Autumn in the Village on Mackinac Island

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. 

Looking straight up Cadotte into the heart of the Village.  I am standing in the middle of Cadotte, right next to our condo.

Looking straight up Cadotte into the heart of the Village. I am standing in the middle of Cadotte, right next to our condo.

 

One side of 4th Avenue.  Where the pavement ends and the trees begin is state park land.  We walk Maddie and Bear through those woods a lot.

One side of 4th Avenue. Where the pavement ends and the trees begin is State Park land. We walk Maddie and Bear through those woods a lot.

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.

The other end of 4th Avenue.  At the end of the pavement here, we walk through the woods to Turtle Park.

The other side of 4th Avenue. At the end of the pavement here, we walk through the woods to Turtle Park.

 

One of our neighbor's beautiful fall garden, complete with Halloween pumpkins.

A neighbor's beautiful fall garden, complete with Halloween pumpkins.

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.

A beautiful tree at the corner of 6th and Cadotte.

A beautiful tree at the corner of 6th Avenue and Cadotte.

 

The Harrisonville General Store on 6th Avenue.  We run here for milk, bread, and other last minute items.  Also a wonderful place to catch up on what's happening in the Village.  Another story for next summer.

The Harrisonville General Store on 6th Avenue. We run here for milk, bread, and other last minute items. Also a wonderful place to catch up on what's happening in the Village. I'll do a story on the store next summer.

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.

The north end of Cadotte Avenue.

The north end of Cadotte Avenue.

 

One end of 7th Avenue.

One side of 7th Avenue.

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.

Heading back toward our condo.

Heading back toward our condo.

 

Two blocks from the condo.  You can tell people are coming home from work.  Parents have picked up children from babysitters and are bringing them up the hill in their burleys.

Two blocks from the condo. You can tell people are coming home from work. Parents have picked up children from babysitters and are bringing them up the hill in their burleys.

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.

 

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8 thoughts on “Autumn in the Village on Mackinac Island

  1. I can’t wait until your next story on the village Brenda! I want to hear more about it. My husband and I walked thru the village, out to the airport, down crack in the island trail, came out on the golf course, past the Woods and back down to the Grand. We stopped in the general store in the village. We also went thru Turtle park, returning back into the village that way. We were only there 3 days and tried to walk to as many places as we could during our stay. When we were there (a week before the Grand closed) it was almost like having the island to ourself. Very quiet and peaceful.

  2. Benda…That’s my inlaws garden. The tomatos never turned red, but I think there are a mess of potatoes coming out of it now. The pumpkins are soon to follow:-)

  3. Thanks for the information on the Village. It is interesting to see where the year-round residents of the Island live. I’m looking forward to hearing more stores from the Village next summer. Enjoy the rest of your stay on the Island for this year.

  4. I enjoyed your tour of the”Village”. The pictures show the village and trees to the point that I felt like I was walking there. My husband and I have walked and ridden our bikes many times. I can’t wait until next summer and you tell us more about village.

  5. Can’t wait until the “Villagers” start telling their stories. That should be very interesting. I imagine a lot of them are tired of the tourists by now and looking forward to the peace and quiet of a lovely winter.

    Loved the photos. Some of the horses look sad. Love the one of the horse looking through the window! Hope they all have a fun winter!

    • Hi Martha,

      All of the carriage tours were operating today, and I can’t imagine them closing down before the Grand closes (the last weekend in October). The 2-horse hitch “big” carriages that carry 20 people have curtailed some of their tour – not stopping at the Carriage Museum.

      Or you could take one of the private carriage tours. They are $25 per person. You can catch one of those on the street below Marquette Park (they will be lined up there).

      You need to have four people to get the $25 rate, but if your party doesn’t have four people, you can wait until someone else shows up needing to “add” to their buggy to make four. Ted and I always rode with strangers when we would take those tours, and that is fun also because you get to talk to someone from another part of the country.

      Bring lots of layers and have fun!

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