Side Streets of Mackinac Island – Church Street 6/3/2010

As I’ve said many times on this blog, you have got to get away from Main and Market Streets to see the “real” Mackinac Island.  Oh, those two streets are awesome for eating in fine restaurants, shopping in fine stores, spending the night (or nights) in wonderful hotels, inns, and B&B’s, buying groceries, and sipping coffee over pastries.  But if you want to get the real flavor of the island (other than fudge and ice cream flavors, of course), you have to step off the beaten path and explore. 

I mentioned last week doing a two-day series on the side streets of Mackinac Island.  What was I thinking?  The island has way too many side streets, paths, and alleyways to cover in two days!  So – I’m going to just start, and we’ll see how many days it turns into.  And I’m not going to do them on consecutive days – they’ll just pop up every once in a while (wouldn’t want this to sound anything like a schedule – see yesterday’s post)!

When the nature walk with Trish Martin ended on Tuesday, I found myself back on the East Bluff at the top of the set of stairs that leads down to Church Street.  I was on my way to Mission Point, so I hiked down the steps and walked down the street with camera clicking. 

The steps leading from the East Bluff down to Church Street.


Standing at the bottom of the steps, you are looking at the beautiful landscaping at the back of Rowe Condominiums on the left. Above the street and behind the fence, you can see a sliver of one of the East Bluff cottages.

Beautiful lilac bushes frame the privately owned homes on the left.

Church Street - looking down toward the water.

The Rowe Condominiums - and yes, there is one for sale there now.

Two more privately-owned homes.

The back rooms and conference area of the Harbour View Inn.

Another side street, McGulpin, runs between this porch and St. Anne's Church. I will highlight McGulpin another day.

The front lawn of the Harbour View Inn.

The Harbour View Inn was the former private home of Madame La Framboise, a Great Lakes fur trader and granddaughter of Returning Cloud, Chief of the Ottawa Nation. The home was originally built in 1820. In the 1990's, the home was purchased, and a hotel was built around the original structure. The rooms and suites feature fireplaces, jacuzzis, or lake views. The lobby is highlighted by a double fireplace.

How the street got its name - St. Anne's Catholic Church.

The stained-glass windows on the sides and in the front of the church were removed and refurbished over the winter. They have only been back in place a couple of weeks and are even more splendid now than before.

Looking back up Church Street, you can better see McGulpin Street, which runs behind the church.

Across from Church Street, looking between two homes, you can see the harbor and both Round Island Lighthouses.

And that’s Church Street, a little side adventure into the Mission District.

When I mentioned walking to Small Point Inn yesterday to take a photo for a friend in California, I didn’t know I would hear today from another former Mission Point worker who was also familiar with the inn in its previous life.  Small Point Inn was a family home that was moved from its site on the Mission Point Resort property many, many years ago – and long before it was converted into an inn.  A lady who once lived there asked that I take a picture of her former home with the lilacs blooming, something neither she nor her sister had seen in 46 years.  I sent the photos on to her last night by email.  The reader who contacted me today asked if I would publish one of the pictures for her, and I gladly do so – in fact, I’ll publish two.  Hope these bring back nothing but good memories for my two readers who asked for the photos.

Small Point Inn, surrounded by lilac trees in full bloom.

A closer shot - taken by climbing through the lilac bushes until I could see the front porch. A couple of guests looked at me very strangely, then turned around and walked back inside. I left before the police arrived (just kidding)!

19 thoughts on “Side Streets of Mackinac Island – Church Street 6/3/2010

  1. Bree, I didn’t ask for you to use the photos here but so happy you did. I love this place and the lilacs. It is so peaceful to sit on the porch and watch the world on Mackinac Island pass by. Thanks so much for the pictures.

    • I know Charlotte, but the pictures turned out really well, and I wanted to share with everyone. Glad you like them!

  2. And those are exactly the two I sent my sister! ! (she came through the surgery just fine and is resting comfotably).
    I just can’t believe those lilacs have grown so big! Just lovely! I agree, Charlotte, it’s the nicest place to sit and watch the world go by!
    Bree, it’s your portrayal of the ‘side streets’ that makes your blog so special. Anyone can take ‘Chamber of Commerce’ pictures on Mackinac but very few care to look deeper like you do!

    • I was just going to email you and ask about Margaret. So happy she is doing well. She will continue to be in my prayers for the next few days as she grows stronger and gets ready to go home. Glad you like the pics! Small Point Inn is a beautiful, hidden little “secret spot” on the island.

  3. I’m loving your side street series! I remember those East Bluff stairs — it’s nice walking down but climbing up them -whew! The scent of the lilacs must be awesome with them blooming everywhere. Happy Thursday!

  4. I totally agree with you Brenda about the side streets. We tried to explore some of them when we were there but I know there are so many that we missed. You just gave me another one to see. Thanks!

  5. I just love your website! My hubby and I were on the island a couple of weeks ago for our 15 year anniversary at the Grand, and I kept looking for you around town since you had just arrived. My husband was calling me a stalker! I should hire you for my tour guide when I come back in August. 🙂

    • Just let me know when you’re coming! I don’t “hire out”, but I could be tempted with peanut butter chocolate fudge!

  6. I am enjoying the side streets very much!

    I’ve been using the Mackinac Island Locator Map available on the Tourism Bureau website to try and find the places you talk about each day. It helps give the beautiful pictures a little more context in my mind.

  7. Thanks sooo much for sharing those beautiful pictures!! I am so glad you are taking pictures of the side streets and off the beaten path stuff so we can get an inside look at the island! Thanks again! Michelle

  8. Hi again Bree, I have no email address for you so I have to put it here…
    I appreciate the link to my blog but you got the name wrong.
    My blog is called Adventures of an Innkeeper 😉

  9. Thank you for the pictures of Small Point – it’s as pretty as ever! But a really big thank you for the side streets. That’s ‘my’ end of the island, and I know all the ways around and down and up and over, but they, as Irene said, don’t make the publicity photos. How many tourists make it to British Landing?! Or walk up through the cemetery to Fort Holmes? Oh, they’re missing so much! Thanks again for these wonderful pictures!

    • Hi Barbara, that is where your Chamber of Commerce or CVB should do their job as well as the innkeepers who should be sending everyone everywhere.

      Although, I can imagine that some of the residents of those side streets, except of course the merchants and restaurateurs, aren’t thrilled by that idea.

  10. Brenda,

    I love your statement of getting off from Main and Market Sts. to see the true Mackinac. When I hear people say the island is a tourist trap or its just shopping I tell them about the Fort, history of the island and the beauty of the inner island.

    I used to tease my husband when the Harbour View sat empty for a few years and said, “That would make a great B&B” and now look at it!

    Pat Steele

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