Heading north along Michigan Route 119 we drove through the beautiful lakeside community of Harbor Springs (although, unfortunately, time did not allow us to spend any time here).
North of there, the road Harbor Springs becomes a narrow, sinuous road that snakes around some 137 curves over 20 miles … including especially sharp twists at Devil’s Elbow (reputed to be haunted by an evil spirit and voices after dark) and at Horseshoe Curve or Bend … and has become known as the “Tunnel of Trees”.
Nestled about halfway between Harbor Springs and Cross Village (our ultimate destination) the once thriving resort area of Good Hart; which also has a history rich in Native American lore and local legend. Among the half-dozen shops is the quaint Good Hart General Store,
A gravel road branching off M-119 leads to St. Ignatius Church
The Indian name for the Village, called by the French, L’Abre Croce (Crooked Tree) The first Native American settlement near here began in the spring of 1741. The Jesuit mission of St. Ignace moved to the area the same summer to the current location of Cross Village. However, it was abandoned by the Jesuits in 1776 … but reopened my American missionaries in 1799. After both the first church and its successor (erected in 1823) were both destroyed by fire, the current church was built in 1889.
Our main reason for traveling to Cross Village was to visit the historic
Built in the 1920s by Polish immigrant Stanley Smolak, the Legs Inn is known as a “monument to nature” … as Smolak wanted to capture a sense of history and an appreciation of nature in the elements throughout the building.
The interior is filled with hand carved furniture and features two sets of massive doors crafted from giant pint knots that have been painstakingly pieced together
After lunch we wandered about the the Inn’s gardens
and the Cross, whose original was erected in the mid-1600s by Father Jacques Marquette,
and from which Cross Village, one of the oldest settlements in Michigan and known for its ties to the Ottawas is named. Early records say that Father Jacques Marquette, the famous French Jesuit who endeared himself to the Native Indian population of Northern Michigan, planted a huge white cross on the bluff overlooking Lake Michigan before his death in 1675.
Leaving Cross Village, we returned south to Petoskey … with its many Victorians lining the approaches to the central part of the city and
Other sights around this Lake Michigan community included …