West Bluff walk to Hubbard's AnnexGrand Hotel is only the entrance to the neighborhood of late 19th-century summer cottages along the West Bluff and beyond. Continue along West Bluff Road in front of the hotel, and you'll pass 16 spectacular summer cottages from the 1880s and 1890s, erected by very wealthy people from Chicago, Grand Rapids, and elsewhere. The flamboyant Queen Anne Cudahy mansion, with widow's walk and dormers, parapets, and bay windows galore, was later the summer home of Soapy Williams, Michigan's popular Democratic governor from 1949 to 1961.
|Mackinac history and architecture continues west past the Grand Hotel. Its developers sold the spectacular lakeview lots of West Bluff, where some of Michigan’s showiest “cottages” were built. Continue on past Pontiac’s Overlook to Hubbard Annex.|
At the Pontiac's Lookout overlook the road along the bluff becomes Pontiac's Trail footpath. It leads to Hubbard's Annex, a summer cottage colony that's less overtly showy than West Bluff. Here many cottages have the characteristic design of Harbor Springs architect Charles Caskey, whose work is best known at Bay View outside Petoskey. His variant on the Queen Anne style features a cross-shaped plan with single front and rear rooms projecting from the house core to catch the breeze. The wrap-around front porch, the typical Caskey house's most prominent feature, surrounds the front room on three sides. Follow Lake View Boulevard in front of the Hubbard's Annex cottages to reach Lover's Leap scenic overlook.
Mackinac summer cottages have a lot to say about the taste and lives of some of the Midwest's wealthiest people during its industrial flowering after the Civil War. Learn about them in The View from the Veranda: The History and Architecture of the Summer Cottages on Mackinac Island, published by Mackinac State Historic Parks. With 80 pages and a hundred photos, it sells for under $10. It's the master's thesis written by Phil Porter, director of Mackinac State Historic Parks, for his degree from the Cooperstown Graduate Program, the nation's leading program in museum studies.
Return to City of Mackinac Island
POINTS OF INTEREST
Island hub by the Arnold Dock/ Main St. between Astor and Fort. The nexus of myriad useful things: an information kiosk, carriage tours, bike rentals, a grocery, a drug store, a visitor center ... more
Market Street, 1820s fur trade center. At the 1820s center of John Jacob Astor's Great Lakes fur trade, see period cooking and spinning in a French-Canadian house; a blacksmith shop; and the reconstructed store where the permanent hole in a voyageur's stomach led to understanding digestion ... more
Mackinac Island shops and amusements. Among downtown's souvenir, gift, and fudge shops are unusual businesses featuring good flying toys, a haunted house, magic and gags, artists creating expressionist landscapes and scrimshaw engravings, art and accessories, and good books. ... more
An eastside walk to Mission Point. A half-mile eastside walk to Mission Point passes lots of history, with stops at two of Michigan's oldest churches at Ste. Anne's and Mission churches and possibly the Mackinac Island Butterfly House. ... more
Ste. Anne's Catholic Church. The parish goes back to 1700 and before. Parishoners have included French-Canadian and Native American traders, Irish fishing families, and the late Senator Phil Hart, among others. It has a small museum and charming garden ... more
Somewhere in Time movie locations. Fans of this Christopher Reeve/Jane Seymour cult classic can get a map and visit its filming locations. Hundreds come for October's SIT weekend; thousands are in its fan club. ... more