When I came to Marquette and looked around for the best place to live, I quickly decided that Middle Island Point was the place I’d like to call home. That was easy!
Unfortunately nothing was available then or for several years thereafter and that has pretty much been its history. This is a place where homes seldom trade. When they do it is usually by word of mouth. Few reach the open market. There are just 56 home sites for the few privileged to share this 562-acre property.
This property has great natural diversity with expansive sand beaches, rock outcrops, and creek deltas along the shore. Further inland there are sandy uplands, wetlands, ponds and bayous. Rocky outcrops dominate parts of it, with old growth pines, hardwoods, and softwoods in others. This habitat diversity is reflected in the variety of birds, animals and plants to be seen and appreciated here. All of it is yours to enjoy.
This home, Middle Island Point 8, is a four-bedroom home with master bath and master bedroom on the main floor. As you would expect there are abundant windows and views of the lake. Off the living room there’s a comfortable sun room that you will love as you sip coffee and watch the sun rise or set. The lower walkout level is half above ground and has windows and fresh air. It includes a family room with a fireplace, three bedrooms and a workshop.
Of course there’s a great sauna. In fitting with its setting and the other homes at MIP this home has plenty of wood inside and out. It’s ranch style, built in the 1930’s and remodeled to meet the needs of its owner. You will likely add your own touches to keep it up with the times and make it yours, as most new owners do.
But if instead you desire to build your own, that is allowed with Board approval and conformance to the MIP zoning. MIP has it’s own zoning restrictions which have been officially adopted by the Township. No vacant sites remain and camps have been added to, renovated, and replaced in the past.
I often ask owners their personal feelings about their property. I asked that of the sibling owners of 8 Middle Island Point and received an outpouring of wonderful memories, more than I’ve ever received before. If you want to understand this property and 95% of the real reasons why you you would be happy here, read the Middle Island Memories below.
You can fly there on Google Earth by pasting 46.589897,-87.426910 into the Google Earth search box. Zoom in and out to see the area.
The Association published a wonderfully detailed and complete History of Middle Island Point in 2002. You’ll read it cover to cover if you come to call this home, but I’ll briefly summarize a few interesting and relevant items from it.
The story of MIP begins in 1891 when Mrs. Alice Adams began construction of her camp on land then owned by the U.S. Government for lighthouse purposes. Over the years 27 others followed and built camps of their own. Amazingly, for 25 years no one questioned their right to build on Government land. It was a different time, I guess. A Department of Commerce Inspector reported these encroachments in 1916, but fortunately for the campers who had built he recommended that the property be abandoned for lighthouse purposes.
A public auction was held in Detroit in 1917. The cottage owners, guessing that a distant auction would be lightly attended, sent a representative armed with three checks. $1,500 was the minimum bid. The checks were for $1,505, $2,005, and $2,505. No other buyer appeared and no bids were submitted by mail. So this waterfront land, which at that time included 42 acres, was purchased with the $1,505 check.
Until a road for automobiles was built in 1922, access to the camps was by horse drawn vehicles or by boat. Even after the road was built, the trip to Marquette took 45 minutes to an hour in 1924, not the 7 minutes or less that it takes today. Snowplowing started in 1929. The road on the property was paved around 1987 and electric power was extended to the Point in 1910.
Over the years eight land acquisitions have added to the Association’s land, which now includes 561.7 acres, as estimated by the Marquette County Equalization Department. This includes all of Partridge Island, which is about 107.8 acres in size, 2.45 miles around, and rises to 816 feet above sea level at it’s peak, 213 feet above Lake Superior. You’ll kayak or boat there to picnic or walk the trails. From the island to the nearest rocks on the Point is just over a third of a mile.
MIP is a stock corporation owned by its members, led by elected officers. The Board handles insurance requirements, environmental concerns, liability issues, maintenance of property, refuse, plowing, corporate fees, membership, licensing and business communications, announcements, and election information. It has at times addressed shoreline erosion, zoning, traffic, animal control and more.
The name Middle Island Point comes from Middle Island to the east of the Point. That island is owned by the government and has been set aside and used for quarry purposes in the construction of Marquette’s breakwaters.
Walking the two beaches is popular after dinner but a half hour hike up Silver Birch Trail or Top-of-the-World Trail for an overview of the entire point and bay, or perhaps a midday picnic there with the children is a wonder and a delight. For the stout of heart much longer hikes to Sugar Loaf or Hog’s Back Mountain provide a good workout and spectacular views of the area.
So is this a place that can improve your lifestyle and bring peace of mind? Possibly. Can it change the direction of your life, in a good way? Perhaps it will. Come see it. If you are enchanted as you are highly likely to be, then make this place yours. You’ll love this remarkable community called Middle Island Point.