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Northern Michigan in Focus: Historic Home on Sugar Island

Have you ever seen an old house that’s sat vacant for a while and wondered what the story is behind it?

In this week’s Northern Michigan in Focus Corey Adkins takes us to Sugar Island to tell the story of the old church house.

If you’re ever cruising down the St. Marys River on the northwest side of Sugar Island, if you look close enough you may see an old house hiding in all the trees.

But this is more than just a house. There’s a ton of history here. At one time this area was basically one huge store.

“And this particular house sits on a point which used to be a refueling station for a lot of the ships that came through,”

This whole area was called Churchville Point. In the mid 1800s these woods we’re once a sawmill, shipyard and store. Owner Philetus Church would sell potatoes, vegetables and many other things to mariners.

“At that time there were steamships so there would be wood for sale or they sold food or different things that would be produced on the island and then would sell to the sailors that are coming through,”

Mr. Church passed in 1883 and the trading post went away with time and another family, the Hicklers, bought the property in 1902. And you can see some of the fun they’ve had over the years; boating, fishing, swimming. Doing the same things we do on those historic waters. Shelly Morely grew up down the street.

“I grew up on Sugar Island just right down the street from the church house and we would canoe pass there. We did a lot of fishing around there and the house, it’s always kind of mysterious, because nobody really lived there but it was super beautiful,” Morely said.

This home is on the national registry for historic places, and now it can be yours.

“It is for sale. It does have some amazing space. It’s a couple acres. 300 feet of waterfront and it is an absolute gem. It’s a great find up here in the U.P., Morely said.

Just imagine making your own history here, at this historic house.

“It was an amazing place to grow up. We had great adventures over there and we did lots of outdoor stuff. It’s definitely a place where you would want to raise kids or even just go to hideout, it’s a great little hideout over there,” she said.