Compass: Town of Fayette

One of the most beautiful and eerie places I have been to is Fayette Historic State Park in Delta County, Michigan. It’s a ghost town set on the shore of Lake Michigan, but is now abandoned. If you read last week’s article about the abandoned Griffith Zoo in California, you probably have guessed that my family loves to visit weird places.

Fayette State Park has an eerie vibe that keeps you on edge. It’s not creepy or strange, but it feels like your floating in a lost part of history. Most places give you a distinct feeling, but Fayette is one you have to experience to understand. The image below is of Lake Michigan from inside an abandoned building.

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There are beautiful buildings that are desperately trying to hold onto the past, only the care of the staff keeping them together. Old machinery, stores, doctor clinics, and boarding places are strategically set around the few mile park. Many of the buildings are set up like they might have been when they were functional; the store has pretend meats hanging in the back, fresh produce in bowls, and even a cashier. It was amazing to walk around and view the world that used to be home to so many workers.

I have been to Fayette a few times, but my favorite memory is when it was pouring rain. Since it’s a ghost town, the buildings are arranged in the way of a town, so in order to see the park, you need to walk outside. My family and I had been walking around for an hour or two--it’s quite big--and all of a sudden, the rain came.

It was pelting and hard to avoid, so we embraced it. My three siblings and I danced in the rain, splashing in the puddles and getting every part of ourselves wet. My parents stood in the doorway of the schoolhouse and laughed with us. It was a cinema moment. When the rain had let up, we wandered into the blacksmith’s shop, still soaking wet.

It was so fun to experience that imperfect perfect moment with my family in one of my favorite places. If you ever go the Upper Peninsula and need somewhere to explore, I would definitely recommend Layette State Park. It’s beautiful and the eeriness is unsettling but interesting. There is a campground and many hiking trails, so if the park isn’t up your alley, you can find something to do. Thanks for traveling the country a little closer to home this week!