Cross Village, Michigan

Cross Village Township is a civil township of Emmet County. As of the 2000 census, the township population was 294.  Cross Village, like many of the area small towns, was once a thriving center for lumber. Because of its location on the lakeshore it was also a fishing community. Cross Village is one of the oldest settlements in Michigan and today is known for its ties to the [Ottawa (tribe)]].  Early records say that Father Jacques Marquette, the famous French Jesuit who endeared himself to the Native Indian population of Northern Michigan, planted a huge white cross on the bluff overlooking Lake Michigan before his death in 1675. As late as 1787, as many as twenty tribes populated the region and met here around tribal council fires. To the Native Indians who populated the numerous historic missions in the area, Cross Village became known as the "Land of the Cross." To the French, this region was known as L'Arbre Croche; to the Ottawas, it was called "Wau-gaw-naw-ke-ze"; and to the White man at the time, it was simply known as "Land of the Crooked Tree."  Bishop Frederic Baraga is another individual with historical ties to Cross Village. Baraga left a comfortable, aristogratic existence behind when he left Slovenia. he arrived in Michigan in 1830 to serve the Native population and isolated small communities of this region. He spoke and developed written Native languages and is credited for spreading the Gospel among the local Ottawas and Ojibwe. In 1853, Baraga was elevated to Bishop, becoming the first Bishop in Upper Michigan.  Father Francis Xavier Pierz, Bishop Baraga's friend and fellow Slovenian, was also assigned to Cross Village for many years. Father Pierz, however, was bothered by the increasingly settled nature of the region and departed for the newly organized Minnesota Territory in 1852. In an 1855 Emmet County was reorganized and four new townships were created by the State. One of them was "La Croix," which was officially changed its name to Cross Village in 1875.  Today, a replica of Father Marquette's cross stands at the edge of the bluff and is visible off the shore, far into Lake Michigan. Every year a small garden at the base of the cross is lovingly tended by the small town's garden club.  Cross Village also contains the famous Legs Inn or Smolak's. The dream of Polish immigrant Stanley Smolak, Legs Inn is part restaurant and part art gallery. Smolak decorated the building with driftwood sculptures, polished wooden furniture, Lake Michigan stones and totem poles. The name comes from the row of inverted stove legs that line the top of the building. Legs Inn was designated a state historic landmark in 1990. Smolak's serves wonderful Polish food during the daytime with gorgeous views of the Lake Michigan. In the evenings it turns into a happening hot spot with local musical entertainment and dancing. The "Tunnel of Trees," a breathtaking scenic drive down the winding Lake Michigan shoreline runs between Cross Village and Harbor Springs to the south. The drive is famed for its fall color scenery. Cross Village is also home to Blissfest and the annual pow wow. Blissfest is a summer folk music festival that draws participants from across the nation, it takes place on the Festival Farm on Division Rd. The Cross Village area is also a protected nesting ground for the endangered piping plover. The area has lovely sandy beaches and clear water for swimming.

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Attractions

Waugoshance Light [Lighthouse], Waugoshance Light, Cross Village, MI 49723, Phone: (800) 828-6157

Dining Out

Legs Inn [Historic Inn], 6425 Lakeshore Drive (M-119), PO Box 157, Cross Village, MI 49723, Phone: (231) 526-2281

Lodging

Cross Village Lakeshore Cottage Agamiing Minwendam [Cabin & Cottage Rentals], Morris Lane/N Lakeshore Dr, Cross Village, MI 49723, Phone (734) 995-9001

Cross Village on Lake Michigan [Vacation Home Rental], 8909 Sturgeon Bay Dr, Cross Village, MI 49723, Phone: (248) 620-9984

Legs Inn [Historic Inn], 6425 Lakeshore Drive (M-119), PO Box 157, Cross Village, MI 49723, Phone: (231) 526-2281

Organizations

 

Outdoors & Sports

 

Services

Graham Real Estate Good Hart [Vacation Rental Management], P.O. Box 946
1075 N. Lake Shore Drive, Good Hart, MI 49737, Phone: (231) 526-6001

Holiday Vacation Rentals [Vacation Rental Management], 6789 S. Lakeshore Drive, Harbor Springs, MI 49740, Phone: (231) 242-0730

Shopping

Burl Art Gallery [Art Gallery], 6444 N. Lakeshore Drive, PO Box 186, Cross Village, MI 49723, Phone: (231) 242-0444

Three Pines Studio and Gallery [Art Gallery], 5959 W. Levering, Cross Village, MI 49723, Phone: (231) 526-9447

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Last updated Tuesday, March 05, 2013