Exploring Marshall

By May 16, 2016Adventures

On Saturday, we adventured to the town of Marshall to explore the area. Marshall, Michigan is located along both I-69 and I-94 between Detroit and Chicago and the city boasts a rich mercantile history dating back to 1831 when fur trading was its main economic driver. It was an unexpected cold wintry day in the middle of May which honestly almost kept me home, however I wanted to not let the weather damper my spirit for adventures.

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Our first stop was the welcome center that is located in the City Hall building. The office was full of brochures, a fantastic walking map of the town and the sweet lady who worked there was very informative and welcoming. The map features seven main tours such as historic homes walk, historic monuments/plaques walk, historic Capital Hill walk, cemetery walk, tree walk, river walk and downtown walk. The area features unique buildings like the old post office.

GLB_201605140232_9774There are eight museums in the town and two were open during our visit: Honolulu House which was built in 1860 and a residence to four families prior to the Marshall Historical Society’s purchase in 1961 when it was converted to a museum and American Museum of Magic which features 30 years of history and the largest collection of magic artifacts on display in the U.S. If you visit Marshall on May 21st for Tourism Day, you can explore all eight museums for free!

We were ready for lunch so we decided to eat at a place Marshall is known for: Schuler’s Restaurant & Pub.

GLB_201605141249_9760Schuler’s has been around since 1909–that is 107 years! The restaurant has experienced many changes over the years including the addition of Wintson’s Pub. We decided to eat on the pub side for lunch. It features dark wood with intimate lighting in a smaller space. The place was busy, the atmosphere cozy and the service friendly.

GLB_201605140155_9765I ordered a Triple Cheese Sandwich with spinach and Schuler’s Swiss Onion soup. Garrin had the Two Napkin Beef Brisket. Both were delicious, however I believe Garrin’s is a new favorite. His remark “this sandwich alone made the trip worth it”.

GLB_201605140108_9761We decided to be extra adventurous and ordered dessert. I chose the Cherry Crisp with Strawberry Sorbetto and Garrin selected the Signature Coconut Snowball.

GLB_201605140139_9763 By the time we left the restaurant, we were pleasantly full and satisfied. We look forward to coming back to try the full service restaurant next time.

After lunch, we decided to explore the downtown. The town is home to a charming vintage movie theatre.

GLB_201605140234_9775There is also a live theatre house The Great Escape Stage Company that I’ve added to my list of Michigan theatres to go and see a show.

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There are many fun antique stores and charming boutiques to visit. Charming names such as The Mole Hole, Just Bead It and Serendipity add to the unique character of the quaint town. I love the signs illustrating the history and sights in the town.

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The building architecture is quite beautiful as well.

GLB_201605140245_9778One of my favorite stores was the paper & i. I found a few treasures including Mitten notecards and unique car coasters featuring a vintage camper to come home with me. There were other unique downtown restaurants to come back and see like The Stagecoach Inn.

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Next we decided to walk a portion of the historic home tour despite the cold. The houses and churches are rich with history and character.

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The oldest church was established in 1851 and there are over 800 structures in the National Historic Landmark District.

The walking tours feature small colored circles on the sidewalk which correspond with the color of the tour in the map (i.e. red for downtown and green for the historic homes, etc.) and make it easy to navigate. My favorite home on the tour features a hobbit like door you can see below.

GLB_201605140346_9801Before leaving town, we wanted to visit the local brewery, Dark Horse Brewery.  The brewery offers Dark Horse India Pale Ale, Amber Ale, Raspberry Ale, Sapient Trip Ale, Boffo Brown Beer, and Black Bier. Several seasonal and experimental brews are also produced and these selections are available part time or during the holiday season.  The ceiling and walls of the taproom is quite unique featuring 3200 wooden mugs owned by the club members. Apparently, the members keep their mugs in a designated spot within the pub and are able to actually use their mugs to drink beer from directly. The taproom was jammed packed with people and there was a huge line so we decided to skip the wait for a beer this visit. Before departing, we looked around the general store which offers fun merchandise, beer and beer making supplies.

GLB_201605140334_9788I really enjoyed visiting Marshall and seeing some of the sights that this historical area has to offer. There are many upcoming events this summer including the famous Blues Festival on June 25th. I still want to check out Cornwell’s Turkeyville, USA, visit some of the bed and breakfasts like the 170 year old The National House Inn and stroll the town gardens. I also look forward to exploring the river walk tour on a warmer day. Marshall I will be back!

About Liz Ball

Liz Ball is a freelance writer focusing on Michigan travel and local events in her community.