Michigan Blue - Fall 2022

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MICHIGAN BLUE FALL 2022

Color Your World Falling for the Great Lakes State

Lake Michigan Circle Tour turns 35 | Angling for fish | Tahquamenon-area lager Harbor Springs’ top eatery | Three home tours | Meet a Port Austin artist Bay City is rollin’ | Thumb drives & destinations

COLOR YOUR WORLD VOLUME 17, NUMBER 4


Exactly where we should be.

When you’re true to who you are, you’re true to where you are. Come join us. TraverseCity.com TraverseCityTour.Spread.BLUE.Fa22 V2.indd 1

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C O N T E N TS

Heads up: Bay City is a great place to visit any time, but its Fourth of July events are stellar. Plan now!

Features 52 Natural Habitat 62 Beauty in the Details Thoughtfully renovated home reflects its coveted location on the Thornapple River. By Jeanine Matlow

This Nantucketstyle home is a knockout, thanks to distinctive custom touches. By Megan Swoyer

72 Colorful Character

82 Pass the Pasties!

Happy hues define a highenergy cottage on Walloon Lake. By Jeanine Matlow

This deliciously satisfying — and portable — meal is the U.P.’s most famous food. By Honey Murray

86 Bay City Rolling The town the lumber industry built charts a new course focusing on tourism and popular waterfront amenities. By Bill Semion ON THE COVER

CLARIFICATION: The photographer credited on page 55 of Michigan BLUE’s Summer 2022 issue should be James Yochum. 2

The beautiful Lake Michigan shoreline near Saugatuck and Douglas is part of the Lake Michigan Circle Tour (see page 22). Photo by Craig Watson, courtesy of the Saugatuck-Douglas Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.

90 Thumbs Up M-25’s big U-shaped drive along Lake Huron offers scenic fall getaways, complete with golden beaches and charming towns. By Amy S. Eckert

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE GREAT LAKES BAY REGIONAL CVB

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EXPLORE THE CHANGE. The changing landscape of Ludington's unspoiled natural resources offers a quintessential “Up North” experience close by. Pure Ludington delivers the perfect combination of unrivaled outdoor recreation and quaint, small-town charm. With endless outdoor experiences, craft beer festivals and fall lodging specials like 50% off a second night stay, now is the time to get up and go.

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“ ... (I) found myself looking down at the color in the river instead of looking up.”

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— BOB BRODBECK

120 12 Sky, Sand & Surf A custom boat-builder crafts one-of-a-kind beauties, and you’ll be star-struck yearround at Michigan’s newest international dark sky park and other celestial observation sites. By Chuck Warren and Ellen Creager

22 The Pike: Cruising U.S. 31 Tracing the beginnings of the Lake Michigan Circle Tour, and how a coalition’s efforts may help the Arctic grayling make a comeback in Michigan rivers. By Dianna Stampfler and Bill Semion

DESIGN CURRENTS 32 Studio Visit

16 Get Outdoors Fly-fishing in southeast Michigan, and Great Lakes Paddlers celebrate 30 years. By Bill Semion and Susan R. Pollack

A Port Austin-based multimedia artist combines her “maker passion” with the flora and fauna of her life. By Megan Swoyer

38 Design Stars 20 Headwaters South Haven’s Maritime Museum unveils its $3.7-million Heritage Center and expands its downtown campus. By Chuck Warren 4

Annie Kordas fashions a beautiful sunroom on Lake St. Clair, and Rachel Nelson works her magic in Walled Lake. By Megan Swoyer and Jeanine Matlow

42 The Elements

114 Discoveries

Around the Cottage: Tartan-toasty, movie-night essentials, and stylish serving trays. By Jamie Fabbri

The U.P.’s Drummond Island lures visitors in search of rare world-class alvars and rustic beauty. By Susan R. Pollack

ANCHORS AWAY

IN EVERY ISSUE

108 Tasting Room

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U.P. brewery honors its Tahquamenon Falls legacy and family ties to the area’s logging history. By Dianna Stampfler

110 Dining Out A treasured waterfront restaurant in Harbor Springs serves up tasty grilled Great Lakes fish and a lot more. By Mark Spezia

112 Book It An historic lodge transforms into the Grand Beach Hotel. By Mark Spezia

Reflections All you need is paint (or paintings). By Megan Swoyer

120 Postcard Keep your head down, advises one photographer who cherishes the U.P.’s fall colors. By Bob Brodbeck

LEFT PHOTO BY BOB BRODBECK; RIGHT PHOTO BY BRETT MOUNTAIN

WATERWAYS

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he Walloon Lake home featured in this issue, designed by Cynthia Evans Interiors, reminded me of my cottage in northern Michigan. Evans, the Walloon Lake homeowners, and I belong to the same color club, where we strive to inject lots of color in many areas of the home. I’ll begin with my penchant for cherries. Long ago, when we first purchased the cottage, I named one bedroom the Cherry Room. Next, I purchased cherry bedsheets, created cherry watercolor art to frame and hang on the wall, lined a lampshade with cherry-themed ribbon, and even talked my artist brother-in-law into painting cherries all over a vintage chair I’d picked up at a flea market. I also purchased little sculpted cherries to scatter atop a dresser, and painted vintage side tables a glossy cherry red. The valances had to be cherry-colored, too, so I used red-and-white fabric scraps from my husband’s grandmother’s collection to sew some window treatments. Looking around the place, I could see color opportunities galore. But first, the previous owner’s browns would have to go. Out went anything brown or beige, unless it was salvageable and could be transformed into another color. Picture frames were emptied, but the frames remained — and were painted in a fresh, springy periwinkle. Then it was on to the lamps. Towering dark wooden table lamps were hauled outside for a big-time makeover. First, I painted them with a primer. Then I had to make some color decisions. I settled on periwinkle for the back room and a soft pink for the front room. As the lamps dried, I conferred with my brother-in-law again. This time, I asked if he would paint flowers around the lamps’ bases. I envisioned daisies and ivy on the pink lamps. For the periwinkle lamps, he created

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(Or Paintings) a lighthouse motif, echoing the scene of a nearby landmark. I painted bedside tables and chests a crisp white so they’d pop when placed next to green walls and would complement our green-painted furniture. Enough color? Never! Our wall art includes pastel-hued hydrangeas, bright star-gazer lilies, green lily pads, and zesty pink coneflowers. Then there’s the painting of a large pheasant. He arrived shortly after I spotted my brother-in-law tossing it into his garbage can. “What are you doing?” I asked. He casually remarked that he was throwing away a pheasant. “What? I love this!” I cried. He said it was just a demonstration piece that he’d created and used for the art classes he taught. “Oh, no,” I said. “I have just the place for it!” I made him sign it, and the painting now takes center stage on a wall above a sofa. It’s glorious, in a large, retrofitted teal frame some other color-lover found and passed on to me. Cherries, lighthouses, flowers, lily pads, pheasants — my husband and I have adorned our northern retreat with touches of things we love, wrapped in a colorful world. Now back to the Walloon Lake wonder. For the homeowners and designer, the colors of the home were inspired by a couple of paintings. That’s thoughtful design. As Paul Gauguin once said, “Color! What a deep and mysterious language, the language of dreams.” And isn’t cottage living all about dreamy? P.S. To complement your own imagination and creative color vision, our Buyer’s Guides (which follow our home stories) feature lots of inspiring sources, including paint colors, for your waterfront retreats. Check them out. .

PUBLISHER:

Jason Hosko

EDITORIAL

EDITOR: Megan Swoyer CONTRIBUTING TRAVEL EDITOR: Ron Garbinski COPY EDITOR: Anne Berry Daugherty WRITERS: Bob Brodbeck, Ellen Creager, Amy S.

Eckert, Jamie Fabbri, Jeanine Matlow, Honey Murray, Susan R. Pollack, Bill Semion, Mark Spezia, Dianna Stampfler, Chuck Warren

DESIGN

ART DIRECTOR: Justin Stenson SENIOR PRODUCTION ARTIST: Stephanie Daniel JUNIOR DESIGNER: Steven Prokuda CONTRIBUTORS: Ashley Avila, Eric Baldwin, Bob

Brodbeck, Neall Dollhopf, Jeff Garland, Glass Lakes Photography, GS Studios, Bonnie Lalley, Jean Lannen, Keith Lowrie, Ryan McDonald, Brett Mountain, Craig Watson, Martin Vecchio

SALES

ADVERTISING INQUIRIES: advertising@hour-media.com ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES: Todd Anderson, Nick Irwin, Jessica

Laidlaw, Maddy Messerly, Aaron Ogg TO ORDER REPRINTS: Receptionist, 616-459-4545

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PRODUCTION DIRECTOR: Jenine Knox SENIOR PRODUCTION COORDINATOR: Jill Berry PRINT ADVERTISING COORDINATORS: Haylee Mozug,

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WEB

DIGITAL STRATEGY DIRECTOR: Nick Britsky DIGITAL DEVELOPMENT MANAGER: Matthew Cappo DIGITAL DEVELOPMENT SPECIALISTS: Jim Bowser,

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DIRECTOR OF AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT: Geralyn Wilson CIRCULATION MANAGER: Riley Meyers CIRCULATION COORDINATORS: David Benvenuto,

Jaz’myne Jones, Cathy Krajenke, Rachel Moulden, Lisa Sawyer, Michele Wold CIRCULATION CUSTOMER SERVICE: 866-660-6247

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MARKETING AND EVENTS MANAGER: Jodie Svagr COMMUNICATIONS AND EVENTS LEAD: Cathleen Francois MARKETING AND EVENTS COORDINATOR: Jaime Presnail

ADMINISTRATION

DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS OPERATIONS: Kathie Gorecki PUBLISHING AND SALES COORDINATOR: Kristin Mingo ASSISTANT OFFICE MANAGER: Natasha Bajju SENIOR ACCOUNTING ASSOCIATE: Andrew Kotzian ACCOUNTING ASSOCIATE: Sammi Dick

PUBLISHED BY GEMINI MEDIA, LLC CEO: Stefan

Wanczyk | PRESIDENT: John Balardo

Michigan BLUE magazine is published quarterly by Gemini Media. Publishing offices: 401 Hall St. SW, Suite 331, Grand Rapids, MI 49503-5098. Telephone 616-459-4545; fax 616459-4800. General email: info@geminipub.com. Copyright ©2022 by Gemini Media. All rights reserved. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Michigan Blue magazine, 1965 E. Avis Dr., Madison Heights, MI 48071. Subscription rates: one year $14.95, two years $24.95, three years $34.95, U.S. only. Single issue and newsstand $5.95 (by mail $8.95). To subscribe or to order back issues, please contact Circulation at 866-660-6247. Advertising rates and specifications at mibluemag.com or by request. Michigan Blue magazine is not responsible for unsolicited contributions.

PORTRAIT BY JEAN LANNEN

All You Need Is Paint

Volume 17 | Issue 4 mibluemag.com

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PHOTO COURTESY OF NEALL DOLLHOPF

WAT E RWAYS

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Read about Huron River small-mouth catches in this section.

12 Field Guide Fishtown in Leland and other sites join national register, and Harrisville Harbor gets an update.

12 Sky, Sand & Surf Boat-builders create one-of-a-kind beauties, and check out Michigan’s newest “dark sky” park.

16 Get Outdoors Fly-fishing is tops in southeast Michigan, and Great Lakes Paddlers celebrate 30 years.

20 Headwaters Maritime Museum unveils its $3.7-million Heritage Center and expands its downtown campus.

22 The Pike The Lake Michigan Circle Tour lowdown, and Oden Hatchery hopes for Arctic grayling comeback. MICHIGAN BLUE

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FIELD GUIDE Exploring Michigan: Tips, trends, and tidbits

HISTORIC CHARMS: Fourteen Michigan properties have joined nearly 2,000 other state sites on the National Register of Historic Places. Gaining the honor in 2022 are Walbri Hall in Bloomfield Hills, the Elijah Bull House in Bloomfield Township, Luther Burbank Elementary School in Detroit, Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Michigan in Detroit, Sisters of the Order of Saint Dominic Motherhouse Complex in Grand Rapids, the Iron Mountain Veterans Administration Hospital, Parkwyn Village in Kalamazoo, Gibson Inc. Factory and Office Building in Kalamazoo, Fishtown Historic District in Leland Township, Michigan Central Railroad Middleville Depot, the Nathan Esek and Sarah Emergene Sutton House in Northfield Township, Elmer R. Webster School in Pontiac, Garfield School in Sault Ste. Marie, and Vicksburg Historic District in Vicksburg. The National Register is a program of the National Park Service and is administered by the states. michigan.gov/nrhp WATER WORKS: Recent investments in the Harrisville Harbor of Refuge may help renew interest and activity in this northern Lake Huron community. More than $70,000 was pumped into updating the entire deep-water facility, which also added new entrance signage and a dock kiosk. Local businesses donated new bikes and a courtesy van for the boaters, and area residents provided picnic tables for the public park. Fishing is open again on the docks, and 10,000 steelhead were released into the harbor last spring. View the harbor cams at harrisvilleharbor.com. – Compiled by Ron Garbinski Have news that pertains to Michigan travel and exploration? Send a note to MSwoyer@Hour-Media.com. 12

Old-World craftsmanship and modern cold-molding technology helped to create this Dreamboat wonder.

Design Exclusivity Northern Michigan custom builder crafts one-of-a-kind wooden boats that are works of art By Chuck Warren

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or nearly half a century,Van Dam Custom Boats has created some of the finest custom wooden power and sailboats in the world, and also some of the most unique. Its finished creations resemble works of art as much as working pleasure boats. The company was founded in Harbor Springs in 1977 by Steve Van Dam and his wife, Jean, after Steve spent several years as an apprentice with accomplished boat builder Vic Carpenter. It wasn’t long before Steve Van Dam’s custom woodwork and the completion of several commissioned designs gained recognition, which led to more interest in the company — and, ultimately, the growth of Van Dam Custom Boats. In the 1990s, the purchase of a 16-acre property in Boyne City that included a defunct marina gave the Van Dams the space to move their shop out of Harbor

Springs. The purchase also included 100 feet of Lake Charlevoix waterfront access and a travel-lift. The couple established the Boyne Boat Yard, and added service and storage to their business model. Although the facilities have expanded over the years, Van Dam Custom Boats is still a small company, completing one privately commissioned new build every one to two years, along with providing selected restoration work and small projects with about 20 employees. “Van Dam places a high emphasis on the culture of the company and the cohesion of the crew,” says Jeremy Pearson, head of sales and marketing. “When everyone wants to build the best of the best, you have something special.” Using a combination of Old-World craftsmanship matched with newer innovations such as CAD technology, the Van Dam team employs the cold-molding process — a

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PHOTOS COURTESY OF VAN DAM CUSTOM BOATS

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“Everything about working room-temperature construction Above left: Workers apply varnish on a with the Van Dam organization method using thin layers of custom-built beauty. was first-rate,” says the owner wood and epoxy adhesives — to build stronger, lighter boats while Right: Van Dam’s designs of the Patrician. “I often tell include impressive people of their commitment to creating less waste. attention to detail. excellence, and that they have “Cold-molding is the best that beautiful mix of art and way to ensure our boats will last, engineering.” and maybe outlive all of us,” Pearson says. Adds the owner of Chocolate Chip 3: Van Dam is known for its high-quality “They’re the best place to go with your idea and unique boats. The team works personally for a dream boat. We were impressed as much with each client to develop a plan based on with the total experience as we were with the the boat’s future home, its intended use, the end results. It’s wows on and off the water.” desired size, and other design foundations. Van Dam uses a variety of wood types for They then look for inspiration in individual each project, including yellow cedar, oak, items or features their client finds interesting cherry, spruce, maple, and teak. The hulls are and attractive. These features can be identified created with a combination of yellow cedar on other boats, in lines of architecture and and African mahogany, which has a beautiful aircraft, or they can come from parts and grain and color. pieces like gauge clusters, seating designs, Woodwork isn’t the company’s only and configurations. specialty. Adding a CNC machine has given “Our team listens,” Pearson adds. “Then, them the ability to create all of their own we brainstorm until a concept develops.”Van custom metalwork including cleats, hinges, Dam’s process creates a one-of-a-kind rails, port lights, and other hardware. The design for each client, which also results in metal shop staff has developed such a high a high level of exclusivity, since the company level of skill that other companies request won’t build another boat like it unless the Van Dam’s help with their own custom needs. original owner gives the company permission Van Dam provides owners with a lifetime to do so. warranty against rot and water intrusion. To This means that every time they build a maintain the warranty, owners must have boat, it’s the first time they’ve designed and their boats inspected yearly by Van Dam or built almost every component.

someone approved by the company. Many buyers often worry that a new wooden boat will require a lot of care, but the cold-molding process and regular inspections make it easy to spot potential issues, and repairs are often relatively simple. “There are a lot of misconceptions about the amount of maintenance a wood boat needs,” Pearson explains.“Our boats are built much differently than the old Garr Woods and Chris Crafts.” Van Dam boats are stained and clearcoated with the same products used by Rolls Royce and Bentley. That provides a hard finish that can go long periods without needing much attention. “We try to make it as easy as we can for owners to enjoy their boats,” Pearson says. After nearly a half-century, Steve and Jean Van Dam decided to retire and sell the company to their son, Ben (president), and his wife, Erica (vice president), thus keeping it in the family and opening the door for new ideas and the vision to continue pushing the company forward. “I think we’re the best-kept secret in the boating industry,” Pearson says. PLAN IT! Van Dam Custom Boats vandamboats.com MICHIGAN BLUE

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FA L L 2 0 2 2 | S K Y, S A N D & S U R F

The nightime heavenly views at Keweenaw Mountain Lodge’s new Dark Sky Park are stunning.

Starstruck Year-Round

Michigan’s newest international dark sky park joins a cluster of fabulous celestial observation sites around the state

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says John Mueller, owner of the lodge, which is located on 560 acres just a mile from town. Mueller bought the lodge and surrounding property from Keweenaw County over the past four years. He says both the northern lights and the Milky Way are sharply clear when nature cooperates. And when you watch the show on moonless nights, you’ll be awestruck by the profound, ancient panorama above. “Quiet and darkness and clean air really help you,” Mueller says. “We want to see more designated dark sky parks in the Upper Peninsula.” Once upon a time, before electricity and pollution, everywhere on Earth was worthy of

being called a dark sky park. People told time and fortunes by the stars, predicted events, and saw magical creatures overhead. These days, with lights everywhere, the world’s remaining dark places are more treasured and more scarce. An estimated 99 percent of Americans live under “sky glow,” an artificial brightening of the night sky that makes stars hard to see. In some places — think of the blazing lights found in big cities such as Detroit and Grand Rapids — people are lucky if they can see the moon and Big Dipper. But billions of stars are up there, and planets, and constellations, and the sparkling belt of the Milky Way. Many people need a

PHOTO COURTESY OF KEWEENAW MOUNTAIN LODGE/DARK SKY PARK

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he pitch-dark skies south of Copper Harbor in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula have been noticed. The location has “ideal conditions for observing the night sky,” the International Dark-Sky Association proclaimed in June, as it named the area at Keweenaw Mountain Lodge an official international dark sky park. The Keweenaw Dark Sky Park is Michigan’s third. Come fall, as days get shorter and nights get longer, the heavens are putting on a show. All you have to do to see it is look up. “In the winter it gets dark at 4:30 p.m., and it doesn’t get light till 9 or 9:30 in the morning,”

By Ellen Creager

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dark spot to remember what the night sky really looks like. Keweenaw Mountain Lodge, built in the 1930s by the Depression-era WPA, has cabins for rent year-round, as well as lowkey events focusing on night sky viewing and photography. Even visitors who don’t stay overnight are welcome to visit the dark sky park. Bright lights at the resort have been replaced by muted, downward-facing antiglare lights. The main attractions are silence, trees, and the big sky overhead. “People relax and see things they haven’t seen in years — the stars and constellations,” Mueller says. Copper Harbor isn’t the only place in Michigan where you can snag a dark sky view. In fact, Michigan now has three international dark sky parks, plus six state dark sky preserves, and you can drive just 90 minutes west of Detroit for the experience. A favorite spot for amateur astronomers is the Lake Hudson State Recreation Area. The park, in rural Clayton in Lenawee County, near the Ohio border, is a Michigan Dark Sky Preserve. It has simple campgrounds and a nice swimming beach, but its real claim to fame is the extremely dark sky overhead. Head to the parking lot near the lake on a

clear night and you’re likely to find amateur astronomers with giant telescopes setting up. Luckily, you don’t need fancy equipment; even binoculars will help you see the celestial sights. The other super-secret spot — until it became an International Dark Sky Park in 2020 — is the Dr. T.K. Lawless County Park, in tiny Vandalia in southwest Michigan. Run by the Cass County Parks Department, it features a wide night sky and plenty of stars glistening above. Other spectacular opportunities are on the Lake Huron side of the state. A trio of state parks — Negwegon, Thompson’s Harbor, and Rockport, near Alpena — are dark enough to offer fantastic star views, especially looking east over the lake. Port Crescent State Park in the Thumb’s Port Austin also boasts fine star-viewing, as does Wilderness State Park in Carp Lake. Finally, the popular Headlands International Dark Sky Park is just west of the Mackinac Bridge, and perches on two miles of undeveloped Lake Michigan coastline. The park’s popular night sky programming lasts through fall, says Jamie Westfall, park manager. But as winter descends, she adds, only hardy astronomer types show up for stargazing.

“We don’t have official programming in the winter, but we keep the trails open and groomed for cross-country skiing,” she says. The park even has two houses for rent, year-round, for anyone who wants a quiet, internet-free stay. Sleep well, stay warm, and stargaze as you wish. In fall, the constellation of Orion, the hunter, rises. He guards the skies in Michigan throughout the winter. Look up, and if it’s dark enough, you’ll see him.

PLAN IT! Where to find dark sky sites in Michigan: Headlands, Mackinaw City Dr. T.K. Lawless, Vandalia Keweenaw Mountain Lodge, Copper Harbor International Dark-Sky Association darksky.org Michigan Dark Sky Preserves Lake Hudson Recreation Area, Clayton Port Crescent State Park, Port Austin Negwegon State Park, Ossineke Rockport State Recreation Area, Alpena Thompson’s Harbor State Park, Rogers City Wilderness State Park, Carp Lake Search for dark sky at michigan.gov.

PHOTO COURTESY OF PURE MICHIGAN

The Headlands International Dark Sky Park near Mackinaw City, one of the state’s more extensive facilities, is located along the Lake Michigan shoreline.

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FA L L 2 0 2 2 | G E T O U T D O O R S

Where Rivers Run Ready for a real treat? Here’s where to fly fish for big trout and bass along southeast Michigan’s inland waterways By Bill Semion

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Paint Creek and Clinton River

A glance at the Michigan DNR’s fishing rules will quickly tell you that Paint Creek, near Rochester, is special. The five miles from Gunn Road to Tienken Road, rules say, is artificial lures only, with a two trout daily maximum, and a minimum size of 14 inches. But as guide Keith “Kip” Lowrie will tell you, most anglers you’ll see here don’t follow that stipulation. No, they don’t break the law. They practice catch-and-release, taking home the brown trout they capture here with a camera only. Lowrie has guided anglers for about 15 years, and learned his trade at a fly shop that 16

Keith Lowrie guides anglers on excursions to catch brown trout along the Paint Creek.

used to be in Rochester. He now concentrates on the Paint, and in spring and fall, the nearby Clinton River. “The Paint has gotten good because the state has stocked it,” Lowrie says, adding that he now sees a lot of natural reproduction. North of Rochester, the river is accessible, but anglers will have to pick and choose their angle of attack, due to natural obstructions and deep spots. If you hire Lowrie, you’ll fish about a quarter mile of the creek for a half-day of fun. You’ll catch a mix of rainbow and brown trout, along with some bluegill and rock bass. His biggest? “It was probably around 18 inches. I’ve tangled with a couple that were 20-plus, but couldn’t land ’em (on a thin line). We get a lot of 10 to 12 to 14-inchers, with a 16 being a nice fish. “Seventy percent of the people I take out are beginners, and 90 to 95 percent of the time we catch a few. The first trip of the season this year (usually early May), we caught seven or eight. Sometimes it takes a little more effort to get the fishing mechanics down,” Lowrie

explains. That’s usually addressed by a short casting lesson at the Rochester municipal park’s pond. His fishing trips usually begin around 8 a.m. and last until 11 a.m., and Lowrie provides snacks and water. “On the Clinton River (Paint Creek flows into the Clinton River), you’re looking for steelhead (a lake-run rainbow trout) from late February or early March to the first week of May. Once in a while you’ll also catch a brown trout. There’s more near Yates Cider Mill; most of the fishing takes place on that stretch. It’s known for its steelhead fishing in the spring and fall. The DNR normally stocks the Clinton with around 30,000 juvenile steelhead annually, and it also puts brown trout into the Paint.” The Paint warms up toward late June, and Lowrie stops fishing when the water temperatures approach 70 so the fish won’t get harmed. At higher temperatures, even catch-release is lethal, so he leaves Paint Creek alone until it fishes well again in September, until the season closes Sept. 30.

PHOTO COURTESY OF KEITH LOWRIE

hey’re here, believe it or not. Brown trout can be found hiding in undercut banks, in deep holes, and in treed shadows. They’re also joined by what many consider the fighting-est, most acrobatic freshwater species: the smallmouth bass. Normally you’ll find them only in northern Michigan’s storied trout rivers. You’re in for a surprise, however. I’m talking some select and oftenignored creeks and rivers you might enjoy walking beside, spending a summer or fall day exploring, or where you can also let the kids loose at a playground. Those rivers you may have been ignoring are, indeed, ones that fly anglers can fish in southeast Michigan. Here are a couple suggestions.

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Huron River, Area Lakes

PHOTOS COURTESY OF NEALL DOLLHOPF

In Dexter, near Ann Arbor, The Painted Trout’s manager/guide Neall Dollhopf arranges guided fly-fishing bass and panfish outings on local lakes and the Huron River. Dollhopf has been taking anglers on trips for about four years, and says the peak season is early to mid-June. If you’ve never fished for smallmouth bass with a fly and watched as a “greenback” explodes the surface when it attacks a lure, you’re in for a treat. “We primarily target smallmouth; that’s about 95 percent of what we do. We run programs for carp and for big bluegills, but most of what we do is for smallmouth bass on the Huron,” Dollhopf says. Most trips will run between the local chain of lakes to Ann Arbor’s Barton Pond. That chain, he says, is comprised of waters on the Huron River upstream of Pinckney. “You have Portage Lake and a whole number of them that make their way northeast-ish once you get out of Pinckney. The Huron-Clinton Metroparks such as

Guide Neall Dollhopf takes anglers out on the Huron River to try their luck landing smallmouth bass like the one he’s holding (left).

Hudson Mills, Dexter-Huron, and Delhi are where we find most of our access,” Dollhopf adds. “Most of the fish are in the 9- to 12-inch range, but the ones we’re going after are in the 17- to 20-inch range. We don’t see them too often for 20, but they’re definitely in there,” he says. Dollhopf meets customers at the takeout point. He does a shuttle run up to the put-in spot, where they get into the 14-foot metalframe inflatable fishing raft and go over important details before they start casting. “All you need is to bring yourself, a positive attitude, and anything you need to be comfortable on the water for five or six hours. We cover all gear,” he says. Dollhopf can take up to two anglers, and if they’re having fun, he’ll stay. “I don’t mind hanging out and catching as many (as we can) until people get tired.” Other times and places you might meet Dollhopf are evenings on lakes in the Waterloo and Pinckney recreation areas, including one of his favorites, Joslin Lake.

Other Options

If you’re still after trout, there are browns in Dexter’s Mill Creek, but access is an issue, Dollhopf says. Johnson Creek is reputed to be the only spring-fed creek cold enough to support brown — and even brook trout — in Wayne County, says Northville Mayor Brian Turnbull. Hatchery Park was the site of the nation’s first federal fish hatchery in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. You can see the creek from the park, and perhaps even cast a line — it’s another river waiting for you to explore.

PLAN IT! Keith Lowrie/Woodland Rivers Guide Service woodlandrivers.com Neall Dollhopf/The Painted Trout paintedtrout.com

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FA L L 2 0 2 2 | G E T O U T D O O R S

Fun and Camaraderie Great Lakes Paddlers celebrates 30 years of exploring Michigan’s waterways, together

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hen Sharon Clark bought her first kayak in 1999, she was disappointed that her “one and done” friends lost interest after just a single outing on the Huron River. So she was happy to find a classified newspaper ad for a southeast Michiganbased canoe and kayak club, Great Lakes Paddlers. Soon after, she attended a meeting in Ann Arbor. Clark was looking for paddling partners — active, outdoorsy folks who shared her enthusiasm for enjoying the fresh air and wildlife along Michigan’s waterways. Several years later, yellow kayak in hand, Tom Brandau showed up at the club’s annual New Year’s Day Paddle at Lower Huron Metropark in Belleville. He was looking for others who enjoyed cold-weather kayaking. 18

The club not only provided Brandau and Clark with the paddling pals they were seeking, but, as an unexpected bonus, the couple soon fell into a romance made on the water. “It’s been a great community for me,” says Clark, citing numerous lifelong friendships forged with club members in addition to her long-term domestic partnership with Brandau. Great Lakes Paddlers celebrated its 30th anniversary this summer with a membership that numbers 65, and includes both canoers and kayakers from three states and Canada. Upcoming annual events include the Day After Thanksgiving Paddle, which typically takes place in Milford, and the New Year’s Day Paddle, with a location that will be determined by weather conditions. On tap next year are a St. Patrick’s Day Paddle, which often takes place at Island

Lake State Park in Brighton; an Ice-Out Paddle at Bass Lake, near Hamburg, in late spring; and the Zukey Lake Paddle in May, with lunch at Zukey Lake Tavern in Pinckney. Great Lakes Paddlers owns several canoes and kayaks that members and guests can borrow. Personal flotation devices are required for all events. “We’ve had to turn paddlers away who come to our events with no PFD and a sixpack,” says Tom Gochenour of Waterford. Sandie Schulze of Chelsea founded the club in 1992 because, she says, it was often a challenge to find a paddling partner. “I will not go alone, ever,” she says, and adds that the club once recruited an American Canoe Association instructor to teach safety skills. “You should always paddle with someone else — there’s safety in numbers.”

PHOTOS COURTESY OF SHARON CLARK AND GREAT LAKES PADDLERS

By Susan R. Pollack

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Members of the Great Lakes Paddlers explore intriguing destinations, such as the Huron River (left) and Lake Huron’s Turnip Rock near Port Austin.

Vicki Schroeder, of Livonia, is a passionate paddler who says she often went kayaking on her own before joining Great Lakes Paddlers. She credits the club for getting her “to places I wouldn’t have gone on my own.” Schroeder also appreciates club members sharing safety and clothing tips (think paddling boots and hand-warming pogies), and has become an advocate regarding the importance of wearing PFDs and keeping a change of clothes in a dry bag. “Our club insists on that,”she says. Sometimes the club adds other activities, like bicycling or hiking, to paddling events. Cross-country ski outings and camping getaways also are popular, such as last summer’s trip to Port Austin to paddle around Lake Huron’s Turnip Rock. Last June, Brandau and Clark, who recently moved to west Michigan, organized a leisurely two-day Flat River paddle near Grand Rapids. The trip covered 11 miles from Greenville to Belding, and six miles from Belding to Lowell, complete with two covered bridges. The trip was a treat for Sondra Willobee and her husband, Ed, of Pinckney, who canoed the Au Sable River on their honeymoon 47 years ago, did white-water paddling for a

time, and joined Great Lakes Paddlers six years ago for the activities and camaraderie. “We liked how remote it felt, a small piece of seeming wilderness downstate,” says Sondra, a retired Methodist minister. “We saw deer fording the river, three eagles circling overhead, several great blue herons, an osprey, and a raccoon scratching in the mud along the bank.” Some members camped overnight at a county park and one stayed in her camper at an RV park. After the paddle, they went to Hop Hog Backyard Brewpub in Greenville. “Hydration breaks,” as club members call them, are a favorite part of business meetings, which are held the second Tuesday of each month. That’s when club members gather to discuss future plans and leave their paddles home. The club meets at a variety of taverns — good beer lists are required — in Wayne, Washtenaw, and Oakland counties. In addition to official events, individual members often schedule informal paddles after work on inland lakes such as Cass, Wolverine, or Middle Straits, where no shuttles are necessary to transport paddlers to put-in and take-out sites. Guests are welcome. Finding a paddling club was a top priority for Pat Slaven a few years ago when she moved

to Ann Arbor from Yonkers, N.Y., where she was the commodore of a paddling club. “I was here literally two weeks and hadn’t even unpacked yet,” says the veteran paddler, who has kayaked major chunks of the Mississippi, Hudson, and Green (Utah) rivers — and even built several of her own kayaks. Now she’s happily exploring her new paddling playground with the Great Lakes Paddlers. “I’m just in love with the Huron River and these chains of lakes,” says the retired Consumer Reports magazine engineer, citing the fun of navigating through culverts and canals and under bridges. “All this is sort of magical stuff.”

PLAN IT! Newcomers may test the GLP waters by attending two events per year before they’re asked to join the club. As several members explain, “It’s the most fun you can have for $15 per year” ($20/couple). The club contributes a portion of its annual dues to nonprofit organizations that protect several regional watersheds. Visit greatlakespaddlers.com.

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FA L L 2 0 2 2 | H E A D WAT E R S

A Lasting Legacy The Michigan Maritime Museum unveils its $3.7-million Heritage Center and expands its downtown South Haven campus By Chuck Warren

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ne of the most popular landmarks in the picturesque Lake Michigan harbor town of South Haven — the Michigan Maritime Museum — reopened in July after a complete facility rebuild, space upgrade, and campus expansion. The old building, perched on the edge of the Black River just across the Dykman Avenue drawbridge, was demolished last year and a $3.7-million, two-story, 18,000-squarefoot Heritage Center was erected in its place. Unlike similar organizations, the museum’s on-water excursions, along with growing visitor counts for changing exhibitions, events, and hands-on activities, have been responsible for more than 85 percent of the non-profit’s income. With that kind of financial foundation, an $8-million 20

capital campaign to upgrade and expand the main building, exhibits, and grounds, and to preserve maritime history in the region, began in 2019. The museum’s board wanted the project to reflect the harbor area’s marine heritage and to be an anchor for the downtown maritime district. It was equally important to uphold the vision and values that have made the museum a success. “We’re right in the center of it, so maintaining the beauty and the authenticity of the harbor was really important,” says museum board member Brian Bosgraaf, chairman of the museum’s capital campaign and building committees. Once planning began in earnest, the board was faced with another decision. “We did get tripped up a little bit as we were talking about facilities,” Bosgraaf adds.

“Were we going to be an event center on top of a museum, or were we going to be a world-renowned museum with meeting capabilities?” Although the new facility was designed to be a museum first, plans also included a designated learning center for education and multifunctional spaces that can host meetings, lectures, conferences, and social events such as weddings or gatherings, providing the museum with additional revenue and allowing it to reinvest in the museum’s mission and vision. “It was paramount to the board that we just weren’t going to have any debt,” Bosgraaf says. “We weren’t going to burden the museum and future boards, and future generations, with any type of mortgage. And we just weren’t going to build anything that wasn’t paid for.” The museum’s executive director, Patti Montgomery Reinert, says the facility and fleet often generate donations from unexpected sources. That fleet includes Friends Good Will, a 56-foot replica of an 1800s Great Lakes top sail sloop, a restored 36-foot U.S. Coast Guard motor lifeboat featured in the movie “The Finest Hour,” and Bernida, a 100-yearold racing sloop. Lindy Lou, a museum-built replica of an electric launch from the late 1800s and Merry Time, a donated 1921 Chris Craft Cadet, all

PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE MICHIGAN MARITIME MUSEUM

The new two-story Heritage Center fronts South Haven’s Black River.

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aspects of the project such as building docks and detailed customized cabinetry from aged timbers recovered from the Great Lakes. The engineering firm, Edgewater Resources, was chosen for development and architecture. Midwest Construction was the builder. With the purchase of the property next door, the museum campus has nearly doubled in size, expanding its waterfront footprint to just over 900 feet and making room for the project’s next chapter. Much of the grounds and on-water attractions also received attention and improvements. “The main part of phase two is a twostory building that looks like the old Coast Guard lifesaving station that used to be on the channel here in South Haven,” Bosgraaf says. “We won’t start that phase until we’re sure we have all the funding available.”At the time Michigan Blue spoke with him, he anticipated that would happen by the end of summer. Donations are welcome.

offer boat excursions on either Lake Michigan or the Black River. “It’s been amazing,”Reinert says.“I looked at my voicemail this morning and I received a call from a person who had visited over the Fourth of July holiday and saw what we were doing, and they wanted to make a $5,000 donation. So, people are excited.” Showtime: The new Getman Galleries will feature the exhibit “Full Steam Ahead,” allowing visitors to experience the golden age of steamship travel on the Great Lakes, popular during the early 1900s. Partially sponsored by a leading Michigan boat manufacturer, Tiara Yachts, the display will present the history of the great ships while also teaching visitors about the crew’s responsibilities and skills. “Tiara Yachts in Holland is one of our major sponsors,” Reinert says. “We thought that was a really nice collaboration, looking at recreational travel in the years gone by versus today.” Tiara is just one of the local companies that’s volunteering time or resources to the project. Bosgraaf’s company, Cottage Home, has pitched in in numerous ways, volunteering time and skills to assist in several

The popular Michigan Maritime Museum now features 18,000 square feet of expanded space for exhibits (above) and social events, conferences, and meetings (below).

PLAN IT! Michigan Maritime Museum michiganmaritimemuseum.org

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FA L L 2 0 2 2 | T H E P I K E

The Lake Michigan Circle Tour loops the waterfront of this massive natural treasure on a 1,110-mile adventure through four states By Dianna Stampfler

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ell before the official Lake Michigan Circle Tour route was established in 1987, travelers have been looping around the largest lake contained entirely within the U.S., the third largest of the Great Lakes, and the fifth largest lake in the world (by surface area). Chicago architect Daniel Burnham — for whom that town’s lakefront Burnham Park is named — appears to have been the first to verbalize the idea of creating a recreational trail around Lake Michigan, starting with the waterfront area in the Windy City. As chief of construction for the 1894 World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893, he transformed the city’s waterfront into a global showplace. His 1909 22

Plan of Chicago “envisioned a park boulevard along Chicago’s lakeshore that would bypass the city center and provide a relaxing scenic drive for residents to enjoy views of a great city and lakefront park.” As early as 1913, the Michigan section of this tourist route was known as the West Michigan Pike, stretching for the near entirety of the 356.5-mile-long U.S. 31, which was officially established in November 1926. The Pike, as it was affectionately called back then, was a historic trail that drew national travelers to explore scenic shoreline towns from the Indiana state line north to Mackinaw City. In 2016, this route became one of the state’s Pure Michigan Byways, further solidifying its place in tourism history.

This page: Sandy beaches, friendly towns, and tons of things to see and do are the stars along the Lake Michigan Circle Tour. Opposite page: The landmark green Circle Tour sign leads travelers to exciting destinations.

PHOTO BY CRAIG WATSON, COURTESY OF SAUGATUCK-DOUBLAS AREA CVB

Tracing Its Beginnings

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Route Background One of the earliest references to a (970mile) Lake Michigan Circle Tour was in the 1927 issue of The Record newspaper from Hackensack, N.J., a full 30 years before the Mackinac Bridge was opened to connect Michigan’s Upper and Lower peninsulas. Several papers picked up the wire service story about this Great Lakes excursion, introducing travelers around the country to the unique trip (which is, in fact, 1,100 miles, through four states). In the late 1940s, Greyhound began offering a five-day trip around Lake Michigan for just $34.80; by 1956, the trip had expanded to eight days for a mere $103.08. Throughout the following decades, tour operators began adding this mostly rural route to their

itinerary catalogs for individuals and groups looking for a freshwater coastal excursion. A 1963 issue of The Escanaba Daily Press also made note of the influence that circle tour routes could have, specifically for the Upper Peninsula.“There is also evident a developing traffic in a Lake Michigan circle tour,”said Dr. Frank Suggit, a development planner who addressed members of the Upper Michigan Tourist Association in Marquette that fall. “Many persons in the Lower Peninsula are going to Chicago and then up through Wisconsin to the Upper Peninsula.” After Michigan’s then First Lady Paula Blanchard successfully established a circle tour route around Lake Superior in 1986, talks quickly focused on Lake Michigan — the only one of the Great Lakes located

entirely within the U.S. One of the leaders of this initiative was Jack Morgan, of the Michigan Department of Transportation, who worked with former State Rep. Mickey Knight of Muskegon and tourism leaders from throughout west Michigan to bring the idea to fruition.

Working Together The transportation departments from the four Lake Michigan states — Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana — worked quickly to establish the route. The plan came together in about six weeks, according to a 1987 article in The Times of Munster, Ind. The announcement of the formal agreement was made during National Tourism Week, May 18-23, 1987. MICHIGAN BLUE

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FA L L 2 0 2 2 | T H E P I K E

Printed Guide In 1988, the inaugural 52-page Lake Michigan Circle Tour Guide was released. It contained information about more than 220 travel-related businesses in more than 90 cities. “The places included a toy train factory, wineries, self-pick orchards, wooden shoe factories, cider mills, bed and breakfast inns, hotels, motels, condos, dune rides, golf, selfdrive ORVs, casino gambling, a gold pyramid house, a football hall of fame, World War II submarines, a dried flower barn, and music museum,” according to several wire service articles. Many of these businesses — along with places like wineries, breweries, and, of course, miles of sugar sand beaches — still welcome visitors. 24

The West Michigan Tourist Association distributed a media release about its new publication, with coverage appearing in newspapers from Grand Rapids and Detroit to Texas, New Mexico, and even as far away as Hawaii. But it was a short news brief in a 1988 issue of the Chicago Tribune that put the guide on the map. On the Monday after the brief appeared, 150 callers from the Chicago area alone requested the new publication. Two days later, an overburdened mail carrier unloaded 700 requests for the guide from people in Illinois and Wisconsin. The next day, more than 1,000 mail and phone requests poured in. On its 10-year anniversary in 1998, the expanded guide was rechristened the Lake

Michigan Circle Tour & Lighthouse Guide, featuring an index with details about each of the 100-plus lights. An online version of the guide was introduced in 2001 on wmta.org, and in 2007, the guide was again reformatted into a large fold-out map and index.

Promoting the Lake “The West Michigan Tourist Association has been publishing the circle tour and lighthouse map since the beginning of the route, and it remains one of the most popular publications that we produce,”says Dan Sipple, the nonprofit organization’s CEO and executive director. “It can be viewed online at wmta.org, where visitors can also request a printed copy to be mailed out.”

PHOTO COURTESY OF WHITE LAKE AREA TOURISM BUREAU

“The creation of the Lake Michigan Circle Tour is a good example of how governments should work,” Mickey Knight says, 35 years later. “(It was) a bipartisan, multistate cooperative process with a beneficial result for citizens. Jack Morgan was the catalyst and coordinator who put together — and held together — this coalition and made it work.” An Associated Press story appeared in a variety of newspapers in 1987 reporting that 469 signs had been erected along 600 miles of the route in Michigan alone. Each state was responsible for making and paying for their own signs, which at the time cost just $50 each. “The rule of thumb was to sign the continuous state trunkline closest to the shoreline,” says Jack Morgan, who in 1987 was the assistant to the chief deputy director of the transportation department. “The green logo sign was to be placed before and after each turn in the route, and at least (within) every 10-mile interval. In addition, local governments could place brown logo (spur route) signs to promote local routes closer to the shoreline.” Once the Lake Michigan Circle Tour was formally introduced, it was time to focus on marketing this motor route. The West Michigan Tourist Association, formed in 1917 and today recognized as the oldest continually operating regional tourist association in the country, was contracted to develop the first tour-related publication.

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PHOTO BY CRAIG WATSON, COURTESY OF SAUGATUCK-DOUGLAS AREA CVB

T H E P I K E | FA L L 2 0 2 2

This page: The beaches stretch for miles near Sagatuck and Douglas. Opposite page: Travelers following the Circle Tour will find plenty of dune runs along the stunning sands near White Lake and Montague.

For generations now, travelers have discovered a wealth of cultural treasures along the Lake Michigan Circle Tour. Some travel by personal vehicle, others load up their RV for a camping excursion, motorcyclists find it an enjoyable and scenic ride, and bicyclists can discover a one-of-akind endurance trip through mostly rural areas, with a handful of urban centers like Chicago and Milwaukee mixed in. Those wishing for a shorter route may opt to cut across Lake Michigan between Ludington (Michigan) and Manitowoc (Wisconsin) aboard the historic Lake Michigan Car Ferry the SS Badger, or between Muskegon (Michigan) and Milwaukee

(Wisconsin) aboard the Lake Express. These cross-lake options also provide unique frouting options to shake things up a bit. “I’m proud to have been part of creating the Lake Michigan Circle Tour and hope that it’s a legacy that will live on for many more generations to enjoy,” Morgan says.“In today’s technology-driven world, it provides a great opportunity for people to disconnect and enjoy some of the unique splendor Lake Michigan has to offer.”

PLAN IT! Lake Michigan Circle Tour For a map (pictured at right) and itinerary tips, visit wmta.org and search for the circle tour. Contributor Dianna Stampfler, a noted Lake Michigan Circle Tour speaker, is the author of “Michigan’s Haunted Lighthouses” and “Death & Lighthouses on the Great Lakes.” MICHIGAN BLUE

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T H E P I K E | FA L L 2 0 2 2

FA L L 2 0 2 2 | T H E P I K E

Return of a Native How a coalition’s efforts may help the Arctic grayling make a comeback in Michigan rivers

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t almost the same time that the passenger pigeon was disappearing from the skies of northwest lower Michigan near Oden, another Michigan native — the iridescent silvery, dorsal-finned Arctic grayling — was also in serious trouble. Like the pigeons that once darkened the skies with their numbers, the delicate fish that once were caught with abandon — the town of Grayling was named for them — were eventually wiped out from the Lower Peninsula’s streams due to overfishing, habitat destruction by logging, and other factors. In 1936, the last Arctic grayling was reported caught in the Upper Peninsula. In about 1920, a state fish hatchery opened in Oden near the banks of Crooked Lake, about six miles from Petoskey, near where the grayling once swam. That hatchery 26

is now playing a key role in an effort to return the Arctic grayling to Michigan. The endeavor involves DNR biologists, volunteers including the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, the Michigan Arctic Grayling Initiative, and a 10-year-old boy. The idea to return grayling to Michigan waters began with failed attempts, the last of which occurred in the 1980s. Now, with the help of studies conducted by biologists in Montana, the Michigan DNR believes it has the answer: introducing fish from the time they’re eggs into a stream so the developing eggs actually “imprint,” or learn where they’re located. The first steps take place at an isolated building at the Oden Hatchery — and while you can’t visit it, the rest of the facility responsible for raising and releasing nearly 750,000 rainbow and brown trout annually is open for guided tours.

It’s a great way to introduce youth to science, biology in particular, and to give them an up-close, even underwater, view of wild fish, explain Christine Steensma, an interpreter at the hatchery visitor center, and Pat Van Daele, the hatchery’s natural resource manager. A visit starts at the interpretive center, site of the original hatchery building, and includes a walk-through of a railroad car operated by the former Michigan Department of Conservation, which transported young fish across the state when rail was the only way to reach many rivers in the early 20th century. Crews would then pour the young into streams from milk cans. Nowadays, the fish are driven to rivers in aerated tank trucks. You’ll walk up a trail with your guide past interpretive signs to a below-ground viewing area where your family can press their noses

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE MICHIGAN DNR

By Bill Semion

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PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE MICHIGAN DNR (ABOVE); LAURA SHULTZ (BELOW)

T H E P I K E | FA L L 2 0 2 2

against the glass wall to be immersed in a fish’s underwater environment. Visitors can feed fish at the hatchery viewing pond, where Van Daele says now-retired brood fish that provided the hatchery’s trout eggs live out their lives and entertain visitors. Back to our story. After biologists figured out how to improve survival, the first batch of grayling eggs arrived at Oden in 2019 from the Chena River in Alaska, outside Fairbanks, a favorite place for anglers to catch and release wild grayling. Covid prevented the second batch from arriving until 2021. A third lot, brought back to Michigan in carry-on luggage by DNR employees, arrived in early June. They’re being raised in that special isolation building, where they’re tested for disease when they arrive. Even the water leaving the building is treated with filters and ultraviolet light, to ensure it doesn’t spread anything to Michigan fish. The first 5,000 hatched grayling, each about 6.5 inches long, were transported by truck to the Marquette hatchery, where the water is better suited to raise these brood fish to provide eggs for release in streams yet to be selected. Grayling and brown trout, introduced from Europe, don’t get along, so streams with few or no browns have to be carefully chosen to ensure the grayling’s survival. That selection, and introduction in special streamside incubators that will circulate the same water the fish will eventually inhabit, may come around 2025 if all goes according to plan. Which brings us back to those volunteers, including Declan O’Reilly, age 10, one of the youngest supporters of the Michigan Arctic Grayling Initiative, which raises funds to help reintroduce the fish. “I think it’s cool to bring (the grayling) back because Michigan deserves to have native fish instead of non-native,” O’Reilly says. He’s raised more than $3,800 through donations, sales of T-shirts designed by his artist uncle, Matthew Shultz of Seattle, and other efforts. The money was given to the Petoskey-Harbor Springs Community Foundation, which holds the Arctic Grayling Reintroduction Fund created in partnership

This page, above: Visitors can tour the indoor raceways similar to where the brood graylings were raised. Right: Declan O’Reilly played a big role in volunteer and fundraising activities for the grayling initiative. Opposite page: Students on a field trip feed the now-retired brood fish at one of the hatchery’s outdoor viewing ponds.

with the DNR and the Michigan Arctic Grayling Initiative. O’Reilly’s contributions were inspired by his visit to the Oden Hatchery. “I went to the fish hatchery and I saw a sticker, and I liked it. It was about a fund to get money to help bring them back. I went on the website and looked at a video, and I got more into it,” he says.“On my birthday, I asked for money (instead of gifts) to donate to the project.” Other initiative supporters include the Little River Band of Ottawa. Their work began in 2011, with the goal of reintroducing the fish to the Upper Manistee River system, and potentially the Ottaway-Boardman system near Traverse City. There are lots of pieces to this story that all

need to mesh to make the grayling’s return to Michigan a reality. Some estimates are that it may take 20 or 25 years before it’s known whether the reintroduction was successful enough so natural reproduction occurs. By then, perhaps O’Reilly will be taking his own family to see what his foresight and that of others created: the return of the grayling to its native waters.

PLAN IT! Michigan Arctic Grayling Initiative migrayling.org Michigan Fish Hatcheries michigan.gov/hatcheries MICHIGAN BLUE

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C H O O S E T H E A F F O R D A B L E P AY M E N T WITH NORTHPOINTE BANK 30-Year Fixed Rate Purchase

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northpointe.com/home 1- Interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) as of August 18, 2022. APR and example payments are based on a purchase transac�on of an owner-occupied single-family residence in Grand Rapids, Michigan with a loan amount of $200,000, credit score of 740, down payment of 25% with tax and insurance escrows. Base APR is quoted and may vary depending on individual credit history and transac�on. May require par�cipa�on in Northpointe's automa�c payment program. All loans are subject to credit review and approval. This is not a commitment to lend. Rates subject to change without no�ce. 2- The interest rates and annual percentage rates obtained from lender websites as of August 18, 2022.

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DESIGN CURRENTS

PHOTO COURTESY OF JEFF GARLAND

38 A pretty sunroom overlooks this Lake St. Clair view. Read more in Design Stars.

32 Designers’ Notebook Poetry/photo winner, cool cabinetry store, faux tannenbaums, and a landscape-design legend.

32 Studio Visit A Port Austin multimedia artist combines her “maker passion” with the flora and fauna of her life.

38 Design Stars Rachel Nelson and Annie Kordas create beauty in a lakeside master bedroom and sunroom.

42 The Elements Tartan-toasty, movie-night essentials, and stylish serving trays.

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DESIGNERS’ NOTEBOOK Home-related tips, trends, and tidbits

DELICIOUS DESIGN: Kristine Lyn Granger of Marquette won the grand prize (both poetry and photo) in the Mackinac Arts Council’s annual Poetic Visions of Mackinac competition. “Winter Blue” was photographed through the frosty glass of an inn where Granger was an artist-inresidence on Mackinac Island. It shows winter as a quiet, fallow time of rest. kristinegrangerart.com, mackinacartscouncil.org. MORE CABINETS: Bakes & Kropp Fine Cabinetry recently opened a showroom in Bay Harbor. The launch party took place at the Chatham House Lifestyle Gallery on Front Street in Petoskey. It’s the second Michigan location for the company (the other is in Plymouth). bakesandkropp.com. JUST LIKE REAL: The holidays are around the corner; will you be decking your cottage? Balsam Hill sells lifelike artificial Christmas trees and more. The company was started by a man who’s allergic to live trees but wanted a festive atmosphere in his home. His mission: to offer the most realistic and luxurious artificial trees available. balsamhill.com. LANDSCAPE TOME: “Experiencing Olmsted: The Enduring Legacy of Frederick Law Olmsted’s North American Landscapes” ($50, Workman Publishing, hardcover) features some of America’s most iconic landscapes, including Belle Isle, which is located on the Detroit River in Detroit. The book is a must-have for landscape and garden lovers. workman.com. — Compiled by Megan Swoyer

Have news about waterfront living? Email MSwoyer@Hour-Media.com. 32

Dream Weaver

A Port Austin-based artist combines her ‘maker passion’ with the flora and fauna of her life to create magical paintings By Megan Swoyer

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t was a family move in 1974 to northern Michigan that would have the biggest impact on Bonnie Lalley’s artwork. Moving from Detroit to her grandfather’s 200-acre farm near Rogers City at the age of 16 brought Lalley to what she called a “very wild”environment. “It was going from an intense urban experience to what was then a wilderness. That move had a strong formative influence on me as a creative person and artist,” Lalley says. As flora and fauna are main sources for all her work, one can see how her “big adventure on an ancient family farm” inspired her expressions. You can view the artist’s works at the Saginaw Art Museum in Saginaw, where 15 pieces are on display through Nov. 18. “It

was a huge honor to be asked to do a solo show there,” Lalley says of the exhibit, which is called “The Circumference of a Garden.” Lalley’s current collage-style creations convey what she says is her true voice. After receiving her master’s degree in fine art from the University of Illinois, Lalley taught drawing at various colleges until she moved to the country with her husband, cabinetmaker and designer Timothy Lalley, and their daughter. The Lalleys live in a restored 1911 farmhouse in Port Austin, near Lake Huron. They share their property with a handful of chickens that are “friends, not chickens,” Lalley says with a chuckle. Dog Pip also resides at the farmhouse. The nearby woods and ever-changing Lake Huron, which the family enjoys daily, have “imbued our lives and creative practices with atmosphere and passion.” Like many artists, Lalley’s work has undergone a transformation over the years. “I painted traditional landscapes and portraits in oils for many years, but I felt like I was kind of repeating what’s been said over and over again. I didn’t have my own voice,” she says. About 10 years ago, Lalley began to find that voice. Moved by the works of Mary Delany, an 18th-century artist who used cut paper and collaging techniques to create detailed botanical illustrations for books,

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Lalley says she realized she “didn’t want to do small. I wanted to make people sit up and take notice.” She also had been impressed by Maria Sibylla Merian’s works. A German-born Swiss naturalist, Merian was a 17th-century scientific illustrator who demonstrated, through her drawings, such processes as the life cycle of caterpillars. “The work of those two women got me thinking differently, and I moved on to paper,”Lalley says. From her upstairs home studio that has “amazing light, thanks to the skylights and the northern exposure,” the artist uses a variety of water-based paints, inks, gouache, Japanese

rice paste, acrylics, and her handmade walnut ink to turn out on large sheets of cotton-based paper intriguing worlds in which the viewer becomes lost in everything from cut-outs to individual paintings to texture — which often comes from gold foil from chocolate wrappers or paper pieces she’s saved from butter sticks. Lalley cuts, paints, draws, and applies. She often bends and crouches atop her large works (4 by 5 feet and larger) until she gets what she’s after — a fascinating, multilayered look. What the viewer gets is admission into imaginative theatrics where a mingling of cut-outs, papers, and paintings invite story creation.

“I might paint something right onto the paper, but then some objects are maybe painted separately and cut out and applied. Often, the cut-out shapes that are left over are even more interesting to me. ”Of course, she’ll work those leftovers into a creation. “My husband frames all my work; he mills the wood for all my frames. I’m so spoiled and lucky.” Asked to name her style of work, Lalley hesitates. “I’ve revisited the term ‘lyrical’ again. I used it when I was teaching, and I think it does apply to my work today,” the artist says.“Lyrical is defined as an emotional expression of an idea or experience. I’d say my work is lyrical interpretations.”

This page: Bonnie Lalley’s work blends her passion for flora and fauna with her keen eye for compositon and color. Opposite page: Lalley works on one of her favorite pieces, “The Water Shear.”

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Bird life shows up in many of Lalley’s works. The artist says nearby woods and Lake Huron have “imbued our lives and creative practices with atmosphere and passion.” Shown here are: “Down by the Riverside,” left; “A Midsummer Morning,” below right; and “The Water Shear,” below left.

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Inspired by her daily walks and Lake Huron swims, Lalley’s masterpieces, which evolve organically as she works on them, are “driven by the natural world,” she says. And, of course, all those hours spent outside at her grandfather’s farm.

MORE INFORMATION: Bonnie Lalley’s work can be viewed at bonnielalley.squarespace.com. “The Circumference of a Garden” exhibit runs at the Saginaw Art Museum (saginawartmuseum. org) through Nov. 18. Also, if you’re walking around Tower Park in downtown Port Austin, you can see one of her pieces (“Shipwreck”) printed on a huge panel.

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Autumn

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DISCOVER HOLLAND

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FA L L 2 0 2 2 | D E S I G N S TA R S

Easy-Breezy

This sunroom on Lake St. Clair welcomes friends and family with a fresh new look

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By Megan Swoyer | Photography by Jeff Garland

nce interior designer Annie Kordas took a good look at the sunroom in this 1938 Cape Cod-style Grosse Pointe Shores home on Lake St. Clair, she knew exactly what to do. With just a few additions and makeovers, the room would go from dark and earthy to inviting, light, and ship-shape. “It had a traditional feel, with brocades and velvets. There wasn’t much in the way of coastal or nautical energy,” Kordas says. The woman of the home was ready for a new look and asked Kordas to make it breezier and lighter.“The couple had just gotten married, and she wanted it to be sophisticated but with a bit of a feminine touch, too.” Kordas, who owns Annie Kordas Interiors, based in Grosse Pointe Farms, injected the space with rich blues, intriguing patterns, fresh accents, and a tiny nod to nautical. 38

“We brought in a hint of nautical; I like to keep that look subtle and tasteful, and less is certainly more,” says the designer, who also redesigned many of the homes’ other rooms. For homeowners looking to create a fresh look that complements water views at their cottages or full-time lakeside homes, Kordas says new paint colors and reupholstered furnishings are a great way to start. In the room shown here, Kordas had the chairs wrapped in a Schumacher Crusoe Ikat fabric and reupholstered the sofa in a Schumacher Navy performance linen. The ceiling and trim were painted in White Dove by Benjamin Moore, while the walls were painted in Benjamin Moore’s Silver Cloud. The existing rug and floor were fine, Kordas says. In fact, the rug is neutral in tone and it’s an indoor-outdoor piece, so it works well for a lakeside look. “We purchased new accessories, including Riviera table lamps

from Palecek, a lucite drink table from the John-Richard Collection (keeping the look light), and a more size-appropriate coffee table from Braxton Culler that complemented the room’s round dining table and chairs. An antique hand-crafted live-edge chair, placed beside an aqua ceramic garden seat, adds to the mix. The round rattan table and chairs were already in the space. “We chose to recover the four dining chairs in the same Kravet Taupe Ostrich Leather that borders the custom flatweave rug in the adjacent room,” Kordas says. “Rattan works well in these types of settings.” Adding simple touches like a suncatcher to enhance the reflection of the morning sun off the lake, a driftwood bowl of lake rocks on the round table, and large antique calcite rocks on side tables gives subtle recognition to the nautical surroundings, Kordas explains. A brass antique sailboat sculpture and an

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DESIGN STA R’S SECR ET According to designer Annie Kordas, “My No. 1 goal in any space is to make a room that invites your guests’ eyes to look around in wonderment and quietly think to themselves: ‘that’s so cool, I wonder where they found that!’ ” As for achieving a lakeshore vibe, she says: “Subtle is a word I would use to describe the nautical touches used to punctuate the space shown here. Many of them are one-of-a-kind curios, especially the riveting live-edge wood chair. It feels like a piece of art and is actually comfortable! There’s always a balance with design. I find that clean lines, crisp colors, and purposeful, unique accessories always enhance a space. It’s easy to take things too far, and then the space becomes kitsch.” — MS

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Both pages, clockwise from left: The home was built in 1938. Its sunroom features new paint colors and reupholstered furnishings. Designer Annie Kordas.

antique fish tray in a bright orange shade (from Judy Frankel Antiques in Troy) add to the mix without being heavy-handed. Some light linen and cotton pillows and a wool throw blanket for the winter months (all from Williams-Sonoma Home) are more casual elements. A bronze and oxidized blue chess set adds another tone of blue, in addition to the two original, signed ceramic vessels (filled with fresh moss) in differing shades of turquoise that sit on a heavy “ruffled”driftwood tray. “Overall, I think we brought that beautiful water in,” Kordas says. As for window treatments, they’re nonexistent. “We wanted to keep it all open to make the most of the view,”she says.

Lake St. Clair is a freshwater lake that lies between the Canadian province of Ontario and Michigan. Native Americans gave the lake many names, and its present-day title was bestowed upon it in 1679 by French explorer Robert de la Salle, who arrived on its shores on the feast day of St. Clare of Assisi. The lake is part of the Lake Erie basin and is nestled between the St. Clair River and the Detroit River systems. At 430 square miles in surface area with an average depth of 11 feet, Lake St. Clair is much smaller and shallower than the Great Lakes, but features one of the largest sport fisheries in the world. Nearly a third of the entire annual Great Lakes sport fish catch is pulled from the waters of this lake. — MS

MORE INFORMATION: anniekordasinteriors.com MICHIGAN BLUE

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FA L L 2 0 2 2 | D E S I G N S TA R S

The Essence of Water A creative master bedroom makeover elevates a home on Lake Novi in Walled Lake

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By Jeanine Matlow | Photography by Brett Mountain

hen the Mette family purchased a modern lake house in Walled Lake that could accommodate their extended family, a decision was made to add a second story. As a result, the master bedroom wound up with a “bump out” that would limit their living and storage space. “It was a big triangle that impeded our ability for a good layout, but we were able to take that eyesore and embrace it,” Rachel Nelson says. In the end, the CEO and principal of Detroit-based Concetti saved the day with an impressive custom built-in to complement existing features like vaulted ceilings and wood beams. Function is a top priority for the designer, who incorporated niches that can double as

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nightstands in the sophisticated built-in and sconces that can be controlled from the bed. The rich nautical blue finish makes the headboard, closets, and drawers a focal point. A chic seating area was added for the couple and their two children, who also enjoy a balcony that faces the lake. When Nelson studied design for a semester in Italy, a seasoned professor who worked for Gucci and Ferragamo told her that concepts (concetti in Italian) were her strength, because she knew how to weave them through her work without being too literal — as she did here. “We wanted to extrapolate the essence of water without literally putting anchors on the wall,” Nelson says. “They loved the idea of cognac, which looked like the sun setting.” That set the palette for the organic shade that

pairs beautifully with the blues and other neutrals in the room. Her clients also love their location on one of the largest lakes in Oakland County. “They have a plethora of water goodies — a boat, jet skis, and water skis,” Nelson says. “They spend all day on the lake and have bonfires on the water side at night. They use it all year round. They ice fish in the winter, have bonfires in the fall, and they’re on the water all summer long, entertaining family and friends.”

MORE INFORMATION: concetti.studio

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DESIGN STA R’S SECR ET On the water, interior designer Rachel Nelson believes in embracing the views and making design selections that help blur the lines between inside and out. “Lakefront home or not, we get to know the client and what makes them tick, then embrace the surroundings and merge the two ideas,” she says. “They were in love with this cognac color, which repeats itself in the design and brings the outdoors in.” — JM

LA K E LI FE LOW DOW N

Both pages, clockwise from right: Sailorstyle blues add depth. Designer Rachel Nelson. A cozy sitting area. Mom and daughter enjoy storytime. Vaulted ceilings and wood beams create a gorgeous space.

Rachel Nelson doesn’t have to go far to find her seasonal sweet spot. “I love going to Kensington Metropark in the summer with my family, to enjoy the lakes out there,” she says. “We love to have beach days. We barbecue and hang out, making beautiful memories, making s’mores, and hanging out in the water all day.” — JM

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FA L L 2 0 2 2 | T H E E L E M E N T S

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Tartan-Toasty

It’s all about texture and warmth with these easyon-the-eyes classic accents Styled by Jamie Fabbri 1. The Foremost Chair by WESLEY HALL is a current spin on a classic piece. To the trade, CAI Designs, Michigan Design Center, Troy, michigandesign.com, wesleyhall.com.

3. Hand-knotted, all-wool rugs by FRENCH ACCENTS are perfect transitional pieces. Price upon request, The Ghiordes Knot, Michigan Design Center, Troy, farugs. com, michigan-design.com.

2. This modern plaid peel-andstick wallpaper by TEMPAPER instantly transforms any space. $42.99/roll, Eckhoff and De Vries, Grand Rapids, eckhoffdevries.com, tempaper.com.

4. Add a pastel touch with the Darning Sampler Plaid Pillow by MAHARAM DESIGN STUDIO. $200, Design Within Reach, Grand Rapids, dwr.com.

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5. Cozy up with the thick, warm, and stylish Vinga Throw by KLIPPAN YLLEFABRIK. $195, Design Within Reach, Grand Rapids, dwr.com. shopcountinghouse.com, 6. Go bold and bright with Hamada, a large-scale plaid fabric in fuchsia/marine by HARLEQUIN. To the trade, zoffany.com.

7. FABRICUT’s Apolline fabric in rouge is a traditional choice. To the trade, fabricut.com 8. You can’t go wrong with gingham (shown in black and gold) from HARTMANN & FORBES’ Max Humphrey Collection. To the trade, hartmannforbes.com.

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FA L L 2 0 2 2 | T H E E L E M E N T S

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Movie Night!

Pop the popcorn, find a flick, and get cozy Styled by Jamie Fabbri 1. There’s room for the whole family on this Classic Sectional by THAYER COGGIN. To the trade, CAI Designs, Michigan Design Center, Troy, michigandesign.com, thayercoggin.com. 2. This Striped Floorbed from ARHAUS adds unique seating and style to your space. $179, Arhaus, Ann Arbor and Troy, arhaus.com.

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3. The Emile Chaise by VERELLEN features modern curves and sleek styling. Starting at $5,940, Chatham House Lifestyle Gallery, Bay Harbor, chathamhouseinteriordesign. com, verellen.biz. 4. Make the ultimate movie snack right at home with this Classic-Style Popcorn Maker by CUISINART. $99.95, Crate & Barrel, Novi, crateandbarrel. com, cuisinart.com

5. This Large Popcorn Bowl from CRATE & BARREL makes a fun addition to your spread. $24.95, Crate & Barrel, Novi, crateandbarrel.com. 6. You’ll always have chilled drinks on hand with BIG CHILL’s Beverage Fridge. $1,995, bigchill.com.

Lifestyle Gallery, Bay Harbor, chathamhouseinteriordesign. com, verellen.biz. 8. Warm up in front of the big screen with these lightweight soft throw blankets from COTTAGE WORKS. $40, Cottage Works, Ludington, yourcottageworks.com.

7. Keep drinks close at hand on the Lago Table by VERELLEN (shown in walnut). $2,280, Chatham House

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sugar hill

Welcome to Sugar Hill! Seven Modern Homes designed to take in the natural light and views of this special setting. Walk the trails to Oval Beach or Chain Ferry to Downtown Saugatuck for shopping and dining. Surrounded by hundreds of acres of Conservation Area, Sugar Hill is your place away to relax, unwind and enjoy life.

For more information please call 616.235.0711 or visit our website at www.mosaiccustomhomes.com

THE FINE ART OF NEIGHBORHOOD

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FA L L 2 0 2 2 | T H E E L E M E N T S

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Super stylish trays perfect for fall entertaining or Thanksgiving at the cottage Styled by Jamie Fabbri

1. Go for the gold with the Marzia Tray by AERIN. $195, Neiman Marcus, Troy, aerin. com, neimanmarcus.com. 2. This Copper Lazy Susan by NATIVE TRAILS ensures everyone can easily join in on the feast. Starting at $385, Williams Studio, Kentwood, nativetrailshome.com, thewilliamsstudio.com

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3. MADE GOODS’ Ambrose XL Square Tray Sets are beautiful and durable. To the trade, CAI Designs, Michigan Design Center, Troy, madegoods.com, michigandesign.com. 4. The Large Striped Capiz Tray by JOANNA BUCHANAN is constructed of handpieced capiz shells and then hand-painted. $288, joannabuchanan.com

5. HAAND’s Cheese Tray (shown in fern) is long and low-lipped for serving cheeses, bruschetta, or making a stunning presentation of whole fish. $95, haand.us. 6. This glass tray from the LIGHTING RESOURCE STUDIO gives glam vibes. Price upon request, Lighting Resource Studio, Michigan Design Center, Troy, michigandesign.com.

7. The Klasa Small Dark Gold Platter (shown with dishes) from ARHAUS is ideal for hors d’oeuvres. $79, Arhaus, Ann Arbor and Troy, arhaus.com. 8. Santorini Serving Trays from COTTAGE WORKS feature blue-and-white patterns and jute handles. $30 (small), $50 (large), Cottage Works, Ludington, yourcottageworks. com.

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Christine DiMaria Design

(616) 299-9229 | Christine@ChristineDiMariaDesign.com

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Crooked Lake Prairie

Great Lake Story 2022 42° North: Chapter Three

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hen building a home from the ground up — especially on sandy, waterfront ground that has a tendency to shift and slide with the whims of the weather — a solid foundation is a critical element. For Jeff and Annette Brennan, whose Crooked Lake home is the subject of this Great Lake Story, that foundation is as much about the literal infrastructure as it is about the intangible confidence that comes from the stable, competent, collaborative team that Ryan La Haie, of 42° North – Architecture + Design, assembled to deliver the finished product.

In addition to La Haie’s sound design, Christine DiMaria’s impressive interior styling and décor, and Jeff Cnossen’s expert construction, two additional contractors played instrumental roles in creating a home that’s effortless in both form and function. Kirshman Kitchen & Bath Design Studio built the vast majority of the custom cabinetry, while TruMedia equipped the home with the technology to automate everything from lighting to shades to entertainment, and more. One of the challenges with a design that leans toward the contemporary is that, in its simplicity, it risks looking boring. Kyle Kirshman ensured that the Brennans’ home was no such thing. Floating shelves offer relief amid the many wrap-around kitchen cabinets. A bookmatched, granite-topped island with waterfall edges serves as both a centerpiece and a subtle work of art. Modern colors and textures in the lower-level bar, including a corrugated steel backdrop and aluminum banding on the wine rack, attract the eye and provide interest without being over the top. “Jeff and Annette gave me a lot of freedom,” Kirshman says. “By making the interior feel like it reflects the style of the home itself, it will never go out of style and will always feel like it belongs. That was my inspiration for the design.” In addition to free rein, what also made all of these custom details possible is that Kirshman doesn’t use factory-made, catalog-ordered cabinets. “We don’t know what a customer’s cabinets will look like until we design them,” he says. “We have great flexibility; we use our creativity and imaginations, which helps tremendously when designing. We can really do anything.”

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Most important is the satisfaction of the homeowner, and the Brennans couldn’t be happier. “There were several times where challenges were overcome because of Kyle’s standards and commitment to quality,” Annette Brennan says. “Our kitchen is fantastic; it’s the true heart of the home, and the bathrooms and bar are gorgeous.” Beyond the pleasing appearance of the home is a sense of carefully curated ambience, provided by TruMedia. The company worked extensively with the Brennans, as well as La Haie, to understand how they live and what’s important to them. TruMedia’s goal was to use technology to enhance the space without it feeling over-orchestrated or confusing to use. The result is a series of scenes, or moods, that control the lighting, raise and lower the shades, and engage the entertainment systems — all either pre-programmed or accessible with the touch of a finger. In keeping with the desire to maintain the aesthetics of the home, it’s all achieved with a single, six-button keypad that blends seamlessly with the towering stone wall in the entryway. “The Brennans’ home has become a living, breathing system, and working with an integrator is what brings that all together,” Amanda Wildman, co-owner of TruMedia, says. “We’re kind of like the nervous system. These automations make (the Brennans) feel at ease in their home. They complement the design work of Ryan and Christine, and intensify the glow of the sun as it sets over the lake.” For the Brennans, these features balance a modern, high-tech feel with simplicity of operation. “TruMedia really are experts in the latest technology in home automation, and this project became a showcase for what’s possible in lighting, audio, security, and automated window blinds,” Jeff Brennan says. “The technology is hidden, but convenient to use — and being able to control the comfort of the home makes entertaining and daily living easy and enjoyable.” With so many moving parts, teamwork was absolutely essential to the project’s success. “We all had to trust each other and rely on each other and communicate with each other,” Wildman says. “Ultimately, it was about everyone’s commitment to creating the best experience for the homeowners.” In the closing chapter, coming in early 2023, we’ll reveal the Brennans’ Crooked Lake home in its full glory. Look for it in Michigan BLUE’s Winter issue. Great Lake Story is a continuing series chronicling exceptional waterfront homes and those who design, build, and own them. Michigan BLUE invites you to learn more about the team crafting the Brennans’ new residence on Crooked Lake at mibluemag.com.

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42° NORTH – ARCHITECTURE + DESIGN When Ryan La Haie, principal at 42° North – Architecture + Design, sets out to design a home, he doesn’t start by putting pen to paper. Although that’s the vision most people have of architects, La Haie believes his ears, not his hands, are the best tool he has to create the home of his clients’ dreams. He says the time he spends listening to and getting to know the future homeowners — measured in days, not minutes — makes all the difference. Friendship-building is a key element of every project 42° North takes on, and La Haie strives to make the design process fun and exciting for everyone involved. While forming relationships with the clients, as well as the contractors who collaborate with him on a project, is crucial, the way he delivers on his commitments is what truly sets him and the firm apart. Those who have worked with him are quick to note his responsiveness. Whether by phone, text, or in person, he makes himself 100 percent available, consistently demonstrating his dedication to the best possible outcome. “When I founded 42° North, I sought to provide a different level of service, a more hands-on approach,” La Haie says. “Service is measurable; design is subjective.” Nonetheless, the end product is just as important, and the 42° North team is pleased to note that they have the largest range in home styles in the region, from

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traditional to modern to transitional, as well as prairie, farmhouse, revival, and more. “We’re passionate about elevated design, in multiple timeless styles,” La Haie says. The team, comprised of six individuals with complementary and offsetting skills, has a hand in every project, engaging at different phases when their specific expertise is required. With strategically located offices in Grand Rapids and Traverse City, they devote the majority of their time to new, high-end residential, but they also offer custom residential renovation, residential development, and commercial design. Ultimately the proof is in the results, which are exhibited not only by happy homeowners who are eager to share their positive experience, but also by the multiple national awards La Haie and his team have earned for their work. That’s quite a feat for a relatively young firm. La Haie believes it’s their clients, though, that are their secret sauce: “Our clients trust us to push the envelope to achieve their dream home and create a beautiful and functional space.” 42° North – Architecture + Design 6744 Cascade Rd. SE Grand Rapids, MI 49546 616-340-8047 42northarchitects.com

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FA L L 2 0 2 2 | R I V E R R E V E R I E

Natural Habitat Thoughtfully renovated home reflects its coveted location on the Thornapple River By Jeanine Matlow Photography by Ashley Avila and GS Studios

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ositioned between Cascade and Ada townships, this home’s riverfront setting has plenty of perks. “Everything you can do on a lake you can do on the river,” says Kathy Waite — and she should know. The principal of Kathy Waite Design in Grand Rapids lives on the same river as her friends-turned-clients, who had a home nearby but wanted to be on the water. “The river is beautiful all times of year and people can do all sports activities. It’s always been popular, but it’s become very desirable over the last 10 to 15 years,” she says. “You can have that cottage lifestyle and you’re 15 minutes from downtown Grand Rapids, so this can be your everyday life instead of weekends. You can take an evening cruise on your pontoon to enjoy the view and the beautiful homes.” 52

The riverfront setting offers beauty throughout the year. “ ... (the house) fits the setting and complements the surroundings,” designer Kathy Waite says.

Her clients found an existing home and a team that could preserve its footprint.“We remodeled it to fit their lifestyle,”the designer says. “We relocated the stairs and the master bath, for a better view.” Waite worked with Grand Rapids-based J. Visser Design, a residential architecture and design firm, and New Urban Home Builders. “It was a good team. We all listened to what the clients wanted,” she says. “What’s nice about the house is that it fits the setting and complements the surroundings.” The exterior sets the stage for the hushed tones that were chosen for the organic palette. With two teenage sons (one in college), the soon-to-be empty nesters can live on the main floor. “They are the gatherers of the family, and the home has a great layout for entertaining, plus amazing views of the river all year round,” Waite says. Separate seating areas in the family room feature a fireplace on one side and a TV on the other, with distinct details like cognac-colored mohair chairs and halo lighting. A three-season porch was opened up to create a spacious dining room, and the soaring architectural ceiling was updated. The custom table, a wet bar, and storage for 100 bottles of wine accommodate family gatherings. Doors lead to a deck overlooking the river.

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“THE HOME FEELS LARGER THAN THE FOOTPRINT. IT’S CONFIGURED IN A WAY THAT THE SPACES ARE OPEN, WHICH MAKES THEM FEEL INTIMATE AND WARM.” — KATHY WAITE

Above: An organic palette awaits once you step inside the inviting home. Right: Separate seating areas in the family room feature a fireplace on one side and a TV on the other.

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The action happens in the kitchen, where white perimeter cabinets join a white oak island, stacked ovens, and storage galore. “With a large family, it needed to be a cook’s kitchen and be beautiful, too. What’s behind all that is well-thought-out and extremely functional,” Waite says. An easy flow suits the layout. “The home feels larger than the footprint. It’s configured in a way that the spaces are open, which makes them feel intimate and warm,” she explains. “You can have a lot of people in that house and it doesn’t feel crowded. And they can spill out on the deck, which overlooks the river.” The couple owns three homes on the water: one riverfront, one lakefront, and one gulf-front residence. “We’re sun-loving, waterloving, boat-loving individuals,” the wife says. “We love this location nestled in between Cascade and Ada townships. Both are up-andcoming and thriving areas.”At the river house, they enjoy tubing and waterskiing, and they say 20 guests aren’t uncommon, with a dozen or so who spend the night. Above: A fabulous light fixture takes center stage in the dining room. Below: Moving the staircase, which was originally in the kitchen area, provided a more practical kitchen layout.

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Above: The dining room is a popular spot. Says the homeowner: “We sit around the dining table for hours and hours after dinner.” Below: The family’s Cavapoo loves the lower level.

The couple admits to being avid cooks. “We’re the hub of entertaining for both of our families, and we’re both in the kitchen working side by side,” the wife says. “We love to have big family meals, and our entertaining is centered around that. We sit around the dining table for hours and hours after dinner has ended. We can be hunkered down there until 1 in the morning with so many countless conversations, memories of the past, and good laughs.” For their hub, they wanted to keep the integrity of the original home, which had always been one of their favorites, but they needed to modernize the residence, which had been renovated by a previous owner in the ’90s. “The dining room was one of the biggest transformations. It’s a beautiful space with sweeping views of the river. When you’re inside, it feels like you’re eating outside,” the wife says. MICHIGAN BLUE

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Left: The den has plenty of light from lamps and the window to create a cozy reading space. Below and opposite page: River views continue in the master suite, which features a bed upholstered in mohair.

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“The river is magnificent and the lot is beautiful, and we never get tired of the way we face the setting sun. We love the hustle and bustle of downtown Grand Rapids, then we can escape to our quiet little street with so much wildlife.” The interiors have an autumnal feel.“We didn’t want to compete with the outside, and Kathy nailed the visual we had in mind,” the wife says. “The neutral tones and natural fabrics draw the eye outside, and you catch little details on the inside at every turn. We wanted an organic feel and materials that can take a beating, like user-friendly fabrics that are easy to clean and maintain. So far, it’s been effortless. It’s an easy but sophisticated home that’s very comfortable and inviting.”

that mimics marble. text here Add text here Add text here Add text here Add text

Right and left: In the master bath, tile walls topped with glass provide privacy for the shower without blocking views. Wall-mounted sink faucets are lowmaintenance.

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BUYER’S GUIDE INTERIOR DESIGNER

BEDROOM, MASTER

Kathy Waite, Kathy Waite Design, Grand Rapids, kathywaitedesign.com

Armchairs – Vanguard Furniture Bed Frame – Hickory Chair Bench – Vanguard Furniture

BATHROOM, MASTER Bathtub – Victoria + Albert, Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery, Grand Rapids Cabinetry – O’Brien Harris Woodworks, Caledonia Countertop – White Quartz, Great Lakes Granite & Marble, Redford Charter Township Flooring – Porcelain Tile, Virginia Tile Co., Grand Rapids Sconces – Hudson Valley Lighting, Kendall Lighting Center, Grand Rapids Tile, Shower – 12x24 Porcelain Tile, Virginia Tile Co., Grand Rapids Wall Treatment – Thibaut

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Chandelier – Hudson Valley Lighting, Kendall Lighting Center, Grand Rapids Chests, Bedside – Vanguard Furniture Flooring – Wool Carpet, Century Flooring and Cleaning, Grand Rapids Lamp, Floor – Visual Comfort, Kathy Waite Design Showroom, Grand Rapids Lamps, Bedside – Arteriors, Kathy Waite Design Showroom, Grand Rapids Ottoman – Hickory Chair

Chandelier – Visual Comfort Drapery – Custom, The Workroom Fireplace – Custom, DaVinci White Quartzite, Pascucci Marble & Granite, Grand Rapids; Fabrication, Great Lakes Granite & Marble, Redford Flooring – Nylon Carpet, Century Flooring and Cleaning, Grand Rapids Lamps, Table – Visual Comfort Ottoman – Vanguard Furniture Sofa – Vanguard Furniture Table, Display – Vanguard Furniture Wall Treatment – Custom, Stained White Oak, J. Visser Design, Grand Rapids

Wall Paint – Benjamin Moore, Collingwood

DINING ROOM DEN Armchair, Wingback – Thayer Coggin

Artwork – Ginnie Cappaert, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids

Buffet – Old Biscayne Designs Cabinetry – O’Brien Harris Woodworks, Caledonia Ceiling Paint – Benjamin Moore, White Dove Chairs, Dining – Vanguard Furniture Chandelier – Hubbardton Forge, Kendall Lighting Center, Grand Rapids Countertop – Custom, DaVinci White Quartzite, Pascucci Marble & Granite, Grand Rapids; Fabrication, Great Lakes Granite & Marble, Redford Charter Township Flooring – White Oak, RT Baldwin, Hudsonville Lamp – Visual Comfort Rug – Scott Group Studio, Grand Rapids Table, Dining – Custom, Kathy Waite Design, Grand Rapids; Fabrication, Woodland Furniture Wall Paint – Benjamin Moore, Collingwood

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FAMILY ROOM Armchairs – Baker Furniture Artwork – Rick Stevens, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids Chandeliers – RH Coffee Table – Custom, Kathy Waite Design; Fabrication, O’Brien Harris Woodworks, Caledonia Fireplace – Limestone Flooring – RT Baldwin, Hudsonville, White Oak Ottoman, Leather – Lee Industries Rug – Scott Group Studio, Grand Rapids Shelving, Built-In – Designed by Kathy Waite Design, New Urban Home Builders Sofa – Vanguard Furniture Sofa, Sectional – Vanguard Furniture Wall Paint – Benjamin Moore, Collingwood

FOYER Closets – Custom, J. Visser Design, Grand Rapids; Fabrication, New Urban Home Builders, Grand Rapids Flooring – White Oak, RT Baldwin, Hudsonville Light, Ceiling – Hinkley Lighting, Kendall Lighting Center, Grand Rapids

Mirror – Custom, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids Railing and Stairs – Blackened Steel Rug – Scott Group Studio, Grand Rapids Stool – Century Furniture Wall Paint – Benjamin Moore, Collingwood

KITCHEN Bar Stools – Jessica Charles Cabinetry – O’Brien Harris Woodworks, Caledonia Countertop – Custom, DaVinci White Quartzite, Pascucci Marble & Granite, Grand Rapids; Fabrication, Great Lakes Granite & Marble, Redford Charter Township Flooring – White Oak, RT Baldwin, Hudsonville Hood – Custom, TerMolen & Hart, Grand Rapids Lighting, Bar – Visual Comfort Sconces – Hudson Valley Lighting, Kendall Lighting Center, Grand Rapids Sink – Shaws, Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery, Grand Rapids Stove – Miele, Bekins, Grand Rapids Wall Paint – Benjamin Moore, Collingwood

LOWER LEVEL Drapery – Custom, Kathy Waite Design, Grand Rapids; Fabrication, The Workroom; Fabric, Fabricut Flooring – Wool Carpet, Century Flooring and Cleaning, Grand Rapids Lamps, Floor – Visual Comfort Pillows, Accent (Fabric) – Kravet, Kathy Waite Design, Grand Rapids Sofa, Sectional – Lee Industries Table, Coffee – Bernhardt Table, Occasional – Vanguard Furniture Wall Paint – Benjamin Moore, Collingwood

Both pages, left to right: J. Visser Design and New Urban Home Builders worked their design magic. Another perspective of the living room. An expansive deck overlooks the river.

EXTERIOR Building Materials – Stone and Wood Landscaping – Rooks Landscaping, Ada Masonry – Belden Brick & Supply, Grand Rapids

ADDITIONAL PROJECT CONTRIBUTORS Architect – J. Visser Design, Grand Rapids Builder – New Urban Home Builders, Grand Rapids MICHIGAN BLUE

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This lakeside Nantucket-style home is a knockout, thanks to distinctive custom touches throughout By Megan Swoyer | Photography by Martin Vecchio f you really want a quality home, the profeswould be classic and traditional. The couple wanted This page: The foyer’s custom-made mirror sionals say you should never skimp on the a place where their three grown children (and, is stunning. Opposite details. Interior designer Lisa Petrella, of Pepotentially, their future families) would be comfortable page: The master trella Designs in Troy, certainly didn’t skimp when visiting. Their goal was to make it 100 percent suite’s cozy sitting area when orchestrating the interiors for a Nansmart, with energy efficiency playing a starring role. overlooks a beautiful tucket-style new-build project on a beautiful Although the home is new, it feels cozy and lived-in, Oakland County lake. Oakland County lake. She and a skilled team partially due to the exterior details. The granite steps of experts — including her then senior deleading to the front door, for example, are some of the signer, Kourtney Shammo (now with Kourtney Anne Stuoriginal steps from the Detroit Institute of Arts’ Woodward Avenue dios); builder Eric Vogler, of Eric Vogler Construction in West entrance. (The DIA’s steps were renovated in the 1980s, and the Bloomfield; and architect Tom Holloman — turned out perhaps one homeowners purchased several of the originals.) In addition, the of the highest-quality homes Petrella has ever had the pleasure of Belgian block pavers in the home’s car court area had long ago been working on. reclaimed from a bridge in Europe. (The bricks had been brought to The project began after the homeowners purchased a lot on which Warren, to use to test tanks on the Chrysler tank test track. “It was to they could build their dream home. After the existing structure was simulate what our tanks would face in WWII,” the homeowner says.) torn down, the team rolled up their sleeves to create a haven that Petrella worked on the designs for the kitchen, dining area, great

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This page: The airy living room’s palette is grays and creams, with touches of pale blue in the rug. Opposite page: To achieve a lived-in appeal, designer Lisa Petrella used nickel hardware throughout the kitchen, but not on the island, which has brass hardware. Some of the cabinets, with their seeded glass, evoke an Old-World feel.

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room, foyer, lower-level sports room, cigar room, master suite, and powder room. She also oversaw the guest bathrooms, bedding, and more on the second floor, and was involved in a great deal of the design in the lower level, including a unique full bath with a gardener’s touch. In the kitchen, the designer and homeowners selected marble counters and a beveled-edge marble backsplash. “We saw something similar in Chicago and thought we’d try it here,” Petrella explains. “The kitchen’s new, but it doesn’t feel new,” she adds. To achieve a lived-in appeal, Petrella used nickel hardware throughout the kitchen, but not on the island, which has brass hardware. Too much matchy-matchy and you get what looks like a cookie-cutter new home, she explains. The island, which has a beautiful marble top and handsome slate-gray legs and cabinetry,

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“WHEN YOU CONSIDER ALL THE DETAILS — THE FINE BASE MOLDINGS, THE CROWN MOLDINGS, THE TILE WORK — EVERY LEVEL OF DETAIL IS AMAZING.” — LISA PETRELLA looks like “it’s been there a while.” Some of the cabinets, with their seeded glass, evoke an Old-World feel. Beadboard cabinet backing creates a classic ambience, while the double pulls on the drawers are standout details. An adjoining dining area with windows that look out to the lake is inviting, and features a banquette and a long wood table crafted by Woodland Furniture. A chic light fixture from Visual Comfort (Linear Branched, in hand-rubbed antique brass) adds warmth to the vignette, as does a collection of tramp art frames that hold photos of the couple’s parents on their wedding days. The living room flows from this space, and its Schumacher gingham drapery enhances the gorgeous lake vistas. The airy room’s palette is grays and creams, with touches of pale blue in the rug and accent pillows. Just behind the sofa is a beautiful wood table with MICHIGAN BLUE

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an accompanying chair in the same gingham fabric as the draperies. Atop the table are charming antique postcards of local country clubs and hotels; nearby, a console holds a collection of antique candlesticks behind which hangs a painting of birch trees in autumn. While the couple enjoys their together time in the great room, they each cherish their own private in-home retreats, too. The “Lazy Moose” cigar room, located beyond a secret passage that’s behind a bookcase on the top floor of the home, is one of the husband’s favorite spots. Here, he gathers with friends to enjoy cigars and beverages, and to watch sports on a large-screen television, all beneath a huge antler-style chandelier. The wife has her fun place, too. Located outside the home, her golfer’s heaven is situated on the top floor of a charming carriage house. A golf simulator (she can play a full round of golf here, electronically), golf-ball collections, and places to relax are highlights of her getaway. The octagonal master bedroom, meanwhile, is wrapped in gorgeous drapery that’s controlled via remote access on the homeowners’ phones. A television pop-up console at the end of the bed, designed by Petrella and created by Vogler, keeps unsightly

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electronics out of sight until the homeowners wish to use them. French doors provide access to a Romeo and Juliet balcony, and side doors lead to the back deck. Above it all is a ceiling that features hub-and-spoke millwork, with the flat part of the ceiling painted in a custom color — a pale green that echoes the draperies. “It’s hard to not like the great view of the lake from almost every room in the house,” the husband notes. In the adjoining bathroom off the his-and-hers closet area is a gorgeous combination of Schumacher wallpaper (Chenonceau, in Charcoal), quality millwork, dark gray tile, and Carrera marble. The shower features a marble herringbone pattern inset that almost looks like a piece of art, and the marble floor bases and crown moldings are impressive and elegant. “Rich Horn, of RJH Tile, isn’t just an installer; he’s a true craftsman,” Petrella says of her installer. More attention to detail is apparent in the foyer, where a custommade mirror takes center stage. “We made the mirror so that it drops below the console piece, rather than hanging just above it. I wanted the console in the mirror, so we made it extra-large,” Petrella says. In the lower level, colorful antique signs are the first things one

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This page: The “Lazy Moose” cigar room, located beyond a secret passage on the top floor of the home, is one of the husband’s favorite spots. Opposite page: The family enjoys gathering around the dining area’s beautiful wood table, crafted by Woodland Furniture.

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This page: There’s always something to do in the lower-level game room. Opposite page: The Belgian Block pavers in the home’s car court area had long ago been reclaimed from a bridge in Europe.

sees when descending the stairs. The lower level’s rustic full bath would make a gardener feel right at home, since it features garden shed-style reclaimed wood for the vanity, a stained limestone countertop that’s evocative of a garden fountain, lanternstyle sconces, and pebble flooring. The bathroom’s shower is unexpectedly lined with brick; its centerpiece is a terra cotta tile installation of flower shapes, dragonflies, and honeybees by artist David Ellison.“When we finished the shower, we all stood back and said, ‘We don’t think we’ve ever done a brick shower,’ ” Petrella recalls with a laugh. The home’s sports room houses a vast collection of baseballs, baseball cards, hockey jerseys, signed pucks, and more. Nearby is the couple’s wine cellar, complete with mosaic artwork by Holloman that says “In Vino Veritas.” Holloman also created the mosaic backsplash in the lower-level kitchen — a familiar scene of pine trees, a lake, and sailboats, just like you see when you’re looking out the windows. The kitchen and gathering area lead outdoors to an inviting patio, complete with a compass rose inset, a gorgeous fountain, and a fireplace. “When you consider all the details — the fine base moldings, the crown moldings, the tile work — every level of detail is amazing,” Petrella says. “This was a real collaborative group of people, and everyone worked well together. I’m most proud of the substance of this home.”

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BUYER’S GUIDE

Ottoman – Hickory Chair, Petrella Interiors, Troy; Fabric, Schumacher, Michigan Design Center, Troy Rug – Stark Carpet, Troy

INTERIOR DESIGNER

CIGAR ROOM

Lisa Petrella, Petrella Interiors, Troy, LLP Construction Services, Detroit, petrelladesigns.com

Armchairs – Hickory Chair; Fabric, Schumacher Cabinet, Bar – Custom, Eric Vogler Construction, Commerce Twp. Chandelier – Antler Chandeliers & Lighting Co. Flooring – Hickory Wood Rug – Surya Wall Color – Stained Knotty Pine

BEDROOM, MASTER Armchairs – Paris Club Chair, Hickory Chair, Petrella Interiors, Troy; Fabric, Schumacher, Troy Drapery – Custom, Pindler and Kravet, Accent Custom Drapery, Sterling Heights Flooring – Hickory Wood, Property Care Inc., Bloomfield Hills Lamps, Floor – Circa Lighting, City Lights Detroit, Michigan Design Center, Troy

DINING ROOM Artwork – Antiques Market of Williamston, Williamston Booth – Seat, Custom, Designer Furniture Services, Pontiac; Fabric, Kravet and Pindler Centerpiece, Table – Detroit Garden Works, Pontiac

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Chairs, Host and Hostess – Fabric, Pindler and Kravet Chairs, Side – Fabric, Kravet Chandelier – Circa Lighting, City Lights Detroit, Michigan Design Center, Troy Drapery – Custom, Accent Custom Drapery, Sterling Heights; Fabric, Schumacher Flooring – Hickory Wood Pillows, Accent – Custom, Accent Custom Drapery, Sterling Heights; Fabric, Kravet and Schumacher Runner, Table – Pottery Barn Table and Chairs, Dining – Woodland Furniture

FOYER Artwork, Pear – Wendover Art Group Flooring – Hickory Wood Mirror – Custom, Bruce White Galleries, Clawson Rug – Stark Carpet, Troy Sculpture, Floor – Baker Furniture, Michigan Design Center, Troy Sculpture, Gear – Petrella Interiors, Troy Table, Display – Woodbridge Furniture

Vase – Antiques Market of Williamston, Williamston

GAME ROOM Lighting, Artwork – Tech Lighting Cabinetry – Custom, Fabrication, Eric Vogler Construction, Commerce Twp.; Design, Tom Holleman, Pontiac Light, Ceiling – Antique, Materials Unlimited, Ypsilanti Wall Color – Stained Knotty Alder

KITCHEN Bar Stools – Hickory Chair Cabinetry – Custom, Fabrication, Eric Vogler Construction, Commerce Twp.; Design, Tom Holloman, Pontiac Ceiling Treatment – Coffer Ceiling, Eric Vogler Construction, Commerce Twp. Countertop – Carrara Marble, RJH Tile and Marble, Holly Hood – Custom, Eric Vogler Construction, Commerce Twp.

Lighting, Island – Circa Lighting, City Lights Detroit, Michigan Design Center, Troy Stove – Wolf Range Window Shades – Hunter Douglas, Accent Custom Drapery, Sterling Heights

LIVING ROOM Armchair, Leather – Hickory Chair; Fabric, Kravet Armchairs – Hickory Chair; Fabric, Schumacher Basket, Storage – Antiques Market of Williamston, Williamston Bench, Storage – Custom, Eric Vogler Construction, Commerce Twp. Candleholders – Antiques Market of Williamston, Williamston Chest, Display – Hickory Chair Drapery – Custom, Schumacher, Accent Custom Drapery, Sterling Heights Fireplace – Custom, Eric Vogler Construction, Commerce Twp. Flooring – Hickory Wood, Property Care Inc., Bloomfield Hills

Pillows, Accent – Custom, Schumacher, Accent Custom Drapery Planter – Pottery Barn Rug – Stark Carpet, Troy Sofa – Hickory Chair; Fabric, Schumacher Stools – Hickory Chair, Petrella Interiors, Troy; Pindler, Samuel & Sons, Tennant and Associates, Michigan Design Center, Troy Table, Coffee – Lillian August

ADDITIONAL PROJECT CONTRIBUTORS Architect – Tom Holloman, Pontiac General Contractor – Eric Vogler, Eric Vogler Construction, Commerce Twp. Landscaper – Michael B. Grasser & Associates, Pontiac Painter – Mike Trudel Stone and Tile Installation – Rich Horn, RTH Tile & Stone

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INSPIRED LIVING SPACES

CABINETRY | KITCHEN & BATH DESIGN | REMODELING & NEW CONSTRUCTION ANN ARBOR 734.404.7134

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Discover how KSI can Bring Design Home for you.

Snap this QR code or visit https://bit.ly/3zt7RMN to watch our design process video and discover how our professional designers can create the living space of your dreams. Explore design inspiration in our gallery at ksikitchens.com. KSI.Spread.Blue.F22.indd 1

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Your Home, By Design.

NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED DESIGN Our award-winning team brings kitchen and bath spaces to life.

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Clockwise from center: KSI kitchen design with Cranbrook Custom Homes; KSI kitchen design with Snowden Homes; KSI Grand Rapids Design Center functional kitchen display; KSI Grand Rapids Design Center vanity display; KSI Basement Bar with Moceri Custom Homes; KSI master bath design with Moceri Custom Homes; KSI kitchen design for Stone Hollow Properties; Barndominium kitchen design by KSI; KSI lake house kitchen design with Ledger Homes

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Col ful Character Happy hues define this highenergy home on Walloon Lake

By Jeanine Matlow Photography by Glass Lakes Photography

hen she was asked to help create a glorious summer home in Boyne City on Walloon Lake, Cynthia Evans, owner of Cynthia Evans Interiors in Birmingham, already had a head start. Having worked with her clients on multiple projects, the designer was well aware of the woman of the home's exuberant passion for color and pattern. “She wanted to have a home on a lake, not a lake home,” Evans says about her client’s sophisticated style, which invigorates each space. Colorful art led the way for the lively palette of the 9,500-square-foot new-build situated on a scenic waterfront lot. An abstract graphic from Troy’s Michigan Design Center, displayed in the foyer, became the jumpingoff point, with shades of yellow, blue, and pink that pop against the crisp white walls and dark wood floors. Further inspiration came from an oil painting in the great room made by the woman of the home's college sorority sister; the piece features gorgeous hues of pink and aqua that echo the changing colors of the lake. The sky-blue exterior of the three-story structure, with an architectural nod to New England, speaks to the lakefront setting and sends a cheerful message that extends inside. 72

“Overall, the interiors are traditional in style, with unexpected pops of color and a nod to mod,” says Evans, referring to refreshing elements like the custom-sized raspberry shag rug in the great room that lends color and texture in spades. “It exudes a vibrant personality, (like the homeowner) — it’s happy, fresh, bright, and cheery. People love that rug, and everyone loves that it’s so soft.” A pair of pink upholstered benches by the stone fireplace accommodates frequent guests, who can also congregate on the lower level and the spacious deck. “There’s plenty

The exterior color of the home was chosen to echo the color of Walloon Lake, says Birmingham-based interior designer Cynthia Evans.

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“OVERALL, THE INTERIORS ARE TRADITIONAL IN STYLE, WITH UNEXPECTED POPS OF COLOR AND A NOD TO MOD.” — CYNTHIA EVANS

of seating and it’s a great place to entertain,” Evans says. Bursts of pink provide an element of surprise, while the dark wood ceiling highlights the coffered details. The textured fabric on the chairs shares the same aqua color with the sofas, which are upholstered in another fabric. The woman of the house's penchant for pink isn’t at all limiting; it plays well with other colors, like the green walls in a home office, which pay homage to Michigan State University. Green also appears on the stools in the kitchen, repeating one of the colors

"(The client) wanted to have a home on a lake, not a lake home," desiger Evans says of the house. The three-story design easily accommodates large gatherings.

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in the abstract graphic that got the visual ball rolling. White Shaker-style cabinets with beadboard details that continue on the ceiling provide contrast, along with the aqua-colored island and the glass subwaytile backsplash. In the dining area, whitewashed wood furniture strikes a subtle note alongside animal print upholstery and a crystal light fixture above. A screened porch provides a bonus spot on one end of the expansive deck. Blue wallpaper with a floral motif perks up the powder room, while a bold pattern makes a splash in the master bathroom against the white countertop, cabinets, and trim. Cozy as can be, the main-floor master bedroom gets a comfort boost from an upholstered bed and an acrylic bench topped with faux fur. Mirrored nightstands add symmetry to the soothing space, which features pale blue walls and overlooks the deck and the breathtaking lake. 74

This page, above: The living room painting inspired the design of the room. Below: The dining room has a softer palette. Opposite page, above: Great views abound. Below: Bright-green leopard-print stools add even more pizzazz.

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On the lower-level walkout, a comfy sectional offers a place to chill. The lower level also includes a guest bedroom, as well as a colorful bathroom that sports greenand-pink floral wallpaper. Other convenient features of this quintessential vacation home include a three-car garage, a boat garage, and a fire pit near steps leading down to the lake. Evans says she enjoyed working with the client on the distinctive details. “It’s a very collaborative relationship,” she says. For this project, the homeowner envisioned a more elegant aesthetic than the nautical or cottage décor often associated with a lakefront dwelling. She likes the bright, energetic feel the colors convey, and wanted to create that type of atmosphere in the home. With three grown children, entertaining is a given come summertime. The response to the dynamic environment has been overwhelmingly positive. “The house is extremely well-designed, just the way it flows and the functionality,” the woman

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Both pages, clockwise from far left: The hallway to a guest suite is done in whites, which were chosen to create a "calming transition," Evans says. Pink, aqua, and white result in a perky palette for the home's master bath. The master bedroom features shades of aqua and white.

of the house says. To make sure the space can accomodate many ages, the architect incorporated little nursery rooms inside the bedrooms. While people drive by on boats and wave, those who enter the home know they can expect visual stimulation indoors as well as out by the lake. “I love how great it is for entertaining, and we can sleep so many people,” says the woman of the house, who loves entertaining — which is never a problem, with five spare bedrooms including a guest suite that can sleep six. Finally, she says she treasures the location: “I just love it. Walloon Lake is so tranquil and the house feels that way, too.”

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Both pages, clockwise from right: A colorful painting in the foyer was the inspiration for the home. A unique perspective includes the kitchen on the left, living room in the center, and foyer on the right. The lower-level family room is perfect for movie night.

BUYER’S GUIDE INTERIOR DESIGN

Lamps – Port 68 Occasional Table – Duralee, Michigan Design Center, Troy Rug – Couristan Inc., Ghiordes Knot, Michigan Design Center, Troy Sofa and Bench – Decoroom, Michigan Design Center, Troy

Cynthia Evans, Cynthia Evans Interiors, Birmingham, cynthiaevansinteriors.com

DINING AREA

BATHROOM Cabinetry – Stillwater Custom Cabinetry, Petoskey Mirror – Uttermost Wall Treatment –Thibaut, Cochin, Pink, Rozmallin, Michigan Design Center, Troy

BEDROOM Bedside Chests – Butler Specialty Co. Headboard – Star International Furniture

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Chairs – Custom, by Cynthia Evans Interiors, Birmingham, Scalamandre, Stingray, Surf, Stark, Troy Chandelier – Crystorama Lighting, Herald Wholesale, Troy Flooring – Ginivito Flooring Gallery and Tile Design Center, Petoskey Plates and Glasses – MacKenzie-Childs Table – Custom, by Cynthia Evans Interiors, Birmingham

FAMILY ROOM, LOWER LEVEL Art – RJ Thomas Ltd., Michigan Design Center, Troy Chair – RJ Thomas Ltd., Michigan Design Center, Troy Chair, Patterned – Thibaut, Michigan Design Center, Troy Pillow Fabric – Lee Jofa Racy Lacy, Sky Blue; Brunschwig & Fils Tropico Aqua, Kravet, Michigan Design Center, Troy Sofa – Century RJ Thomas Ltd., Michigan Design Center, Troy Table, Cocktail – Robert Allen/Duralee, Michigan Design Center, Troy

HALLWAY Artwork – Girls On Beach Artwork: Decoroom, Michigan Design Center, Troy; Abstract: R.J. Thomas LTD, Michigan Design Center, Troy

Rug – Stark, Troy Sconce – Visual Comfort, Herald Wholesale, Troy Wall Paint– Benjamin Moore, Super White, OC-152

KITCHEN Appliances – Wolf, Hawthorne Appliance, Birmingham Bar Stools – Kravet Inc., Leo Kat, Picnic Green, Michigan Design Center, Troy Backsplash – Ann Sacks, Michigan Design Center, Troy Cabinetry – Stillwater Custom Cabinetry, Petoskey Chandeliers – Crystorama Lighting, Herald Wholesale, Troy Countertops – Quartz, TJ Marble and Granite, Petoskey Floor Treatment – Ginivito Flooring Gallery and Tile Design Center, Petoskey

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Flower Centerpiece – Monarch Garden & Floral Design, Petoskey Hood – Stillwater Custom Cabinetry, Petoskey Wall Paint – Benjamin Moore, Super White OC-152

LIVING ROOM Armchairs – Sherrill Furniture Co., Pindler, Abrams, Aqua, Michigan Design Center, Troy Artwork – Kristin Marco-McNeal, California Bookshelf, Display– Conquest Builders, Charlevoix Chairs, Patterned – Caracole Home Furniture, Lee Jofa, Big Wave, Beach Blue, Kravet Inc., Michigan Design Center, Troy Flooring – Ginivito Flooring Gallery and Tile Design Center, Petoskey Lamps – Port 68, Michigan Design Center, Troy Occasional Tables – RJ Thomas Ltd., Michigan Design Center, Troy Ottoman – Fairfield Chair Company, Pindler,

White Hacienda, Michigan Design Center, Troy Pillows, Sofa – Lee Jofa, Racy Lacy, Sky Blue, Kravet Inc., Michigan Design Center, Troy Rug – Ghiordes Knot, Michigan Design Center, Troy Sofa – Lee Furniture, Pindler, Ciari Turquoise, Michigan Design Center, Troy Stools, Pink – Lee Furniture, Kravet Inc., Michigan Design Center, Troy Television – Sony

EXTERIOR Builder – Conquest builders, Charlevoix Building Materials – Cedar Landscaping – Common Ground Landscapes, Boyne City Paint – Benjamin Moore, Highland Breeze

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FA L L 2 0 2 2 | E N T E R TA I N I N G AT H O M E

Pass the Pasties! This deliciously satisfying — and portable — meal is the U.P.’s most famous food By Honey Murray Photography by Martin Vecchio

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onfires, brisk walks on the beach, fall-color road trips, leaf-raking sessions, football tailgates, Halloween parties and trick-ortreating. Crisp Michigan air and invigorating autumn activity will have you, your family, and guests craving the comfort of warm, filling nourishment — and nothing fits that bill better than an Upper Peninsula favorite, the pasty. Dating back to medieval times, the pasty originated in Cornwall, England, and was the staple of fishermen, farmers, families, and, especially, tin miners. This calorie-packed, hand-held pie was — and still is — a hearty meal of meat, potatoes, onions, and rutabaga (later, Finnish miners substituted carrots for the rutabaga) that maintained its warmth until meal time. The rope-like edge of the crust served as a disposable handle for the tin-miners, whose hands were often tainted with arsenic-laden dust. Many of today’s pasty shops still use traditional recipes. Barb’s Pizza and Pasties (barbspizzaandpasties.com), on Main Street in Clawson, is renowned in metro Detroit and has been serving beef, chicken, and vegetable pasties daily since 1984. A stay-at-home mom of six, Barb Sell began making pasties for the neighborhood from her home 10 years before she and her husband, Jerry, opened the shop that, since their passing, has been owned and run by the six siblings. “My great-grandparents were immigrants who mined in Michigan’s copper country,” says Thor Sell, Barb’s son and one of the owners, “and my great-aunt owned a pasty shop near Copper Harbor. Now, people buy our pasties by the half-dozen or dozen — half of those sold are frozen — to take to their cottages, hunting, or just to have on hand for unexpected company. 82

Both pages: Barb’s Pizza and Pasties in Clawson is renowned in metro Detroit and has been making beef, chicken, and vegetable pasties daily since 1984. The fillings are delicious and, well, filling!

“Everything here is made from scratch, including our pizza sauce, carrot cake, and salad dressing. We can continue to do what we do because we have absolutely the best employees in the world; they’ve stood with us through thick and thin. We also have the best customers.” If you’re traveling to the Upper Peninsula, St. Ignace has two locations of Lehto’s Pasties (lehtospasties.com), or you can pick up an online order. The original location (it’s known as Michigan’s oldest pasty shop) is on U.S. 2 and serves beef pasties, homemade beef jerky, smoked fish, and salads. The newer location, in downtown St. Ignace, offers beef, vegetable, or chicken pasties, as well as salads and another favorite hand-held food: chocolate chip cookies. Owners Laurie Walker, niece of Johnny Lehto (who started the business in 1947 after serving in World War II), and her husband, Bill, ship their pasties from Labor Day to Memorial Day. As a former restaurant owner who also served many convenient, hand-held foods (roll-ups, pita pockets, and Big Red’s AllAmerican Chocolate Chip Cookies), I did try my hand at pasties during hunting seasons (the recipe follows).

MICHIGAN MEAT PASTIES

(with options for ease and versatility) For the dough (will need one hour in the refrigerator after being mixed and kneaded) 3 cups all-purpose flour 1 cup vegetable shortening or lard 1 teaspoon kosher salt 3 tablespoons melted butter 1 cup ice water; only a portion will be used Option for ease: Forego the ingredients above and substitute 2 packages of pre-made, refrigerated pie crusts, following package directions for rolling and filling. Prep In a large mixing bowl, mix the dough ingredients well, using your hands. Add ice water a spoonful at a time, until the dough stays together and can be formed into a large ball. On a lightlyfloured hard surface, knead the dough for two minutes, adding spoonfuls of water if needed. Re-form into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for one hour. This allows the gluten to soften and makes rolling out the dough much easier.

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Tip for success Add the ice water to the mixed dough ingredients just a little at a time. You might only need a few spoonfuls. Unlike making pie crusts, don’t worry about over-mixing or over-kneading this pasty dough. For the filling 1 pound of stewing beef or skirt steak, cubed small Options for ease and versatility: Substitute 1 pound ground beef; can also use 1 pound of uncooked chicken, cut into small chunks; or 1 pound of cooked rotisserie chicken, cut into small chunks. Meat can be totally omitted and additional vegetables (canned peas, spinach, par-boiled broccoli, a mix of frozen vegetables, etc.) can be substituted. One-half of a rutabaga (you can omit this and still have a great-tasting, “Finnish-style” pasty) 5 carrots, diced small Option for ease: Use about 3 cups of packaged, shredded carrots (many pasty recipes actually call for shredded, not chopped, carrots) 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped Option for ease: Use a frozen, chopped onion 4-5 russet potatoes, finely chopped Option for ease: Use 1 16-ounce can of whole, white, cooked potatoes, drained and cut into quarter-inch cubes 3 tablespoons salt 1 ½ teaspoons black pepper Reserve: 6 teaspoons butter (one for each pasty) 3 teaspoons flour (divided between pasties) Prep In a large bowl, mix together all but the reserved filling ingredients. Each pasty will use 1/6 of this mixture. Tip for success When cubing and chopping the meat and vegetables, make the size quite small, about a quarter of an inch, for thorough, even cooking and blending of flavors.

Forming the pasties Remove the dough from the refrigerator after at least one hour and, on a lightly floured, hard surface, roll into a thick log that can be divided into six equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball. One at a time, roll out each ball into a circle of about a quarter-inch thickness. Using a 9-inch plate or pot lid as a guide, cut the dough into a circle. Take 1/ of the filling and place it in the 6 center of the dough circle, arranging it so there’s an inch of space between the filling and the dough’s edge. Break up 1 teaspoon of the reserved butter and a sprinkling of the reserved flour over the filling. Fold the dough into a semi-circle shape, crimping or folding the edges to make a half-inch border. Cut two half-inch slashes into the top of each pasty. Place them on an ungreased baking sheet, using baking parchment if desired. Two baking sheets will be needed. Bake in a preheated, 375-degree oven for 50 minutes, or until the top is brown and the meat is cooked. Let’s eat! Although the Cornish tin-miners are said to have eaten their pasties without any gravy or condiment, many folks in the Upper Peninsula insist that the only way to truly enjoy a hot pasty is with a rich, thick pouring of ketchup.

EASIEST-EVER PASTIES

With scores of pasty shops throughout the state, especially near lakeside towns and resorts, the simplest way to serve up pasties is to reheat them! Reheating from thawed Lehto’s Pasties suggests: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the thawed, unwrapped pasties on an ungreased cookie sheet on the center rack in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. If frozen, heat for 45 minutes. Reheating from frozen On the center rack of an oven preheated to 350 degrees, bake the frozen pasties for 45 minutes. Tip for success With these reheating directions (for purchased or homemade pasties that have been previously cooked), it’s important not to over-extend the baking time, to avoid making them dry. Let’s eat! With the extra time saved by not making the pasties yourself, you can have a family game night, watch a fall-themed movie (“October Sky”? “You’ve Got Mail”?), or even finish reading this issue of Michigan Blue magazine.

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SWMICHIGAN.ORG PHOTO LOCATION: ST. JOSEPH NORTH PIER LIGHTHOUSE

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FA L L 2 0 2 2 | M I D - M I C H I G A N G E TAWAY

Bay City Rolling A town the lumber industry built charts a new course focusing on tourism and popular waterfront amenities By Bill Semion

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Checking In Hotel? B&B? There are a surprising number of good choices. On the east side of the river, downtown, consider the Comfort Inn Bay CityRiverfront or the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Bay City. There’s also the Courtyard by Marriott Bay City in the Uptown District (more on that later) and the Webster House B&B, a historic mansion on Center Street — which is lined with even more Victorian ladies — that once belonged to a lumber baron. Bay City is a great walking town. Its east side downtown district was saved from “renewal,” so there are scores of 19th century buildings there. The riverside Wenonah Park bandshell is a favorite for summer concerts. Stop in at the famous jewelry store, Herman Hiss & Co., owned by the same family since 1867. The interior has changed little since it opened on downtown’s main street. Stay downtown for dinner, where you’ll find plenty of great choices. Old City Hall is one. Yes, it was the city hall in the 19th century, says General Manager Brandon Massnick. More than 150 wines await

PHOTO COURTESY OF GREAT LAKES BAY REGIONAL CVB

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ay City, where Michigan’s mitten attaches to the Thumb, was built on lumber. Giant pines from the surrounding lands were floated, sawn, stacked, and transported along the Saginaw River from more than 100 mills. Later, Bay City was a hub for shipbuilding, including for the Navy during World War II, and autos. The mills and shipyards are gone now, with piles of sawdust still buried along the Saginaw River, and only remnants of slips and docks remain as evidence of launchings here. But Bay City, population just about 33,000, has relaunched itself with tourism at its core. With a great restaurant collection ranging from no-frills familystyle eateries to Chicago chic, riverfront festivals and cruises, and a reputation as Michigan’s largest one-stop antiques store collection, the city offers all the makings of a great 72-hour fall destination. Here’s a bit of what you can see and do, based on my many years of exploring this city by the bay. MICHIGAN BLUE

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Below: Bay City earns high marks as one of the state’s best destinations for antique shopping, with shops downtown where you can hunt for treasures.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF OLD CITY HALL (TOP); AND GREAT LAKES BAY REGIONAL CVB

Opposite page: Fishing action often gets a little competitive along the downtown portion of the Saginaw River. Above: The interior of the former city hall now houses the inviting Old City Hall restaurant.

to complement an inventive menu that includes garlic butter pork tomahawk, grilled peach salad, and Korean bibimbap bowls. OCH is a fun, brick-walled space that fills the casual fine dining spot downtown. For even more casual fare, head to the riverfront and wander into Drift, where you’ll find up to six food trucks to complement the liquid refreshments served inside. That’s also where you might find a pop-up shop or two before heading to the riverfront deck and boat slips. Massnick says that Drift, which opened in late spring, satisfies the “unfulfilled potential in the city for land and water”fun. Glance across the street to get a preview of where you may want to head tomorrow. Tavern 101 has craft brews and bar food, and if a steak or seafood is in your wheelhouse, head for Gatsby’s.

Saturday Mornings Breakfast at spots such as the Uptown Grill or MI Table feature ridiculously yummy treats like kale feta crustless quiche, Amish bread French toast, and California-stylin’ eggs Benedict with avocado. Cops & Donuts, Sutherland Precinct, is on the river’s west side downtown. Keep in mind two other west-side establishments, VNO Wine

Warehouse and New Age Restaurant, and Latitude 43 Bar Grill & Bar, for possible evening visits. If you prefer, grab a coffee and pastry at these java spots: Harless + Hugh Coffee, Live Oak Coffeehouse, Populace Coffee, or the Beatles memorabilia-themed Beatles and Beans Coffee Emporium, which happens to be right between your next stops.

Antiques On Water If you’re into antiques, head to North Water Street and environs, home to the largest collection of “antiquity”in Michigan. The Bay City Antiques Center is across from the Drift space. It’s where more than 60,000 square feet of oldies but goodies reside in MICHIGAN BLUE

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Below: Visitors enjoy Saginaw River excursions on the Princess Wenonah, which departs from the main downtown park.

Waterfront Fun Relax aboard a waterborne tour here. Sailing from Wenonah Park, the Appledore IV takes passengers on educational day and evening sails along the river and into the bay during cruises through October. The Princess Wenonah also leaves from Wenonah Park on Saturdays in September, and on Friday evenings a band entertains. It wasn’t built here in WW II, but the retired destroyer U.S.S. Edson is the anchor of the downriver Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum. Take a self-guided tour. Volunteer guides may also be present.

Above: The riverside Wenonah Park bandshell is a favorite spot to watch summer concerts and gather for the nearby Bay City Fireworks Festival (June 29-July1, 2023). Below left: Michigan poster artist Dennis Loren stands near his work at the new Michigan Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Fame display at the Bay County Historical Museum.

Rock and Roll Notes Head to the Historical Museum of Bay County’s new Michigan Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Fame permanent exhibit. You mean you didn’t know Madonna is from Bay City, and the ‘60s group ? — that’s Question Mark — and the Mysterians were from here, too? Learn more fun factoids inside. Currently there are 120 inductees listed on the hall of fame’s website. You’ll also get the down-low on the Bay City area’s history here, from the First Nations on. Got kids along? Check to see whether the downtown Delta College Planetarium has any new programs during your visit.

Uptown Saturday Night It’s a short hop to the Uptown entertainment/restaurant/hotel district, anchored by the Courtyard by Marriott and some notable lunch/dinner spots. In the district’s north end, fill up at the EV Level 2 charging station, one of four charging spots in the Bay City area. Near the Marriott Courtyard, Real Seafood Co. is on the water, offering everything from swordfish to walleye. Costela Brazilian Steak House prepares meats over a mesquite wood fire grill. Nearby, the Uptown Grill is for breakfast and lunch, and Cream & Sugar Ice Cream serves just that. 88

PHOTOS COURTESY OF GARY JOHNSON (BOTTOM); AND GREAT LAKES BAY REGIONAL CVB

the historic Campbell House Hotel building. Walk next door to the Bay City Antique Center for more, or continue exploring at the nearby Americana Co. Antique Center and Retro Attics Studio. Treat Time: St. Laurent Brothers, kitty-corner from the antiques store, is Michigan’s oldest candy store. Stop in for house-made spreadable — either smooth or crunchy, salt, or unsalted — peanut butter in jars or tubs, plus other nutty chocolate treats.

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M I D - M I C H I G A N G E TAWAY | FA L L 2 0 2 2

The Bay City Riverwalk and Gazebo is the perfect place for leisurely strolls, fishing, or relaxing along the waterfront.

Cannabis Tourism

PHOTOS COURTESY OF GREAT LAKES BAY REGIONAL CVB

Whether you agree with the idea or not, cannabis is legal in Michigan, and Bay County is an industry epicenter. Bangor Township, just north of the city, was the state’s second municipality to approve sales, and its 2021 fiscal year posted $677,000 extra in its treasury, which it spent on roads and its fire department, says Glenn Rowley, township supervisor. There are 24 dispensaries in Bay County. Only Ann Arbor has more. Before legalization, many municipalities like Bangor and Bay City were struggling financially, and their funding is now more secure, Rowley adds.

A Polish Heritage Thousands of Poles arrived in this area of the state in the late 1800s. Taste that heritage during Sunday lunch or dinner at Krzysiak’s House Restaurant. Order from a menu that includes Czarnina soup, or try its buffet for no-frills but solid fare including kielbasa and sauerkraut. Don’t forget to buy some Chrusciki, or angel wings. St. Stan’s Polish Festival takes place each June at the St. Stan’s Athletic Club complex.

Get Outdoors Visit part of the Saginaw Bay Birding Trail at Bay City State Park, along Saginaw Bay. Fall is a perfect time to climb the park’s viewing towers for a look over 1,652-acre Tobico Marsh, a stopping point for thousands of birds and waterfowl heading south. The paved 1.25-mile

Frank N. Andersen Nature Trail is part of nearly five miles of trails. There’s also a campground and the Saginaw Bay Visitor Center, with wildlife and educational displays. Want to catch some walleye? At least 15 charter captains want to meet you — like Brandon Stanton, of Team Gunsmoke Sportfishing & Guide Service. Boats range from cabin craft to pontoons and operate seasonally. Or hook up with Stanton for a guided winter ice-fishing trip. Other opportunities include walleye fishing schools run by Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame member Mark Martin — one on the Saginaw Bay ice in February, and another in May from the state park’s Saginaw Bay Visitor Center. Nearby, gain a wilder perspective on an upper Saginaw River tour by Wil Hufton, your captain aboard Johnny Panther Quests, where you’ll see bald eagles, deer, beaver, and other wildlife. That’s just a sampling of why this town is a fun place for a great weekend visit, regardless of the season.

PLAN IT! Great Lakes Bay Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau gogreat.com Downtown Bay City downtownbaycity.com

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FA L L 2 0 2 2 | PA R K I T H E R E

Thumbs Up M-25’s big U-shaped drive along Lake Huron offers scenic fall getaways complete with golden beaches and charming towns

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swath of autumn color parallels M-25, the lakeside route that leads from Bay City to Port Huron, tracing the edges of Michigan’s Thumb. The vibrant red and yellow sugar maples and beeches would brighten any stretch of pavement, but here along Michigan’s Thumb Coast, the foliage appears all the more brilliant, contrasted by eastern Michigan’s golden beaches and the turquoise waters of Lake Huron. The region ranks among the state’s lesser-traveled destinations, but it promises a quiet, scenic getaway that’s especially lovely in the fall. 90

A little farther south of Sarnia, campers at Algonac State Park enjoy the extra benefit of watching ocean-going freighters navigate the St. Clair River. The park offers a half mile of frontage along the busy waterway.

Some 160 miles of Lake Huron beachfront embrace the Thumb area, making its natural attractions a highlight. Three state parks preserve the Lake Huron shore; the southernmost, Lakeport State Park, is located just north of Port Huron, while the others — Port Crescent and Sleeper State Park — are nestled on the tip of the Thumb. Hiking trails at the three parks wind through unspoiled dunes and beneath a coastal forest that’s ablaze with color above and pleasantly crunchy underfoot. Shore birds dive into the Lake Huron surf, whitetail deer hide anxiously among the trees, and it’s not unusual to spy a Great Lakes freighter passing by.

PHOTO COURTESY OF ALGONAC STATE PARK/DNR

By Amy S. Eckert

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PHOTOS COURTESY OF BLUE WATER AREA CVB

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Above, left: The day use area at Lakeport State Park features a grand entranceway to Lake Huron. The park has two separate campgrounds. Above, right: The Port Crescent State Park’s day-use area includes a birds of prey observation deck and three miles of sandy beach access. A section of the park also is designated as a dark sky preserve, with the opportunity to view the northern lights — especially during April, October, and November.

Port Crescent State Park’s designation as a dark sky preserve (see related story in the Waterways section) gives visitors a reason to stay up past sunset. Wrap yourself in a fleece jacket and head to the park’s stargazing platform, where the rural surroundings and the broad surface of Lake Huron ensure you’ll be able to see the twinkle of a million stars on cloudless evenings. Albert Sleeper State Park, seven miles to the west and named for the Michigan governor who created Michigan’s state park system, benefits from its location on a slight bend in the shoreline. The beach curves just enough to allow views of a vibrant Lake Huron sunrise in the morning and a similarly colorful sunset in the evening. Five Lake Huron lighthouses dot the route. Climb a tower, visit a lighthouse museum, or spend a morning admiring these historic and gracious beacons. The Great Lakes’ oldest lighthouse is Fort Gratiot. Constructed in Port Huron in 1829, a climb up the 82-foot white brick tower

offers sweeping views of Lake Huron where it funnels into the St. Clair River below the International Blue Water Bridge to Canada. A visit to the lighthouse museum includes the restored keeper’s quarters. The Pointe aux Barques Lighthouse was built in 1857 in Port Austin. The stately white tower was meant to guide ships as they made their way past the tricky tip of the Thumb, and is open for tours and museum visits through September. The area’s most interesting lighthouse may be the Huron Lightship. Constructed in 1921 as a floating beacon, the ship was the last such vessel in service when it was decommissioned in 1970; it’s now designated as a National Historic Landmark. The ship and its museum in Port Huron are open through October, with free admission. Steeped in Great Lakes history, the small towns of Michigan’s Thumb charm visitors with dozens of independent boutiques, restaurants, and coffee shops all along the coastline. MICHIGAN BLUE

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Below: One of the favorites at the 1,500-acre Algonac State Park is the Blazing Star Prairie Trail. Bottom: Gorgeous Lake Huron sunrises are a treat when viewed from the dunes walkway at Port Crescent State Park.

M-25’s southern terminus lies in Port Huron. The Great Lakes Maritime Center observation deck, along the Blue Water River Walk, is a great place to watch heavily laden freighters pass during the shipping season. Alternately, you could head to Freighters restaurant, where the restaurant’s plate glass windows look onto the ships passing just a few feet away. By year’s end, snow and ice will arrive and the shipping lanes will have much less traffic. All the more reason to savor autumn while it lasts.

PLAN IT! Blue Water Area Convention & Visitors Bureau bluewater.org Great Lakes Bay Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau gogreat.com

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PHOTOS COURTESY OF BLUE WATER AREA CVB

Tucked deep within the curve of Saginaw Bay, Bay City anchors the west end of M-25 (see related travel story). Its downtown waterfront is busy with coffee shops, restaurants, and boutiques. A favorite is the Bay City Antiques Center. With two stories and 60,000 square feet of furniture, architectural salvage, and maritime collectibles, it’s the largest antiques shop in the state. The coastal town of Port Austin serves as a good hub for exploring the Thumb’s northernmost state parks and lighthouses. Downtown, independent vendors sell jewelry, clothing, and wine from small storefronts on the Village Green. Port Austin’s farmers market, one of the state’s largest and open through mid-October, showcases the season’s harvest: locally grown apples, pears, pumpkins, and cut flowers. Harbor Beach, to the south, revolves around the water. Established as a harbor of refuge — a safe zone where ships could wait out Lake Huron storms — Harbor Beach’s white cast iron lighthouse was erected in 1885. If the weather’s warm enough, paddle a kayak out to see the vessels that didn’t make it, as their wrecks are still visible in the shallow waters offshore.

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Year-Round Dining: Reservations at 1911Restaurant.com

Year-Round Lodging: Reservations recommended at 231-347-2410 TheTerraceInn.com

• The best planked whitefish in Northern Michigan

• 38 Guest Rooms • Private Baths • Breakfast

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f you are looking for something out of the ordinary this lovely Inn is for you! Step back into the past where comfort and room appointments set the atmosphere. Add in some modern conveniences and you have The Terrace Inn. Along with the Inn is the 1911 Restaurant which also has unique menu offerings. I highly recommend the planked whitefish. Absolutely delicious!

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THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT PLANNING A TRIP. The anticipation of what’s to come — whether it’s unfamiliar surroundings, an exciting adventure, a relaxing break, or quality time with loved ones — just makes us feel good. Now that travel is back on the table, being able to get away is more special than ever. The only question is: Where? At Michigan BLUE, we advocate for staying close to home. We may be a little biased, but we also are aware of all that Michigan and the greater northern regions have to offer. Watching the sun rise or set on one of our Great Lakes. Hiking

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through dense national forests. Taking scenic drives along the coastline or through tunnels of trees. Boating, fishing, or kayaking on winding rivers. Shopping the boutiques in quaint small towns. Sightseeing and culture-seeking in buzzing urban areas. Dining, wine-tasting, and craft brewsipping. Or just doing nothing at all, but against a beautiful backdrop. Have we convinced you yet? Up North, on the lakeshore, or into Canada, the destinations in this section offer experiences for everyone. Give yourself something to look forward to and book your getaway today!

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Northern Michigan Landmark Lodging & Waterfront Dining

Bay View Inn I Bay View Victorian Country Inn on the shores of Little Traverse Bay.

Perry Hotel I Petoskey Located in the heart of Petoskey’s Gaslight District, just off Little Traverse Bay.

Crooked River Lodge & Suites I Alanson Family-friendly hotel overlooking the picturesque Crooked River.

Weathervane Restaurant I Charlevoix Charlevoix’s best waterfront dining, nestled along the Pine River Channel.

Pier Restaurant I Harbor Springs Celebrate the maritime heritage of Harbor Springs with true waterfront dining.

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PHOTO COURTESY OF PETOSKEYAREA.COM

A N C H O R S AWAY

110 Cheers! A must-do in Michigan: Dining at Stafford’s Pier in Harbor Springs.

108 Tasting Room A U.P. brewery honors its Tahquamenon Falls legacy.

110 Dining Out A treasured waterfront restaurant in Harbor Springs serves up tasty everything.

112 Book It Longtime vacationer transforms an historic lodge into Harbor Country’s Grand Beach Hotel.

114 Discoveries The U.P.’s Drummond Island lures visitors in search of rare world-class alvars and rustic beauty. MICHIGAN BLUE

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FA L L 2 0 2 2 | TA S T I N G R O O M

Lumberjack Lagers U.P. brewery celebrates its Tahquamenon Falls legacy and family ties to the area’s logging history

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logging company to the Newberry area in 1916. As his sons, F.W. and John Alton (Jack), grew up, they worked alongside him timbering the area forests. Shortly after the Tahquamenon Falls State Park was established in 1947, Jack and his wife, Mimi, became co-owners of four “forties” — a total of 160 acres of land adjacent to the mighty Tahquamenon River and its Upper Falls. There was no designated land-access to the falls at that point, but Jack had a dream of creating a place where visitors could get up close to the “Root Beer Falls,” as they were affectionately known. In 1949, Jack and his land partner, R.J.

Beach, reached an agreement with the Michigan Conservation Commission to turn over all but 2 acres to be incorporated into the state park. Beach was granted a 25year contract to run his Toonerville Trolley to transport visitors to the river, along with docking privileges for his boats to operate tours on the river. Jack received $2,000 and a 2-acre parcel with a parking lot, less than a mile from the falls. Jack built Camp 33 — named in honor of the 33rd camp established by the Barrett Logging Co. — as the backdrop for his first concession and gift shop operations. Visitors who were meandering to the falls and back

PHOTO COURTESY OF DAVID KENYON/STATE OF MICHIGAN

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ucked under a canopy of trees, just a stone’s throw from one of the largest waterfalls east of the Mississippi (second only to Niagara), sits one of Michigan’s oldest craft breweries. When siblings Lark and Barrett Ludlow opened Tahquamenon Falls Brewery near Paradise in 1996, it was just the fourth pub of its kind in the Upper Peninsula, and one of about 30 in the state. The brewery is a tribute to the logging that once dominated this region — an industry to which the Ludlows have family ties. Their great-grandfather moved his

By Dianna Stampfler

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PHOTOS COURTESY OF LIFE IN MICHIGAN

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Above: Stainless steel and logging industries. Lighter, under a canopy of trees would tanks dominate the bar. fruit-forward beers include now have a place to rest, grab Opposite page: The raspberry, peach, and blueberry a bite to eat, or buy a souvenir. falls played a big role in (with floating blueberries) ales. After Jack’s passing in 1959, the Tahquamenon Falls While the massive lodge-like Lark and Barrett’s grandmother Brewery history. pub has plenty of seating, be oversaw the business until 1987, prepared to wait for a table inside or outside when her grandchildren proudly took over during peak season. the family businesses. The interior focal point is the floor-toThe 1990s were a pivotal year for Camp ceiling fireplace — a must for a logging 33, first with the rebuilding of a new gift shop camp tribute, the owners say. The rustic and concession stand that evoked an Up walls are adorned with what you might North feel. Expanding on the family’s vision expect in a U.P. cabin: mounted animal of being a welcoming place for travelers, the heads; antlers; and pelts from elk, moose, restaurant and brewery came next. timber wolves, and black bear, along with Lark became one of the first female smaller stuffed creatures. brewsters in the state, crafting her portfolio of Lark’s beer list compliments a hearty menu beers on a small 10-barrel system set up on the that any lumberman or nature lover might south end of the building, where the stainlessenjoy. Popular dishes include the smoked steel tanks still tower over the bar area. fish dip, wild rice soup (made with locally Since the beginning, Lark’s beers have harvested rice), brew pub cheese soup, bison been traditional and approachable, wellburgers, whitefish (sandwich or entrée), and suited for tourists who may not necessarily pasties — a U.P. staple. be craft beer aficionados. She has perfected “The food here is excellent and so are about 15 timeless recipes, with four beers on their local brews,” says Amanda Wilkes of tap on a rotating basis. Vermillion, Ohio. “It’s a great stop for families The names, such as Lumberjack Lager on vacation to grab good eats and take in the and Falls Tannin (the river’s amber color beautiful falls.” comes from the leaching of tannic acid from Tahquamenon Falls Brewery is open the nearby cedar and hemlock swamps), are seasonally (May through October and midnaturally inspired by the area’s wilderness

December through March). As the brewery and gift shop are located inside the state park, a Recreation Passport or daily use fee is required for entry. The park is open year-round. Park Update: The trail to the Upper Falls consists of a leisurely, handicap-accessible stroll through the forest from Camp 33. More effort is required to get to the Lower Falls from the camp, and requires a trek down a rigorous, four-mile trail. A separate park entrance off M-123 may be the easier option for those who want to visit the Lower Falls, especially for those who would like to kayak on the river. Last Memorial Day weekend, a new 142-foot aluminum pedestrian bridge was opened to allow visitors to hike the trails on the 5-acre island that splits the Lower Falls. The $1.28-million project also included an expanded boardwalk connecting the mainland to the bridge, as well as a half-mile, barrier-free pathway around the perimeter of the island.

PLAN IT! Tahquamenon Falls Brewery & Pub tahquamenonfallsbrewery.com

Above and below: The interior and exterior designs and the brewery’s beer names were inspired by logging and wilderness traditions.

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FA L L 2 0 2 2 | D I N I N G O U T

Stafford’s Style

Calamari headlines an appetizing list of starter selections.

Harbor Springs’ treasured waterfront restaurant features tasty grilled seafood and a classic nautical-themed dining experience By Mark Spezia

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The Pier’s Pointer Room overlooks Harbor Springs’ historic yacht basin and specializes in fine, yet relaxed, dining. Window walls that open completely, part of a major 2016 renovation, let patrons feel the bay breezes even though they’re dining inside. The Chart Room and Wheelhouse Lounge offer more casual environments, and the Wheelhouse features a 12-tap system for both microbrews and wines. “The different areas we have allow us to offer an ideal place for anyone wanting a traditional bar and grill dining experience, for people who want to grab a meal and take it home, and for those seeking upscale, but not formal, dining,”Ewbank says. The Pointer Room was constructed soon after Stafford’s took over the property and is located in a part of the building that was once a boathouse for three water taxis. While Stafford’s Pier has always been known for its fresh seafood offerings — among other dishes, drinks, and desserts — its menu began transitioning to its current seafood grill theme with the hiring of Executive Chef Rob Sargent in 2016.

The New England native grew up appreciating that area’s famous seafood and attended the New England Culinary Institute in Vermont. Sargent and his wife, Maria, moved to Petoskey in 2002 and he held positions at several northern Michigan restaurants, including stints as executive chef at Sage inside Odawa Casino Resort in Petoskey and Barrel Back Restaurant in Walloon Lake, before joining Stafford’s. “Rob is certainly a fish man and we’re fortunate to have him,” says Ewbank, a Macomb County native who joined Stafford’s in 1999 and has been GM since 2009. “There are so many seafood dishes we take pride in, such as walleye, that we serve on a regular basis, and freshly-shucked oysters from the eastern part of the country.” Depending on the season, seafood lovers can also indulge in scallops, whitefish, salmon, fried perch, and fish and chips made with haddock. Shrimp, scallops, salmon, or calamari can be added to Stafford’s Mediterranean linguine, and fish sandwiches can be prepared with walleye or whitefish.

PHOTO BY ERIC BALDWIN/STAFFORD’S HOSPITALITY

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o matter how much time she spends there, Stafford’s Pier Restaurant General Manager Jody Ewbank never grows tired of her “office.” It’s easy to understand why: her workspace is mostly the dining and kitchen areas of downtown Harbor Springs’ only waterfront dining destination, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year. Ewbank says she truly treasures mingling with patrons, hearing their feedback, and working with a dedicated staff she has chosen with care — all while taking in picturesque views of Little Traverse Bay. “People say to me, ‘my gosh, you have to work so much, especially in summer,’ ” she says.“My response is to look out at the water and say, ‘but this is my office.’ I love interacting with customers and listening to how they appreciate our top-notch service, menu, and hospitality, and we have the best view in the world.” One of seven Stafford’s Hospitality lodging and dining properties in northern Michigan, the building was constructed on original pilings over the harbor in 1935. Dudley’s Deck, named after retired Stafford’s Hospitality President Dudley Marvin, offers one of the state’s best outdoor waterfront dining experiences and puts guests close to the water and the boats in the harbor. Inside are three dining areas with décor that reflects the area’s maritime heritage. MICHIGAN BLUE

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room in 1997,” Ewbank recalls. “Now, when people ask about our dress code, I tell them all I ask is that you’re dressed.” The year 2016 marked a watershed moment for one of the state’s most popular waterfront eateries. Not only did the hiring of Sargent usher in a revamped menu, but a significant renovation project was completed. Doors were installed to provide a more direct path from the indoor dining area to Dudley’s Deck, and an exterior deck with a full bar was added to increase the amount of seating closer to the water. Updates: A captain’s table accommodating parties of 12 to14 is available. Also, diners now have the option of receiving a text message when a table is available. Weekend brunch begins at 11 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

PLAN IT! Stafford’s Pier Restaurant staffordspier.com

Above: The Pointer Room showcases a nautical ambience. Below: The harborside dining deck and Pointer excursion boat are visitor favorites.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF PETOSKEYAREA.COM

“Our diver scallops from the East Coast are phenomenal, with the difference being that they’re not caught in a net, but picked by divers from the coral,” Ewbank notes. “Our Lake Superior whitefish is especially popular.” Among the non-seafood options are steaks as well as pork chops that come from Kurobuta pork, a more flavorful and tender cut of meat from Berkshire pigs. Also popular is the Pier burger on a baked brioche bun. “There are menu items that remain all year, but in the fall we feature a variety of squashes, and we use different sauces, depending on the time of year,”Ewbank says. “In early spring, we’ll have freshly-harvested morel mushrooms.” Ewbank, the wife of Stafford’s Hospitality President and CEO Brian Ewbank, began her tenure at the company as it was beginning to gradually relax some formal dining rules and turn Stafford’s Pier into a more casual, yet still classy, establishment. “They had just dropped the requirement of men having to wear suit jackets in the dining

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FA L L 2 0 2 2 | B O O K I T

Priceless Memories Longtime vacationer transforms a historic lodge into Harbor Country’s stylish new residential-style hotel By Mark Spezia Photography by Ryan McDonald

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rowing up in Indiana, Jonathan Gordon treasured his family’s frequent escapes to the nearby southwest Michigan playground of New Buffalo and surrounding small towns. As he built a real estate leasing, sales, and development career in the Chicago area, those priceless memories from the lower Lake Michigan area known as Harbor Country were always on his mind. In 2018, he became founder and CEO of Experiential Capital Group. His company soon opened its first The Neighborhood Hotel in the Chicago neighborhood of Lincoln Park, transforming a 129-year-old building into a residential-style lodging establishment with 14 suites of various sizes. When Gordon decided to open a second location, Harbor Country immediately came to mind. “I spent so many weekends with my family in the New Buffalo area when I was younger, and it became a place that’s very special to 112

me,” he says. “I know there are many other people in the Michiana area and beyond who feel the same way. I began looking for the right property to bring high-quality lodging, in apartment-style formats to New Buffalo.” Earlier this year, Gordon’s vision became reality when guests began checking into The Neighborhood Hotel Grand Beach, just south of New Buffalo and less than a quarter mile from Lake Michigan, after the completion of a year-long renovation. The 4-acre property has been hosting travelers since the historic Pinewood Lodge opened there in 1914. Decades later, it became the Grand Beach Inn. “We started hearing from guests right away about how they feel we maintained the integrity of the original building, which opened nearly 110 years ago, while modernizing it in really thoughtful, detailed ways,” Gordon says. “They said it was awesome to have a place that’s perfect for a family getaway, a guys or girls trip, or a relaxing solo stay. We believe The Neighborhood can

be a place for people to continue going back to and forming great memories.” Among the things Gordon and his team left intact were the white arches that have been greeting visitors since 1912. The Neighborhood Grand Beach, surrounded by a canopy of trees, comes into view soon after guests drive under them. The Neighborhood offers 14 sizable, stylish suites, including two cottage homes. A keyless entry code emailed prior to arrival makes checking in easy. Suites feature hardwood floors with large throw rugs, and one to three large bedrooms with comfortable Casper mattresses topped with Sferra linens. Kitchens have dishwashers, microwaves, Moccamaster coffee machines, refrigerators, and some even have ovens. They also come with extra touches such as a s’mores kit, coffee from local spots, mugs from area restaurants, and a field guide to the area. All suites offer plenty of sleeping space, large bathrooms stocked with C.O. Bigelow bath products, and dining tables. Some have

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private balconies and others have From far left: A sampling common areas offer plenty. There’s a large communal a fireplace. of a lounging space, guest room, relaxing serving area and a living room One of the two-bedroom area, and food and area stocked with games, books, suites, for example, has a king beverage spot at The and even an old-fashioned bed, a set of bunk beds, and a Neighborhood Hotel popcorn machine next to the sleeper sofa, in addition to a Grand Beach. vending machine guests can living room and fireplace. use. There’s plenty of indoor The three-bedroom suite seating, including hanging egg chairs, and features a bunk bed in one room, a king on-site laundry. bed and a queen bed in the other two, and An outdoor heated pool comes with a queen-sized sleeper sofa, along with two beach balls and water guns. Swimming at a bathrooms. rocky, fairly secluded Lake Michigan beach Cottages are bi-level, with a bedroom and is nearby. There’s also an outdoor ping-pong bathroom on each floor and a washer and table and axe-throwing by appointment. dryer. The upstairs bedroom has twin beds Comfortable outdoor seating abounds. and the downstairs bedroom has a queen. “The Neighborhood performed a There’s also a queen sleeper sofa in the remarkable feat in its reinvention of a classic downstairs lounge area. but aging summer beach lodge,”says Collette The décor throughout the building Kemper, who produces newbuffaloexplored. mixes bursts of color with natural earth com, a travel site covering New Buffalo tones, giving off a blend of backwoods and the surrounding Lake Michigan shore cabin and beach house vibes. Outside, the communities. “Their fresh, modern, clever sounds of nature and the aroma of pine remodel acknowledges and celebrates the trees and smoky embers from four fire pits warmth and character of the original Grand with cooking grates provide a rustic feel to Beach retreat, for a successful blend of old complement the luxury accommodations. and new. I don’t think there’s another lodging “Our style of suites combine the best of product like it on the west Michigan lakeshore.” traditional hotel rooms and vacation rentals Also outside, a Grillworks Asador is used into one,” Gordon says. “People have been by a rotation of professional chefs as part of appreciating the mix of rustic and modern the hotel’s pop-up food series. features. They also appreciate how any time Guests can also pre-order everything from they request something, they turn around breakfast staples to full dinners from local and it’s there.” favorite Froelich’s, in nearby Three Oaks, to be The Neighborhood’s indoor and outdoor

in their suite upon arrival. Fresh-baked pies, wine, beer, and bloody Mary and mimosa kits can also be ordered. Froelich’s famous bagels are available on weekends. The Grand Beach Golf Course, tennis and basketball courts, and a playground are either in walking distance or a short drive from the hotel. Indiana Dunes National Park, to the south, and Warren Dunes State Park, Galien River County Park, and Warren Woods State Park to the north provide numerous hiking and fall color possibilities. “What’s really nice is that our 4 acres has a remote feel, but it’s actually in the heart of Harbor Country and provides a great base for visiting the area,” Gordon says. “We’re only about seven minutes from downtown New Buffalo.” Katie Sumner of Mickey’s Dream Vacations, a Chicago travel agency, and her family stayed for a few nights in June. “We’re currently staying at The Neighborhood Hotel and love it!,” she wrote on Facebook. “It’s in a very quiet, wooded area that gives it an Up North feel. There are so many extra special touches that you really do feel at home. If you’re looking for something other than a chain hotel, you need to check out this place!”

PLAN IT! The Neighborhood Hotel Grand Beach theneighborhoodhotel.com MICHIGAN BLUE

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Drummond’s large alvars, along the shoreline and across the island, are considered among the most fascinating in the world.

An Outdoor Playland The U.P.’s Drummond Island lures visitors with its rare world-class alvars and rustic Lake Huron beauty

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am Hales and her family often return to Drummond Island’s Maxton Plains Preserve Alvar in the Upper Peninsula to explore its rare ecosystem, which is rich in flora and fauna. With thin or no soil cover, alvars are dry grasslands with hardy plants growing on exposed, glacier-scraped slabs of flat bedrock, sometimes called limestone pavement. They’re found only in parts of the European Baltic states, western Ireland, and the Great Lakes basin, where Drummond Island’s large alvars are regarded as being among the world’s best. “My favorite thing is to find as many flowering plants as possible to photograph,” says Hales, a Saginaw-area resident who has vacationed on Drummond most of her life. “Our family goal this time was to find 15 different blooming plants, and we actually came up with more than 25” that day, she says, including Prairie Smoke, a feathery 114

pinkish plume that’s listed among the island’s rare plant species. Beyond stalking plants and some 160 species of birds on the Maxton Alvar, there’s plenty more to do on this remote island off the far eastern tip of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Located in Lake Huron, some 70 miles east of the Mackinac Bridge, it’s accessible by the Drummond Island ferry, which runs multiple times daily year-round from DeTour Village. Other options include private boats or planes, or an ice-bridge in winter from nearby Canada. On the island, outdoor recreation reigns supreme. With 150 miles of rugged shoreline, 36 inland lakes, and 58 neighboring islands, Drummond is a popular destination for kayaking, fishing, hunting, boating, snowmobiling, and, especially, off-roading. The island boasts Michigan’s largest closed-loop trail system, with more than 100 miles of ATV and ORV trails. Its rugged terrain often serves as a backdrop for automakers

such as Jeep, Ford, and Chevrolet, which film commercials and other promotional materials there, according to Sara Reed, of the Drummond Island Tourism Association. The island is a favorite of birdwatchers, cyclists, rock-hunters, stargazers, and cabinrenting vacationers, like the Hales, who return year after year to relax amid its rustic natural beauty. At 87,000 acres, it’s regarded as the second-largest freshwater island in the U.S. — only Isle Royale in Lake Superior is bigger — and is home to about 1,000 yearround residents plus deer, bear, eagles, and other wildlife. It was Tom Monaghan, the former Domino’s pizza magnate and Detroit Tigers owner, who put Drummond Island on Michigan’s tourist map when he chose it as the location for his $30-million, headlinegrabbing resort and golf course, The Rock, in the late 1980s. The Drummond Island Resort & Conference Center’s sprawling, well-maintained golf

PHOTOS COURTESY OF DRUMMOND ISLAND TOURISM ASSOCIATION

By Susan R. Pollack

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The island ferry shuttles off-road enthusiats for adventures on the state’s largest closed-loop sysytem.

course features a long, winding 1.2-mile cart ride to the first tee. It’s a conversation piece. Today, with 40 lodge-style hotel rooms and 16 rental cabins, the resort is a bit stuck in time, but it’s undergoing ambitious changes with new private ownership and management by Hotel Investment Services (HIS). “They put a lot of money into it,” says Nicole Robinson, the resort’s general manager, citing the addition of a new paintball course, an indoor mini-golf course, and a convenience store, plus improvements to the Rock course and Pins Bar & Grill, where the bar-top is made from the wooden lanes of the resort’s former bowling alley. While there, try the tasty cauliflower crust pizza and the brisket, pork, or ribs smoked on-site. The resort also has added a dozen new kayaks and canoes, and three paddleboards, according to Robinson, who says the offshore islands make for flat, protected waters and easy paddling. Winter activities include cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, and tubing, as well as the resort’s Turtle Ridge Off Road Park, part of which is open year-round. The upper section has mixed terrain, while the lower section is described as “difficult to extreme,” offering thrill-seekers routes up steep hillsides and over huge limestone rock ledges. A day pass is $30 per vehicle. A prime island destination for those with serious four-wheel-drive vehicles is Marblehead — gray limestone cliffs that rise

nearly 100 feet above the North Channel of Lake Huron. Part of the Niagara Escarpment, the bluffs can be reached via steps or ledges on two trails, one more rugged than the other. Be forewarned: This isn’t a trip for the faint-of-heart. Another challenging four-wheel-drive route winds through the Maxton Plains north to the shoreside Fossil Ledges, the remains of a saltwater coral bed. Hales, whose family visited the site recently in a friend’s SUV, described the ledges as“ not easily accessible”

and says navigating big puddles after a rainstorm was “nerve-wracking,” but she still deemed it worth the drive. All that outdoor activity no doubt works up an appetite, and Drummond’s eateries don’t disappoint, from the locally caught whitefish dinner at Northwood Restaurant & Bar to the loaded olive burgers at Chuck’s Place Bar & Grill, the easternmost bar in the U.P. Foodie Treats: Esther’s Authentic Mexican Cuisine, a colorful café with lines out the door for Thursday night Korean tacos, and the whitefish spread and homemade pies at the Gourmet Galley.

PLAN IT! Drummond Island Tourism Association Check visitdrummundisland.com for details on the island’s annual fall festival, the 2023 Jeep The Mac to Drummond Island classic May 12-14, and other special events.

Prairie Smoke, a feathery pinkish plume, is listed among the island’s rare plant species.

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FA L L 2 0 2 2 | P O S T C A R D

Water Color

A longtime photographer keeps his head down now and then, to discover unique beauty Text and Photo by Bob Brodbeck

I

really love traveling in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The U.P. is so beautiful, with its many waterfalls and their scenic areas. Fall is one of my favorite times to go to the Keweenaw Peninsula, one of these treasured areas, because the colors there are so intense. As an avid photographer, I look for beautiful places. Sharing fall color around a waterfall is one of my favorite things to do. If I could find one, I’d have a bumper sticker that says: “I break for waterfalls!” There are many colorful roadside parks in the Upper Peninsula, but the Canyon Falls roadside park along U.S. 41, located about seven miles south of L’Anse, is definitely one worth stopping at in any season. The trail to the falls goes along the Sturgeon River, which moves swiftly and has numerous rapids and small waterfalls. When I took this photo, the fall colors were great;

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as I meandered along the trail, I saw their reflections on the water and found myself looking down at the color in the river instead of looking up. I was entranced by the orange leaves, which seemed to be sharing their golden glow with the water. I set up my tripod and began taking pictures. I started by shooting the orange trees with the water behind them. I then decided to use a long exposure and just focus on the water, to capture its dreamy look. It worked out wonderfully. The waterfall with the autumn colors around it was a good plan, but the intensity of the orange leaves reflecting off the water was an even more spectacular choice of subject matter. I was hoping to get a few fall color shots here at the falls, but instead I found many very powerful ones on the way there. P.S. Canyon Falls, in Baraga County, is easy to visit and the gorge is quite impressive.

A scenic trail along the Sturgeon River leads to a series of rapids and small waterfalls before approaching the big falls. Often called the “Grand Canyon of the U.P.,” Canyon Falls slides about 30 feet over a large chute of smooth black rock into a boxy canyon. Beyond the falls, there’s an unmaintained trail that meanders along the rim of the gorge. Feel like waterfall-hopping? Powerhouse Falls is about 15 miles to the north along U.S. 41, and a number of other falls can be found near L’Anse. Sturgeon Falls is at least a 45-minute drive downstream. Check out michiganwaterfalls.com for more information. Bob Brodbeck has been a professional photographer for more than 35 years. He’s worked for newspapers, wire services (Associated Press and UPI), and AAA Michigan, including Michigan Living magazine. You can reach him at photo_bob@sbcglobal.net.

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