Last summer, when I was in the UP (that’s Upper Peninsula for you non-Michigan folk), I made a stop in Manistique to have lunch with the local Habitat for Humanity director. I’d only been through Manistique once before and remembered the weird water tower in the middle of the town. This time, I took some time to walk around the old Soo Lines that cut through town (see the station below), and to tour the museum inside the water tower that’s only open in the summer. (the tower is no longer in use.) The museum told about the town’s special “Siphon Bridge” and flume built nearly a hundred years ago to channel water and logs into the town’s paper mill. I also checked out the beach, but for some reason didn’t bother to photograph the sand and water (and lighthouse) that was inviting on a warm July day.
Manistique is at the end of the Manistique River (which I fished along with the Fox River back in 2007). It use to be a big lumber and paper mill area. The Ann Arbor Railroad ran a ferry to Manistique from Frankfort, MI (in the lower peninsula). The ferry was a small ship and carried no only automobiles, but train cars (and served as the Ann Arbor’s connection to the Soo Line. With the opening of the Big Mac (bridge between the upper and lower peninsula) in 1957, the ferries were doomed and stopped running in the 1960s.
My travel tip for today: take time to visit those less known places.