Happy birthday, Michigan! Celebrate 185 years with these Michigan Marvels

The Detroit News

Looking good for 185 years old, Michigan.

Jan. 26, 1837, serves as the day Michigan officially became the 26th state. 

The Great Lakes State has much to offer, but we don't need to tell you that. To celebrate 185 years, check out some of these Detroit News' Michigan Marvels:

Michigander to Michiganian?:Everyone knows we're Michiganians. Or not.

View more Michigan Marvels here.

Colorful murals of Detroit

The city of Detroit has a zero tolerance policy toward graffiti. But take a drive anywhere in Detroit and it would appear Motor City management is all in on murals. 

Read more on the murals here. 

There is only one Fishtown

Tucked between Lake Leelanau and Lake Michigan, with the Leland River running through it, Fishtown is a tiny commercial fishing district, dotted with wooden shanties dating back decades.

Read more about Fishtown here.

Cranbrook, 'a little hidden treasure'

As Cranbrook officials will tell you, first there was Cranbrook, then a city evolved around it.

Named after a village in England, the world-renowned Cranbrook Educational Community campus originally was a farm in the sparsely populated area now known as Bloomfield Hills. 

Read more here.

Holland's De Zwaan Windmill

Built in 1884 with pieces from at least two other windmills, De Zwaan, which means "the swan" in Dutch, is 125 feet tall from the ground to the tip of the blades. 

De Zwaan was built as a grain windmill and still operates as one - making it is the only authentic working Dutch windmill in the United States.

Read more here. 

View the crystal clear waters of Kitch-iti-kipi

Kitch-iti-kipi, an Ojibwa word for the Big Spring, is a small pond of clear blue water inside Palms Book State Park in Manistique. The natural spring, the largest in Michigan, bubbles up at over 10,000 gallons a minute at a constant 45 degrees year-round.

The water is so clear you can see straight down over 40 feet to the bottom with the only thing blocking your view being the various species of trout that roam from the spring to Indian Lake and back again. 

Read more here.

The Soo Locks

The Soo Locks are a bucket list destination for any Boatnerd, fans of freighters that ply Great Lakes waters.

The Soo Locks first opened in 1855. Prior to that, ships had to be portaged around the rapids in the St. Mary's River. Lake Superior is 21 feet higher than Lake Huron, and those rapids kept cargo from flowing quickly through the Great Lakes.  

Read more here.

Silver Lake State Park

Walking on golden sand dunes toward the tranquil shores of Lake Michigan while listening to the roar of dune buggies sums up the contrasts of Silver Lake State Park.

In 1919, Carrie Mears, daughter of Charles Mears, who ran lumber mills in Michigan in the 1800s, donated 25 acres of her father's land to create a park.

Today, almost 3,000 acres of sand, forest, campsites, and lakeshore make up Silver Lake State Park. 

Read more here.

The lavender labyrinth of Cherry Point Farm

In western Michigan there's a cherry farm where you can choose between zen, or a strudel.  

"We wanted to have it be something more than just a place to stop and pick up a quart of cherries," said Barbara Bull, owner of the Cherry Point Farm and Market in Shelby. "We wanted people to have the opportunity to come and connect with the land.

Bull teamed up with local architect and artist Conrad Heiderer, who helped design the labyrinth on a 300-square-foot piece of land on the farm. Construction started in 2001 with a stone circle in the center, the lavender was planted in 2002 and an herb garden in the center was created in 2004.

Read more here. 

Langley Covered Bridge

There are but a few covered bridges left in Michigan, fewer still that allow vehicle traffic. Not only is Langley covered bridge near Centreville one of them, at 282 feet in length, it also happens to be the longest covered bridge in the state. 

The bridge was built in 1887 and is named for Thomas Langley and his family, pioneers who helped establish Centreville, about four miles south of the bridge. 

Read more here.

The Dossin Great Lakes Museum

What started as a museum on an old sailing ship has turned into one of the premier maritime museums in the Great Lakes.

A maritime museum was opened by the city of Detroit aboard the wooden schooner J.T. Wing in 1949 on the shore of the Detroit River on Belle Isle. The ship was the last wooden commercial sailing ship on the Great Lakes. But by 1956 the ship was deteriorating and the museum closed.

With funding from the Dossin family, the Dossin Great Lakes Museum opened July 24, 1960. 

Read more here.