Leelanau Peninsula and a Bit of Indiana

September 23, 2014  •  1 Comment

(September 2014)

We wrapped up our stay in Michigan at Leelanau Peninsula, just outside of Traverse City near Williamsburg at a beautiful little RV Park called Everflowing Waters Campground.  Loved our stay here, and even though there were no sewer hookups or dump stations, we found the owner very helpful and the campground a great place to do our last bit of Michigan before heading home.  

The Leelanau Peninsula is a great stop for history and more along both shorelines (Grand Traverse Bay and Lake Michigan) and you'll want to spend more time here than we had an opportunity to.  After this stop, we started home with one more area on our minds before the final push, the Amish and Dutch Country of Indiana.  Here are just some of the final days of our 2014 tour of history in the Upper Midwest. 

 

Greilickville, MI - West Arm Grand Traverse BayGreilickville, MI - West Arm Grand Traverse BayGreilickville, MI - West Arm Grand Traverse Bay

Just north of Traverse City, and home to the Traverse City Harbor is the unincorporated community of Greilickville, Michigan. First established in 1853, it was originally known as Norristown, named after Seth and Albert Norris who established a gristmill here.

 

Suttons Bay, MI - SeagullsSuttons Bay, MI - SeagullsSeagulls in Suttons Bay. Photo by Dave Alexander.

Godfrey Greilick built a small water-powered sawmill here just a few years later, then a steam-powered mill, which would wind up cutting eight and a half million feet of hardwood in 1883. It was one of the most important mills in Grand Traverse Bay until it was destroyed by fire in 1907.

 

Suttons Bay, MI - Sailing ShipSuttons Bay, MI - Sailing ShipArrgh me matey's. In Suttons Bay, Michigan. Photo by Dave Alexander.

A wooding station provided fuel to steamboats here starting in 1854. Established by Harry Chittenden Sutton, the community that sprang up around the fuel station would first be called Suttonsburg.


Suttons Bay, MI - HarborSuttons Bay, MI - HarborSuttons Bay, MI - Harbor. Photo by Kathy Alexander

 When the railroad entered town in 1892, the station was called "Greilicks" and the surrounding community took the name as well. Today Suttons Bay, Michigan is a great stop for tourists into the quaint artsy type towns with plenty of wineries around the area as well.  


Northport, MI - Mill PondNorthport, MI - Mill PondMill Pond, Northport Michigan. Photo by Kathy Alexander.

The village of Northport, Michigan on the Northeastern tip of the Leelanau Peninsula, actually came to be out of fear of a smallpox epidemic. In 1848, Reverend George Smith and Native American Ottawa Chief Peter Waukazoo decided to move the Ottawa mission from Southwestern Michigan's Black River, with Smith and his family setting sail by schooner and Waukazoo and his band traveling in canoes to their new settlement called Waukazooville.

In 1854, Deacon Joseph Dame and his son platted land north of the Native American settlement and called the property Northport. Because of its location near the tip of the peninsula and the first into Grand Traverse Bay, Northport grew quickly. 


Northport, MI - Old CabooseNorthport, MI - Old CabooseOld Caboose in Northport. Photo by Kathy Alexander.

Northport, Michigan thrived on farming, lumber operations, and fishing. It was the first county seat and became a summer mecca for many bigger city families over the years. 


Northport, MI - Red Farm Near NorthportNorthport, MI - Red Farm Near NorthportRed farm near Northport. Photo by Kathy Alexander.

As you make your way to the lighthouse from Northport,  you run into what looks like it could have been an attraction at some point... either that or a very involved farm.

In the early years, starvation was a constant threat around the peninsula, so planting and growing seasons were hard labor and food preservation a priority. As a community, they would bring heavy blocks of ice across the frozen waters by horse and sled to be cut up and used in meat markets, hotels, fisheries, and private homes.


 

Northport, MI - Clinton F. Woolsey Memorial AirportNorthport, MI - Clinton F. Woolsey Memorial AirportClinton F. Woolsey Memorial Airport. Photo by Kathy Alexander.

 

The Clinton F. Woolsey Memorial Airport in Northport is a couple of grass landing strips and a tiny fieldstone terminal found a few miles out of Northport on County Road 629 (on your way to the Grand Traverse Lighthouse). It was built and named after local hero Clinton F. Woolsey, who died in a mid-air collision near Buenos Aires during the first-ever U.S. international goodwill flight to 23 Central and South American countries in 1927. 


Northport, MI - Clinton F. Woolsey Memorial Airport Terminal.Northport, MI - Clinton F. Woolsey Memorial Airport Terminal.Clinton F. Woolsey Memorial Airport Terminal.

 

Clinton F. Woolsey was considered one of the nation's best pilots in the Army Corps during the 1920s when he died. Woolsey had dreams of flying solo across the Atlantic, but never got a chance to see that come true. One of his 1925 flight students would though, as Charles Lindbergh would be the first in 1927, the same year Woosley died.  In 1934, his father Byron Woolsey donated 80 acres of land to the Leelanau Township to be used as an airport in honor of his son. The Township threw in another 120 acres, and the Works Progress Administration converted the farm into a long grassy runway, and the onsite creamery/milk transfer station into a terminal. The new airport was dedicated in July of 1935. 


Northport, MI - Grand Traverse LighthouseNorthport, MI - Grand Traverse Lighthouse

 

The Grand Traverse Lighthouse in Northport was first built at a different location in 1852 but was rebuilt here in a more visible location for passing ships in 1858. In 1900 it was converted into a two-family dwelling and continued manned operation until 1972 when it was closed and an automatic light tower erected. In 1986 it became part of the Michigan State Park system and was opened to the public. 

For more information see the Grand Traverse Lighthouse website here... Also, see the Village of Northport website here


Leland, MI - Fishtown ShackLeland, MI - Fishtown Shack

 

A big attraction in Leland is Fishtown,  a collection of weathered fishing shanties, smokehouses, charter boats, and more along the Leland River, once the heart of a commercial fishing village. 


Leland, MI - Fishtown Shack - EnhancedLeland, MI - Fishtown Shack - Enhanced

Kathy added a little artistic touch to this photo of a fishing shack. 

 

Leland, MI - Fishtown Buoys WaterfallLeland, MI - Fishtown Buoys Waterfall

Leland's historic district, Fishtown, still retains its looks and feel from a century ago when commercial fishing was king in the area, with its shanties, fish tugs, and docks making up one of the few remaining commercial fishing complexes on the Great Lakes. 

 

Leland - FishtownLeland - Fishtown

The Fishtown Preservation Society, made up of Leland community volunteers, worked to buy the property through most of the early 2000s, reaching a deal to purchase it in 2006 from the Carlson family. 


Leland, MI - FishtownLeland, MI - Fishtown

Long before the Carlson family sold the commercial fishing buildings, docks, and tugs to the Fishtown Preservation Society in 2007, visitors for decades have enjoyed walking through the shanties and along the docks to see the historic legacy of Leland's maritime culture.


Leland - Fishtown Carlson's FisheriesLeland - Fishtown Carlson's FisheriesCarlson's Fisheries

Carlson's Fisheries
 

Leland, MI - Fishtown-3Leland, MI - Fishtown-3

Leland, MI - Fishtown BusinessLeland, MI - Fishtown Business

Lots of colorful places in the Fishtown District of Leland. For more information see the Leland Chamber website here


Glen Arbor, MI - Lost Soles TotemGlen Arbor, MI - Lost Soles TotemOutside the local favorite Art's Tavern, someone came up with a quirky way to display lost shoes on the Lost Soles Totem. 

Glen Arbor, Michigan is another favorite for summer tourists. In 1848, John LaRue set up a trading post at Sleeping Bear Bay to trade with Native Americans in the area. Wooding stations soon provided fuel to passing steamboats, and as more settlers arrived, the Glen Arbor Township had a population of about 200, sported three docks, fisheries, two hotels, four stores, a blacksmith and cooper shop, a lumber mill and more.  Outside the local favorite Art's Tavern, someone came up with a quirky way to display lost shoes on the Lost Soles Totem. 


Glen Arbor - Lake MichiganGlen Arbor - Lake MichiganLake Michigan at Glen Arbor.

Lake Michigan at Glen Arbor.

 

Sleeping Bear Dunes, MISleeping Bear Dunes, MIPeople enjoy climbing the sand in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

People enjoy climbing the sand in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Now in the center of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, the town of Empire, Michigan was founded in 1851 and incorporated in 1895. It's named after the schooner Empire which was icebound in the city during a storm in 1865.


Empire, MI - Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes - 2Empire, MI - Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes - 2

Empire's main industry was lumber, with the Empire Lumber Company in operation from 1887 to 1917. The city beach provides some spectacular views of Sleeping Bear Dunes. 
 

After leaving the Leelanau Peninsula, we began our final push home to Missouri but wanted to catch a little bit of Indiana first.  

 

Bristol, IN - Bonneyville MillBristol, IN - Bonneyville Mill

The Bonneyville Mill site dates back to 1832, but the actual Mill didn't open until 1837 (despite the historic name and date painted on it). Edward Bonney had this two and half story grist mill, sawmill, and a rock damn built, then later added a horizontal turbine, which was a rare power source. He sold the mill and its property in 1842 for $10,000.


Bristol, IN - Bonneyville Mill PondBristol, IN - Bonneyville Mill Pond

The Bonneyville Mill had numerous owners up until 1898 when Cornelius Daily and his wife Lillie purchased it. Over the next several years the Daily's improved the Mill, including the addition of a dam constructed of limestone and handmade cement. Production increased by over 5,000 bushels a year with the quality of the ground buckwheat renowned by the "Famous Buckwheat Flour." The Mill would stay in the family until 1962, and then in 1968, it was bought by the Elkhart County Chapter of Michiana Watershed, Inc., who presented it to the Elkhart County Park and Recreation Board in 1969. The Bonneyville Mill was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.


Middlebury, IN - Dutch Country Market Flower GardenMiddlebury, IN - Dutch Country Market Flower Garden

Dutch Country Market Flower Garden near Middlebury, Indiana provided a wonderful taste of color on our journey down the Heritage Trail Scenic Byway.


Middlebury, IN - Dutch Country MarketMiddlebury, IN - Dutch Country Market

Dutch Country Market near Middlebury, Indiana.

 

Middlebury, IN - FarmMiddlebury, IN - Farm

Farm near Middlebury, Indiana was typical of the landscapes we experienced on our drive along the Heritage Trail Scenic Byway.


Shipshewana, IN - Amish Horse & Buggy - 3Shipshewana, IN - Amish Horse & Buggy - 3

How fitting that we would find a horse and buggy sitting under the Wells Fargo sign. This was in Shipshewana along the Heritage Trail Scenic Byway. Shipshewana is the location of the Menno-Hof Amish and Mennonite Museum and is a great draw for area tourism with quaint antique and gift shops all within easy walking distance around the small downtown area.


Shipshewana, IN - Carriage RideShipshewana, IN - Carriage Ride

Shipshewana is home to the "Plain People" (Mennonite and Amish) and is named for a local Potawatomi Indian. The first Amish settlers came here from Pennsylvania in 1844. LaGrange and Elkhart Counties are home to the second-largest Amish population in America today.


Shipshewana, IN - MuralShipshewana, IN - Mural

We found several colorful murals in town, along with many handcrafted items from the Amish and Mennonites for sale. This one is on the Davis Mercantile, which includes a restored 1906 Carousel.


Shipshewana, IN - Amish Buggy - 2Shipshewana, IN - Amish Buggy - 2

We just happened to be in town on a Thursday, which is like a Saturday for Amish. 


Shipshewana, IN - Autumn Display - 2Shipshewana, IN - Autumn Display - 2

Shipshewana was in full Autumn swing during our September visit. This town has a lot to see and do, including the Midwest's largest flea market, Branson-style entertainment at the Blue Gate Theatre, Hudson Auto Museum, and more.


Shipshewana, IN - Autumn DisplayShipshewana, IN - Autumn Display

Shipshewana, IN - Antique DisplayShipshewana, IN - Antique Display

For more information on all things Shipshewana, Indiana, Visit Shipshewana here

 

Nappanee, IN - Amish Acres Cider MillNappanee, IN - Amish Acres Cider Mill

We wrapped up most of our time on the Heritage Trail Scenic Byway in Nappanee where you will find another attraction worthy of seeing, Amish Acres. Here you will find nine original buildings, along with some relocated buildings, an ice house, cider mill, and more. Amish Acres featured guided house and farm tours along with various other entertainment for a quick bit of Amish living history. Plan your visit here
 

Overall, our tour of history in the Upper Midwest was fun and exhausting.  We're back to the brown waters of the Lake of the Ozarks and ready to catch up after being on the road for a month.  See all of our travels via previous entries of the Photo Blog.  We began blogging this adventure through Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Indiana HERE

 

Also See: 

Michigan Photo Print Galleries

Indiana Photo Print Galleries

 

 

 


Comments

MortnAdele(non-registered)
I always like looking at pictures from my home state. Nice pictures.
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