Previous Post About Bois Blanc Island: The Island Ferry
My family owns three cottages on Bois Blanc Island.
The oldest is in the Pointe Aux Pins or Pines neighborhood near the ferry dock. That cottages is called the Pines Cottage by my family.
The Pines Cottage was built when the Island first started being a vacation spot in the late 1800s.
Originally it only had a living room and a porch.
Later on a bedroom was added, then a bathroom and kitchen, and after that a second story with two more bedrooms.
The house is old and a little janky from all the additions. One of the walls in the downstairs bedroom was clearly an exterior wall at one time.
Nearly every board in the house creaks and a few of the walls have knotholes in them that you can peer through.
We suspect that rats, mice, owls, and bats live in the closets of the house. Racoons have gotten in a few times for sure.
My aunts and uncles avoid staying in the Pines Cottage because of all these problems.
My family has a rotating pick order for spots in the cottages between my dad and his five siblings. This year my dad (I used his pick) was fifth in the order and we got stuck with the Pines Cottage.
The other two cottages are the Brown Cottage and the New Cottage, both located on the same plot of land.
These two cottages are located in a “creatively named” neighborhood, the West End.
The Brown and New Cottages feel more like modern houses.
No critters get into them. You can hear, but not understand people’s conversations in the next room. There’s a dishwasher in both cottages! The damp of the lakeshore doesn’t invade the house.
The New Cottage has two bedrooms. One is a master bedroom for my grandparents and the other has two twin beds.
The second bedroom is often avoided to give my grandparents some privacy.
Most of my relatives end up staying in the Brown Cottage which has three bedrooms.
One bedroom is a master bedroom, one has two twin beds, and the third has a bunk bed and a full bed for two people.
The pick order dictates who chooses first for what rooms and when they get them.
My aunts and uncles got all the rooms in the Brown Cottage, but I still wanted to come when they were there. My wife and I stayed in the Pines Cottage and endured the old house so we could see my relatives.
It was a little cold, but blankets and a space heater fixed that.
Next Post About Bois Blanc Island: Round Island
5 thoughts on “The Three Cottages”
This will be a great post that I can show people when explaining the island to them 🙂
I agree with Eloise. The Pines cottage was the place of many fun times for us. We would come up and stay every summer for 3 weeks. That cottage smells less like mildew than the others because it’s further back from the water and is much dryer. What you smell is old history there (and bats in the belfry).
You are right about some people not wanting to stay there, but it is definitely not being “stuck” with it. I’m sorry if you felt like that.
You can sit on that beach and collect beautiful rocks and stare at the sparkly water. You can walk down to the old gazebo which used to be a center of activitiy back in the early years of Bois Blanc. You can walk past old victorian cottages and then return by the back road and go by the weird old tennis court that has trees growing through it but is an experience to play on. You can sit on that beautiful screen porch and watch the water, read, play cards, chat. You can compare your height to that of your great grandrelatives, grandrelatives, etc on the door frame in the kitchen where ’09 refers to 1909! You can walk to Hawks and buy icecream. You can meet first, second, third cousins. You can walk over to the one room school house and peak in the windows and daydream about what it must be like to teach there all winter with only 2 students and an amazing nature’s classroom wight outside your door. You can go to the cemetary and see where your great uncle is buried with a gorgeous island rock as a headstone. You can go to the historical museum and see pictures of you great great grandfather. If the people you meet in the Pines aren’t related to you, their parents, grandparents and great grandparents probably grew up playing with yours in the Pines and have stories to tell about it if you sit on their porches and listen and ask questions everyone is happy to tell you.
Clearly, I could go on and on. Next year we can tell stories about fun times in the Pines….before or after I beat you at Scrabble! 🙂
Sounds like fun!