"Sights To See In The Thumb"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Saturday, July 25, 2015

It’s easy to miss a few items when one is writing a weekly column. I missed an entire community, Sebewaing.

In my last column I talked about visiting Huron County marinas when I recently took a road trip but did not mention the Sebewaing Municipal Harbor Marina. I actually had visited the marina twice since early spring and had noticed how busy their launch was with families launching and retrieving boats.

I learned that although the marina had many seasonal slips rented, they still have open ones available. Thanks to the recent dredging the average depth in the harbor area is eight feet.

Sebewaing is tucked in the southwest corner of Huron County and has a few surprises. There is a small airport, three campgrounds, a big grocery market and one of its best known features is The Red Dairy Barn. Is there anyone traveling through the area who has not enjoyed what that location offers? I know I have, often.

If you head west, without using M-25, you could miss Sebewaing but you would come across some interesting, un-familiar little towns. Gagetown (location of the Octagon Barn), Bach, Colwood, Colling, Owendale and Akron. Farther along you’ll encounter Fairgrove, Quanicassee and Wisner.

There is a small town with a big abandoned, multi-story general store at the four corners, often called Thompson’s corners, but better known as Kilmanagh. As you stop in front of the abandoned building you’ll see a rare, old-fashioned gas pump still expecting to offer some gas. It’s worth the trip to check it out.

If you are not a visitor or guest, don’t let that stop you. There are so many sights to see and things to do in our area. The windmills are fascinating, I’m surprised they don’t cause accidents because they are so mesmerizing to watch. Solar parks are springing up all over also and although not as attractive to view it’s good to know additional efforts at energy conservation are going on here in the Thumb.

Sanilac Petroglyphs Historic State Park is also off the beaten path. Open Wednesday through Sunday. The Petroglyphs offer views of the only known prehistoric rock carvings in the state. They are located off Gagetown Road between Bad Axe Road and M-53.

If you head north toward the lake, there are lots of places to grab a bite; Mickey D, Big Boy, Dairy Queen, lots of opportunities for pizza. Every town has at least one home cooked-style restaurant. For a chef-prepared dinner experience, stop in at the Farm Restaurant in Port Austin. Enjoy their signature Michigan cherry dressing on a salad and the very best bread pudding.

Lighthouses are certainly a draw for those visiting the area and many lucky enough to live here. The Harbor Beach Lighthouse just had a birthday. It turned 130 years old recently and they threw the old girl a big party. Another, Pte. Aux Barques Lighthouse sits on shore within Lighthouse County Park. It is still operational, aiding mariners as they round the Thumb. The light will celebrate turning 158 years old at a 10th annual festival being held Aug. 1. There are some great activities planned. The Port Austin Reef Light rests atop a reef two miles offshore of Port Austin and it too is elderly at 137 years old. A prize photo can be achieved with a long enough lens or try Lisa’s Loft or the Emporium in town to buy one.

If you live in the Thumb and don’t travel around it, you are missing a lot. I met a gentleman from Filion who told me he had never seen the lake. Others have never ventured past the county seat. As I see it, you need to just spring for some fuel, jump in the car and tour our Thumb area. Be sure to wind up at the shoreline for sunset — it’s spectacular!



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