Fayette Historic State Park Heritage Day Features 19th Century Music, Crafts, Fun and Games | Outdoor Channel
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Fayette Historic State Park Heritage Day Features 19th Century Music, Crafts, Fun and Games


Music, crafts, games and sporting activities popular during the 19th century will be featured at Fayette Historic State Park's 25th annual Heritage Day on Saturday, Aug. 13, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The park is located on the Garden Peninsula, between Escanaba and Manistique along the shores of Lake Michigan.

This event will celebrate Fayette's rich social and industrial heritage with costumed interpretation, crafts, music and a variety of children's games and sporting competitions from the era.

Special guests at the event include the Escanaba City Band performing a wide range of popular songs and dance tunes dating to the 19th century. Additional performers include balladeer Carl Behrend, bringing maritime legends and true stories to life through his songs of the Great Lakes, and the "New Lost Lake Ramblers," a lively Upper Peninsula old-time string band playing toe-tapping traditional tunes that might have been heard during Fayette’s 19th-century industrial era.

"Heritage Day offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy an authentic 19th-century event, listen to music from the era, see a blacksmith operating a real forge, and participate in activities that children enjoyed more than 100 years ago – all at a restored historic town site and in a pristine natural setting," said site historian Brenda Laakso.

Children's games and activities will include three-legged and sack races, lawn croquet and reproduction toys from the era. Anyone 13 years old and older is invited to play a game of old-time baseball with the Fayette team following 19th-century rules: No baseball gloves will be used, and a ball caught on the first bounce will be an out.

Blacksmith George Potvin and the Friendship Quilters of Garden will be on hand throughout the day demonstrating their skills. Other displays include the "History of Lighting," featuring antique kerosene lamps and other artifacts along with a collection of antique sad irons and blacksmithing tools from the era. Heritage Day visitors can also enjoy free horse and wagon rides, a food tent sponsored by the Bay de Noc High School Booster Club and a bake sale.

The day's scheduled activities include:

  • 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.: Escanaba City Band performance
  • 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.: Carl Behrend performing songs of the Great Lakes
  • 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.: "New Lost Lake Ramblers" old-time string band
  • 3 p.m.: Old-Time Baseball, Fayette team vs. All-Comers. Ages 13 and up welcome to participate.

Fayette Historic State Park features one of the nation's premier examples of a 19th-century industrial community and company town. In operation from 1867 to 1891, its furnaces produced more than 229,000 tons of pig iron, making it the second-largest producer of charcoal iron in Michigan. Today, 20 buildings are preserved, including the furnace complex, hotel, town hall, company office and several residences. Eleven buildings contain exhibits and are open to the public, including a modern visitor center with a scale model of the town site as it looked in the 1880s.

Fayette Historic Townsite is one of 11 nationally-accredited museums administered by the Michigan Historical Center, an agency within the Department of Natural Resources. Located 17 miles south of US Hwy. 2 on Hwy. 183 at Fayette Historic State Park, the historic town is open daily, 9 a.m. to dusk through Labor Day, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Labor Day through mid-October. For more information call 906-644-2603 or go online to www.michigan.gov/fayettetownsite.

The Recreation Passport has replaced motor vehicle permits for entry into Michigan state parks, recreation areas and state-administered boating access fee sites. This new way to fund Michigan outdoor recreation opportunities also helps to preserve state forest campgrounds, trails and historic and cultural sites in state parks, and provides park development grants to local communities.

Michigan residents can purchase the Recreation Passport ($10 for motor vehicles; $5 for motorcycles) by checking "YES" on their license plate renewal forms, or at any state park or recreation area. Nonresident motor vehicles must still display a valid nonresident Recreation Passport ($29 annual; $8 daily) to enter a Michigan state park, recreation area or state-administered boating access fee site; these can be purchased at any state park or recreation area, or through the Michigan e-Store at www.michigan.gov/estore. To learn more about the Recreation Passport, visit www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport or call (517) 241-7275.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state's natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to www.michigan.gov/dnr.

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