Go to the Cherry Festival in...
Go to the Cherry Festival in July and if possible, travel out into the West Bay to watch the 4th of July fireworks, it's beautiful My grandparents owned a house on the west bay and spending time on it is the best thing you can do. It's beautiful.
Mission Point Lighthouse/Hessler Log House
1. Mission Point Lighthouse
2. Mickey in front of Lighthouse
3. The Hessler Log Home
5. Room Inside the Lighthouse
Mission Point Lighthouse and grounds are really a park. The Lighthouse was built in 1870, and today it is maintained by Peninsula Township and short-term keepers are allowed to live in the lighthouse.
The lighthouse was decommissioned in 1933, but did not open for public tours until 2008!
10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily.
Self-guided tours are available 7 days a week which includes access to the tower.
I walked up to the tower with its narrow steep steps and low headroom. I'm only 5'1" tall, and I bumped my head! So beware.
The Hessler Log Home was built in 1854-1856 in the southern part of the Old Mission Peninsula by early settlers, Mary & Joseph Hessler. The huge logs were cut from pine trees and were hand hewn and stacked on top of each other to form the walls, while modified dove-tailed joints held the corners snuggled together without nails or fasteners.
"This cabin was moved to Mission Point Lighthouse Park where it wasrepaired and furnished during 1992-1997. Supposedly, here the Hessler Log Home would have more visits to further assist the public in understanding how our pioneer families lived and utilized the untamed land."
This information is found on a beautiful sign next to the cabin.
Don't miss seeing both the Mission Point Light House and park as well as the Hessler Log Home.
TVC...as American as CHERRY Pie
"The reason we value small town America"
Ask any American what "small town America" means, and you'll get varying descriptions of the same thing. It's a town with young and old, rich and poor, with people of varied interests, backgrounds and careers. What makes small town America special is the community sense that's present. Small town America isn't a place lined with high-rise apartments and palatial mansions. For the most part, we're talking more of quiet towns, gracefully aging and yet still living neighborhoods...places that look to the future and yet revere the past. It's those tree-lined streets and the security in living somewhere that people know and like their neighbors.
Back in grade school, one of my first "readers" was "UP CHERRY STREET". When I read those first stories of John and Mary, Puff the cat, etc., I always imagined a town like Traverse City. A place with seasons, a place with an identity and character.
And what makes America so special is that such towns are not only in the imaginations of young readers...they're all across the country. Every hometown is special in its own way, every hometown has its claims to fame and pride. In Traverse City, much is made of its status as "cherry capital of the world".
But what really matters in why we value small town America is that it's such a welcoming place to call home...be it in Florida, Michigan, or even California.
"A long history of the finer things"
The accompanying photo shows the old town opera house. This building has now been converted to downtown shops and offices, but it points out an important side of Traverse City. From its days as a timber capital to the present-day Great Lakes vacation village, TVC has always been a place where people appreciate and enjoy the good life.
This is a town of arts, fine dining and a highly-educated, sophesticated populace. There is a lot to make the savvy traveller happy on a visit to this part of the world.
"The Cherry Capital of the World"
As mentioned, Traverse City considers itself the "cherry capital of the world". Part of this emphasis on cherries is a general rebirth of the cherry industry over the past 30 years. For much time in the past, TVC was a major logging area, the land of timber. The timber barons built many of the classic Victorian homes in old TVC. But, as that era ended, the sawmills closed and moved westward. Cherry orchards had also been part of the northern Michigan landscape, and had, during the latter part of the timber boom, been ignored.
Later in the 20th century, concerned northern Michiganders, wishing to avoid the condomineum takeover of their homeland, again turned to the cherry orchards as a source of income and regional pride.
Today, the TVC are exports well over half of the cherry products sold in the USA. And for the most part, many of the cherry product dealers are very civic minded individuals looking to promote and preserve the gentle lifestyle of TVC's past.