Grindstone City: A #wednesdaywalk

in Pinmapple6 months ago

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Okay, I've been over this a few times before, but in case you are new to my blog or you aren't familiar with the geography here in the US, I will try to give you a quick recap. The state of Michigan is shaped kind of like a left hand mitten if you look at it on the map. That's part of the reason we are called the "mitten state".

There is a small area between what would be the thumb and forefinger that is part of Lake Huron and it is called Saginaw Bay. The area to the West of that is called the Great Lakes Bay Region, and the area to the East of it is called "The Thumb".

For this #wednesdaywalk sponsored by @tattoodjay, (and a couple of my future posts), I am going to focus on that "thumb" area.

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Just a little past the tip of the thumb and through the small town of Port Austin is a little community called Grindstone City. The community itself was established back in the mid 1800's, and had two major quarries and facilities that had the express purpose of creating grindstones.

As you will see as I walk through the community, the town is aptly named. There are remnants of the grindstone legacy strewn everywhere including as decorative pieces in many peoples front yards.

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Think I am kidding? They are literally just strewn about the place everywhere. @mrsbozz and I took a walk one morning with our nephew and he found this pile along the shores of Lake Huron that he just had to climb as young boys are known to do!

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There is a small area in the center of the community where they have a little display that gives you a bit of history about the area and the industry that put it on the map.

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I'm going to try and post some of the signage that is in this area as well, but I am not sure how much you are going to be able to read it. Much of it is similar to what you can find on the Wikipedia page that I linked a little earlier in this post.

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It's pretty fascinating how they used to make the stones and all of the work that went into giving them the perfect shape. Personally, I never would have guessed that grindstones were such a big industry, but apparently it was. At least up until the Great Depression. That is when operations shut down in this part of the state and unfortunately, the small community was never the same.

Luckily, Lake Huron still gives people plenty of reason to visit this area and pump a little bit of money into the economy.

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Here are a couple more pictures showing how the grindstones have moved from an industrial use to something more decorative. I'm not kidding, if you walk along the shore of most of the beaches in this area, you will find pieces of grindstones strewn everywhere.

I picked up several of them that were palm sized so I can keep them in my travel trailer to use as a whetstone to sharpen my knives, hatchet, and axe.

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Sadly, given the decline in industry in this area, there are plenty of derelict buildings. I thought about giving them a look ala @slobberchops, but the clearly posted no trespassing signs aren't something you want to ignore in the US of A. You might find yourself looking down the barrel of a shotgun or a .45!

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We saw some other cool things on our walks, like this wasp nest that was sitting precariously over the garage door of this maintenance barn. As we were walking by the owners had opened one of the other doors, but it appeared they were steering clear of this one.

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A short walk from the house we were staying in was this old building that looks like it houses a soda shop/ice cream parlor now. It's funny because Grindstone City may not have much, but they have two bars, two ice cream shops, and a party store. I think a lot of the economy now is supported by fishing charters and tourism.

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We found ourselves strolling down an old country road and the wildlife was out in full force. Most specifically, bunnies.

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If you look really closely, you can see them in the photos above. I was half expecting a deer to come walking out of the woods, but we didn't see anything that big. A lot of this area is kind of swampy given the proximity to Lake Huron, so it is hard to say what we might find out there.

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We finally reached this point and decided to turn back. That sign says "Trail not maintained travel at your own risk". They are really talking about vehicle traffic, but we decided it might be a good idea to turn around anyway.

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Grindstone City is aptly named, and it is a great little community to take a morning walk in. There is plenty to see and do in the area especially if you have a boat and you can go out on the Lake. I don't think it is one of those places that you absolutely have to visit, but if you are heading up highway 25, it is worth stopping in to check out. For the history alone. Plus you might pick up some cool little grindstone pieces.


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All pictures/screenshots taken by myself or @mrsbozz unless otherwise sourced

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The city looks very great and it will be a nice place to visit. I love the location of that old building. The area looks very silent.
It is so lovely!

We didn't see a single car for most of our walk. It is definitely an off the beaten path kind of area!

This is one of a kind of places I would like to go and have a walk around. 🥰

It was very nice. The Harbor area is even better. I will probably post more about that tomorrow!

Grindstone City, one I've never heard of buy very aptly named. Interesting history how one town thrived quarrying grindstones. I definitely wouldn't trespass in places like that unless you want to try to outrun a twelve gauge!

Yeah, I know there are some people who do the whole urban exploration thing over here, but I definitely wouldn't want to give it a shot. Even without signs, I think it would be dangerous.

I to stay away from places if there are no trespassing signs just not Worth risking it

What a cool area love the history and all the grind stones around

Thanks for joining Wednesday Walk :)
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You must be killin' it out here!
@tattoodjay just slapped you with 1.000 PIMP, @bozz.
You earned 1.000 PIMP for the strong hand.
They're getting a workout and slapped 1/3 possible people today.

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No problem! I don't blame you, there are some unsavory characters out there! This was a cool little village. I plan on writing a little more about it tomorrow.

yeah seems more unsavory characters all the time sadly

Great photos. Looks like an interesting place to visit and explore. There are places like that around here, that did one product and the time for that product is passed, but they never really moved on so the town is full of celebrating that history.

Yeah, at that point I am not sure what else you can do. Unless you have some resource that can be used for something else. You just have to say eh it was a good run and move on or move out!

Yay! 🤗
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It really looks like a tourism site and I love it. I love how you explained every photos. It felt we were walking along with you by just reading this

Thank you, I appreciate that!

You’re welcome ☺️

What a quaint wee town. It was quite interesting to hear about the grindstone industry ! I bet it brought nice prosperity to the town at the time - its amazing how things change.

It definitely is! I don't think it was ever a really huge town, but it has kind of went down hill now. It's mostly trailers and stuff parked on lots around the harbor and the Lake. There are some really nice Lake houses as you will see in my post tomorrow, but beyond that, there just isn't much there.

but the clearly posted no trespassing signs aren't something you want to ignore in the US of A. You might find yourself looking down the barrel of a shotgun or a .45!

They would shoot for trespassing ?

Oh yeah, you haven't heard of the stand your ground laws over here? It's scary.

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I know there are some communities in the UK that had that industry. I'm sure I saw a documentary showing how they made the stones along the sea shore. It was hard work with just hand tools, but an essential product.

Yeah, I never would have realized I guess. I remember visiting here when I was a kid, but I saw it in a whole new light as an adult. It is pretty fascinating. Such a small thing that has such a big impact in so many industries.

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