Somewhere In Time

     I just got back from one of those ‘awful’ locations that I have to go to now and again for a photo shoot. This trip was to Mackinac (pronounced Mack-i-naw) Island, Michigan, for the first segment of the production of a coffee table book commemorating the Grand Hotel’s 125th birthday in 2012.

     This is where the 1979 film Somewhere in Time (Christopher Reeves, Jane Seymour) was filmed.  That is a very small part of the hotel’s history. The film was, by some standards, a box-office flop, though next week will mark the 30th reunion of the ‘SIT’ fan club’s invasion of the hotel…complete with period costumes. This year, Jane Seymour’s daughter, who is the same age that Jane was when the film was made, is scheduled to attend. The Somewhere In Time fan club is apparently one of the largest movie fan clubs in existence, second only to the Gone With the Wind group.

But that is somewhat of a side-note….

     Without going into too many of the fascinating historical facts, some of the features of this hotel, and the island, are certainly one-of-a-kind.

The Grand boasts the largest front porch in the world

660 feet……

Eat your heart out, Cracker Barrel.  (This view is one half of the porch at sunset,)

It was built in 1897,  in 4 (that’s FOUR!) Months from Michigan white pine that was ferried over from the mainland. One of only 12 wood frame hotels that still exist in the world today.


Can you imagine how long it would take to build a structure this size today?

Progress, right?

     But, to get away from the hotel (somewhat) and get back to the time warp that the movie also dealt with….

Cars are not allowed on the island.

     The thoroughfare that circumnavigates the island is a whopping 8 miles long, but if you want to travel that eight mile trip, it will either be on foot, horseback/ carriage, or by bicycle.

     Back in the 30’s, some rich young ‘whipper-snapper’ brought his car over and after a day or two, the citizens banded together and promptly outlawed any further intrusion by Mr. Ford’s Detroit marvels.

     Now, much to the delight of everyone who visits….or, if you’re not delighted, there are hourly ferries that are available to accommodate your escape… there are no auto smells or sounds to be found.  The constant staccato of horse hooves is somehow relaxing and even though there isn’t far to travel, one certainly can not be in a hurry to get there…unless you want to put on your running shoes. 

     I think I heard that the human population of the island is 600 and equine is 400. 

   The  means of transportation are primitive by today’s standards, but a welcome change…especially after a 12 hour drive from Nashville.

(Next time I go, I may see if the city fathers might consider banning cell phones….!!!)

   The story goes that Lake Huron freezes over in the winter and the residents snow-mobile the seven miles to the mainland for groceries, etc., following a path designated by recycled Christmas trees stuck in the snow on top of the ice….

Oh yeah….the bicycles…. they are everywhere and there is always a classic Schwinn or two parked in front of the restaurants and stores.

~ by rkpowers on October 8, 2010.

2 Responses to “Somewhere In Time”

  1. Beautiful photos! I’ve only been to Mackinac Island once, but I have never been to such a relaxing place! I absolutely love the fact that there are no cars, the whole island is so quiet, the air is fresh, and no one is in a hurry for anything!


  2. Thanks! Yeah, it felt as if a burden was lifted as soon as I got off the ferry….and the cool, clean, crisp air was magnificent after a summer of major heat in Nashville.


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