Hillman’s 2013 Applefest


Any of my regular readers know how much the loons on Long Lake matter to us. Every chick and every adult is special. This year’s twins are doing fine. Their parents have flown south and the adolescents soon will too. They have been flying low over the water, practicing their take-offs and landings.

This decorative decoy is handcrafted of Northeast Michigan Northern White Cedar. Bob Theiner, who lives on Theiner Trail in Hillman, carved and painted this adult loon with its just-hatched chick. It has landed an honored place at our Long Lake cottage. Here’s our 2013 chicks about a week after they hatched. An excellent interpretation, Bob!


Theiner, of Bob Theiner Decoys, was a featured maker at this year’s Brush Creek Mill‘s Applefest. Honestly, the Hillman area doesn’t grow many apples (and Posen already has dibs on the potatofest). But we have lots of home-grown talent, like Theiner, a master decoy maker. Here he is–along with his creations:

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We couldn’t be happier with our loon decoy purchase. Theiner’s work is top-notch. If you’re interested in his decoys, leave me a comment. Theiner doesn’t have a website (yet) but I can forward your comment on to him. Also, here’s his decoys Facebook page and his Flicker page.

HIllman did not catch a break on the weather today, but the event was still wonderful. A little rain, OK a lot of rain, just meant more of the event moved indoors. Great hot apple cider, homemade apple dumplings topped with ice cream and caramel, and lots of welcoming folks. Welcomes are something HIllman is especially good at.

Here’s the refurbished Brush Creek Mill, staffed mostly by an army of volunteers.


You can learn stuff here (yoga, computer skills, weaving), buy stuff at the River’s Edge Gift Shop, stop by and visit with a Montmorency County deputy sometimes, and check out the mill’s small collection of historic objects.

Here’s the view from the mill’s entrance looking toward Hillman’s new bridge, spanning the Thunder Bay River.


The bridge’s design echoes the design of the historic camelback bridge it replaced.

Even the mill’s mascot was decked out for Applefest.


There weren’t many apples for sale, but this farm booth had choice vegetables, beautifully displayed. (Check out the quilt covers!) We purchased a big green cabbage, the one behind the frilly leafed one, and will be steaming it for dinner.


The tomatoes, one of which I ate with lunch, are wonderful. And that’s quite remarkable, this late in the season.


The inside makers included jelly and jam specialists. Small batches of unique flavors like banana split (banana, pineapple & strawberry) and red velvet apricot plus all the traditional flavors you’d expect.


There were vendors of vintage pottery. I even “found” my grandmother’s drum table. I’m not kidding, I think I remember putting one of the scratches in it!


This is a working mill. The water powered wheel is powering the alternator.


This is the 8th year for Applefest and no Applefest would be complete without…you guessed it…yarnies!