Tag Archives: Huron County

Huron County is located at the tip of the “thumb” area of Michigan. It is surrounded on three sides by water – Saginaw Bay and Lake Huron. The county has a land area of 824 square miles bordered by an irregular shore, 93 miles long.

Huron County ranks as one of the top agricultural counties in Michigan. Major crops grown in the county are corn, navy beans, sugar beets, wheat, alfalfa, oats and barley. Major agricultural enterprises include dairy, livestock, and poultry production.

Because of the natural beauty and ideal topography and sandy beaches, Huron County has an ideal setting for the tourism industry.

The shoreline offers numerous opportunities for vacationers. With  two state parks – Sleeper State Park and Port Crescent State Park. Two roadside parks – Jenks Park and Brown Park. Also, Huron County maintains nine county parks along the shoreline.

Bay Port Fish Sandwich Festival

Michigan’s Upper Thumb Festival Season Starts in Bay Port

Bay Port, Michigan – As late summer rolls around the days get a bit shorter and the evenings around the campfire can have a bit of chill in the air. It’s also festival season! If you’re in the Upper Thumb the first weekend in August, head to Bay Port. The Bay Port Fish Sandwich Festival is the granddaddy of them all. Since 1978 folks come in and lined up for a fish sandwich that “takes two hands to hold one.” At $4.00 it’s a deal. It’s a family friendly event but its proximity to the historic Bay Port Inn make thoughts of having a “short one” prior to hitting the craft booths not uncommon.


Bay Port Craft Show
Craft and vendor booths are fun to browse

Events start on Friday, August 3rd at noon with sandwiches and a large continuous craft show, the crowning of the festival’s king, queen, prince and princess and fireworks on Friday evening at Saturday’s events start with a 5K walk/run then the festival’s parade kicks off at 10:30 a.m. Craft booths and fish sandwiches are sold throughout the day. 

The festival concludes on Sunday at noon with a fish eating contest. 

A Bite of Bay Port Fish Sandwich History

Bay Port Fish Sandwich Festival
Even the King makes sandwiches

The Engelhard’s family started the community’s Fish Sandwich Festival. In 1949 Henry and Edna began selling the famous fish sandwich. By 1953, the Engelhard’s erected a stand on the front lawn of their home, with a sign that touted Bay Port’s Original Fresh Boneless Fried Fish Sandwich.

The first Fish Sandwich Festival was held in 1978, and just like Caseville’s 1st Rib stock held years later, they quickly sold out. Today the annual number of visitors averages over 10,000. Back in the late 1940’s folks told them they were crazy, but the Bay Port fishery certainly captivated them and, after all, the Bay Port slogan is “Fish caught the Man.”

Bay Port Fish Sandwich Festival
Live Entertainment All Weekend

The fish sandwich is the prime attraction. The original sandwich is local caught freshwater Mullet is dipped in a secret batter, fried crisp, and served on a long bun with ketchup and mustard. Although not traditional, tartar sauce is also available. According to Henry, the fish should overlap the bun and  the sandwich should be so large “it takes two hands to hold it.” All day, the lines in front of the sandwich stand are long. It is not unusual to sell 12,500 sandwiches to people from as far away as Florida and the northeast.

Bay Port Michigan Fish Sandwich Festival
The lines move quickly

Henry was the festival’s primary inspiration, energy, supporter, and promoter. He wrote many stories regaling the fish sandwiches’ power to please and to heal. Through his efforts, the festival has been featured on NBC’s Today Show, ABCs 20/20, and in many national magazines and newspapers. In recognition of their contribution to the Fish Sandwich Festival, Henry and Edna (she died in 1992) were honored as “Mr. and Mrs. Bay Port.”



ThumbWind-Follow-Us-On-Twitter

Advertisements

Kilmanagh General Store – Saving A Great Thumb Icon –

Kilmanagh General Store

One of the roadside treats for me when I come up the Thumb on Fridays after work is to go through the tiny village of Kilmanagh. The iconic general store and vintage gas pump are always worth a slow roll to see what has changed.


Kilmanagh


Kilmanagh General Store Restoration

KilmanaghHowever, the time has taken its toll on the 1870 general store that sports one of the last 1800’s storefront facades that was common in that time. The Building and Zoning Department has deemed the porch unsafe and ordered it repaired or removed.

The owners Tom and Brenda Voss are taking steps to restore the property, but it’s expensive. It has to be rebuilt to meet current code requirements, starting with new foundations. The existing cement porch deck needs to be removed, and both upper and lower porch decks need to be rebuilt to current standards. The porch roof has pulled away from the wall and collapsed. The roof deck will need to be opened up, and raised back into position before the roof structure can be jacked back into place.

The ornamental roof sections on the parapet wall need to be reconstructed, and the main roof needs to be repaired where the wall has pulled away. We expect that repairs to sill plates and other water damage will be required.

Our goal for phase one is to stabilize the structure, and weatherproof the building. When that is completed,  work to restore the Victorian detailing on the front, and start to repair siding and windows and paint the other areas of the building.

The Voss’s have kicked off a fundraising campaign to help with the costs of bringing the general store back to its former glory. Please consider a donation at their  Go Fund Me site.

Thumbwind chipped in a $100. Your contribution, however small or large will mean a great deal to this little community and those who love history. Please share this post and donate.


Kilmanagh is a place stuck in lore and time. In the Spring of 1891, then this western Huron County village hosted a grist mill or two general stores, a  blacksmith shop, and two or three saloons. Today only a couple relics Kilmanagh


of the village remains the aging general store, a 1940’s service station, and a closed liquor store. It is an interesting stop on your way to the coast of Saginaw Bay. If you stop treat it respectfully as it’s literally a museum exposed to the elements.


Kilmanagh


Kilmanagh – A Living Museum

Walk among its ruins. Snapshots and hopefully write a few words on your find. The general store is what takes your attention first. There is beauty in the decay. 


Kilmanagh


It’s a little gold mine for still life artists. The best example of someone who really invested himself into this is  John Nagridge who in several seasons painted Kilmanagh Fall, Winter, and Spring themes.  You can visit John’s website to view more knife renderings of Kalmanagh’s general store.

Related Articles About Kilmanagh

Where in the heck is Kilmanagh?


ThumbWind-Mercantile-banner