How else shall I say “I love you” to a place?

Posted on January 29, 2009


Photographer Scott Thomas (Views Infinitum) issued an invitation to a Collective Shoot of hometown landmarks, and we decided Torch Lake Views should participate.  What’s local?  What’s a landmark?  Who knows?  Fortunately, some talented regular contributors agreed to come along for the ride. 

45h Parallel, by Katherine Berst

If you travel north on US-31 to visit us you will pass this sign. Legions of tourists have had their pictures taken here. It must be a landmark.

45th Parallel - Katherine Berst

A Zoned Community, by Gerry Sell

These welcome signs are all over the place.  Stand warned.

A Zoned Community

Torch Lake in Winter, by Bruce Laidlaw

Ice-fishing is an important pastime around here. Think of it as a cross between a meditation practice and grocery shopping. The fish shanties reappear on Torch Lake each winter, temporary landmarks.

Fishing shanty on Torch Lake - Bruce Laidlaw

Fishing shanty in the morning light

Fish shanties and cottages contemplate each other across Torch Lake

Fish shanties and summer cottages contemplate each other

Artists of Eastport, by Gerry Sell

Every winter, when the snow is right, Daugherty Johnson creates a snow sculpture. We’ve been delighted by howling wolves, bears with cubs, lumberjacks . . . and once, memorably, out on Torch Lake, a musher with a dogsled and team. This year a castle rose, like Brigadoon in the mist.

Daugherty's Castle

Daugherty Johnson’s Castle

Just down the road is the studio where Betty Beeby created Great-Grandma’s Sturdy Stable Picnic Tables and Breath Escaping Envelopes—the studio where she is hard at work right now on her next project. The prolific illustrator/writer/local historian is an icon in Antrim County.

Betty Beeby's Studio

Betty Beeby’s Studio – Home of Pearl Press

Kamp’s cherry stand in snow, by Katherine Berst

There’s something forlorn about a farmstand in winter . . . until you remember that spring will come, and we’re all just having a little nap.

Kamp's cherry stand in snow - Katherine Berst

Bayview Farm, by Gerry Sell

Last week Ron McLaughlin’s funeral service concluded with an invitation. “Please gather at Katy’s farm to share a meal and memories of Ron. If you don’t know where Katy’s place is, turn to the person next to you and ask.” And so we gathered in the house where Katy’s mother lived, next to the barn her great-grandfather built in 1887.  There was a ham from Andrea and Ryan Romeyn’s Providence Farm, and quantities of macaroni and cheese that Angie Kline made in the deli at the IGA, and homemade cookies from a dozen neighbors, and a long view across the rolling hills to the Bay.

Bayview Farm

Grand Traverse Bay, by Andi Laidlaw

Even during the kind of winter we’ve been having, Grand Traverse Bay won’t freeze solid across its northern end. Snow and ice are piled up along the shore. Winter storms push waves onto the beach and up through the ice shelves, and the next thing you know there are ice mountains.  The Bay is our biggest landmark.

Grand Traverse Bay - Andi Laidlaw

This way, by Katherine Berst

This landmark on M-88 and Church Road points the way to the Belltower Church.

 This way to Belltower Church

St. Mary’s Cement at dusk, by Babs Young

It’s good to remember that lumber mills, ironworks, canneries and this cement plant are as much a part of our history as the summer cottages, nature preserves, cherry orchards and tourist cabins. In December St. Mary’s announced a temporary layoff of 80% of its workforce. Is this light hopeful or nostalgic?

St. Mary's Cement at dusk - Babs Young

Night falls at the Township Hall, by Gerry Sell

This is the new township hall, completed in June, 2008. We’re trying to call it the Community Services Building, but I’m not sure that’s going to stick. Farther north on US-31 the old township hall and the old EMS ambulance barn still stand, landmarks for sale.

Night falls at the new township hall

Now, if you want to see many wonderful landmarks from around the world, check out the links photographers have been posting on Scott’s blog: Assignment 1 – Collective Shoot (Comments)