Up North

Where are you going for the Christmas holidays?  “I’m going Up North.”  

Oh, I see, you are going to your cabin …. a bit of R&R, long walks, fresh air, time to unwind.  “Well yes, and no …”

HS winter 2013

Up North is where people from Michigan go. I’m from Michigan and have been going Up North all my life.

You see, there is no place that I have been that quite resembles Up North. The walks are stunning, the air the freshest, and the time spent worth its weight in gold…. but there is so much more.  Let me give you a personal tour from one who knows it like the back of my Michigan hand.

This small town in Northern MI. is especially stunning during the holiday season. I have never photographed at true night, but this past week I couldn’t resist.  After the dinners and drinks were said and done, and the town was put to sleep, I grabbed my camera and tripod ….

HS winter 2013-9

This is the view from Main Street as you are driving into the town. The Catholic Church is hidden behind the tree, a prominent presence in the town.  All of my siblings were married there.

HS winter 2013-13


HS winter 2013-11 I spent many a night in this establishment, The Pier Bar.  When we first started to resort in this town it was a one room bar that served the best hamburgers ever. My father would order them with everything to go, and us kids would play a shuffle board game while we waited. Popeye was the bartender.

HS winter 2013-3

The Depot.  Today it is one of the best restaurants in the North, and perhaps the South. I remember the horse drawn carriage that used to stop there, and the Ottawa Indian tents that sat next to it. But my heart throbs for another reason. A family I know and love used to own it. It was a store that sold ladies fashions. I’d check in with Mrs. P. once, or twice, a day. Rumor has it she is still there … I only wish.

HS winter 2013-10

 Store fronts in town. Graham Realty used to be The Dinner Bell, EFH worked there in the days of innocence, and the tune Love Land, by Charles Wright, was blaring from the jute box. Circa 1969


HS winter 2013-8

HS winter 2013-7

 The Outfitter, can’t remember when it wasn’t there.


……………  HS winter 2013-12

The Casino.  No, not what you think.  This is where I learned to play tennis, weave baskets, create gimp bracelets, and made life-long friendships. Nothing about this building, this home away from home, has changed.

HS winter 2013-5

And the ‘Weque Beach’. I learned to swim here. ” Let’s swim to the raft”.  Mrs. Irish, fondly known as Ole’ Seaweed, taught me how to sail here. I’d cry for a minute, then my sails would fill and away I’d go. This beach has remained the same for over 100 years.

So that was the 10 cent tour of Harbor Springs, Michigan, the most beautiful town in my eyes …  The colors of the Christmas season have enhanced these photos, but the beauty remains forever, anytime, and in any season.


HS winter 2013-2


……………… HS winter 2013-6


             A safe and Happy New Year to all, and the best to you 2014 !

                                       May all your dreams come true

                                                                                  with love

36 thoughts on “Up North

  1. Michelle — I really like this posting with all the great pics! Makes me miss being in northern MI!
    Happy New Year!

  2. Michelle.. this was the most stunning tour of HS that I have ever seen!! Your photography captured the magic that each and every quaint building/business possesses. I cried when I read about The Depot. You were a very special person in my parent’s hearts and are still a special friend in me and my sibling’s hearts. You keep getting better and your subjects in which you shoot, get more and more creatively wonderful. Thank you for that special holiday tour!!! I love the snow coming down on this site. Very clever, my dear.. very clever!! xox Happy New Year to ALL!!

  3. Harbor Springs. The memories never fade, they get more colorful and meaningful. Thanks for keeping them ALIVE with literary commentary and your LENS.

  4. Stunning Michelle, the photos resemble exquisite cards. My favorite posting yet. Makes me long for the time spent with my dad and family up in the great north. Happiest of new year to you.

  5. Magnificent photo tour with superb shots of iconic buildings/businesses of HS in winter. LOVE the one point perspective shot of lit tree in front of Catholic church and overview of Harbor! Happiest of New Years to you and yours!

  6. miss michelle 😉 you have captured for all time the essence of our beautiful little town 😉 “Up North” is a feeling deep within our hearts & souls. your photos of harbor springs shine through, we all thank you ❤

  7. I have never been “up north” and enjoyed seeing the pictures and reading about it. I understand why you like it so much.

  8. Michelle,

    Everyone has said it — these are beautiful. There’s such nostalgia in your words, and I just think about you and EFH having fun. The first picture and the b/w photos are worthy of a magazine, IMHO.

  9. Reading this and looking at the wonderful pictures just made my day! Wish I was in Weque right this minute! Happy New Year to Greg and Lois! Mopsy Crawford

  10. absolutely beautiful Thank you Kristen for sharing breathtaking Harbor Springs Mi with me I long for this to be my home someday……………..Maryhelen McLean

  11. These pictures and comments really bring back fond memories of spending all my summers in weque. Thanks for the pictures. Judy Gundrum Johannes

  12. These are the most beautiful photos of our beloved up north that I think I have ever seen. Thank you Michelle! although you made me very homesick – winters like that just can’t be had in Arizona 😦

  13. Michelle, I now know why I miss this place so much at Christmas time! Chills always go through my body when I drive down Main St and see the Christmas tree and all the beautiful twinkling lights!! Thank you for taking me to my favorite place in the whole world!!

  14. Those images make me want to be there – now. Happy New Year girlfriend! I look forward to seeing and enjoying much more of your beautiful work in 2014 and beyond.

  15. Extraordinary photos of a place I know well — but only in summer and every now and then fall. You remind me I must visit at the holidays where all the lights add to the beauty of this already exquisite town. ~ jeanie from The Marmelade Gypsy.

  16. As I was reading this and looking at the photo”s, my life as a child growing up in Harbor Springs , flashed in front of me. How I remember learning to sail, and swim, and play tennis at the Casino , and the couple that was so instrumental in teaching us everything we now know, Florence and Paul Erickson. They lived in the cottage at the top of the Weque hill. It is indeed a special place and always will be . Thank you for sharing and the memories.
    Mary Liz Dean

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