The Car at the
End of the Road
Just after WW I, a hotel was conceived of for Cable's Bay; the architect who had designed the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island was retained; and construction began. But costs exceeded the backers' financial resources, and in the fall of 1919 the project ground to a halt. Several tragedies unfurled their depressing wings, including a small one that befell Mrs. Redding, who had come to Beaver Island to be the hotel's chef. Suddenly jobless, she stayed for awhile at Little Marsh Hill, and then settled into a cabin at the end of the trail running along the west side a few hundred feet back from the beach. Just past her cabin, the trail turned onto the shore and stopped, although some intrepid navigators were occasionally able to traverse the gravel lip thrown up by the lake and make it to the cluster of homesteads at Greenes' Bay.
Not all. when we arrived on Beaver Island a quarter century ago, the steel skeleton of a 30's car was marooned in the surf, a testament to the folly of unwarranted bravery. Forty years ago, Bea Boyle would bring her kids here for a Dinty Moore cookout, and use the hood for their picnic table. Year by year, it sank deeper into the polished, fist-sized stones. Today, July 10th, 1998 (a time when very little remains of the original Mrs. Redding's Trail, and less of her rosebush-enshrouded cabin) this is all that we found.