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Little Garlic Beach
An extraordinary parcel of land is available north of Marquette. Nothing like its beautiful beaches and high quality trout stream remains in an unbroken tract so close to the largest city in the Upper Peninsula. It is the kind of land that trades hands perhaps once in a century.
This property lies at the mouth of the Little Garlic River 10 miles and about as many minutes north of Marquette`s city limit. The survey shows 3,519 feet of Lake Superior shoreline and 132 acres of land. Forest cover ranges from monarch red and white pine near the lake to a beautiful stand of sugar maples on the higher land behind. On the north it adjoins "Granot Loma," Louis Kaufman`s masterpiece that is often called "Michigan`s Biltmore Estate."
The beach is magnificent. Virtually all of it is pure white sand. In front is what landscape architects call the "limitless dimension" of Lake Superior, the greatest of the Great Lakes, an inland sea of crystal blue water. Standing here you hear the soft sigh of wind in the pines and the rhythmic wash of the surf. Superior is alternately peaceful, quiet, dramatic, grand, stupendous! Gulls bank and dive overhead, storm clouds sweep across the lake, fog banks surprise the unwary, crashing waves wash the shore, and ore boats pass in the night, bound for distant ports.
Most of the beach above and below water is sand, but towards the east end the sand beach ends below the water line on a lakebed of painted sandstone, the same picturesque sandstone found in the Pictured Rocks. Behind the shore lays an edge of white pine, and further back a hardwood forest. I am told, although I have not found it yet, that there is a state record white pine on the property. A county road, electric power and phone serve the property
The grandfather of the present owners worked for E.J. Longyear and acquired the property in 1910, and it has been in the family ever since.
The other, similar beach that lies north of Marquette near town is called Middle Island Point. Building sites there have become perhaps the most sought after location in the Marquette area and are very seldom available. Middle Island Point was originally developed as small camps, which have been refurbished, enlarged, winterized, and now in some cases have been torn down and replaced with seven-figure homes.
This property is pristine and undeveloped, a treasure for someone who can afford to keep it just as it is for personal use and perhaps for future investment. To a developer it offers the opportunity to "do it right." No other sand shoreline like it remains undeveloped in this area. The Little Garlic, a beautiful trout stream, flows through the property to the river mouth perhaps a thousand feet from the north end. This stream was once called "one of the ten best steelhead trout streams in the country" by Sports Illustrated.
To the north and south long, sweeping points extend into Superior. The point to the north offers shelter from the prevailing westerly wind. Granite Island lies a few miles off shore.
To the west the rugged Huron Mountains protect a wilderness that extends 50 miles towards L`Anse. This is the wildest land in Michigan and many (including me) believe it is the most beautiful. The Huron Mountains are to be cherished and defended by those who love big, wild land.
Recently Bike Magazine proclaimed Marquette to be one of "The 5 Best Places to Live & Ride." There`s endless snowmobiling, cross county skiing, fishing, hunting, exploring and plain wandering with friends or, if you choose, very much all by yourself. Out of town this country feels like a frontier, and bald eagles, pileated woodpeckers, moose, black bear and timber wolves support that impression.
Marquette is one of the ten newest "All American Cities," one of the 30 "Most Livable Communities" in the country, and one of the "most active small arts communities." It`s the Upper Peninsula`s largest and its location just 10 minutes to the south is a huge factor in the value of this land.
Marquette offers the regional hospital, regional airport, regional seaport, and a variety of city services, shopping, cultural activities and even Division I sports (hockey) at Northern Michigan University. There is an excellent downhill ski area, Marquette Mt., and an excellent harbor for big-water boating. Go the other way on Hwy 550 and you`ll arrive at the small town of Big Bay at the northern end the road. It was the filming site of the movie that made Jimmy Stewart a star, Anatomy of a Murder,
This 30-mile shoreline between Marquette and Big Bay appears lightly developed when viewed from Hwy. 550. But in fact the lakeshore is home to the largest assembly of high-end homes on the Lake Superior shore. Driving north of Marquette you will find them, invisible from the road, at Middle Bay, Middle Island Point, Partridge Bay, Granot Loma, Saux Head Point, Lake Independence, Squaw Beach, and finally at the Huron Mt. Club. There is no other collection of homes like this elsewhere in the U.P.
Two structures are on the property just north of the river mouth. The South Cabin, a seasonal wood-frame structure with varnished knotty pine interior, was built in 1914 and subsequently expanded. It has two bedrooms, a living room, dining room, kitchen bathroom, two stone fireplaces and a large screen porch. The total square footage is about 1,575 feet on two stories. I personally like it for its classic lakefront cabin look and historical charm and see possibilities for continued use and improvement. It is considered to add about $100,000 of value to the property.
A second cabin with about 1,200 square feet would likely be removed by a new owner and is not considered to add significant value. It is rented to a long-time tenant and contains a living room, kitchen, studio, two fireplaces, a full bath, and one bedroom. Both cabins have their own well and septic and power and phone are available to both.
The Little Garlic is a fast flowing, twenty-five foot wide stream with gravel and boulders. The sounds of this stream contribute to the beauty of the property.
Today the wind is in from Canada, and I hear the lake. It`s a sound like no other, and I will never live far from it. The sensory pleasures of this land are legion: the sweep of the beach, a view dotted with points and islands, the sights and sounds of the Little Garlic flowing over gravel bars and boulders through the property, and the pine paneled 1914 cabin. Mother Nature conditions the air, and it smells of pine.
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