Wednesday, September 10, 2014
On to Michigan and the Fayette Historic Town Site
This 19th Century, well preserved town, was most industrious. They manufactured charcoal pig iron here from 1867 to 1891, along with lime. Now in a State Historic Park, visitors can take a walking tour among 20 original structures, including eleven buildings with museum displays and plenty of scenic views of this harbor town of yesterday.
In 1882 the company announced it would build a lime kiln to manufacture lime used in mortar for masonry, chinking for log houses and plaster for interior walls. The excess was sold to Escanaba, which was a two day trip by stage, or 3 hours by boat across Big Bay de Noc. In the winter, when the lake froze, residents could ride a stage sled across to Escanaba.
Fayette's central business district separated the have from have nots. Trademen and Supervisors along with their families lived in comfortable frame houses, while simple log homes were taken along the hill, road and shoreline by the unskilled laboring class on the other side of town.
We found the walking tour great! You'll want to allow for a couple of hours to see the entire town and its surroundings. Along the tour you'll find a reconstructed Charcoal Kiln that was used to make fuel for the large furnaces still standing. By the mid 1880's there were over eighty charcoal kilns in the area run by the company.
We found this historic park well worth the price of admission to see a bit of history at your own leisure. They've done a great job of maintaining and reconstructing the buildings that are left, with plenty of information to give you a real sense of what life was like here. For more information see their official website HERE.
Photo Blog HERE.
While in this area we stayed at Vagabond Resort just outside of Rapid River, MI. This is an older RV Park, and though it looks a little run down, we found the management and WIFI to be excellent! Very helpful and friendly atmosphere, although we probably wouldn't choose this park without the Passport rate. (Around $27 normal, $13 Passport).