Located within Allendale Charter Township, Allendale stretches two-thirds of the total township. It starts from the eastern boundaries of Grand Rapids to the western boundary of Lake Michigan. It was first named as Malta and later change to Allendale by state senator Pennoyer. The senator honored the wife of Hannibal Allen, Agnes Allen. The town was originally famous for being the main campus of Grand Valley State University.
Allendale might be an off-the-beaten-path for some, but others will love to come here for a bit of adventure, history, and a relaxing weekend with nature. Here are some of the best destinations in and around Allendale.
Coopersville Farm Museum
Built in 2001, the Coopersville Farm Museum is a non-profit organization keeping the tradition of rural life alive. With their mission, the museum has become an active part of the community, particuarly when educating people about the past. Here, children learn the importance of farming and how it was done before without technology or modern machinery. They also have exhibits from all over West Michigan covering topics like tools, barbed wire, and feed sacks. There is also an old grange hall dedicated to all sorts of trinkets from rural towns around the country. The museum may look small on the outside but is packed with goodies from floor to ceiling.
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Gerald Ford Museum
This museum will take you back in time and get a glimpse of the life of President Ford and his wife. The museum honors democratic citizenship to instill an appreciation of the past. There are also temporary exhibits that display several artifacts from museums across the country.
The beautiful landscapes in this museum also leave people in awe. The layout is nicely done with friendly and very knowledgeable staff to assist guests. Short films show vital information about the former President’s politics and life. Another great thing about the museum is that the tours are very organized and easy to follow. Exhibits are well balanced, honest and very factual. Take a souvenir with you in their gift shop which features items relating not just to the Ford presidency but to other American Presidents as well.
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Public Museum of Grand Rapids
The Grand Rapids Public Museum is one of the oldest history museums in the country. Founded in 1845, it still has an amazing facility and fascinating exhibits. The museum has three stories and is located just by the downtown riverfront. It houses some of well-preserved objects of the past and collections from more recent times. Some of the great features of the museum are the mystery puzzle and the planetarium. Family members of all ages will love spending time inside the museum. And if they get their tummy grumbling, the museum has a café with some great choices. Staff is also ready to assist guest as they’re all friendly in a way that you’ll only find in towns like Allendale.
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Windmill Island Gardens
A few miles away from Allendale, you can find the picturesque beauty of Windmill Island Gardens. It’s not too big which makes it a perfect place to explore and enjoy all the scenery in one visit. They offer tours but the main attraction is their famous windmill. Let the kids enjoy a comfortable pace in the beautiful garden lined with different flowers in vibrant colors. Try to come to their Tulip Festival and you’ll truly experience Windmill Island Gardens in its most lustrous time. Spend the day taking pictures and you’ll definitely capture great frames in this scenic locale.
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Allen Park is part of Wayne County, Michigan which was famous for their tree-lined streets brick houses. The town is also part of several communities known as Downriver. The town houses two of the most prominent brands in the country, Ford Motor Company and the Detroit Lions. Several Ford Motor offices and facilities are located within the boundaries of Allen Park.
Just recently, Allen Park gathered much of the state’s attention as it hosted the Made in Michigan Festival. Hosting the much-awaited state festival proved that this small community has a lot to offer and makes up much of why Michigan is so awesome.
Made in Michigan Festival
Because the kick-off event went really well last year, organizers of the festival have made it two days long now. The last weekend of September was dedicated to food, wine, shopping and music in Allen Park celebrating pure Michigan-made excellence. From September 29 to 30, visitors to Allen Park had all day fun for everyone in the family. The festival featured many food trucks and the best Michigan craft beers. To get more into the festivity, live music played all day. There is always something for everyone in this two-day event, an open-air market of all Michigan-made surely inspires everyone to love our state. This event will always draws some serious crowds, so make sure to plan ahead once you’ve decided to go.
But if Made in Michigan makes you crave for something else, Allen Park has some great eats to discover when festivities aren’t going on.
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For a taste of authentic Italian dishes, Moro’s Dining has a lot to offer. They are well known for their flamboyant table-side food preparation to make sure to only get the freshest dishes. Their portions are really generous and the taste even better. They serve great steak options with a perfect balance of seasoning bringing out the natural flavor of the beef. Don’t miss out on their Strawberry Romanov dessert which is made at your table complete with extravagant preparations.
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Angelina’s Mexican Restaurant
If you’re craving for some salsa, head on to Angelina’s Mexican Restaurant. They serve homemade salsas, Mexican sodas, and offer a variety of lunch specials. People would often order the restaurant’s legendary rice and beans. Because of the popularity of the location, it can often get rather crowded, so make a reservation if you know you’ll be heading there. Angelinas has great pricing for their food with large portions. Like any other authentic Mexican restaurant, you will be greeted with the warmest smile and fresh from the stove food. Also worth a try since Allen Park has several parks with great picnic areas is to take the food with you and prepare an alfresco dining experience in the open with your family.
The Glass Onion Griddle
This place takes an ordinary breakfast food and put a unique twist that everyone loves. For a small place, you wouldn’t expect they’d serve such amazing comfort food, but you’ll be glad to be proven wrong. The Glass Onion Griddle is a cozy place to bring your family and friends for an energizing meal before visiting other hotspots around Allen Park. Protip: Their eggs benedict are a must if you’re coming here for the first time as is their Great Lakes coffee.
Whenever you are planning to go to Allen Park, whether for a festival or get a feel of Michigan life, make sure to taste some of their local cuisines. And while you’re at it, make sure to cozy up if you head there during the upcoming winter with one of these great Michigan hoodies.
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Auburn Hills is a city in Oakland County in Michigan that’s great to visit for a day trip or as part of a vacation in Michigan. It houses the world headquarters of Chrysler, Oakland University and the former home of Detroit Pistons. Back in 1908, the automobile genius, John Dodge bought a farmhouse in Auburn Hills and made it his retreat house. The city has a peculiar upside down “L” shaped which makes it one of the hardest to navigate through, so tourists may find themselves in and out of Auburn Hills depending on which way they travel. Nevertheless, the city houses a number of precious historic finds and natural wonders.
Tourists often pay homage to Oakland University which shares a border with Auburn Hills and Rochester. The university grounds hide a marvelous gem with scenic beauty. It also has an old yet very attractive clock tower, as well as landscapes with ponds and hammocks. Their food court even has a Chic-Fil-a, which is one of the few locations still left in Michigan and happens to be the first in the state. They have a different event going on throughout the year which makes it a bit more interesting for visitors.
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Walter P. Chrysler Museum
The city is home to the Chrysler’s headquarters. It had its own building that used to be like Disneyland to car lovers. However, the museum is no longer available. Some visitors who visited the location described the museum as a precious place that brings back sweet memories. They had ‘one-off’ projects cars that a certified motorhead would appreciate. It’s worth a quick drive to this iconic place while planning your next stop in Auburn Hills.
Hawk Woods Nature Center
Camping is often seen as an integral part of father and son bonding moments. But for a fun activity, visitors come to the Hawk Woods Nature Center to experience a rustic kind of bonding for the whole family. The center offers a great family activity all year and everyone will find it enjoyable and interesting. People come here to teach their youngsters how to deal with the outdoors and spend some time away from all their gadgets. It is a great way to teach kids an old school way of living and tell camping stories they will hold dear in their hearts. The Hawk Woods Nature Center has well-groomed trails, boardwalks, and heated showers. All these amenities rest in the middle of 80 acres of scenic meadows and forested woodlands.
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Sea Life Aquarium
Tourists come to the Great Lakes Crossing Mall not just to go shopping but to see the largest aquarium in Michigan. Sea Life Aquarium caters to families as their facilities are all child-friendly. It features over 5,000 sea creatures like sharks, octopus, turtles and much more. They have many interesting sea creatures swimming in their tanks that you won’t find in a regular aquarium. They also have an aqua tunnel and an interacting area for some of the animals. For some, it’s a great diversion for kids to look through (with an older sibling) while their parents do some serious shopping around the mall. Nevertheless, it’s a great way to spend an afternoon with the family. Sea Life Aquarium also offers educational tours discussing the ocean and the environment.
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Bay City is situated near Saginaw Bay on Lake Huron. Along with Midland and Saginaw, Bay City was formed in Central Michigan and the area was called the Great Lakes Bay Region. The city offers an array of tours, historic finds, and some interesting districts.
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Sage Branch Library
Located in a historic building that has a matching Victorian, Gothic, and French Chateau interior design, the Sage Branch Library offers a large selection of books. The building was built in 1884 and the library lies on its second floor. It also offers some modern amenities like multimedia resources for the town.
Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum
Coming to Bay City, visitors are expected to drop in the Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum. Visitors can experience real life scenarios of the sailors navigating through the tight spaces on the ship. The museum features important events in navigation history and the Great Lakes. It is a huge ship and may take over an hour to go through its spaces. This is a great excuse to visit the town all year long.
Walking in this park will let you feel like a local and experience Bay City as it is. People often come here because of the events held in the park. Wenonah Park plays host to several festivals throughout the year and numerous wedding and private events. It offers a nice relaxing ambiance to walk through. The park is well maintained, lined with great restaurants and bars. The city even hosts free concerts within the park that people flock to and enjoy the music while watching a lovely sunset by the river.
Dobson Antique Toy and Firehouse Museum
This museum boasts a huge collection of antique toys and firehouse, with over 12,500 model cars and trucks. They have rooms dedicated solely for Tonka, Coca-cola, Betty Boop and NASCAR. They even showcase a 9/11 Memorial and Snap-on tools. Some of the permanent exhibits include real firetrucks like the New York Super Pumper, the largest fire truck in the world. Visitors of all ages will definitely find their own favorite collection the in the museum. Dobson Antique Toy and Firehouse Museum is very accessible to all visitors; they have handicapped accessibility and motorized carts for those who need them. The staff is friendly and will be happy to assist in navigating this mammoth size museum. On good days, the owner will give a tour to visitors, giving them a first-hand look at the stories and facts about his collections.
Center Avenue Historic District
One of the most photographed areas in Bay City is the Center Avenue Historic District, which is an iconic spot to visit in Bay City. It is just a short drive but most tourists choose to walk to this location. Some homes will even allow visitors to come inside and take a look at some remarkable, picturesque houses. People also enjoy cruising along this historic district, letting them feel like they’re going back in time. Some houses may need some fresh paint or minor repairs but most are still in good condition. The Christmas season is a special time to visit the Center Avenue Historic District as it offers enchanting displays of holiday lights.
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We often live our lives in a mundane fashion. There are so few that truly look for adventure and actually seek those experiences out.
Why is adventure so important?
It’s the adventure that allows us to take a few moments to look into our soul.
Enjoying the Sun…. Embracing the Rain
Our souls are often neglected through the business of life. We tend to run so fast that we are unable to take a few minutes to reflect and consider if the path that we are on is actually the path that we are supposed to be on. Or is the path we are on something imposed on us by our circumstances or family?
My wife and I planned to take a kayaking adventure through Paddling Michigan. (Great company and an awesome guide named Andy) We were scheduled to leave about 3pm and take about 4 – 6 hours kayaking from Miner’s beach out to Lover’s leap and then back to Miner’s beach. That plan didn’t go exactly the way we thought.
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A Short Weather Delay
We were delayed for a little while at the start of the journey, the weather was unpredictable and could have moved either way very quickly. Once the storm declared its intentions we were able to launch and start on the adventure.
My oh my, what an incredible start. The wind was coming out of the south which allowed for very calm water along the shoreline of Lake Superior. The sun was peeking through the different clouds giving us the splendor of Pictured Rocks.
(For those who don’t know, Pictured Rocks is a State Forest area in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The mineral found with the sandstone runs with the water down the side of the sandstone painting them with magnificent color. When the sun reflects off the sandstone set atop the crystal clear, intense tropical blue water, it is a sight unmatched anywhere in the US)
With the calm water we were able to sneak into the coves that were dripping the water leaking through the sandstone. The experience was breathtaking and something that is a once in a lifetime experience. We felt so fortunate to have some perfect weather and our hopes were high for an incredible sunset on the trip back, but that wasn’t to be.
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We were Enjoying the Sunshine!
We had reached the halfway point of our trip, Lover’s Leap. Lover’s Leap is likely the most notable arch along Pictured Rocks. There are many legends that give the point character and charm. But the beauty and experience of paddling under this magnificent arch is an experience that and only be felt in person. It was at this point that the Coast Guard issued a weather warning and that all water craft needed to get off the water. You can always tell the guides that are worth their weight in salt by the way they act when plans change. Andy was one of those exceptional guides. We were able to land safely at Mosquito Beach and have our lunch while we waited further instructions.
Those instruction — Hike back to Miner’s beach. That’s right surprise, you now have a 4 mile, 2 hour hike back to your pick up spot. Everything changed in a few minutes. What we had planned and what we were about to do were clearly two different things. We hadn’t planned for a hike. We hadn’t prepared for a hike. There were 2 couples and our guide Andy. We now had to figure out how to carry our personal baggage and hike back 4 miles in either water shoes or bare feet.
You see, it is moments like these that define us. It is the chance to look into our souls to see what we are truly made of. To find out if there is a thread of steel that is woven into our soul or if we are find out there is a hollow vacant space. Upon looking inward you are going to find one of two things. The Reinforced steel support structure or absolute emptiness. What are you going to find?
When you are required to start looking inward and find that you haven’t built the steel reinforcements, there is nothing but absolute panic. A panic that causes you to freeze and not act. A panic that causes you to lash out at others. A panic that produces a complaining attitude. A realization that you should have done things different but by then it is just too late. You are in a situation that is completely out of your control and you are forced to adapt and make the best of the situation.
This is the time to Embrace the Rain!
I can say from the deepest part of my heart, I am blessed beyond words to have found my best friends and soul mate to embrace the rain with me.
Boy did we embrace the rain, both literally and figuratively.
With both couples we had no other options but to hike back. It was probably the most fun I have had in a very long time. Within 10 minutes of starting our hike back the sky began to rain, slow and steady. The type that you know will last a long time and drench everything. We LOVED it. It was a time we will not soon forget. We hiked for almost 2 hours and for 1 hour and 45 minutes of that hike we were drenched. We were virtually alone along one of the most amazing cliffs in Northern Michigan hiking in the pouring rain and absolutely loving it. We wanted this. We embraced this adventure know that we had the stamina and the courage to tackle the hike.
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These are what memories are made of. These are the times that you look back and say we built a foundation that allowed us to “weather” (pun intended) any type of storm that may show up. We have spent the time building our souls so when things like this do happen we are able to rely on the support of our internal structure.
What have you done lately to build your internal structure? Are you creating a foundation that will allow you to weather the storms that come in your life?
Creating a true balance in life is all about being able to --
Enjoy the Sunshine
… while there is time to enjoy the sunshine and
Embracing the Rain
… there will always be rain in our lives.
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My wife and I had the chance to sneak away for a quick 2-day trip to Munising. We wanted to spend a little time checking out some of the different waterfalls but also take the time to kayak with Paddling Michigan and try to see the sunset as we were coming back. What we didn’t expect was the awesome adventure that awaited us.
Most people like to work through a plan or schedule of events and would rather not live for the adventure. But then where is the fun in that?
Our plan was to arrive in Munising later in the evening, spend the next day according to our schedule and then head home the following day. What we didn’t know was that while we had planned out our events, the weather made different plans for us.
The morning after our arrival started out pleasant enough. There was a little sun and some clouds were passing through. It looked like an excellent day for kayaking but that wasn’t set to launch till about 3pm. So we were able to sneak a couple of quick little trips. In Munising there are many to choose from. The Twin Falls are one of those semi-secret locations. While they are not as well know as some of the other waterfalls around Munising they are some of the coolest. There is a short hike to get back to the 50’+ drops. When the water is flowing strong they are pretty incredible to see. The paths are well marked but as you walk along these cliff type edges you truly get the feeling that you’re walking back to a secret cove. Once you get into the cove you can totally immerse yourself in the waterfall which you would swear is really some far off tropical getaway. It’s amazing these are literally in our back yard and yet the location feels so secluded.
Our next stop was sand point. One of the most fascinating things you will find is the maroon sand. This maroon sand is called Jacobson Sand. It is only found along the shores of Lake Superior. The tale of Jacobson Sand is in itself nothing short of a mystery. Much like the Black beaches of some exotic far off place, the maroon sand holds its color and creates a feeling of wonder in finding something that you will not find anywhere else. Don’t miss it.
Finally Onto Kayaking
It is now finally time for our Kayaking trip. We knew immediately that this was the adventure that we had been waiting for. There was a massive storm system that was moving in and it had the chance to run either north or just a little south of use. The great thing about the storm is that it was being pushed by a southern wind. South winds make the water along the shoreline of Lake Superior calm and almost tropical. We were delayed until we knew it was safe to venture out on the water. The sun started to peek through in a couple of spots with made the combination of the calm water and the stained rocks breathtaking. These are some of the things that photos and words just cannot describe. The minerals from inside the sandstone leak out with the water and literally paint the sides of Pictured Rocks. This national park is one of best kept secrets of all the US parks. The chance to kayak up close to these 2000 ft cliffs is something you won’t soon forget.
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As we got close to Lover’s Leap (the most well known arch along the Pictured Rocks) we received a call from the weather service, issuing a warning to get off the water. We were 4 miles away from our launch point on Miner’s Beach. Our only choice was to land on Mosquito Beach and hike back the 4 miles to Miner’s Beach. We had a few minutes to explore Mosquito River and had to sit in awe of the storm front that was moving across Lake Superior.
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The hike back was part of the adventure we hadn’t planned on but in my humble opinion it is what makes memories. We all have choices that we face every day in our lives. We often plan our paths and activities but how often do those plans or activities turn out exactly as we had thought they would. It is at these points that we make a decision. The decision that will truly touch your soul and allow you see what lies below our normal everyday way of life.
When it Rains, It Pours
About 10 minutes into our hike back to Miner’s beach it started to pour. A steady rain that you know is here for a while. They type that slowly drenches everything around you. It is at this point in our adventure that I can truly say “I absolutely love living in Northern Michigan.” The ability to get out where there is no cell phone coverage. Where there are no other people and it is just your group of friends and nature. A chance to look into your soul and discover what it means to be alive. Our 2 hour hike was one of the best hikes my wife and I have ever taken. It was a special experience that allowed us to say that we alone shared.
Living in Northern Michigan is a chosen lifestyle that we don’t regret. The experiences we can share along with the rest of our family are things that bring us closer and allow us to laugh and really know who we are instead of the fake profile accounts that so often permeate our lives.
All I can say is as you live your life – Enjoy the sunshine and Embrace the rain. You can’t avoid both and only you can decide what your memories will be.
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We took off for an overnight trip to see a few of the larger more spectacular waterfalls of the Upper Peninsula in Michigan. One of the first stops we made on our way up was an old fashion drive-up dinner (which I honestly didn’t were still around). When we pulled up it was a little confusing, much like attempting to remember how to use an old rotary pay phone. The awkwardness of do I get out and go up to the counter or wait for this caffeine buzzed teenager to scurry over to take our order made the visit seem a little surreal at first. Ultimately, it was a cool experience. The food came out with a window tray and we were able to steal a couple of moments that had almost been forgotten with time.
A Sunset to Behold
Our journey took us to the edge of Lake Superior just outside of Marquette. There are tons of scenic turn offs but since the sun was just about to set we looked for an abandoned beach with hopes of catching some magnificent sunset colors. Sunset glowed in an incredible fashion as it reflected off Lake Superior. Several lonely pieces of driftwood allowed us to get some great set photos.
We got up the next morning with high hopes and lots of energy. First stop, Canyon Falls. We were not disappointed. The short 10 minute walk to the deafening echoes of the falls from the canyon walls is well worth the trip. We spent the next ½ hour exploring the rest of the canyon. There were some hair raising drops and great views that allowed us to feel the awe of just how incredible the Upper Peninsula of Michigan really is. All in all we hiked about 2 miles and it was relatively leisurely.
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We had planned to stop at Miner Falls and Munising Falls but decided to head straight to Sable Falls. The water was high and while the view was great the adventure was worth the stair climb. We made it down to one of the first side paths along the river and built a few stone towers. We then continued to adventure to the beach front. This is a Rock Collectors dream. The beach was alive with magnificent colors and all sorts of different type of rocks. We even found some petrified wood, which was a unique find.
We made our way to Tahquamenon Falls. This engineering marvel shows how powerful a force water is. The water is a orangy brown from the amount of mineral deposit found throughout the Upper Michigan. The lower falls is where you will want to take a few moments to allow you to just take in all the sites. The stopping points allow for some incredible nature shots and if you have the time to sneak across to the island you will have an up close and personal experience with the mighty Tahquamenon Falls.
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The Great Lakes of North America have played a significant role in forming communities in both Canada and the United States. The lakes’ roles extend from establishing towns along their shores to shipping important goods to and from major trading posts.
Like all bodies of water, the Five Great Lakes have their own charms and temperaments. Over time, these bodies of water have claimed from 6,000 to 25,000 sea vessels and thousands of lives. Most of these wrecks were either lost at sea or left to decay in their waters. Each of these shipwrecks has a heartbreaking yet fascinating story behind the sinking.
Lake Huron is no exception. One deadly storm in particular that passed over the Great Lakes hit Huron the hardest. Starting on November 9, 1913, 16 hours of relentless extreme weather conditions ripped over Lake Huron. Ten ships were lost at sea and 235 people lost their lives.
Some of the most notable shipwrecks that took place at Lake Huron include many from that fateful day. While that wasn’t the only time the lake had dangerous waters, most of the following wrecks come from the great storm of 1913:
Charles S. Price
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One of the casualties of the 1913, storm was a huge steel freighter named Charles S. Price. Most people considered Charles S. Price an especially fascinating Great Lakes wreck and is located near Lexington Harbor in Michigan. Discovered in the 1960s, the vessel was found upside down; the stern dipped so far down it’s difficult to determine the true full length of the vessel.
The Charles S. Price wreckage is a famous dive spot in the Sanilac Shores Underwater Preserves. Her bow is visible at 30 feet and its propeller is reachable at about 47 feet. Her hull is immersed at 64 feet under water. In its early discovery, the wreck was believed to the SS Regina but was later correctly identified as the Price.
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For more than 50 years, the SS Regina was lost in Lake Huron’s deep waters. She was also a victim of the Great Lakes Storm of 1913 and was left undiscovered for decades until found in 1986. The SS Regina was discovered upside-down at a depth of 80 feet. To this day, the wreck remains intact and is a popular destination for divers of all skill levels.
The SS Regina was heading toward Port Huron in Michigan after encountering that raging storm near Pointe aux Barques. Unfortunately, she ripped her sides on shoal and began sinking. Upon reaching Lexington, the crew anchored the vessel and then evacuated but the captain remained on board. A mere 35 minutes after dropping anchor, the SS Regina succumbed to the raging water and capsized. Tragically, the crew was not able to escape the devastating storm after they abandoned ship.
Mary Alice B.
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Mary Alice B is perhaps the most controversial shipwreck in Lake Huron. Found in 1992, this Depression-era tugboat rests 92 feet under water in the Sanilac Shores Underwater Preserve and it immediately become a favorite diving spot because of its good condition. Many parts of the Mary Alice B are still intact and divers can still access most of the ship.
In 1962, another private owner took charge of the Mary Alice B and continued to sail until September 5, 1975. The boat was being tugged when it sank for seemingly no reason. When located several years later, explorers found open valves, which suggests the ship was sunk on purpose. However, the owner refuted all accusations.
SS John A. McGean
The American Ship Building Company constructed the SS John A. McGean in 1908 at their shipyard in Lorain, Ohio. It was one of the finest steamships to sail the Great Lakes with a length of 432 feet, its beam measuring 52 feet across, and had a draft of 28 feet. Still, even with a massive weight of 5,100 tons, the ship was no match for the Great Lakes Storm of 1913.
She was last seen off Tawas Point Lighthouse on November 7, 1913, and a few days later sank in Lake Huron along with her 23 crew members. The wreck was discovered in 1985 near Port Hope Michigan where it was determined she suffered damage from large waves that led to her sinking.
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Melancthon Simpson built the PS Waubuno in 1865 at Port Robinson; it was a side-wheel paddle steamer. Waubuno came from Algonquin word which means “Sorcerer” or “Black Magician”. The J & W Beatty and Company owned the steamer which carried passengers and freight between Collingwood and Parry Soundin for 10 years from 1860 to 1870.
On the night of November 22, 1879, it sank during a ferocious gale but the exact reason why remains unknown. Nevertheless, much of this shipwreck’s popularity stems from the fact that accessing it is a relatively easy dive.
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from LIVNFRESH http://blog.livnfresh.com/underwater-marvels-shipwrecks-lake-huron/
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On Lake Superior, known for its massive size, sea vessels can easily succumb to treacherous waters brought on by a vicious storm. Here are some of the most memorable shipwrecks in this greatest of great lakes.
SS Henry B. Smith
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This massive steel-hulled freighter measures about 525 feet long, 55 feet wide and 31 feet high. The SS Henry B. Smith was built specifically to withstand strong storms in the Great Lakes. However, the massive freighter was no match for the ‘Great Lake Storm’ on November 9, 1913. Carrying a cargo of iron ore, she was lost near Marquette, Michigan and all 25 people aboard the ship perished with her.
Even though SS Henry B. Smith does not have any chilling stories behind it, it hunted explorers for more than a century. After her disappearance, the SS Henry B. Smith was the most sought after ‘ghost wreck’ for more than 100 years. She was finally found in 2013 at a depth of 535 feet and near Marquette.
Built in 1888 in Detroit, The Hudson was a propeller ship measuring 288 feet and was one of the finest vessels on the Great Lakes at the time. While crossing Lake Superior from Duluth on September 16, 1901, the ship sank near Keweenaw Point. The Hudson probably succumbed to a vicious storm while carrying a flax and wheat cargo and was never seen again. Her haul was prone to shifting in big waves which likely caused it to lose balance and sink.
However, that’s not the end of her story, for The Hudson made her own legend.
According to hearsay, a tugboat captain and his mate were traveling Lake Superior on September 16, 1940. As they approached Keweenaw Point, they saw a rusty ship covered with mud and heading towards their direction. The tug captain was able to avoid collision with the ship. As instinct dictated him, he boarded the muddy ship to see if it was in distress but was only ‘greeted’ with the ghost of The Hudson’s captain and crew. The ghost allegedly told the tug captain they relive the sinking of the ship every year on September 16th. Frightened, the captain jumped overboard and swam back towards his tugboat in icy cold waters.
SS Western Reserve
The SS Western Reserve was one of the first steel freighters to set sail on the Great Lakes. The ship is 41 feet wide and measures 301 feet long. On August 30, 1892, SS Western Reserve was to get a load of iron ore but broke in half and sank in a fairly mild storm. The sinking occurred offshore Deer Park, Michigan.
After the incident, a report surfaced about the improper construction of the Western Reserve. The ship was allegedly built with weak steel that was contaminated with sulfur and phosphorus. This led to the creation of new laws and testing regulations for steel used in shipbuilding.
Out of the crew of 27, which included the owner and the famous banker Peter Minch and his family, only one man survived the disaster: the wheelsman named Harry Stewart. Another strange thing about the sinking of Western Reserve tells about a dream of Captain Truedell of the Great Lakes Life-Saving Service. In his dream, he reportedly visualized every detail of the disaster. In fact, the dream was so realistic he even recognized the body of Minch when they found it on shore.
Today, some urban legends claim the Western Reserve still appears as a ghostly apparition near Deer Park. It’s said that during good weather, especially on calm nights, the voices and laughter of those aboard the ship linger from the lake’s water.
SS Bannockburn a.k.a. “The Flying Dutchman of Lake Superior”
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This massive ship has an unusual profile as a vessel, measuring 245 feet long and 40 feet wide, many seamen at the time would recognize her from afar. During her service, she became a familiar sight on the Great Lakes while hauling grain for the Montreal Transportation Company. However, on the night of November 21, 1902, while carrying a load of wheat on her war to Soo Lock from Port Arthur she disappeared without a trace.
Its disappearance is considered one of the biggest mysteries of sea vessels lost at sea on Lake Superior. All 21 people vanished along with her and no bodies were ever recovered. Aside from a life preserver, no other items were seen from the Bannockburn.
Before her disappearance, the Bannockburn had 2 major incidents. In April 1897, she ran aground near Snake Island. The following October, she struck Welland Canal and was submerged in 9 feet of water. During these two incidents, no one was hurt and no major damage was reported.
On the same day of her disappearance, she ran aground again after leaving Fort William and turned back to port. After assessing that the Bannockburn didn’t suffer any damage, she set sail on her final voyage, never to return.
However, the Bannockburn still apparently continues to sail Lake Superior to this day. One particular story can attest to the urban legend – the crew of the freighter Walter A. Hutchison claimed they saw the Bannockburn a few hundred yards away from them. The captain tried to avoid the Bannockburn and headed northeast. They all saw the Bannockburn sail past them only to run aground before disappearing again. If the Walter A. Hutchison’s captain had not changed its course, the rocks would have destroyed the ship.
Enjoy spooky things like this? These ships offer some great fodder for ghost stories when camping around the Great Lakes. Head out there with some friends and a have few cold ones that stay cold with a Michigan D Koozie.
from LIVNFRESH http://blog.livnfresh.com/ghost-ships-lake-superior-still-sail-waters/
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Beaches are teeming with rocks and collecting them can be fun. As a matter of fact, kids enjoy scouting the shores for rocks to bring home as a souvenir. It is also a nice way to keep them busy on the beach while having a great Michigan vacation. Children notice these tiny stones and appreciate their shapes and colors.
In each tide that comes in, the shores are renewed with pebbles, stone, and sand. Every moment in the beach offers different things to enjoy and collect.
Beach rocks are usually clean, fresh out of the sea and from their grinding in the shore. This makes beach rocks harder like igneous and metamorphic. Because waves carry rocks from shoreline to another, it is not always easy to tell where a beach rock came from. It can originate from cliffs or mountains along the beach. It may come from fragments of corals or some fossilized creature submerge somewhere in the middle of the sea. Some may have come from a far-away river or to a distant land in which the waves carried to the shore.
With all this in mind, here is a list of beach rocks and fossilized creatures you can find around the Great Lakes:
Even in beaches, man-made concrete exist. Concrete rocks have been eroded and washed into shores from nearby islands. Grinding waves polished this type of rocks and often confused with the conglomerate rocks. Conglomerate rocks are sedimentary rocks composed of rounded gravel. It often consists of gravel combined with iron oxide, silica or hardened clay.
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Million years ago, crinoids belong to graceful creatures of the phylum Echinodermata like starfish, sand dollars, and sea urchins. Crinoids bear similarities of underwater flowers. Crinoids used its long stalk to anchor to the sea floor. Today, you can find the disc like stones on the beach that may look like small donuts.
Granite is the best-known igneous rock on earth. It is a light colored rock with grain accents just enough to be distinguished with the naked eye. It came from below earth’s surface from slow crystallization of magma. Some volcanic eruptions might expel this type of rocks and wash ashore. Granite usually comes in colors of red, pink, gray or white with dark grain specks. Some of the best places to hunt for this rock are in the Upper Michigan Peninsula, Ontario, and Wisconsin.
Honeycomb coral is a type of extinct favosite coral. Known for its honeycomb patterning, it is a preserved sedimentary claystone. Coral polyps used to live in its hollow surface millions of years ago. And like most corals, this type of rocks thrived in warm and shallow parts of the sea where sunlight can penetrate the waters. Honeycomb corals predominate the Silurian and Devonian era, in which they can be found where you can find Petoskey Stones and Charlevoix Stones.
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Jasper, an opaque impure type of silica is an aggregate micro angular quart. Usually, it comes in colors of red, brown, green or yellow, in rare occasion blue. Iron deposits make Jasper predominantly red in color. When fully polished, Jasper is treated as gemstones and used in seals, vases, and as ornaments.
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Petoskey Stones are the most sought after beach rock along the shores of Lake Michigan. It is believed to flourish around 350 million years ago during the Devonian age. The biggest influx of Petoskey Stones is found in Little Traverse Bay, in where else, in Petoskey town. Each year, melted ice and wind push new supplies of Petoskey Stone along the shore during spring time. The best time to hunt for this type of rock start in summer of after a wind storm. However, finding it is more of a challenge since many visitors and beachcombers also search for this precious fossil rock.
Slags are glass-like shiny by-product separated from its raw ore. It composes of a mixture of metal oxides and silicon dioxide. In some cases, it may contain metal sulfides and elemental metals. Slags are often times produced from smelting iron and from burning coal on ships. Since steam engine boats commonly roam the Great Lakes, it may come from there.
Stromatoporoids are organisms known for their fossilized record. Based on its structure, some considered this organism to be related to marine sponges. In fact, stromatoporoids are reef builders which are extinct stony sponges dominant in the Silurian Period 430 million years ago. Soon after they died out and went into complete extinction in the Mesozoic era.
Another extinct coral type known as syringoporoids can be found in some areas of the beach. They are described as organ pipe coral, cup coral, and crinoid columnals mostly found in upper Paleozoic rocks. Their characteristics helped distinguish formation of limestone in the Devonian era.
Termed after their stripes pattern on the outer shells, zebra mussels are native to southern Russia and Ukraine. However, zebra mussels were accidentally introduced to many countries in the world and were considered as invasive species. In the US, it invaded the Great Lakes and Hudson River in the 1980s. Today, scientists try to control their population but some may wash ashore in beaches.
While you’re out and about on the hunt for these intriguing rocks around Michigan, show off your state pride with a cool Michigan t-shirt that also showcases your love of hanging out outdoors
from LIVNFRESH http://blog.livnfresh.com/rocks-found-around-great-lakes/
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