Welcome to McMillin Tours
WOW, What anticipation??? We are filled up for the bus tour to Washington D. C. Which leaves this Thursday, March 30!! Seeing the new African American Museum of History & Culture is the main objective. ANOTHER TRIP TO WASHINGTON D.C. is planned for AUGUST 10-13!!
Last week I drove the trip to Holland & Ferris State University (where we will see the biggest collection of RACIST MEMORABILIA ever assembled)! We are staying in a beautiful Motel in Grand Haven (a Baymont Hotel and Breakfast is included!!!) where the Grand River empties into Lake Michigan. The next morning we take the 30 minute drive into Holland. & enjoy ourselves by taking Trolley Rides of the City. etc. Holland is truly a beautiful place!
AUGUST 4-7, 2017—UGRR TRIP- Ohio and Kentucky--Single $599 DBL— $399 This is Stewart's best UGRR trip!!! This is about the 10th time he has done this trip. A great tour description is found on our website. Ohio features Wilberforce, Springboro Cincinnati, Ripley, Wellington & Oberlin. Kentucky features Maysville, Washington & Mays Lick.. In August 10-13 our 2nd trip of the year to Wash. DC. will be scheduled. It will be modeled after the first trip. Videos will be shown in a continuous manner as we take a beautiful coach bus. There is a list of the Videos that we will see in the tour description. A Mariott Sweets Hotel which includes a breakfast, in the posh suburb of Washington DC is where we will be staying and eating. Many great restaurants are within a mile or so from our motel.
Price to be announced.
Sept. 3-5-This UGRR trip will feature all of the places in Canada that are close to Detroit on ONE TOUR!!!! Please list all of the wonderful places- we will be seeing-HERE, Sandwich, Amherstberg, etc.___________!! We will spend two nights in a Travelodge in Chatham, Ontario Prices coming soon.
Two day trips are planned in September:
Detroit's Boomtown Tour is Sept. 16 - (9:30-4:30) ($40)
I could have put 10 more exclamation proclamations after the BOOMTOWN TOUR!!!! but, that probably would be "overkill"! I will now calm down and get to the point.
Detroit Celebrity Home Tour is Sept .30 - (9:30-4:30) ($40) From its inception the city has enjoyed many nicknames. Detroit originated from the French word "STRAITS". In the early 20th Century a new nickname arose. THE MOTOR CITY included Ford, Olds, Dodge, and thousands of others. The USA entered World War II and a new name emerged. " The Arsenal of Democracy" converted our factories to the weapons of war. Then the 1960's came and the name MOTOWN became synonymous with DETROIT.
Finally October 20-22, 2017 will find us going to Canada for a marvelous trip including Niagara Falls & the UGRR. Two nights in a Howard Johnson's Motel near Niagara Falls. We will venture into the town of Oakville to learn about two really cool UGRR people, and another stop will be to Visit an UGRR couple whose home is still in Ancaster near Hamilton. Of course, you cannot do Niagara Falls without doing Niagara on the Lake. Special arrangements have been been made to see that you have a WINE TASTING event also.
PRICE COMING !!
I just drove this trip on March 16 and I am more excited now than ever before!! I did have to raise the price (only $9.00) but, I got a new motel in Grand Haven & it is a beautiful BAYMONT MOTEL! (Great breakfast with all of the amenities!)
Now, lets get started. At 9:00 SHARP we get going and break for a wonderful lunch at a economical Golden Corral near Grand Rapids. Next we go to Ferris State University and view the biggest collection of RACIST MEMORABILIA in THE USA! This is important for people to see to root out prejudice and teach tolerance!! Ferris State has a much better reputation than in the past. Students are really WORKING!
Our next adventure is to get on the road again and drive to our gorgeous MOTEL. We are staying at a Baymont Motel in Grand Haven where the Grand River empties into Lake Michigan. We will enjoy dinner downtown and see where the South American (a ship that was stored in the winter) was moth balled during the winter.
On Saturday we awake early for breakfast and leave the hotel at either 8:00 or 8:30. We want to get to Holland early to enjoy the various Trolley Tours they offer. Trolley Tours are located at 6th Street and College Ave. Lunch will be on your own. I believe 8th Street is the MAIN PLACE for ENTERTAINMENT! The time we leave is open for discussion---6 or 7 PM?????
(Sgl-$559) (Dbl-$399-each) During this fabulous 4 day, 3 night adventure we will either visit or learn about the following Ohio Cities: Wilberforce, Springboro, Cincinnati*, New Richmond, Point Pleasant, RIPLEY, Georgetown, Red Oak, Sardinia, Columbus, Wellington, Oberlin.& Sandusky. Kentucky cities will include, Maysville, Washington, Mays Lick & Augusta..
AUGUST 4-FRIDAY- The beginning of our “WOW ADVENTURE” happens at 9:00 AM from the Military Museum in Eastpointe. As we drive south on I-75 we will introduce ourselves, go thru Stewart's handouts, watch relevant videos and have lunch on bus. Please bring your own lunch for the first day. Stewart will have plenty of soft drinks, water, snack stuff, apples and “sweets' for your pleasure. When we come to Dayton we will learn about Paul Lawrence Dunbar (he grew up here).Near Wilberforce we will learn about some of the UGRR history in this area..We then drive thru Wilberforce University Campus and see historic markers and visit the Wilberforce Museum. (our 1st stop) This is the oldest private historically black college in the USA! After visiting the Wilberforce Museum. we will see the “Cry Baby” Bridge and then the home of the 3rd Black Man who went to Westpoint--Charles Young! (our 2nd stop) (We will see the home that he was born in when we get to Kentucky)
Our 3rd stop will be Springboro, where we will visit a B & B which once served as a “station”on the UGRR. In that home we will see a secret hiding place where fugitives could hide if necessary. Springboro once had over 20 homes that were on the UGRR!!! We will see many of them.(outside only). We will eat at a choice of restaurants before we check into our Red Roof Inn. We will be spending two nights here. .
AUGUST 5--SATURDAY- Our 1st highlight today will be driving near the beautiful Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati(“Cinci”) (2nd largest Cemetery in the USA) where we will learn about the final resting places of two very famous abolitionists---Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase & Levi Coffin—a former “President” of the UGRR. Our 1st stop today will be the home where Harriet Beecher Stowe stayed in Cinci. She wrote the novel Uncle Tom's Cabin. This experience at her home will be a REMARKABLE VISIT!! Our next stop will be lunch at a choice of restaurants in downtown Cinci. The area is called “The Banks”. In the afternoon we will see one of the HIGHLIGHTS OF THE TRIP:---The fantastic FREEDOM CENTER on the banks of the Ohio River in Cinci.(1:30-5:00) You will never forget the sight of the SLAVE PEN! etc. After the museum we will walk near the Ohio River reading historical markers. We also will look across the Ohio River to Covington, Kentucky. A very sad UGRR incident occurred near this place. We will learn about the horrors suffered by Margaret Garner (& her children) on their attempt to gain freedom. Dinner will be at a choice of restaurants in “The Banks”
AUGUST 6- SUNDAY- In the AM we will drive along the Ohio River. seeing romantic, historical , & relevant towns in Ohio associated with the UGRR, etc.(Richmond, Pt. Pleasant,Moscow, & RIPLEY!). Before the Civil War Ripley, Ohio along with John Rankin, John Parker and a host of other brave people escorted or gave directions to thousands of people on the UGRR. In Ripley we will climb FREEDOM HILL (optional). This is a steep walk where fugitives in the 19th Century escaped slavery in Kentucky & sought refuge at Pastor John Rankin's home at the top of the hill in Ripley. We will have a tour of John Rankin's home. You will have a breathtaking. view of the Ohio River and Kentucky from the Rankin home. We will then enjoy lunch at a choice of restaurants in Ripley. After lunch we will tour Main Street where we will see a number of “stations” on the UGRR including John Parker's home---an incredible abolitionist! We will tour his home also! After Ripley we cross the Ohio River & learn about the Historic town of Maysville, Kentucky. We will walk along the levee located on the Ohio River & view beautiful murals. The murals describe the history & events in Maysville history.
1-In 1803 Meriwether Lewis (of the Lewis & Clark Expedition) picked up the famous (also infamous) John Coulter enroute from Pittsburgh to Louisville where they meet William Clark.
2-Lafayette made a trip back to the USA from France about 45 years after his French Army helped George Washington win the American Revolution. Lafayette was only 19 when he came to assist the Continental Army. He left Pittsburgh on the Ohio River to come to Maysville. (same trip Meriwether Lewis made in 1804)
3-Thornton Blackburn was born here. He and his wife Lucie escaped slavery in Louisville & became famous in Detroit. His escape from a Detroit Jail started the first Detroit Race Riot in 1833. He had been placed in jail by slave catchers, but, Detroit abolitionists broke in the jail & he & his wife escaped to Canada.. Thornton had the first taxi cab in Toronto!!!
Next we will go to Washington a quiet & relaxed village. Walking around this historic place seems to take you back 200 years. It does not have all of the commercial activity so many historical places seem to have. By far the most historical event in Washington was Harriet Beecher Stowe first saw slaves being sold---and it horrified her. The result—Harriet decided to write the book—Uncle Tom's Cabin.
We then check into our Super 8 Motel, freshen up, and head downtown to eat at Chandlers.
AUGUST 7- MONDAY- Our first stop today will be the cabin where Colonel Charles Young was born. This may be a “GOOSE PIMPLE” experience for some!! (it was for me when I first saw this cabin in October of 2015!) This exciting experience will be followed by a visit to a former plantation where the owners have a collection of objects and artifacts relevant to slavery! This experience will be even more “moving” than the Charles Young home!! We then eat lunch at a Ponderosa and then board the bus to head back home-
We will see Wellington (the famous Wellington raid really put OBERLIN ON THE MAP!!). We then arrive in OBERLIN—our last MAJOR STOP OF THE TRIP! We will learn about its history and some of the AMAZING PEOPLE who walked on this campus. We will tour the historic sites in Oberlin. I cannot predict our timing for this day. I hope we are back to Eastpointe no later than 9:00PM.!!!
*Cinci--this stands for Cincinnati.
MISCELLANEOUS INFO- Meals are on your own. I recommend you get travel insurance—866-877-3240-TRAVELGUARD.COM- I will provide snack stuff, pop, water, etc. Stewart
This tour will feature UGRR (Underground Railroad) places closest to the UNITED STATES. What follows is the itinerary for that trip. This is the FIRST TIME this schedule will be followed------
1- Windsor, Sandwich, Amherstburg, & John Walls will be the schedule for the Sept. 3, excursion.
2- On Sept. 4 will include Chatham and the North Buxton Annual Reunion.
3- On Sept. 5 we will visit Uncle Tom's Cabin-where we will learn about the story of the famous JOSIAH HENSON!!!
MORE DETAILS FOLLOW--
UNDERGROUND RAILROAD TOUR TO CANADA - 2 NIGHTS AT NIAGARA FALLS & A DRIVE THRU TORONTO - OCTOBER 20-22
On October 20 we will take off from our Military Museum in Eastpointe at 9:00 sharp. After crossing the Ambassador Bridge we will go to a currency exchange and take advantage of the GREAT RATE for the USA these days. Then, Stewart will go thru his videos & play ones that are the most relevant. We are going by the John Walls site first, followed by North Buxton, Chatham, & Uncle Tom's Cabin. On another issue, Stewart hopes that everyone can pack a lunch so we do not have to make a stop just for lunch. Stewart will have FREE BOTTLED WATER, soft drinks, snack food, and sweets!
Our first stop (not counting restroom breaks every two hours) will be St. Catherine's where we will see the Welland Canal (takes large ships between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie) & the St. Catherine's Museum. (there is an exhibit on Black History there)
We then go by the cemetery where Anthony Burns is interred. Next we will see a historical marker where Richard Pierpointe once lived (an amazing human being!!) We will also learn about several key abolitionists including the Rev. Hiram Wilson, Mary Ann Shadd Cary, and the FAMOUS HARRIET TUBMAN! Yes that HARRIET TUBMAN!!! As you know, she brought many formerly enslaved people here. Visiting her church will be the HISTORIC HIGHLIGHT of the TRIP!!!!! Ada (a descendant of slaves) will give us a tour of her church.
We are then off for Niagara Falls where we will either check into our Howard Johnson Motel or eat dinner. It depends on what time it is.
SATURDAY October 21-Our first visit today is a church that was used as a “safe house” in Niagara Falls. (Nathaniel Dett)
We then get on the QEW and take it to the Fort Erie area near Buffalo. Here we will see FORT ERIE & the CROSSING PLAQUE (the story of crossing the river from Buffalo) Other sites we will see include “BERTIE HALL” (Learn about the Forsyth Brothers) and “LITTLE AFRICA”. We then get on the Niagara Parkway and go north (parallel to the Niagara River) & see various UGRR
sites on our way to Niagara on the Lake. That will include Chloe Cooley, the Colored Corps, & Richard Pierpoint. We will have lunch at a choice of restaurants in the historical & romantic town of Niagara on the Lake. Some free time after lunch if the group desires & if there is time. After this, we will learn about the Negro Cemetery,
Bill Seward, Rev. John Oakley, & Solomon Mosby. We may also visit a school where we will experience history.
We then go to a WINERY where we will learn some details about the wine industry. After a nominal fee WE WILL ENJOY SOME WINE in an atmosphere of relaxation. Peace, etc. We then go back to Niagara Falls for dinner & and then FREE TIME to see NIAGARA FALLS. etc.
SUNDAY, Oct. 22-Today we TAKE TIME TO SEE Niagara Falls!! Then we go to two or three interesting places related to the UGRR. Our first adventure is visiting Oakville where two people really made contributions. The first man is Captain Robert Wilson who brought many African-Americans to Oakville concealed aboard his ships. His home still stands at 279 Lawson Street. James “Canada Jim” Wesley Hill was well known for his strawberry farming, but in the black community he was widely recognized for aiding the emancipation of close to 880 slaves. We will see his home. He was black.
We then travel to Ancaster, Ontario where an African-American lived in a home high up on a hill. His name was Enerals Griffin. He lived with his wife Priscilla. There was much inner marriage with white people,and many people thought they were actually white. We will see that home.
Depending on time we will possibly see an African Methodist Episcopal Cemetery.
Many of them made their living as farmers.
MISCELLANEOUS INFO ON TRIP—
1-The amazing story of the UGRR is quite a tale. One great book is one written by Karolyn Smardz Frost. It involves Maysville, Kentucky, Detroit and Toronto. It is the story of Lucie and Thornton Blackburn.
The book's title is—I Have Got a Home in Glory Land
2- Meals will be on your own.
3-Many relevant videos on trip.
4- See website for details on Canada border. You must have a valid passport or an
enhanced Drivers License or an enhanced state ID.
5- Tour will leave from Eastpointe. 16600 Stephens Road. 1-586-872-2581 Tour leaves from a wonderful Military Museum less than one black from Gratiot.
6-Stewart can be reached at 313-922-1990 or
e-mail him at- firstname.lastname@example.org
Who Is Stewart McMillin?
WHO IS STEWART & WHY HE DOES WHAT HE DOES- I have been conducting tours of Detroit since 1968. I have lived in Indian Village since 1996, having moved there from Grosse Pointe. I graduated from MSU in 1962 with a Major in History & earned the Degree of Master of Arts from EMU in 1967. I subbed in DPS in 1963 & then taught full time in Hazel Park from 1963-1964. From 1964-1993 I taught Social Studies, coached, & was involved in many clubs at East Detroit High School (now known as Eastpointe). Teaching Humanities at WSU kept me busy from 1994-2001. In addition to teaching, and conducting tours, traveling has been one of my passions. I have now been to all 50 states, all of the Canadian Provinces, (plus Yukon) and 141 countries including 17 countries in Africa and every country in Europe, except Iceland.