Located on the Garden Peninsula, Fayette Historic State Park is a step back in time,
preserving and displaying historic structures and buildings from the late 1800s.
Open from May through October, the park offers a unique glimpse into life in an
industrial community after the Civil War.
Fayette was once a working-class town, whose 500 residents produced
charcoal iron for the Jackson Iron Company, as well as railroad ties, telegraph poles, and
grain. The town's large furnace complex operated from 1867 to 1891, producing nearly 230,000 tons of iron.
The picturesque setting at Snail Shell Harbor once featured a four-story grain elevator and over 900 feet of docks,
which served steamships that operated in the Great Lakes. Currently, Snail Shell Harbor features a small dock with limited
access for boats. When the dock is full, boaters may raft to shore.
Thanks to the efforts of the Michigan Historical Center, the State Historic Preservation Office,
Eastern Michigan University, and others, many of Fayette's buildings have been restored and preserved.
While a picture is worth a thousand words, photos don't really do Fayette State Park justice
since it's a place that's best experienced in person. There are few ghost towns in Michigan
that are as well preserved as Fayette.
The park features close to five miles of hiking trails and a modern campground. Near the
campground, there is a small swimming beach on Big Bay De Noc.