Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


The Voyageur's Encampment at Lake St. Clair Metropark 2011
Well ... got myself all geared up for the the Voyageur's Encampment last weekend. Sturdy shoes, sunscreen, hat and camera in hand––I headed over to the Montreal canoe presentation. The presenter was a talented storyteller. He brought the French voyageurs, the fur trade, and history of New France to life. Unfortunately I did not get his name. (Wish the Schedule of Events listed the presenter's names.) 

I was about to take my first photo of his thirty foot Montreal canoe when my camera went dead. I'd forgotten to charge the battery. :( :( :(   But my kind and wonderful husband took some photos with his phone, and along with a few picture's from the 2011 Encampment, I thought I'd update this post. 

Detroit Drunken Historical Society
The Montreal canoe, 30 feet long.

Rabbit, onions and potatoes. 
Jesuit Pears?? 

Launching onto Lake St. Clair

In the Montreal canoe, twelve men could paddle tons of cargo 300 miles in a week.

Just like the 2011 Encampment, it was a beautiful day by Lake St. Clair.

And don't forget Michigan's new French Canadian Heritage day, October 4th, 2013.

Thanks to the efforts of James LaForest, members of the Ad Hoc Committee, and those who signed the petition they sent to Governor Snyder–– October 4, 2013 will be Michigan's first official French Canadian Heritage Day.

James has also started a wonderful project on his blog. He's invited descendants of Michigan's early French to submit memories of their French Canadian families to his Storykeepers Project. Family traditions, childhood memories, food and recipes, genealogy––already there are several great stories posted, so check it out. 


Just thought I'd let everyone know...And thank you James LaForest.

Vivian  : )

Friday, August 9, 2013


And so we left Mackinaw City. Tired and happy to be heading home after a great vacation and content that we'd seen and done everything we wanted to, we pronounced this vacation over, put our cameras away and settled into the drive down US 23. But about an hour south we spotted a sign for the Forty Mile Point Lighthouse and thought we'd stop, just to use the restrooms. 

What we found was a lovely park––So nice that we dug those cameras out of the suitcase. Vacation wasn't quite over, not yet.  

The Calcite

There was the pilot house from The Calcite a 1912 steamer, and short walk down the beach were the remains of a shipwreck...but the lighthouse? Amazing.

There are hundreds of lighthouses on the Great Lakes but this one was beautifully restored from 1896. Furnished with antiques, it was a snapshot of life at the turn of the 20th century.



Dining Room


Laundry Room 

 Stairs to the Lighthouse

The Fresnel Lens casts light twenty miles out.

 View of Lake Huron

Remains of the SS Joseph S. Fay. As it sank in the great storm of 1905, Lake Huron suddenly decided to cast this ship and the doomed crew ashore, saving their lives. 
Its story is on the lighthouse website 

Fortunately this was not the restroom

We spent over an hour at the Forty Mile Point Lighthouse talking to the docent (a very knowledgeable man), and taking pictures. This place was a pleasant surprise, and if you are ever in the Rogers City area, it's definitely worth a stop. 

Vivian  : )

PS: Bathrooms are nice too. 

Friday, July 26, 2013


Mackinac Island is the place to go when you visit the Straits of Mackinac, but the hubs and I prefer to head across the Big Mac Bridge to Sault Ste. Marie and the Soo Locks. Guess I am just a Boatnerd at heart and watching a 1000 ft. freighter, that's 104 ft wide inch its way through the 110 ft wide Poe Lock, fascinates me. This year we planned our visit for the annual Engineers Day on June 28th when the locks were open to the public. It was a great time and I took hundreds of photos, but these two videos give the best impression of the Locks. Go full screen. 

The footprints of the early French and the Society of Jesus, or Jesuits, are all over the Straits of Mackinac and Michigan's Upper Peninsula. One of their most famous is Fr. Jacques Marquette, missionary, explorer, and mapmaker. He founded missions to the native Americans at Sault Ste. Marie in 1668 and another at St. Ignace in 1671. That was before he decided to make the 3000 mile canoe trip to explore Wisconsin, Illinois and the Mississippi River as far south as Arkansas. He died on the return trip in 1675. His grave is in St. Ignace. Wish I'd known that. Will have to visit his grave on my next trip to the Straits. I did visit the Fr. Marquette Memorial though. 

Thanks to Bobak Ha'Eri for this photo of Fr. Marquette's grave.

A map of Fr. Marquette's journeys is embedded in the floor of the memorial.

To learn more about the good Father here's a great bio link. 
Fr. Jacques Marquette, Dictionary of Canadian Biography
Sketch from Wikimedia Commons
We headed home the next day. Will post photos of the Forty Mile Point Lighthouse near Rogers City, (a pleasant surprise) next time. But I can't end any post about Mackinac without a mention of its most famous product, Mackinac Island Fudge.

It wouldn't be Mackinac without a little something from The Mackinac Fudge Shop
I bought a block of the Mint Chocolate chip, just to take a photo of it for this blogpost. But by the time I found my camera the entire block had disappeared, nothing left but the wrapper??? Honestly... I have no idea where that delicious fudge might have disappeared to. So I posted the link above for you Fudgies.

Vivian : )

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


The Straits of Mackinac
The Straits of Mackinac must be one of the most photographed places in the world. Yet no two photos are ever quite the same. Sunlight, clouds, mist, wind, change the scene from moment to moment, and tomorrow will seem entirely different from today. That's why people return year after year to the same park bench by the Mackinac Bridge.  

  Everybody's favorite bench. Best place in the world to just sit and take in an awesome view.

Had a great vacation at the Straits. Discovered some new places and events. Started with Engineers day at the Soo Locks, toured Michilimackinac again, found the Fr. Marquette Memorial in St. Ignace, and the Forty Mile Point Lighthouse on Lake Huron. 

Took hundreds of photos but don't worry, I'll only post the best ones here at The Last Lord of Paradise, starting with the good old Big Mac Bridge and Colonial Michilimackinac.  

Always changing

Lilacs in July. Mackinac has the perfect climate and soil for growing Lilacs.

One more thing I love about the Mackinac area is its long history. From the Colonial Fort Michilimackinac, set on the archeological digs of the original French fort built 1718––to Fort Mackinac on the Island, built by the British in the late 18th century, it's authentic history.  

Michilimackinac gardens

British soldier

Apothecary Rose, has an interesting history and a delightful old rose scent. 

Ste. Anne de Michilimackinac Church

Bake oven


Open hearth cooking.
Today's treat, cow tongue stew.

Mending her stays. Even young boys wore these. Poor posture and Chiropractors were unheard of in 18th century.

Though I've been there many times, there's always something new to learn at Colonial Michilimackinac.

The Forty Mile Point Lighthouse and New France Discovery Center were pleasant surprises, and the Soo Locks Engineers Day...a Boat Nerd's dream. (Took a great video.) Will post more soon. Thanks for stopping by.

Vivian :)