Michigan Roadside Attractions: Wheels of History Museum, Bay Mills – Brimley
Michigan Roadside Attractions is a periodic feature on Travel the Mitten that will explore the many interesting things that can be found on the highways, byways and back roads of Michigan, ranging from the interesting to unusual.
Many people pass through Brimley each summer as they travel from Sault Ste. Marie to Whitefish Point, Tahquamenon Falls and other attractions to the west. Popular stops in the area include Brimley State Park, Point Iroquois Lighthouse, and Bay Mills Resort and Casino. The Wheels of History Museum a few blocks south of the Lake Superior shoreline is another place worth checking out, as it gives background on the history of Bay Mills and Brimley and their involvement with the logging/lumber industry as well as the railroad. Exhibits focus on daily life in the early days of Brimley, what the Bay Mills town site used to look like, how early telephone and communications worked, as well as the influence of the fishing industry and Lake Superior on the area’s development.
The museum can be found at the corner of Depot St. and M-221. It features a wooden railroad car and caboose from the early 1900s, as well as other railroad and maritime artifacts from the area. Trains ran through here from the 1880s to the 1960s and both passenger lines and cars bringing in logs and taking out lumber making stops. A building restored to look like the Brimley depot sits across from the train cars, and across the street you’ll find the picturesque Granary building. You can learn more about the museum at http://www.baymillsbrimleyhistory.org/history.html.
From M-28 west of I-75, head north on M-221 until you reach Depot St. just before a T intersection with 6 Mile Rd. If coming from Sault Ste. Marie on 6 Mile Rd., head south on M-221 at the T intersection and proceed for a couple blocks.