We almost take it for granted that if your near the lake in Huron county that your a short walk or drive away from being able to put your toes into the water. That was not always the case. I remember stories from my grand parents and others that the beach front was some of the last land to be sold and parcel developed. After the lumber boom had fizzed out in the 1880’s attention turned to farming. Since the dunes and swampy areas near the water were pretty unfit for farming they stayed clear of development until well into the 1900’s.
Parks were available but they were far and few in between. This small article appeared in 1937 in the Harbor Beach newspaper as many miles of M-25 were in process of being paved. It called on Huron leadership to extend the township roadways that stopped at M-25 right to the shore so tourists could access the beach and lake. Sanilac county took the lead on establishment of easements that were a model for much of the Great Lakes region. Today an example of township easement this can be clearly seen at Oak Beach. The road runs right up the water where, for many years, there was a boat ramp available righ on the edge of the park..
If there is one area in the Upper Thumb where the paranormal might reside it would have to be Bay Port. The area was the site of the vanished Ora Labora German Colony that existed from 1861-1867, the spooky and unattended Old Bay Port Cemetery and the address of the Sweet Dreams Inn where many claim to have experienced paranormal activity.
The Inn was built-in 1890 at the end of the lumber era in the Upper Thumb. Built by William H. Wallace, the Victorian style home was designed with the tastes and style common at that time by those with means. Wallace was active in politics and was a delegate in the Republican National Convention in 1908, 1916, and 1924. He was president of Michigan Sugar Company and Bay Port State Bank. He owned the Wallace Stone Quarry which is just south of town and still in operation today. His first wife, Elizabeth died in 1893 and local lore tells that she passed away in the home. There also a bit of a mystery in that despite the prominence of this individual there is no record of his or his son’s grave sites. Thus it’s no coincidence that visitors say Wallace and his first wife still roam the inn with his heavy footsteps, as well as whispering in the ears of the guests.
“Me and my best friend live in Bay Port We have seen ghosts and heard screams countless times walking on the street in front of the sweet dreams inn. Also have heard stories of the ghosts and have seen the little girl looking out of the left window on the third floor. So I believe it is haunted!!!”
The Sweet Dreams Inn is a specialized bed-and-breakfast where guests hope to experience the proximity of these friendly ghosts. Guest have reported that doors open and close, beds and chairs are moved. Some report that they feel being touched and hear voices and footfalls where nobody has been. One event that was caught on a cell phone video was that of an “orb” flying through one of the guest bedrooms. At times guests are unnerved by the experience and leave in the middle of the night.
“Been there several times and have experienced activity first hand: footsteps, voices. Just because one person doesn’t have an experience doesn’t mean it never happens.”
The inn has been featured in two Haunted Michigan travel books and featured in a paranormal documentary and movie. The Inn still registers guests by appointment you can actually stay overnight. However, the word in Bay Port is that soon the Sweet Dreams Inn will soon be up for sale.
This observation was clear. When looking up the top online travel sites for information for the Upper Thumb’s top restaurants, pubs, galleries, bowling alleys, attractions and events we are sorely lacking the “love” that communities like Traverse City, Petoskey and even the all-too-close Frankenmuth get.
Therefore, ThumbWind announces the start of 30 days of love campaign. We are encouraging our readers to go to your favorite on-line travel site and post a review, then tell us. If you have a great place to highlight in Sanilac, Tuscola or Huron County then we want to highlight your awesome post.
Email your post to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your entry will be highlighted and shared on our Facebook page and on the weekend of Valentine’s day we will have a random selection of all entries for a free T-shirt, Hoodie or Sweatshirt from our online store. It’s a chance to spread the love of our Thumb area and give an on-line boost to our wonderful collection of spots we love visit, shop, and talk about.
Please share this post and encourage people to become engaged with the on-line resources that will support our community.
OFFICIAL RULES: Entries must be submitted to email@example.com no later than midnight 2/14/2017. (Valentine’s Day), The site you reviewed must be located in Sanilac, Tuscola or Huron County. Each entry must be a clearly viewable post from any travel website such as Yelp ™ TripAdvisor ™ or other public web site and must be viewable to the general public without login. Winner will be a random draw among all entries. The random winner to select one item from http://shop.thumbwind.com. There is only one winner for the T-shirt but we all win with more love spread around.
Copyright: snake3d / 123RF Stock Photo
The big issue 100 years ago was the cost of living and the availability of food and coal due to the First World War. It was a theme that was clearly evident as stories were appearing weekly. Sugar beets were being sold by local farmers to processing companies for $8 a ton.