Photos: Exploring Boblo Island, 25 years after its closure

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

The last screams of joy could be heard from the little island of fun 25 years ago this week as the Cedar Point of Michigan closed for the final time. Gone are the roller coasters, but there are plenty of haunting remnants from Boblo Island Amusement Park, which delivered thrills and family fun from 1898 to September 30, 1993.

Read more and see the photos from MLive.

Related parks

Vater's avatar


Well done? ;)

Vater's avatar

Thanks...but I'd say it's pretty rare.

Tommytheduck's avatar

Because I work near Detroit, (Romulus) I keep thinking about visiting Boblo Island during one of my free afternoons. Inevitably, I look at the time it would take to get there, the hassle of crossing the border, and having to take a ferry boat, and ultimately decide that it's not worth it.

I've explored Belle Isle and Grosse Ile (yes, correct spelling of both) and was disappointed in both for different reasons.

My former neighbors had a townhouse on Boblo where they kept their sailboat. We went out to visit a few years back and I remarkably felt no nostalgia for the amusement park. Although there are still a few random amusement-park artifacts scattered throughout, the residential developments with their beige McMansions and formulated landscaping have almost fully sterilized the island of its former glory.

tall and fast but not much upside down

I can see where that place would be prime for that kind of development, but I have a silly question. How do the residents get back and forth? Do they ferry? Is there any other development like stores, food, etc?
I guess I’m asking because we spent a day at Mackinac a few weeks ago and I realize it’s a whole different thing, but I wondered if I could hang with the isolation of an island.

We took a small ferry to get across from the canadian side. But, because the island is much closer to the mainland than Mackinac, the ride is very frequent and informal.

tall and fast but not much upside down

While up on Mackinac, were the restaurants running promos for "Ice Bridge: Mackinac Island's Hidden Season?"

We were up there in October a couple years ago and saw the promo in several places. Ended up catching the whole thing on PBS a while later. Other than a boring, monotone narration, it was interesting to see how the year-round residents live. If you roam not too far off the main strip you'll find their public k-12 school, which participates in several sports in the Northern Lights League.

A local told us about the ice bridge. The thing I found interesting is that the year-rounds save their Christmas trees and they float them in the water or if need be, position them in the ice to make a permanent, natural path for the snowmobilers to follow. The also hang tinsel and shiny stuff off of them so they catch in the headlights. I guess it’s mighty dark out there in the winter. A lot won’t brave it, and it’s mostly used if the planes get grounded.
The gal we spoke with has a daughter in 6th grade. She was pleased to announce that she was in a class of 15 and attendance was up for a change- she said some years the school has very few.
I thought it was an interesting, quaint place and there were history lessons. But I don’t know that I’d make the trip back there any time soon. And it’s for sure I couldn’t live there.
I’m going to tell a story on our Slithernoggin. He told me he worked there one summer and they called it Mackitraz. The tourists are Fudgies. After one day there I totally get it.

I can't recommend enough that you visit the island in the winter. I spent three days cross-country skiing around the island. And, although there are some locals who live year around, most of the people that we encountered on the island were snowmobilers who snowmobiled over the ice from the mainland to drink at one of three open bars. It was a fairly "rough" and drunk crowd but to see the island that empty was very impressive. Also, it's nice getting a quick plane ride to the island from St Ignace for $25 and ordering a horse-drawn carriage/taxi from the airport. There's nothing like a sleigh ride through a state forest to begin a nice winter holiday (or being able to ski to dinner). Having the hotel leave a key in your hotel room for your arrival because no one is working in the hotel, was also a novelty I will not soon forget - very "Shining-esque."

tall and fast but not much upside down

All 8.2?
I’ll just have to take your word for it,

You must be logged in to post

POP Forums - ©2024, POP World Media, LLC