The Hessel Boat show might not be the top of your bucket list but if you are at all nautically inclined it might move up after your read about the Hessell Michigan Antique Wooden Boat Show.
Recently two guest bloggers of DesignDestinations.org attended this fantastic show and decided to offer their impressions.
First, Peggy DePersia weighs in. Her photos were taken by husband, Jerry. Enjoy.
With names like ‘wuz-a-fuz’, ‘snazzy’, ‘carpe diem’ and ‘bedazzled’, you know these vintage, classic wooden boats have stories to tell; if only……….
The Hessel, Michigan Antique Wooden Boat Show offers a glimpse back in time when boats, at least runabouts and small scale cruisers were still made from wood, and mahogany was king.
Though always referred to as ‘she’ as in: “Isn’t she a beauty?” (even with a name like wuz -a-fuz), these boats have some muscle while still being admired for their lines and curves; not infrequently described as sexy.
In an era before air conditioning, when the summer months in cities like Indianapolis and Cincinnati could be sweltering, families would pack up and head north to enjoy the luxuries of lake life in the Great Lakes and the magic it always seems to evoke. The Les Cheneaux Islands carved out of the north western shore of Lake Huron during the age of glaciers is the natural and necessary setting for the ‘runabout’. How else to effectively scoot shore to shore, island to island or mainland to personal summer haven; the classic boats were the vehicle of choice.
Think about it, are there many images that summon up the romance of summer or the fun associated with boating more than a sleekly beautiful boat nestled in its boat house on an inland water way, ready for its next adventure?
And now, Linda Laughter, has a slightly different perspective.
For 39 years, the owners of classic wooden boats gather in Hessel, Michigan to celebrate the beauty, history and mystique of these elegant vessels. They are special people, keeping alive the traditions of the 36 Les Cheneaux Islands on Lake Huron.
I never realized this part of the upper peninsula uses these boats to move from island to island for work and recreation. Some are housed in beautiful boat houses only visible from the water. These boathouses are connected to cottages, some built by their ancestors in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
This year the clouds threatened, but the diligent boat owners wiped down the shining mahogany and brass. I loved the details some used to show what fun these boats can be, a bottle of wine, a paddle adds to the ambiance. Pride is everywhere! They love to tell you their boat’s history, how they came to own it and how far some of them have come to be part of the world’s largest antique boat show.
The Festival of Arts sported nautical themes for toys and furniture. My favorite were the wooden boat wagons. Jewelry, pottery, fiber art all mixed in with paddles, ropes and wooden fish.
A beautiful poster is created each year and signed copies are sold. This year the speed of these boats was depicted driven by a woman, showing pure joy of the race! We all wished we were with her!
Thank you, Linda and Peggy, for sharing this experience.
Linda Laughter is a practicing interior designer and part-time painter in Ada, MI. She and her architect husband love to travel and enjoy all the architectural details and God’s beauty the world has to offer.
Dreaming of “Getting out of Town” Peggy retired as a high school art teacher and now devotes her time to teaching at Kendall College of Art and Design and living creatively. Both Peggy and her husband, Jerry, enjoy travel on or near water and time with their darling grand son Oliver.