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)!