Fayette Historic State Park

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Fayette Historic State Park

Post by Richard1961 » Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:00 am

On my recent trip to Lower Michigan I stopped at 2 State park campgrounds. While these are not as secluded as Isle Royale, They were a nice stop for the nights. Fayette Historic State Park is a place I return to year after year. Fayette is an old Pig Iron smelting town located on a bay of the northern shore of Lake Michigan. It is a great example of company towns that employed people acrost the nation. Some of the Orginal building are gone, some are just shells, but there are a mix of 19 building that are in a good state of preservation. They range from the old town hotel, opera house, Superentent home, Doctors office, and smaller homes and duplexes for other company superviosers. The site also includes several charcoal kilns and the old blast furnace that made the Pig Iron. They have built a replica of the cabins that the lower class workers lived in as most of them were hauled away or destroyed.

There is something about this town that while walking the streets and touring the building that takes me back to a long ago time. It gives a nice cross section of how a whole town lived from the palace like main house of the main suppervisor, to the smaller homes of company officers, Then the smaller duplexes of other company homes. When reading the exibits in the small museum it is easy to put yourself in the place of the hard working men that were dependent on the town to feed their family's. When the furnace was running there was plenty of work, but when it was down for repairs a lot of people were scrambling to feed their family's. Another feature that they have pictures of but is gone is the two story outhouse that was outside the motel. Also as you go through the opera house you can think back to a simpler time when for entertainment you had to do something other then turning on a TV. I can see in my mind the shows and dances that happened here.

Now that this is a State park there is a semi-modern campground (pit toliets and electric hook-ups) A short hike to a swimming beach and boat launch, and in the middle of the old town the dock provides tie -ups for transit boaters durning the boating season. I look forward to returning with one of my boats next summer.

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Re: Fayette Historic State Park

Post by drobarge » Wed Oct 31, 2012 5:53 pm

Fayette was my very first stop, on my very first real cruise under sail many years ago. :)

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