The Holy Family Orphanage.

Marquette, Michigan.

Summer 2007.

The next stop was at the Holy Family Orphanage, located in Marquette, Michigan.

This orphanage, opened from 1915 to 1965 and fully abandoned in 1985. There were some tags in there from the 90's and I was skeptical, but they may be authentic.

Besides the standard opening / closing / use information, I could find very little other information. The majority of the sites that featured this building were focused on an urban myth that surrounds the place where supposedly a child was playing outside in a blizzard, caught pneumonia, and died subsequently.

According to the urban myth, the child was nailed to a board to show the other children what would happen to them if they played outside in the blizzard.

Right...sure. Maybe if this place was open from 1415 to 1465. I mean it could theoretically happen; but I just highly doubt it.

There's even stories of neighbors hearing children laughing and running at night!

Oh my god, because you know that teenagers would never go into an abandoned orphanage at night...and run around like scared fools!

Onto the actual building; I was quite impressed to find such a big and empty building in Marquette. I thought at the time that the floors were quite empty, but with it being abandoned for 22 years, there was actually quite a bit of history & items remaining.

The highlight of the school may have came about five minutes after getting in. I started to hear some noises and shuffling; I paused and listened. The voices were inaudible, so I decided to hide & figure out who was in the building with me...

"Jenny, go to the roof!" "Ok, Tim, which way? Tehehehe."

"Oh haha, it's teenyboppers," I thought to myself. I came out from the room I was inside and noticed a young girl in the hallway looking the other way. Coincidentally she turned and noticed me in the hallway and scared the living daylights out of herself. Her friends seeing her shock popped into the hallway soon after and noticed me as well.

"It's fine, I'm just a dude from Windsor; passing through and decided to check out the building." They seemed satisfied with this answer, so I threw some questions at them to get some information. After answering one or two, I could tell their discomfort - I'm pretty sure these 5'3'' teenage boys were intimidated by the strange tall man alone in the orphanage.

I told them to have a good time & went on my way exploring.

One thing I wanted to ask the teens was what the building was. I didn't do prior research, so I had figured it to be a school. But, figuring it to be a school; I was confused by these showers. Showers in a school aren't that uncommon, but why were there showers in a random bathroom?

(I later came to find out the history & use of the building from Nicole Rork & Nailhed. Big ups to them)

The orphanage held two great features. Firstly, this balcony. A stunning corridor connecting portions of the third floor. This would be the spot to have some drinks and chill with the tree cover in the summer. If only Marquette wasn't 9 hours from home.

Secondly, the indoor chapel. I thought this to be an auditorium; but another site that seems to know more about the building claims this to be the chapel area.

This is the view from the balcony.

Close up of the chapel detail.

There was also a small theatre. It was built in the same way as the chapel; but lacked the architectural detail and the lighting of the chapel.

The upper floors were a little less interesting. There was a unique system of stairs and also stairs that led clean out the building because of the vanished fire escape.

The Holy Family Orphanage sits awaiting development. The owner lives in Arizona and believes the building is worth an amount far greater than others believe. This has hindered development of the property and has caused the city to consider condemning the property so that it can be seized and redeveloped by others or simply demolished.

Sources: 1., 2. U.P. Investigators, 3. OldOrphanage, 4. SecretCrypt

From Marquette, I later drove through the state of Wisconsin, the stunning city of Duluth and continued until I reached Baxter, Minnesota. It was there that I decided to retire for the night.

Continue to Day 3 of this 2007 Road Trip West (Edmonton, Whistler, Seattle).

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