Club, an organization of motorhome owners. Lee Matthews, of Vernon, was named vice president; Dennis McGuire, of Alma, secretary-treasurer; and Ted Austin and Howard Jennings, of Owosso, hosts; and Genevieve Jennings, of Owosso, sociability chairman.
On April 10, 1965, the Knights became a chapter of the FMCA. The chapter was originally called Michigan FMCA. However, in April 1966, the Reverend William Reynders, of Weidman Methodist Church, extended a welcome and the morning scripture reading of The Good Samaritan, at the rally in Coldwater, Michigan. He mentioned how the club members would stop to help folks in trouble along the highway. In his message of being helpful along the highways of life, he used the words Knights of the Highway, long before the Michigan FMCA chapter was named The Michigan Knights of the Highway.
Beginning in 1978, the Knights began hosting the FMCA Great Lakes Area Rally, known as the Great Lakes Area Spring Spree (GLASS). For 35 years, the GLASS rally was held every Memorial Day weekend, hosted by the Knights, with assistance from the other Great Lakes Area chapters. However, in 2012, the FMCA Great Lakes Area decided to institute the Great Lakes Area Motorcoach Association Inc. (GLAMA) and began hosting the Great Lakes Area rally, GLAMARAMA, beginning in 2013.
In 2015, the Knights celebrated their 50th year as an FMCA chapter.