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post #4 of Old 07-10-2012
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Re: Circling Door County

What a fun trip!
As Tom said, we have cruised these waters for the past two years and loved it. I tried to copy my post from the other site but the pictures don't copy and past. I will try and repost it and reinsert the photos as best I can. This was mostly all about our time in Fayette.

Door County 2011: A step back in time.

I have been meaning to post this for a while.
Julie and I made our annual long distance sail back in June. This year we once again went to Door County with the majority of our trip concentrated on Fayette Michigan.
The trip turned out to be a step back in time followed by a history lesson.

Fayette is located on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula on Big Bay De Noc.

Chart 14908

To reach Fayette the sail was about 181 Nautical Miles from our Home-Port. It was uneventful except for about 8 hours of dense fog overnight. At one point I broadcasted a “Securite” and gave our position. A response from a commercial vessel came back, “We are about 2 miles off your stern; maintain your present and we will pass you to Starboard.” Thank you very much skipper. We never saw them.

Julie and I maintained a watch system of Four on and Four off during the night; during daytime we were nonchalant about our watches, but we made sure each other was well rested.

After about 28 hours on the open water we made our first landfall.

And headed for Poverty Island Passage; the small gap between Poverty Island and the small scrubby Gull Island and Little Gull Island.

One of the attractions of Fayette was the well protected harbor know as Snail Shell Harbor. Snail Shell Harbor is reputed to be one of the most well protected natural harbors on Lake Michigan.

Rounding the Bell to the entrance of Snail Shell Harbor.

Snail Shell Harbor hidden around the bend to Starboard.

Entering the harbor.

Inside the natural Snail Shell Harbor looking back to Big Bay De Noc

Fayette was at one time a booming industrial town but is now known as a ghost town. It grew up around a large blast furnace used to smelt iron ore. Once the smelting business dried up, the town’s people all moved on leaving the buildings and ground much as they looked in the 1890’s.

Fayette Historic Townsite, Upper Peninsula of Michigan

As I understand it, the raw iron ore was mined and sent to Chicago and the lower lakes to the steel mills for processing and for the production of Steel. At some point, the business barons realized that half of what they were shipping was waste, and to ship waste meant loosing profits. So the blast furnaces were set up closer to the mines to reduce the transportation of waste.

Raw ore was than mined in the vicinity; especially at Copper Mountain, shipped via rail car to Escanaba Michigan, and than floated via barge to the blast furnace located at Fayette. Once the smelting process was complete, the refined “Pig” iron could than be transported to the Steel Mills located in Chicago and Gary.

Another view entering the harbor with the Blast Furnace in frame.

View of the town. Blacksmith's Shop. Old Hotel, etc..



Rear of Furnace complex

Town from the harbor

Primitive Dock and the town in background

Beautiful scenery

Can you see the boat in the window?

The large white house to the right in the frame is the Superintendents Residence
Not too shabby

Compare that with a common laborer's house/cabin


A part of the smelting process was to introduce limestone as flux.
Another reason the site is so attractive to the early businessmen was the large amounts of limestone that was available to them.

If you look closely in the following photos you can clearly see the the marks in the cut stone.

Limestone Bluff on the North Side of the Harbor

See the quarry cuts?

It was the trip of a lifetime for us and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
The rest of the week we spent sailing and hopping South in Door County.
I have plenty more pics that will follow, (If your interested) but for now this is Part I of the trip.

More to follow.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ +++++++

The above was from a previous post I made on a different site. I don't know if it translates well.

You asked about other not misses.

We loved hanging out at Rock Island. Do you know the History of Rock Island?
Boat House from various angles.

Its fun just to hike around the primitive Rock Island.

Rock Carvings on Rock Island.

We also stayed in Menominee.
The best part of that was the boaters lounge.

Typical scenery all around Door County

As you can tell, we really have enjoyed our time spent in the Door and on Green Bay. I am sure you will too. As I understand it the lake side of the peninsula does not have a lot to offer and you have to be very careful on your approaches into Bailey's


Courtney is My Hero

If a man is to be obsessed by something, I suppose a boat is as good as anything, perhaps a bit better than most - E.B. White
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