Walking along the beautiful paths at Fayette, you will find many historic buildings to tour. From their brochure: "Fayette offers visitors the unmatched serenity of a Lake Michigan harbor, white dolomite bluffs and verdant forests. This well-preserved museum village recalls a time when it was a noisy, bustling mining town with an immigrant population that shared daily hardships, joys and sorrows." My comment: no dry, boring museum-like atmosphere here – this is the real deal!
There are informational signs and even some interactive displays to further explain the past purposes of the buildings. Some of them are shared below.
Working Class Neighborhood
"On the west side of the point, toward the sand beach, was a long row of log houses, occupied by the poorer classes of workmen." – Snail-Shell Harbor, 1870
Park staff reconstructed this laborer's cabin based on archaeological research, historical documents and the examination of an original Fayette cabin.
Here is where Fayette's industrial equipment was maintained. Power machinery, used to manufacture equipment parts, was driven by steam piped from the furnace boilers.
In 1870, the 3 story warehouse on the left was built next to a wood-frame store. The right section replaced the wooden store in 1886. Both burned in the 20th century.
Old Company Store – Interior Ruins
Four warehouses stood on a wharf off this point of land. Steam barges imported general supplies, machinery and bricks to Fayette and departed with cargoes of charcoal iron.
Here, the heat, roar and odors of the smelting operation merged with the shouts of men, whir of engines and shrill scream of steam whistles.
You can "meet" some of the people who lived and worked here through pictures and stories, as well as seeing how their surroundings looked back then – the furnishings, dress, etc.
C.J. Bellows, M.D.
D. Dupont, Barber
All Michigan Miles Fayette Historic State Park pages:
I'd love to hear your own experiences about places I've been - and what you think are "must-sees" - and I really value any suggestions and feedback from readers, so please let me have your 2 cents in Comments below: