Leland Blue

via Leelanau.com

Leland Blue Stone by Cortney Brenner

Leland Blue Stone by Cortney Brenner

In last week’s post about an unidentified blue mineral discovered at the Adventure Mine on the Keweenaw Peninsula, I offered my personal theory that the color is due to the same reaction that created “Leland bluestones”. A couple people asked what the heck a Leland blue is, so here you go:

In the Glen Arbor Sun, Sandra Serra Bradshaw shares that Leland Bluestones were born over 100 years ago in the fires of the Leland Lake Superior Iron Company:

Between the years of 1870 to 1884, the Leland Lake Superior Iron Company operated an iron smelter north of the mouth of the river. They supplied the voracious furnace with ore from the Upper Peninsula. The charcoal they needed was made from local maple and beech timber that was produced in 14 beehive kilns that were kept near the smelting furnace. It produced up to an amazing 40 tons of iron per day. In 1884, the plant was sold to the Leland Lumber Co., which operated a sawmill on the site. Other sawmills and shingle mills operated in Leland during the years between 1885 through 1900.

Back then Leland was a smog-filled industrial town, the main industry of which was anchored by the iron company. The smelting industry failed because of large overhead costs and the lack of a good harbor in Leland. Interestingly, the remains of the industry, including heaps of slag, were dumped into the harbor and today, that has resulted in something as a precious collectible for many. As raw ore was heated, the desired iron ore was separated from various natural impurities. When those impurities cooled, it resulted in a stone-like slag. Hence the Leland Blue Stones were born!

The Leland Blue is a bit of a misleading title to this little man-made gem as it is the mix of blue glass with other chemicals — but this varying chemical medley can also cause the slag to appear in colors of purple, gray, or in shades of green. Today, people relish finding this slag material on the shores of Leland’s beaches. It is not only collectible as a stone, but also sought for as jewelry.

More in the Sun.

This sweet photo was taken by Cortney Brenner on the beach in Leland back in 2017. See more from Cortney on her Flickr!

PS: I promise no posts from Leelanau for at least the rest of the week!

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City of Gold

City of Gold IX by Andrew McFarlane

City of Gold IX by Andrew McFarlane

OK here’s one of my pics of the frozen Lake Michigan shore of Leelanau County from back in January of 2009. I chose one with sun because I would like to see the sun! See more in my Frozen Shore gallery on Flickr and STAY WARM!!

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Sunset on 2021

Icy Sunset on Torch Lake

Icy Sunset on Torch Lake by T P Mann

“Even the most terrible days eventually have their sunsets.”
-Andrew McFarlane

Since a Google search finds exactly ZERO results for “Even the most terrible days eventually have their sunsets” I am low key happy to close the year with an original quotation that I think is perfect for the end of 2021. Here’s hoping that the unfolding of 2022 will be miles better & that you are all happy, healthy, and with the ones you love in the coming year!

TP took this back in March of 2021. See more in his Torch Lake gallery on Flickr.

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Driving into fall on M-22

Tunnel of Trees by Mark Smith

Tunnel of Trees by Mark Smith

Here’s a great shot from Mark showing the current state of color on M-22 on the Leelanau Peninsula. You can check out a current map of Michigan fall color along with some photos on mLive.

This weekend will be amazing for fall color so get yourself up or outside this weekend!

Head over to downstreamer on Flickr for the latest from Mark.

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Stormy September

September Storm by Watermark Photography

September Storm by Watermark Photography

Jeff got an incredible shot of a roll cloud from a recent severe storm in Traverse City. Follow Watermark Photography on Facebook & view and purchase canvas and other prints on his website!

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That Michigan Vibe

Michigan Vibe by Heather Aldridge

Michigan Vibe by Heather Aldridge

Heather shares that she rode her bike to the pier in Frankfort for sunrise & was delighted with the Michigan cloud next to the bluff. That makes two of us Heather – WOW! 😍

Click the pic to view her photo on Facebook & here’s hoping you have a magical day!

Check out more Michigan amazingness on Michigan in Pictures.

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Blossoms & Blue

Leelanau Sweet Cherry Blossoms May 5

Sweet Cherry Blossoms by Andrew McFarlane

Here’s a photo of mine from yesterday afternoon of cherry blossoms on the Leelanau Peninsula. You can follow my @mileelanau Instagram for more shots from northwest lower Michigan!

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2021 Cherry Blossoms: Any Day Now Edition

Any Day Now by Mark Smith

Any Day Now by Mark Smith

Mark took this the other day of a cherry orchard on the high hills of Leelanau County. Won’t be long before cherry blossoms return to Michigan!

Head over to Downstreamer on Flickr for Mark’s latest!

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The House at the End of the Dock

The House at the End of the Dock by Mark Smith

The House at the End of the Dock by Mark Smith

I can’t be the only person who wishes I lived in the Hall Cottage in Leland’s Fishtown!

See more from Mark at Downstreamer on Flickr!

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TBT: Elberta Beach Hang Gliding Heydays

Elberta Beach During the Hang Gliding Heydays

Elberta Beach During the Hang Gliding Heydays

Here’s a post I shared way back in November of 2010. Apologies to all of you with photographic memories! ;) 

Jim shared: 

Not a lot of beach that year (and the water was high), so there was not a lot of room to land! Then you had to hope folks would Get Out Of The Way! (And usually they did, as they were mostly hang gliding families or followers.) Taken at the Elberta beach on Lake Michigan in the late 1970s. 

Jim is no longer updating his Flickr, but definitely check out his Hang Gliding / Hang Glider gallery on Flickr for some awesome pics!

PS: Here’s shot of sailplanes in the 1930s on Frankfort Beach which is just across Betsie Bay from Elberta!

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