Before Ted and I began to spend our summers on Mackinac Island, we knew there was an area in the center of the island called Harrisonville. We had even walked through it a couple of times when we had been out exploring. We had been told, probably by a tour driver, this was where most of the year-round residents of the island lived. What we didn’t know, until last summer when we bought our condo, is that Harrisonville is called “the Village” by those who live there. We know that now because the Village is where we live.
Geographically, according to the island locator map, the Village begins at Four Corners (where Cadotte Avenue and Huron Road intersect). Historically though, the Village begins around 2nd Avenue and extends to about 7th Avenue, encompassing a three to four block width of residential area.
Around 550 islanders call the Village home, and most have lived here year-round for many generations. In the summer, the Village is also home to many summer workers, who live in housing provided by their employers.
There are so many wonderful stories of the true “islanders” who make up the Village, but to tell them online will require these mostly very private individuals to grant permission for their stories to be told. For them to do that means allowing an “outsider” into their personal lives. As Ted and I spend time in the Village over the years, I hope to be able to bring some of their stories to you.
Villagers are the true life blood of the island. They live here year-round, work as hard as they can possibly work from March through the end of October, and then most continue to work in some capacity on the island throughout the winter. The city of Mackinac Island continues to function all year – just as any city does. But being on an island, and sometimes cut off from the mainland for literally weeks at a time – calls for extraordinary effort on the part of those who live here during Mackinac winters.
Ted and I walked through the Village this afternoon, and I shot the photos included in this post. The Village is beautiful wearing its fall splendor, and in the next couple of weeks will get even more splendid. More to come on the Village next summer.