Weekly Update! 12/13/09

Header:  The Cloghaun Bed & Breakfast during the first day of snow.  Thanks, Jill!

The scoop for the week of Dec. 7-13 (updated 7:52 p.m. Monday, Dec. 14): 

I don’t have a lot of news today except for that snow storm that parked itself over the island for most of the week, and I have a few more snow photos to add tonight.  I was hoping we would get the Christmas edition of the Mackinac Island Town Crier on Saturday, but it didn’t come.  Hopefully it will be in the mail on Monday, so a longer update might be online Tuesday or Wednesday.  Be sure and check back.

  • You know I am not a big sports fan, but I had to tell you this story about the Mackinac Island Lakers basketball team.  The Lakers played the Put-in-Bay, Ohio Panthers this weekend.  Put-in-Bay is an island in Lake Erie, and like Mackinac, is a popular tourist destination.  Mackinac Island has 79 students attending grades K through 12.  Put-in-Bay has 86 students in pre-K through 12.  In order to travel to either of the islands, you have to either take a ferry or fly.  The Mackinac Lakers and coaches rode nine hours on a bus, then traveled aboard Miller Ferry to Put-in-Bay.  They toured the island, played their game, and spent the night.  Then they rode nine hours back to St. Ignace, where they again boarded a ferry to return home. Now here’s the great part.  People on Mackinac Island were listening to the game on their computers via internet radio.  The Lakers WON their game in overtime, and friends said you could hear people screaming all over the island!  How cool it that!
  • Updated 7:52 p.m. 12/14/09:  Still no Town Crier, but here’s a tidbit from Mary McGuire at the Tourism Bureau.  She says rooms on the island for the New Year’s holiday are booking fast.  Here is a list of available accommodations:  www.boganlaneinn.com, www.cottageinnofmackinac.com, www.harborplacestudiosuites.com (this one is pet-friendly), www.missionpoint.com (Straits Lodge rooms are open), and www.pontiaclodge.com.
  • A great video from the Christmas Bazaar last weekend!  http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%253A%252F%252Fwww.mackinacislandnews.com%252Fcommon%252Fvideo%252FChristmas_Bazaar_2009.html&h=a836fd10b09608831916866344fc8ddd&ref=nf

My friend Jill, while on the island for the Christmas Bazaar, hiked up Cadotte Avenue to take pictures of our condo.  I say “hiked” because that hill isn’t easy without snow!


Walking up Cadotte Avenue toward the Grand.


This is just past the Grand stables, with the Jewel golf course on the right, behind the snow fencing. The white roof at the top of the road is a house at Four Corners, where the horse barns are.

Horse barns - they sure look different in the snow. If you follow the road closest to the barns up through the trees, you can actually see our condos at the head of that road.


Our condo. Do I wish I were there? Yep! At least for a day, or two, or twenty.

 The scoop for the week of Nov. 29-Dec. 6:    

  • Of course, the BIG news is IT SNOWED!  The white stuff started coming down on Friday morning, and when I talked to Jill (for about the 50th time) Sunday right after lunch, it had just stopped.  She was hiking up “the hill” to try to get a photo of our condo, which she did, then as she started down the hill, she was picked up by someone on a snowmobile.  That’s the great thing about Mackinac in the winter.  Even if you don’t have your own snowmobile, usually someone will stop and offer you a ride. 
  • Jill, Bonnie, and Diane have had a great weekend on the island.  They attended the Christmas Bazaar, ate lots of good food, went to church at St. Anne’s, saw tons of people they knew, and visited the Mustang at night.  Bonnie and Diane left on the Sunday afternoon ferry, but Jill has decided to stay another day.  She didn’t bring her laptop with her, so it will be Tuesday before I will be able to post some of her pictures.  BUT – I do have some photos, compliments of Mary McGuire from the Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau:    



City Hall

The window at Horn's Bar - all decorated for Christmas.

By the light on the lamp post, you can really see how hard it was snowing Friday night.

The town Christmas tree, right in the middle of Main Street, aglow with beautiful lights.

The snow has stopped, and the blue sky is a perfect contrast to the squeaky clean white snow.



  •  It would be so strange to me to hear the snowmobiles on the island.  I’ve gotten so used to there being no “motorized” noise during the summer. 
  • There is other news besides the snow!  The island airport is getting a new weather reporting system, which will be a very important improvement for pilots, according to airport manager Dennis Bradley.  Bradley said that the weather in the Straits of Mackinac can vary from point to point, and sometimes the island can be blanketed in fog, even while skies are clear elsewhere in the area.  The old system, installed in 1991, is now obsolete.  (Information for this story taken from the St. Ignace News)
  • Santa Claus arrived on the island during the Christmas Bazaar.
  • I received an email from Greg Main, who winters on the island, and who reported that the front balcony flooring and railings are being replaced at the Lilac Tree Hotel.  Greg generates an island newsletter during the “quiet season”, and that will give us all another perspective on the happenings on Mackinac during the winter months.
  • Please visit my friend Liz’s blog http://quiltedturtle.blogspot.com.  Liz teaches school on Mackinac and writes about life on the island.  She takes fantastic photos also, including the photo taken from her snowmobile in today’s header.
  • Don’t forget that you can watch live streaming video from the island at http://bit.ly/6qFiPn or at www.chippewahotel.com (click “web cam” at bottom of that page).  You can actually control the Chippewa’s web cam yourself!

No news on the Therapy Dog training and study. Bear was boarded while we were out of town for Thanksgiving and came home with a huge hotspot on his hip.  He is recovering, but he has not been a happy camper for a few days.  Of course, I am the one who needs to be studying – not Bear!    

When Jill sends me her pictures from the island, I will post them here – so please check back tomorrow or the next day to see if they are up!  Have a great week!  God bless.   

The scoop for the week of November 22-28:    

  • Many of you know that the 171-year-old former Indian Agency in Marquette Park is being converted into a fine arts gallery by Mackinac State Historic Parks.  On November 4, while trenching work was being done to add a new water line to the building, human skeletal remains, thought to be Indian, were found.  Dr. Lynn Evans, the curator of archaeology for Mackinac State Historic Parks, said, “We know that Marquette Park is a sensitive area.”  She went on to say that when areas are excavated that have not been disturbed before, there is always a chance of finding remains.  Steve Brisson, chief curator for the Parks, said that federal guidelines are followed if human remains and artifacts are found.  The protocol includes having Dr. Evans on site during excavation work, in case such items are discovered.  Brisson said, “The shore area below the east bluff, including what is now Marquette Park, was used for centuries for Native burials.  The location of the bones was recorded, then they were stored in a secure location in the immediate area until the water drainage problem was repaired.  Under the guidelines, and out of respect for the deceased, the park does not conduct any investigation or even measure the bones for future research.  Once the trenching work was finished, the bones were reburied at the site. (NOTE:  Information taken from Karen Gould’s story in Nov. 19 St. Ignace News.)
  • Anyone who has visited the Grand Hotel in the last several years is familiar with the room where the “Above Mackinac” mural-sized photographs are exhibited.  Aerial photographer Robert Cameron, who published a series of “Above” books and was responsible for the photographs at the Grand, passed away November 10 at the age of 98.  His daughter and son-in-law, Jane and Richard Manoogian, own a home on Mackinac Island’s West Bluff.  Mrs. Manoogian said, “He was overwhelmed the first time he visited the island, seeing the photogenic qualities right away.”  Mr. Cameron’s series of books included sky views of San Francisco, London, Paris, Chicago, and New York.  Most of his photographs were taken with him hanging out of a helicopter, but the Mackinac Island photographs, taken in 1994, were shot from a small seaplane flown by Barry BeDour.  Mr. Cameron fell in love with aerial photography during World War II, when he was a contract photographer for the U.S. Army, taking aerial photographs at night.  In 2006, Mr. Cameron told the Mackinac Island Town Crier he hoped in 100 years his work would serve as a representation of the way things were.  That same year, two of Mr. Cameron’s “Above San Francisco” books were placed inside a time capsule under San Francisco Ciy Hall to be opened in the year 3000.  Phil Porter, director of Mackinac State Hstoric Parks, wrote the text for Mr. Cameron’s “Above Mackinac” book. (NOTE:  Information taken from Mr. Cameron’s obituary, published in the Nov. 19 St. Ignace News.)
  • Sadie, a 4-year-old black Scottish Terrier owned by Amelia Musser of Mackinac Island, won her 101st Best in Show at the National Dog Show in Philadelphia on Nov. 27.  Congratulations, Sadie!
  • If you’re on the island, you can still drop off non-perishable food items for the Harvest Gathering Food Drive through Monday, Nov. 30 at St. Anne’s Hall and Doud’s Market.
  • The island Christmas Bazaar is December 5-7, and donations are still being accepted.  Oh, how I wish we were going to be there!
  • The Village Inn closed Nov. 14 and will re-open Tuesday, Dec. 1. 
  • From Nov. 29-Jan. 3, the Arnold Line will make only four round-trips to the island each day.  If you are going to the island from St. Ignace,  your times are: 7:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3:45 p.m.  If you are leaving the island going to St. Ignace, your times are: 8:15 a.m., 11:30 a.m. 2:30 p.m., and 4:30 p.m.  Neither of the early morning ferries (7:30 a.m. to the island, and 8:15 a.m. from the island) will run on Sundays or New Year’s Day.  There will be no ferry service on Christmas Day.  The ferry schedule after Jan. 3 will be posted at a later date, if weather permits the ferry to continue to cross.

I just checked the weather on the island for the next 10 days (through Dec. 10), and it looks as if the warm weather islanders have been enjoying is over.  All the highs are in the 30’s, with lows in the 20’s.  Snow showers are forecast almost every day.  Well, geez – it’s winter!    

The news on the blog book this week was not good.  I guess I have been very naive about the cost of self-publishing, but I am going to continue to explore other options that might lead to a book in the next year or two.  Right now though, I would say the dream of one being available in the spring of 2010 is very remote.  But – I believe when God closes one door, He always opens another.  Onward!    

I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with family, friends, food, and fun.  To read about our Thanksgiving, you can go to http://bree1976.wordpress.com. See you next week!    

The scoop for the week of November 17-21:    

  • If Ted and I were on Mackinac Island on Sunday, November 22, we would be dropping by Doud’s Market for their Thanksgiving sale.  They’re serving complimentary beverages and treats, and everything in the store is 20% off (except liquor, lotto, and all tobacco products).  In case you ARE thinking of going to the island this winter, Doud’s Market is open year-round.  Their winter hours are Monday-Friday (7:45 a.m.-6:00 p.m.) and Saturday-Sunday (10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.).
  • Did you know that on Thursdays during the winter the Mustang usually serves a Mexican lunch, and every other Thursday, the entrée is nachos?  Me either!  Nachos are not on the Mustang menu in the summer – darn!
  • The Huron, the Arnold Line’s winter ferry, has been on duty since Nov. 2.  Ted and I missed riding on her by one day when we left the island for Georgia.
  • Last Christmas we ordered a live balsam wreath from the island for our front door at the lake.  It smelled so good!  If you are interested in having one shipped to you, you can call Trish Martin at (906) 847-3439.  You can order wreaths and garlands.
  • I can’t wait to visit Jack Landress’ new gift shop this spring.  He owns both Lilacs & Lace and the Victorian Summer Art Gallery (boy, have I spent lots of time and pennies in both those shops!)  Lilacs & Lace is moving into the former Mackinac Lapidary shop (still in Carousel Mall).  He’ll have more space there for all the beautiful forms of art that he showcases. 
  • Oh, how I wish I was going to be able to see the Christmas tree lighting on December 4 in the middle of Main Street.  Right after the tree lights up, the whole community is invited to the fire hall for the presale of the Christmas Bazaar rummage sale.  Hot dogs, hot chocolate and cookies will be available to warm everyone up!
  • The weather on the island has been absolutely beautiful in November.
  • Starting today, I’m going to try and remember to post a new header photo every day.  I have thousands of pictures that I took this summer – they might as well get some “air” time!

Another meeting on the blog book is coming up Monday, Nov. 23.  Still trying to resolve some issues with the photographs.      

I met with a group of therapy dogs and their owners at two assisted living homes in Albany this past Thursday.  Bear didn’t get to go on this first visit – it was just for me to see what a visit was like with the trained dogs.  So interesting and fulfilling.  I know Bear and I will love doing this – IF we pass all the tests.  My home study book from the Delta Society came today, and it is HUGE!  Lots to study – there is a written test I have to pass, and Bear has to pass an obedience test and get a health approval from our vet.  I’m hoping we will both pass everything with flying colors and be able to start work after Christmas.  (Note: For a more complete story about my visit, you can go to http://bree1976.wordpress.com/2009/11/22/a-little-help-from-our-four-legged-friends-11-23-09/.)    

Ted and I are leaving Thanksgiving morning to drive about 3 hours north to have dinner with my first cousins and their families.  My daddy had one brother, who had four children.  Being an only child, I always thought they were so lucky to be part of that big family.  We are joining them and all their children and grandchildren out on a farm.  I have heard rumors about a planned hayride – lots of opportunities for pictures!  I wish each of you the happiest of Thanksgivings filled with family, food, and fun.  Please be careful, if you are traveling.  God bless!    

NOTE:  Some news items taken from Jeannette Doud’s Mackinac Island column published in the St. Ignace News.    

The scoop for the week of November 9-16:    

  • Charlie, the gentlemen ghost at the Island House hotel, made his appearance while four members of the Michigan Area Paranormal ghost hunting team spent two nights investigating strange events which have occurred at the hotel.  For more than 15 years, hotel guests and staff have reported doors opening and closing and objects moving in the rooms.  The investigators came to the hotel in October to provide logical explanations for the events, which is usually what they find when they study a “haunting”.  But at the Island House they discovered things that couldn’t be explained by reflective lights, shadows from trees, or sounds from water pipes.  Over the two nights, the team recorded unexplainable whisperings, a responsive knocking sound, and captured three photographs of the silhouette of a ghostly figure of a man wearing a top hat.  Past guests of the hotel were emailed and invited to share any unusual occurences they had experienced as guests. Most of those who responded repeatedly pointed to rooms 400 and 409, and these two rooms were the focus for the investigation, although other rooms were also checked out. In room 400, the team recorded a 10-degree temperature drop within an instant, an indication of paranormal activity.  Over the next few months, the investigators will review 14 hours of film on each of six cameras and listen to audio recordings several times before they will have a final report.  The Island House was built in 1852 and has 93 rooms.  It is only open in the summer. (NOTE:  This story was reported by Karen Gould in The St. Ignace News.)

I chatted online with Jennifer today from the Grand Hotel.  She has just returned from a trip to South America, recruiting employees for the 2010 season.  She reports that it is good to be back on the island, which is relatively quiet right now.  It is hunting season, and Jennifer said that most of the island men are off the island hunting deer.   

  • How would you like to see the Straits from the top of a tower on the Mackinac Bridge?  You can win a tour for two of the Mighty Mac by entering a ticket raffle online at www.gllka.com/bridgeraffle.htm.  The tour includes an elevator ride to the top of one of the towers.  The tickets are $5.00 each or five for $20.00.  Proceeds will go to assist the Great lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association, which works toward lighthouse preservation and education.  After doing the Labor Day Bridge Walk, I would LOVE to win this!  There were a few workers standing on top of those towers watching the walkers that day.  They looked like little ants up there!
  • The new 2010 Seasons of Mackinac calendars are now available.  The calendars are a fundraiser for the Mackinac Island Recreational Development (MIRD).  They are $10.00 plus $2.50 shipping & handling and can be ordered online at www.mackinac.com/mird/index.html or sending check to: MIRD, P.O. Box 421, Mackinac Island, MI 49757.  Ted and I always have one of the MIRD calendars both here at the lake and at our condo on the island.  The photographs on these calendars are absolutely beautiful!
  • You can see the island anytime you like AND control where you want to look!  There is a web cam atop the Chippewa Hotel that you can control.  You can choose to view the harbor, Main Street, the marina, Round Island, the fort, or  the West Bluff.  You can even zoom!  Check it out at www.chippewahotel.com/web-cam.cfm
  • Islanders are calling the weather they are having this week “Indian summer”.  It seems that the gales of November came in October this year, leaving November sunny and warm.  What a wonderful treat for everyone still on the island.
  • Have had one meeting about the book and I’m already discovering that book publishing isn’t for sissies!  Please keep me in your prayers as I walk through this process.  Have already run into problems with the resolution of the photographs, but we are working on that.  Stay tuned!
  • Bear was very ill at the first part of this week, but seems to have recovered fully.  I have my first meeting Thursday with the Delta Society, which is the international board which certifies Therapy Dogs. 

That’s all I have for this week.  Hope all my readers are doing well.  See you here next week, good Lord willing, and hopefully I will have a couple of pictures to post.  God bless.    

The scoop for the week of November 1-8:    

  • There have been snow flurries reported – but so far nothing is sticking to the ground.  Just not cold enough yet, even though I heard that a couple of days after we left the snow was flying so thickly over the Straits that Round Island Light was hardly visible.
  • My buddy Jennifer, who works for the Grand, has been on a recruiting trip to Brazil and Argentina.  Talk about change of climate!  This is her really busy time of the year – hiring workers for the Grand Hotel for the 2010 season. 
  • During the upcoming week, I will be having my first meeting on the publishing of the “blog book”.  Please keep that whole process in your prayers as I try to make the right decisions.

Until we return to Mackinac Island in the spring, Bree’s blog can be found at beautiful Lake Blackshear in south Georgia.  The address is:  http://bree1976.wordpress.com.  Can’t wait to show you what good old southern hospitality is all about!  See you there!    

NOTE:  For those of you who are just finding this Mackinac Island blog through search engines, please feel free to read through the archived stories here of our wonderful season on Mackinac Island.  We arrived on the island in May, 2009 and returned to Georgia on Nov. 1.  There are over 150 posts, so reading one a day will almost get you through the winter!  If you’d like to follow us to Georgia, see the address above for the Lake Blackshear blog.  Thanks for dropping by, and I hope you will join us in the spring back on the island.   



48 thoughts on “Weekly Update! 12/13/09

  1. So glad you arrived safe and sound.

    I had lunch with Judy (H) in Monroe with another friend. We three grew up together. What fun!

    Looking forward to the GA Blog. I’m going to ck it out right now to see if you have posted anything yet (as if you have had the time)!

    Enjoy your winter.

    Judy, Ann Arbor

  2. I’m so glad you are posting here too Brenda!! Thanks much..I just heard from Alyssa yesterday and she was still on the Island..said nothing was wrong she was just not ready to leave!! LOL She is planning on catching the ferry tomorrow morning and heading for Pickford! Looking forward to “snowy” pictures from the Island!! 🙂

  3. So thrilled to run across your blog tonight! I was working on a trip for some friends and found it! I will def add you to my favs! We have not been to Mackinac for several years but when looking at your blog I am reminded why it’s my fav place to visit!

  4. I like the winter update idea. I can’t wait to see some “winter wonderland” pictures.

    Good luck with the book, great idea. You have some great pictures for it!!

  5. Hi Bree! Great idea posting island pictures on this blog! I love this blog and miss going to it everyday, but now I will check it way more often. May god keep you and your safe in Georgia! Take Care!


  6. Brenda,

    Along with your book, you should consider publishing a calender/day planner with the photos you’ve taken over the year. I think, and I’m sure your followers would agree, your pictures of the Island are much better than those published in the 2010 calender!

  7. The ghost story is so interesting…(I love watching Ghost Hunters) and can’t wait to hear the final outcome from what they find. As far as the contest for the top of the tower on the Mackinac Bridge I will have to pass…I am to afraid of heights that I could never go up there. LOL. I’m happy to hear that Bear is back to his ole self and still wishing you good luck on your book(s).

  8. Bree- I just love this blog! So glad you are updating it weekly! Glad Bear is doing well. The ghost stories are so interesting!! Thanks for still keeping this Island blog going. I like the Georgia one also!

    • Hi Michelle! Thanks so much for your comments. There’s no way I can explain how much I miss writing the blog from the island. I guess that’s why I just couldn’t let it go. I wish I knew how to get the word out to more of my Mackinac readers that it is up again – even if it is just a weekly right now. I’m still getting 200-300 readers a day on the Mac blog, but when I came home, it was around 800 a day. I’m advertising it on my Facebook Page and on Twitter, but you have to be on those sites to get the message. So glad you checked back and glad you are reading the Ga. blog also. God bless.

  9. The winters we spent in the straites were absoultly amazing and I long to go back again for Winterfest. Hopefully this year we will make it. the last 2 years we had plane tickets and one year got as far as Detroit Metro. I75 was closed and our daughter and friends said go back to Fl. so we paid the change fee and missed it. Please reminde me to tell you about our “first” Mackinaw city Christmas Parade it is a great storie 🙂

  10. Bree, you don’t have to miss the Christmas tree lighting – you can catch it on the Main Street Cam:
    http://www.hornsbar.com/webcamlarge.htm and watch all of the downtown movement anytime of day or night! This on is not as much fun as the boatnerds cam (Chippewa) – it’s a still camera that only refreshes every five minutes or so. But it’s my real time connection with the Island in the winter. I even took a screen shot of the first snowy morning to share with my class!

    Now that Jennifer is back, maybe we can get some late fall photos! (hint hint!)

  11. Hello Bree! Thanks again for the weekly island update. I just love living it through your words! Have a blessed Thanksgiving and I will check back next week! (Now to check the GA blog!)

    • Hilde, for some reason, I have never gotten those cameras to work on my computer. I think they are Windows only. But that’s another good way to keep in touch!

      • I have the same problem, Irene, and I use Windows. All I get where the picture should be is a blank space with an “x” in the upper left-hand corner. Don’t know what the problem is!

      • Make sure you have the latest version of JAVA installed and if that still doesn’t work, you may need to download another application that for the life of me I can’t remember right now what it’s called. It must be too early and I haven’t had my coffee yet ;). I use the web site all the time and I love it.

  12. Wow, what interesting news! It’s so fasinating to hear about the island in the off season. Very interesting that the bones are not investigated for age, gender and all that other stuff that they do when they find things like that and how respectful to bury them right back. Just gives me one more reason why I love Mackinac.

  13. Thanks for the tip on the live web cam, I’ve been enjoying looking at the Island during the start of winter. I’ve been looking at the camera that shows the tree, I’m wonder if anyone who’s been on the Island this time of year can tell me what is opposite the Christmas tree, it looks like fireplace.

    • Hi Jean! I had been wondering about that “fireplace” too. Then Jill called me from IN FRONT of the fireplace (she even waved at me). The fireplace is actually the manger scene – the figures have lights inside them – that is the “glow” you are seeing. Brenda

  14. Thanks for the update on the “fireplace” After it got dark I thought that’s what it might be. Sure looks beautiful! Wish I was there…

  15. Thank you so much for the weekly update! I really appreciate it. It looks so beautiful there with the snow. Thanks so much as always you do a wonderful job with pictures and stories!

  16. Probably a silly question, but do they have snow plows on the Island, or do they count on snowmobile traffic to pack down the snow on the streets?

  17. Pingback: Snow Pictures 12/08/09 « Bree's Mackinac Island Blog

  18. love the pictures you took of all the snow. Live in KY and we do get snow but it doesn’t look as pretty as the MI snow.

  19. I hate to disappoint you but you will be lucky to get the Town Crier before Christmas! It was published Friday and we almost always get it about two weeks after the printing date. Or maybe the second class mail to Georgia is faster than to California! You can always buy the online version, but somehow it’s not the same as curling up on the sofa with a mug of tea and the Crier and transporting myself ‘home’! My husband always groans when it arrives because he knows I won’t be communicating until I’ve finished it.
    Thanks for the pics, Jill! Nice job!

  20. Pingback: Weekly Update 12/20/09 « Bree's Mackinac Island Blog

  21. Love the live web cams on the island especially in the winter. It makes you want to plan a stay in the winter.
    Happy holidays to all the Mackinac Island residents.

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