Toodlin' Down to St. Ignace

September 18, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

We're on the back side of our journey, worn out and excited to write about the many places we've been from Iowa to Michigan and whatever else we run into on our way home.  We had a Toodlin trip from Hancock to St. Ignace. That means not a lot of stopping, but just sitting back and enjoying whatever we run into.  Here's a short photo journey to wrap up our time in the Upper Peninsula.

  

Wilson, MI - Tavern DoorWilson, MI - Tavern Door

Wilson, an unincorporated community in Menominee County Michigan, was originally called Ferry Switch. In 1872 and 1873, the Chicago and North Western Railway built a station here to serve local charcoal kilns. Wilson Michigan's railway station closed in 1950. 
 

Wilson, MI - Tavern CloseWilson, MI - Tavern Close

Almost a complete ghost town today, we saw only a handful of people left in Wilson.
 

Wilson, MI - TavernWilson, MI - Tavern

This tavern sits lonely in Wilson, Michigan. Wilson was a railroad town established around 1872. A school was built in 1881, and a postoffice the same year, originally called Myra. It was renamed Wilson before the end of 1881.


 

Wilson, MI - MarketWilson, MI - Market

At it's peak around World War I, Wilson had about 500 residents and numerous establishments. The unincorporated community is pretty much a ghost town now after the rail station closed in 1950.
 

Wilson, MI -Market DoorWilson, MI -Market Door

The first school in Wilson opened in 1881, along with a post office. At the time the post office was established, they named it Mrya, but then just months later changed it to Wilson after local sawmill owner Frank D. Wilson. A new public school was built in 1890.  (Photo of an abandoned market)
 

Wilson, MI - Market InsideWilson, MI - Market Inside

Pushin down the road...

Vulcan, MI - Iron Mountain Iron Mine TourVulcan, MI - Iron Mountain Iron Mine TourWant to see a real mine? Just outside Iron Mountain in Vulcan check out the Iron Mountain Iron Mine Tour. Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander.

Want to see a real mine? Just outside Iron Mountain in Vulcan check out the Iron Mountain Iron Mine Tour. 
 

Michigan - Upper Peninsula - Fall ColorMichigan - Upper Peninsula - Fall ColorEarly fall colors in the Upper Peninsula, Michigan in September.

We caught some early fall colors in the Upper Peninsula, Michigan in September.
 

Munising, MI - LighthouseMunising, MI - Lighthouse

Established in 1908 along with the rear light, the active Munising Front Range Light has a continuous red light. It is constructed of steel and stands 58 feet.
 

St. Ignace, MI - Lake HuronSt. Ignace, MI - Lake Huron

The first residents of the area that is now St. Ignace were the Anishinabeg (Ojibwe) and Iroquoian Native American's. There is archaeological research that shows occupation here dating back up to 50 thousand years. Evidence shows they were migratory, spending their springs gathering maple sugar and fishing sturgeon and smelt. In the Summer they planted crops of corn, potatoes and squash, and developed housing, watercraft, hunting and farming tools.
 

St Ignace, MI - East Moran BaySt Ignace, MI - East Moran Bay

Europeans to first arrive were Roman Catholic missionaries, followed by French and British explorers and fur traders. The name St. Ignace originates with the Jesuit missionaries who christened the Mission built here in 1671 in honor of the founder of the Society of Jesus, St. Ignatius Loyola.
 

St Ignace, MI - Castle RockSt Ignace, MI - Castle Rock

Rising almost 196 feet above the waters of Lake Huron, Castle Rock is a creation of natural erosion of the surrounding land. It was purchased by C.C. Eby in 1928, and opened to the public as a tourist attraction (opened mid-May throug mid-October). For an admission fee you can climb an outdoor staircase to the top. 
 

St Ignace, MI - SeagullSt Ignace, MI - SeagullThe Jesuits abandoned the St. Ignace mission in 1705 and Native American's would dominate the region during the 18th Century. After the English victory in the Seven Year's War with the French, and then the American Revolution, the village became a part of the United States Territory in 1783.

The Jesuits abandoned the St. Ignace mission in 1705 and Native American's would dominate the region during the 18th Century. After the English victory in the Seven Year's War with the French, and then the American Revolution, the village became a part of the United States Territory in 1783. 
 

St Ignace, MI - LighthouseSt Ignace, MI - Lighthouse

Originally an important fur trading site during French colonization, St. Ignace declined in importance by the 1830's. The village was revived in 1882 by the railroad which connected the straits area to Detroit. St. Ignace was officially incorporated as a city in 1883 and today serves as a summer and fall tourist meca. 
 

St. Ignace, MI - Mackinac BridgeSt. Ignace, MI - Mackinac Bridge

Opening in 1957, the Mackinac Bridge, also known as "Big Mac" and "Mighty Mac" is an over 8,600 foot suspension bridge spaning the Straights of Mackinac connecting the Upper and Lower peninsulas of Michigan. It is the world's 16th longest in total suspension, and the longest suspension bridge between anchorages in the Western Hemisphere.
 

St. Ignace, MI - Mackinaw Bridge-2St. Ignace, MI - Mackinaw Bridge-2

The Mackinac Bridge was actually envisioned in the 1880's but suffered decades of delays in construction. 
 

St. Ignace, MI - Mackinaw Bridge-3St. Ignace, MI - Mackinaw Bridge-3

 

Our final good bye to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan as we make our way south toward home. After crossing into the lower peninsula, we had one more 'pen' to do. Next photo blog we'll take you to the Leelanau Peninsula and our push home through Amish country in Indiana.  

During our time (2014) in St. Ignace we stayed at Tiki RV Park, where it was discovered back in the 1950's that it was built on a centuries old Indian Burial ground (they've moved the discovered bones and artifacts since).  Great management and wonderful place to stay. Good Passport rate, but expect all RV parks to be high in this area because of the local tourism.  We enjoyed our stay at Tiki, although the wifi was sparse and we could never get on. 


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