Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Labor Day Adventure:Mystery on Lake Huron

So, we're on US 23 heading towards Tawas City, when I spied an easy cache nearby. We weren't sure if the next "Discovery" geocache would earn TaGeez another county (Iosco) in his challenge so we decided to detour to play it safe.

We pulled up to this interesting Michigan Historical Marker for Alabaster. Weird that "Columbian" is scratched out on both sides.

Something to the right and in the distance caught my eye....

I have vacationed each summer for most of my childhood in Tawas and have never seen this dark, hulking object here. What is it? Too large for a houseboat. Not on a natural isle...

ShelleyJean was able to get a better picture, and afishoutawater forwarded it to local friends for help. Nothing. Nada.  Ok, time for the Google....

Source: ShelleyJean
And I found it! Alabaster and the Ghostly Loading Dock! Sounds like a cheap Sam's Club knock-off mystery novel, right? 

The town of Alabaster was a principle supplier of Gypsum for over a century: Gypsum was a major component in the "White City" built for the Chicago Columbian Exposition (hence, the historical marker). An elevated Marine tramway with 72 buckets would carry gypsum to the waiting boats or storage bins. At a length of 6,450 feet it was the longest over-water tramway in the world. This ghostly loading dock is the only remaining structure in the operation. (Thank you, Lost in Michigan!)

Boggling that so many people see this every year and probably have no idea what this is. And gratifying that this obsession we have called geocaching takes us to these places!

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