5 Abandoned Michigan Spots You Have To Visit at Least Once, Including 2 Near Marquette
My exploration of the great state of Michigan may have been temporarily halted due to the thing known as...winter, but I'm already planning my next adventure.
And before you come at me with the incredibly logical argument of, "you can still do things during winter" allow me to remind you that I'm a Floridian transplant. I didn't necessarily acquire the skills to traverse the icy roads with confidence. But, I'm working on it.
All of that being said, it turns out Michigan has some beautiful/creepy/historic abandoned sites that are just calling to be explored, at least according to Thrillist. Now, I feel I must preface this with a word of caution. If you plan to visit abandoned sites please make sure that they're not private property or condemned for any reason. Safety should always come first.
My preaching out of the way, I present to you 5 abandoned Michigan spots you just have to visit at least once:
1. Fisher Body Plant 21
Located in Detroit, the Fisher Body Plant 21 has a rich history in the automotive world. Founded in the early 1900's, this plant provided not just parts for vehicles but also manufacturing parts for planes and the like during World War ll. It was closed in 1984 and converted into a place for "industrial painting" but ultimately ownership went back to the city in 2000. It currently sits empty for the most part. Read more about the history of Fisher Body Plant 21 here.
2. The Holy Family Orphanage
Perhaps the creepiest on this list, at least in my opinion, is the Holy Family Orphanage. To me, this screams "I'm haunted!" and I wouldn't be surprised if it was. The history of the Holy Family Orphanage isn't a pretty one. Horrifying would be a better term. Also established in the early 1900's, the Holy Family Orphanage was supposed to be a refuge for children who had lost or been abandoned by their parents. However, very quickly, allegations and rumors of abuse arose. There were even stories of Native American children being literally ripped from the arms of their parents. Like I said...horrifying. Claims have been made that the place may, indeed, be haunted. If you'd like to read more history on the Holy Family Orphanage you can do so here.
*note: after publishing this article it was brought to my attention that this site has been converted into apartments. However, if you're a ghost hunter...you may still want to check it out! The original frame still stands.*
3. The Prehistoric Forest Amusement Park
Once upon a time in the late 60's, there was a dinosaur amusement park hidden in the woods of Onsted Michigan. I would have LOVED to see this place in its heyday. Apparently, the displayed dinosaurs were life-sized and they even had a man-made active volcano and water slides too. The park closed in 2002. However, the owner has hinted at her desire to revitalize and reopen the park. But, no plans are currently in place as far as I know. Check out these blast from the past pictures and catch up on the history of the Prehistoric Forest Amusement Park here. Please note: this park is private property. If you plan to visit, you must contact the owner first.
4. Grand Island East Channel Lighthouse
The perfect scene for the next post-apocalyptic zombie flick, it's the Grand Island East Channel Lighthouse. This site you'll have to view from a distance since it resides on private property. However, Grand Island has been designated as a National Recreation area so you'll be able to view the lighthouse from nearby decks. This lighthouse was constructed around 1870 and was almost lost forever a few years ago. That's when local citizens stepped in to repair the foundation and add support to the tower. Read more about the history of this lighthouse here.
5. Fayette Ghost Town
Fayette Ghost Town, now a State Park, provides some gorgeous scenery judging by the photos. And you know the saying...the pictures hardly do it justice. I'm sure that's the case here as well. The town was built in 1867 and eventually held about 500 residents. Most of which were employed by the local smelting company, Jackson Iron Company. However, Jackson Iron Company shut down around 1891 leaving the residents with no other choice than to pack up, abandon the town, and try to find new work. A majority of the buildings have either been preserved or partially restored providing a wonderful landscape that just has to been visited in person. If, like, me you may be waiting until winter is finished before setting out on an adventure, you can see some snapshots of the area and read a bit more on the history of the Fayette Ghost Town here.
So far, I'm at a 0/5 for the places I've actually visited in person. But, I plan to remedy that by this time next year. I know there have to be more spots that everyone needs to see. If you have a spot on the top of your mind, please let me know!