• Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 64 other subscribers
  • Archives

Sat. Aug 2 to Fri. Aug 8- Mackinaw City MI to Holland MI

Saturday- We left early again this morning, driving north ,again, across the Mackinac Bridge (toll $4 each way). We left I-75 turning onto Michigan 123 north. We drove all the way north on the Peninsula to Whitefish Point. Our destination was the Shipwreck Museum. We arrived a few minutes after 10, when the museum opened. Whitefish Point is farther north than Sault St. Marie, located with Whitefish Bay on the eastern side and Lake Superior on the western side.


The Shipwreck Museum cost $13 each and included all the buildings.

Whitefish MI

There was a separate $5 charge to climb the lighthouse, which we decided not to do. The Edmund Fitzgerald sank just off Whitefish Point so there was a lot of the Edmund Fitzgerald history in the museum, including hearing the Gordon Lightfoot song several times.

Here is the bell from the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Bell from the Edmund Fitzgerald

The bell was recovered and a memorial was placed on the shipwreck, along with various items from the families during a memorial service for those who were lost.

First steamship to brave Lake Superior, shipwreck

This is a replica of the Independence, the first steamship on the Great Lakes. There were a number of various ships, with models and stories of the ships and their wrecks. Below is an old diving suit.

Old divesuit

New dive suit

Above is the new suit, currently in use.



I can’t even imagine living in this area. Whitefish Point is miles from anything. The light keeper had to work constantly, and it took a few years, and people who left the service before they put in a second light keeper.

Whitefish Lighthouse and keepers cottage

Originally, this was a single house. When a second light keeper was added, they turned the house into a duplex. Inside the tower is a mechanism that has to be reset every 1/2 hour, all night long. It is like a clock, where the mechanism drops through the tower, which has to be reset.  As well as adding whale oil to keep the light going. The keeper also had to rescue the wrecked crews. There are over 200 shipwrecks just off Whitefish Point.

When we entered the house, we were met by the docent, John. One thing we have found, is if you engage the docents, and express an interest in what they are saying, your tour improves 100%. John spent a long time talking to us. Then other people arrived, he spoke with them, then found us again to give us more information! One side to the light keepers duplex was kept as the original 1800’s and the assistants side was kept in the 1920’s. The last light keeper, who was here for 40 years before retiring, granddaughter moved in in 1910, so she was able to tell everyone how the house looked, prior to her death in 2007.

Inside lightkeepers house

Inside lightkeepers house


This was the first time that we had heard this story about the lights, which we found interesting.


The submarine bell story was also interesting. John told us a story about a ship which had to use this bell. The bell was placed under the water, off shore. The light keeper had a phone connected, so he could listen to make sure that the bell was working.

A captain of a ship, in dense snow/fog, was unable to see to guide his ship into the Whitefish Bay. If they did not make it into the bay, they were going to wreck. So he had two men down in the bottom of the ship, listening for the submarine bell. He knew when they heard it, that it was time to make the right turn into the bay. This worked and the ship was saved.





The figure in the picture is of the last light keeper. He was here, with his wife and family for about 40 years. He wanted to go fight in WWII, but they would not accept him due to his age. About six months after he was not accepted, he noticed that his assistant light keeper was acting inappropriately. So he kept an eye on the guy. He caught him trying to use the oil to burn the building, and immediately called for assistance from the local police. It turned out that the guy was a German spy who was trying to shut down the lighthouse so that the freighters could not deliver supplies for the American war effort. The man, and his wife, were arrested and convicted of being spies and spent the rest of the war in prison before being returned to Germany after the war! Below, this side of the lighthouse is kept as it was in the 1920’s.



Look at the radio above.


Here is the active Coast Guard Station.

Current Coast Guard building.

In addition to the Lighthouse,this location also hosted the Lifesaving corps. These folks patrolled the beach at night to make sure that bodies did not float into shore or that they did not find survivors on the beach. They also rescued over 5,000 people off ships. They did this in small boats or with a Lyle gun, which shot a rope over the sinking ship. Then individually, each person on the ship would be brought over the water in a Britches Buoy . This was a sling, which like a zip line, flew across the water on to shore. These brave men were in a completely separate division of the government.  Below is a Lyle gun.


Below is a Lego sculpture of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Lego, Edmund Fitzgerald


Here we are:

Whitefishe Lighthouse

Here is Lake Superior.

Freighter on Lake Superior

Lake Superior

Lake Superior

The Griffin


We wandered through the gift shop and had our Lighthouse Passport stamped.

We left, driving back south on MI 123. We stopped at a nice little picnic area for lunch. Unfortunately they did not have an picnic tables at the Shipwreck Museum.

We continued on MI 123 to Tahquamenon Falls. Since the falls are in a state park, we had to pay $9 for a day pass, but that allowed us entry into both the upper and lower falls.  Below are the lower falls.

Lower  Tahquamon Falls

Lower  Tahquamon Falls

We left the lower falls and drove the four miles south to the upper falls.

Upper  Tahquamon Falls

When we left, we continued south on MI 123 to MI 117 to MI 2. MI 2 was right along Lake Michigan and was a beautiful drive.

We drove back across the Mackinac Bridge to the motor home. We arrived home at 5:30, quickly walked the dogs, and went to dinner at Mackinaw Pasties and Cookie Company.

Bob ordered the chicken pasties and I ordered the beef one. Both with gravy.


They were delicious. Pasties originated as a meal for the miners of Cornwall, England and later Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Wives would bake meat and vegetables in a crust and wrap it in many layers of linens or newspaper for their husbands lunch. Ours had potatoes, rhubarb,onions,and carrots, all cut into very small pieces. They  were excellent!

We returned home, watched a little TV and went to bed.

Sunday- We went downtown and bought some bread. We drove over to the Trolley Depot, but the tour had left at 10 AM. So we did the tour of the Icebreaker Mackinaw.

Iceboat Mackinaw


The hull on the icebreaker is re-enforced with a double hull. The ship is able to cut through the ice easily. It also has a in ingenious design, as the ship has a propeller in the front which moves the water under the ice. That allows the ice to sink, and to make it easier for the Icebreaker to move through the ice, breaking it up. The icebreaker is also able to shift water front to back and side to side, shifting the ship as needed, to break up the ice. It never became stuck in ice during its tour of duty. 

It took 75 men to staff the ship. It’s replacement only has 30 staff. Here are some of the rooms. Below is the Chief’s Mess.

Chiefs mess

Executives Office

Above is the Executive Officers office. Below, the Engineering Office.

Engineers office

Bob climbing down the stairs

Bob climbing down the ‘ladder’. I went down backwards; it was easier!

Officers head

Above the officer’s head Below the. First Class Officers lounge below.

First class petty officers lounge

Berths Lockers

Berths and lockers. Below, sick bay.

Mediccal clinicMedical clinic


Harbor view


Above is the bridge. Below is the view from the bridge.

Harbor view

View from the bridge

Commanding Officers office

Above, the Captains Office. Below, the Captains suite. They were running a video in the Captains Quarters showing the decommissioning of the ship.

Commanding officers quarters Commanding officers quarters

Below, the dignitary quarters.

Dignitaries stateroom

We returned to the MH and ate lunch. At 1:30 ,we returned to town and did the town Trolley Tour. Our drivers name was Tim, and during the off season he drives a school bus.


Original fort

Colonial Michiimachinac is on the site of the first fort. When the Indians attacked the British, they moved the fort to Mackinac Island and another fort was not placed on this site.  Colonial Michilimackinac is a place now demonstrating to  tourists how the folks lived in the time period. Michilimackinac is an Indian term. Michili means large and Mackinac means turtle. The term was so long, that it was finally shortened. Mackinaw and Mackinac are both pronounced Mackinaw.  When you look from Mackinac Island at Mackinaw City, it looks like a turtle, where the name came from…


We cruised by the Lighthouse. Of course, we had already been there.

Mr. Henry, from Skull Cave                                           Chief Wawatam

On the left is the statue of Mr. Henry, the guy who slept in Skull Cave. On the right is Chief Wawatam. These are carved by a sculptured named Potter. He drove by while we were stopped at a stop sign and Tim pointed him out.

Waterfront house 

I saw this pretty house and thought I would include it; it is located right on the bay.

We returned to the depot and were dropped off. The rest of the Trolly riders continued on the tour, which included crossing the bridge and going places we have already been.

We wandered through the little shopping center, with 50 stores. We saw these Sesame Street characters wandering around.


Monday- We left the KOA this morning and drove south on M 31. We passed through Petoskey and saw this lighthouse. We were not able to see the historic lighthouse. .

Petroskey LIghtouse, MI

Our destination was Holiday RV Park in Travers City. We arrived to find a really nice RV park. We set up camp, then went downtown to American Spoons. We had been told to visit this store. They have samples of BBQ sauce, jams, jellies, and other items to try. We did, then went to lunch at Mackinaw Brewery. It was 2 PM by this time, but the place was really busy. We split an order of nachos and Bob had a Cherry Tradition Lager.

Traverse City bills itself at the Cherry Capital, and it really is. We saw cherry stands the entire trip to the city.

After lunch, we went to the Visitor Center, then drove the 18 miles north on the Old Mission Peninsula to the Old Mission Lighthouse.We passed numerous cherry stands and wineries. The drive up the Peninsula was scenic. On each side was Traverse Bay, east or west. We stopped in an overlook to take pictures and just look at the beauty. Below is the view to the east, over a large vineyard.

East Grand  Traverse Bay

And to the east.

East Grand Traverse Bay

We drove through the town of Mission and visited the General Store. This store has been in this location for 183 years! The guy behind the counter looked like he had been there the entire time! LOL

Old Mission General Store, 183 years old

We had been told by the folks at the KOA to be sure to visit the Post Office, as there is a Postmaster behind an antique counter in full costume from the past. Unfortunately, it was not open. But the beach in town was very popular with a lot of folks swimming and sun bathing. This was on the eastern side of the Peninsula.

We also visited this Presbyterian  Church. This is a replica of the original mission church, which had been located on the eastern beach.

Replica of the old Presbyterian Mission Church

The lighthouse is located on the 45th parallel, half way between the North Pole and the Equator. 


The Light House was located on the western side and the breeze was coming from that direction. It was a lot cooler than on the eastern side.

Old Mission Lighthouse


The Lighthouse was built in 1870 and still has a 5th Order Fresnel Lens. We did not take the tour as you have to pay extra for it, but we did have our Passport stamped.

Also at the Lighthouse is the  Hessler Log Home.


Hessler Log Cabin

Back of the Hessler Log Cabin

Inside the Hessler Log Cabin

Inside the Hessler Log Cabin



We also noted these rocks. People have added rocks to the top of rocks, to make these formations. We assume that they are to show boaters where rocks are so that they will not try to come close to the shore. These formations are directly in front of the Lighthouse.

Rock piles in the bay

We drove back to Traverse City, on the western side of the Peninsula, past beautiful homes. The ride was 36 miles round trip.

We pulled out the lounge chairs and sat outside enjoying the weather. We ate dinner, then rode our bikes around this gorgeous RV park. We noticed 43 Airstreams in the park and another 42 in storage. Odd….

The park had an island in the far side, on Silver Lake. This island had some awesome sites. They were directly on the water, sideways, so that they had these huge sites, with their windows facing the lake. Beautiful! The rest of the park was awesome also.

Tuesday- We left around 10 to head north on MI 37 to the Grand Travers Lighthouse. This trip was 38 miles each way. We drove north on the larger Peninsula out of Traverse City. Again the drive was beautiful driving along the bay. We  went north again on the eastern side and back down on the western side.

While driving, the phone rang. It was Barbara and Raymond Vaughn, Alfa friends. They have been following the blog and had questions about the renovation. We sent them to PJ and Megan at McMillers.

In the center of the Peninsula, is Leelaneau Lake, which is huge, and went for miles. So we had water on both sides during the trip. We were told that this lighthouse was not in a state park. If we had realized that so many of the lighthouses were in state parks, we would have bought a state park pass. Next time in Michigan, we will! So we were charged $9 for entry to the park.


Grand Traverse Lighthouse

Grand Traverse Lighthouse, MI

Grand Traverse Lighouse

We had our Passport stamped at the gift shop.  The Lighthouse was built in 1852.

Here is the Fog Signal building.

Fog Signal Building, Grand Traverse Lighthouse

The view from the lighthouse. Again, there were some of the rocks.

View from Grand Traverse Lighthouse

Here were some lawn decorations.

Lawn decoration, Grand Travers Lighthouse

Lawn decoration Grand Traverse Lighthouse

Another lawn decoration, Grand Traverese Lighthouse

We left and returned south to Northpoint MI, a cute little town. We didn’t see any place interesting for lunch, so we continued on  south on MI 37, on the western side of the Peninsula to Leland. We drove into the town and thought there was a festival or something going on. Nope, just a lot of folks. I guess it would be much more busy on a weekend, but I can’t imagine how! The places was mobbed. We were able to find a parking place on the main street and went to lunch at the Blue Bird Restaurant.

Bob had the Ruben and I had a grilled cheese with ham. Both were good. Here is the view from our table in the restaurant.

View outside Blue Bird Restaurant in Leland MI

This is a canal connecting Leelaneua Lake  and Lake Michigan.  We skipped the shops and continued south.

We stopped at Sleeping Bear National Seashore Park. Our National Park pass expired July 30, but no one was there to look, so we jumped out the car to take a look. We are waiting for Bob’s next birthday to buy a lifetime pass, as he will be eligible to purchase one in October. Bob really liked this sign. It was on the entrance to the beach. It says that the road ends here… well, duh!

Bob liked this sign!

Lake Michigan at Sleeping Bear National Seashore


We saw a sign for a ski resort, so we stopped in to take a look. We only saw the bottom of on lift off in the distance,

The Homestead Ski Resort.

We turned east on MI 72 to head back to Traverse City. Once on the road, we passed between two lakes, below is the bottom of Leelaneau Lake.

In Glen Arbor MI, two lakes, Leelaneau and Bear Lake

And Bear Lake, with a dune in Sleeping Bear Dune National Seashore.

Bear Lake with Sleeping Bear Dunes behind the lake.

We stopped for groceries and returned to the RV park. We stopped at the office to ask why there were so many Airstreams in the park. Holiday RV park used to be an Airstream park and in 2012, it converted to being public. . We had a quiet evening at home, sitting outside enjoying the beautiful weather. It’s been 70’s during the day  and the humidity has been in the 50% range. Nighttime has been in the 50’s.

Wednesday – We drove out of Holiday RV Park at around 10, driving south on MI 31. Our drive today was only 49 miles. We turned right on MI 22 and immediately turned into Little River Casino Resort. We paid $30 Good Sam discounted price for water and 50 amp. We step up camp in a  nice concrete pad site with a picnic table. We have access to all of the resort amenities, including the pool and hot tub, not that we are going to use them.

We ate lunch and stopped in at the Casino. Wednesday is Senior day, so we signed up for the 55+ card (free). This gives us some points and 1/2 price on the breakfast buffet.

We left and went north of MI 22 to Onekama to view the Portage Lake North Pierhead Lighthouse, seven miles away. As we made a turn along the lake, we could see the lighthouse in the distance, so we zig-zaged along the lake front until we finally found the a parking lot at the end of the road. Sure enough, there were these two lights, but they were not much to look at,, although there was a nice beach at this location.

Portage Lake North Pierhead, Onekama MI

We turned around and drove back past the casino, turning south back onto MI 31 and driving to the town of Manistee. On the way, Bob was using both phones to guide us and I received a text message of fraud on a credit card. They asked if an amount on Skype was ours, Bob clicked no, and almost immediately his phone rang.

So we pulled over and dealt with another time of Bob’s credit card being stolen. Funny, they picked up the small Skype amount and denied that charge, but did not pick up two separate charged for pictures in the $1200 range.

So Bob’s credit card is turned off and he will be receiving new card. We checked my card and it is okay, so we will use that if needed. We drove through downtown which has Victorian buildings.

Downtown Manistee MI

Downtown Manistee MI

We eventually found the lighthouse. The directions were to follow 5th street out to the lighthouse, but the road dead ended prior to the lighthouse. We figured out how to get there and found the lighthouse with it’s steel catwalk. Again, we stopped in another nice beach area, with lots of people sunbathing or swimming in Lake Michigan.

Manistee North Pierhead Lighthouse

We went back through town to the other side of the river, to another nice beach front park and marina. Here is the lighthouse from that direction,

Manistee North Pierhead Lighthouse 

The Manistee North Pierhead Lighthouse first lit the entrance into the Manistee River in 1870. In 1871, on the same day as the Chicago fire, it burned to the ground. Pierhead lights were added in 1875 as well as a fog signals, range lights, and a catwalk. The current 39 ft steel tower was built in 1927 and was transferred to the city and Manistee County Museum in 2011. The light still shines over Lake Michigan from the ten sided lantern atop the steel tower. The lighthouse is undergoing restoration.

We left town driving back north on MI 31. We saw a sign for Moomers Ice Cream. Yesterday we had tried to find the Moomers in Traverse City, but were unsuccessful. Moomers is a well known local Ice Cream business. It has been voted the best ice cream in the country and has been featured on Good Morning America. So we stopped to have some. OMG, this was the BEST ice cream. We have learned it is less expensive to share a double scoop than to buy two separate single scoops. So we bought a double scoop of an ice cream whose name I do not remember. But we will not forget the taste! It was a very nice chocolate with caramel, brownie bites and cashews. It was awesome! Bob said, let see if we can find some in a grocery store!

After savoring the ice cream, we returned to the Casino and wandered through. There was smoking allowed, but they must have a really good ventilation system as the building was not smoky.

We played and lost $2 ( as you can see we are not big gamblers, LOL). There was a Polka Festival going on( senior Wednesday ) so we wandered to the ballroom. We stopped and watched the dancers from the doorway, then left to return to the MH.

Bob worked on filling out the fraud report so that they will take the charges off the credit card, and I worked on the blog. At 6, we went over to the casino for dinner. They had an all you can eat buffet for $13.99. This was not your typical ‘all you can eat buffet’ like Golden Corral. The food was excellent, with beef brisket and various other main dishes. Dessert was pies or a chocolate fountain with marshmallows, graham crackers and cherries. We both had the maraschino cherries, dipped in chocolate. Yum! We returned to the MH and settled in for the night.

Thursday- Since we have 1/2 off the breakfast buffet, we went to the casino for breakfast. We both had made to order omelets, with hash browns and fruit. It was a very nice breakfast for $5 each.  We left at about 9:40 to drive south on MI 31, then east on I 69, to MI 131 south. It was a nice drive through the Michigan countryside, although we had an issue with the refrigerator door. Our bar was not working, so we had to pull over to make an adjustment. We added the emergency bar from the bedroom and that worked. We will have to come up with a different solution, as the door under the refrigerator was not staying shut, which allowed the freezer door to slide open.

We arrived at Hungry Horse Campground in Dorr MI around 1:30, after stopping for lunch at a rest area. We were not pleased with the campground, but it was the only place that we could get a reservation in the area! Dorr is south of Grand Rapids about 3.4 miles off MI 131.

The roads are narrow in the park and were covered with kids and their parents. There were only a few sites open and those are reserved for the weekend. We are in a 30 amp, water and electric site, under a canopy of trees so we cannot get satellite TV. We can get antenna, but not very well. At least we can keep up with the news.

We thought we had FHU, so we had not dumped,; before we could settle into the site, we had to stop and dump, which necessitated a run back through the RV park to the dump station. That was not fun, with the kids playing in the road.

We finally settled in to the site and set up. After walking the dogs and Bob fixing the orange wire on the inverter( it keeps coming loose), as the batteries were not charging, we drove back up MI 131 to Grand Rapids and then west on I 69 to Grand Haven.

Grand Haven is a nice little beach town, right on Lake Michigan. We went to visit the lighthouse, which was located in the state park, but we were able to take a picture from a little city park on the river.

Grand Haven MI LIghthouse

Grand Haven MI LIghthouse

We rode around town looking at the houses , the downtown, and then the marina.

Grand Haven MI

Grand Haven MI L

 Grand Haven MI

We also found these beautifully restored trains, which are commemorative of the trains that used to bring people to the beach. This is the Pere Marquette

Grand Haven MI Pere Marquette #123

Because it was now rush hour in Grand Rapids, we decided to drive south to Holland MI and cross back east on country roads to Dorr. This worked very well and was a beautiful ride through mostly farmland.

We arrived back at the MH at 5:30, cooked dinner and sat outside enjoying the nice weather and reading our books. It finally cooled off enough that we were getting cold, so we went inside and turned off the air-conditioner and opened the windows.

Friday- We drove back on the country roads to Holland. We started in the north of town on MI 31 at the Veldheer Tulip Gardens/DeKlomp Wooden Shoe & Delft Factory. Tulips are in May, so we did not bother with the gardens. The Delft and DeKlomp factories are together.

Delft is the blue and white Dutch items that you see. This is the only store where you can buy Delft brand items. They are handmade, here in the factory.

DSCN3744Delft Factory tour

Below is the lady who makes the items. They have over 700 molds. Deft Factory Tour Molds

She stopped to talk to us. They take a special liquid clay and pour it into the plaster mold. The mold absorbs the liquid and when the item is the right depth, they take the clay model out or the mold. The mold then has to dry for at least 2 weeks, so it is only used infrequently. The item is then put into the kiln to ‘cook; it. The item is then hand painted, then cooked again. The glaze is put on and it is cooked again. The kiln is only run one time a week, so you can imagine the coordination that goes into this. The kiln is heated up for one whole day, before it is filled with the weekly items.

Here is the next gal, hand painting some coasters. She did her painting all freestyle!

Hand painting, Delft Factoy Tour

There are only two women who do the painting. This gal was the first employee and has worked here for 38 years. She started with painting the wooden shoes.

Delft Factory Tour $6.99

This Christmas ornament only cost $6.99, for all that work!

We wandered around the shop as the shoe maker was on break. Here is the wall in the ladies bathroom.

Delft Factoy Tour

They make all sorts of items, now in all colors, not just the blue and white.

The shoemaker returned and he gave us the tour. Deklopt Factory Tour

The Dutch wear wooden shoes as they hold up better. Because the country is so wet, leather does not wear well. So they wear the wooden shoes over their leather shoes.  Here are the shoes he is going to work on for us.

Deklopt Factory Tour

From the right, are shoes to be drilled. The next shoe to the left has been drilled and the last one on the left is dried. The shoes are made out of poplar, a soft wood. Below, a block of wood is placed into the machine and using a mold, the shoe is carved, looking like the shoes on the right above when completed.

Turning while making a wooden shoe

Then the shoes are placed into the drilling machine. They are drilled using a mold of a size. There are lots of different sizes.

doing the inside of the wooden shoe

Then the little edge at the back and front are removed with a lathe and the shoes are now placed on shelves to dry for two months! They are then either left plain or hand painted.

Deklop Factory Tour

Here I am trying on a pair. Since I am not wearing the leather shoes inside the wooden shoes, I had to try on a smaller pair. The shoes, after wearing them a few weeks, mold to your feet. As a result, if you put on someone else’s wooden shoes, you would know right away, as they would not conform to your feet.


Bob tried on a larger pair! LOL

DSCN3743 DSCN3742

After our interesting tour, we left and drove south to the actual town of Holland. Our next stop was at the Windmill Island Gardens ( owned by the town of Holland). It was $13 each to enter.

Windmill Island Gardens Holland MI

Windmill Island Gardens Holland MIWindmill Island Gardens Holland MI

Our first stop on our self tour was the Post House where they had a movie about the Windmill Island Windmill. 

Post House-Windmill Island Gardens Holland MI

Windmill Island Gardens Holland MI Windmill Island Gardens Holland MI

Windmill Island Gardens Holland MI

Windmill Island Gardens Holland MI

Above is what the windmill looks like in May with the tulips blooming.

Our next stop was at the actual windmill. It was brought over from Holland, and reconstructed in the 1960’s.  The bottom is Michigan brick and is higher than it would be in Holland, because they needed the height to be able to catch the wind.  The rest of the windmill is authentic and over two hundred years old.

We made it in time to watch the dancers at 11 AM. All of the dancers are in costume and were female. The one with the long pants is representing a male farmer while the dancer in the short pants is representing a fisherman. All, but one, were poor. If you were Dutch, you could tell the rich, middle income and poor from their clothes. The colors, the plaids, the head covers and the buttons. The rich had gold or silver buttons, the poor just plain buttons, and the buttons would pay for their funeral. They had two pairs of the wooden shoes, one for everyday and one pair for Sunday.

Windmill Island Gardens Holland MI

Windmill Island Gardens Holland MI

Windmill Island Gardens Holland MI

Windmill Island Gardens Holland MI

We watched the dance then went inside for the tour. We started on the bottom floor where our docent, Grace, explained about the windmill. It was pretty ingenious. The farmer would enter through one side of the mill, with grain, and exit with flour. The door entry is elevated and then slopes down to protect the flour.


The farmer would pay the miller by putting his money in a hanging wooden shoe, which the miller would then bring up to the top floor via a rope and pulley. The flour came down a shute, into a bag, which the farmer would then take with him. The current Miller is a woman, and the only Dutch certified miller in the USA.

Windmill Island Gardens Holland MI

She does the milling in the fall, usually November. She works as the event planner the rest of the time.

The windmill is 12 stories high. We climbed most of the way up, we were not allowed past the milling level,but were able to go outside to look at the blades. Below is the view from the windmill.

View from Windmill, Windmill Island Gardens Holland MI

Below is one of the original blades. Note the holes on the sides.

Original blade with bullet holes from WWII Windmill Island Gardens Holland MI

Windmill Island Gardens Holland MI

We walked over to the village and went through the shops They sell  wooden shoes and flour. They also sell the flour to the local restaurants for their baking needs.

We stopped by the 1920’s carousel. The horses do not move up and down!

1920's carosel-Windmill Island Gardens Holland MI

We also stopped by the organ.

Windmill Island Gardens Holland MI

Windmill Island Gardens Holland MI

We w ere waiting there for the 12:15 playing of the organ, but it was canceled due to a children’s concert.

We left and went to the New Holland Brewery for lunch. Bob had the Porter, which he said was very good. We split a pizza, also very good, for lunch.

We left and drove around town. Below is the firehouse and city hall.

Firehouse/City Hall, Holland MI

Holland MI

We went to the college campus.

Holland MI

Holland MI

There were some other buildings we were looking for, but there was a street fair, so we could not get to them…

We went in search of the lighthouse,driving out as far as the south side road would go. We passed some beautiful, big houses which were much nicer than ones we saw in Beverly Hills or Bel Air. It looked like they have been tearing down the old, smaller homes, and building new,very big ones, right on Holland Bay.

Just past the Yacht Club, the road ended and we had to turn around. We could not see the lighthouse. So we drove back into downtown and crossed the bridge, turning left to drive down the north side of the bay. We passed two RV parks where we had tried to get reservations and they were packed. There were a lot of people walking to the beach, with a long traffic backup. Bob jumped out of the car and went to take a picture, then we went back to a park and we were able to see the light house from there and take more pictures.

Big Red-Holland MI

The Holland Harbor Light house, also called Big Red. It is the most photographed lighthouse in Michigan, which is saying something as Michigan has the most lighthouses in any state, with 124.

“The first lighthouse was erected with $4,000 of federal funds in 1872, twenty years before the harbor was complete. It was a small, square, wooden structure that stood on an open platform on legs above the deck of the pier. On top was a lantern deck with a ten-window lantern room. The lighthouse keeper had to carry his lighted oil lamp along a catwalk, which stretched from the shore where he lived to the lamp under a lens or magnifying device. When fog obscured the light, he signaled incoming boats by blowing an 18 inch fish horn often used on sailboats.
Steel Tower-Early 20th Century Improvement Both the pier and the wooden lighthouse had taken a beating from the weather over the years. So after the turn of the century, when the harbor was finally finished, a breakwater was built and the wooden tower was replaced by a taller, steel structure which housed the lamp.
The steel tower was an obvious improvement from the wooden structure. Not only could it better withstand severe weather, but, by raising the height of the light, it could be spotted by incoming vessels as far away as thirteen miles.
When fog lay on the lake, as it so often did, a light signal was useless. It was obvious that a fog signal, stronger than a fish horn, must accompany the higher light. In 1907, a steam operated fog signal was installed. Two coal fed Marine boilers produced steam to sound the 10” locomotive whistle used as a fog signal. “ From Holland City website.

We left Holland and returned to the MH. We sat out until dinner, ate dinner, then sat out reading again this evening.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: