Welcome to McMillin Tours
2018 COMING EVENTS...............
Oct. 27- LIGHTHOUSE TOUR- ($75)(9:00-7:00 or later ( I will know TIME for sure after I drive tour in August) This tour will feature Belle Isle and 4 Lighthouses on Lake Huron in the Thumb area. See below for details.
My LIGHTHOUSE tour is on Oct 27, 2018 ($75)
We are going to cover 4 LIGHTHOUSE'S on this wonderful day.
DETAILS-- The first place we are going is to beautiful BELLE ISLE!! After about a 4 block walk we will get to the William Livingston Memorial Light House. It was designed by the one and only ALBERT KAHN!! (One of the reason's we won WWII was because of the skill of Albert Kahn when he built factories in the USSR to produce TANKS?) Livingstone was president of the Dime Bank, owner of the Detroit Evening Journal, and long-time president of the Lake Carriers Association.
In this latter capacity, he was responsible for several important navigational improvements, including the creation of a deep water channel in the lower Detroit River. It became known as the LIVINGSTONE CHANNEL!!
It was erected by Gaza Moroti in the Art Deco Style, taking the form of a classical fluted pillar. The project cost about $100,000 and the bronze & glass lens is visible for 15 Miles.
2nd Lighthouse-- The first lighthouse in the State of Michigan was constructed north of Fort Gratiot in 1829!!! It was built by Lucius Lyon who later became a U.S. Senator from Michigan. This Lighthouse marks the entrance
of the St. Clair River from Lake Huron in the southern portion of Michigan's Thumb!
Let us look at the history of the Port Huron area. With the completion of the Erie Canal (1820's) traffic in the Great Lakes area increased dramatically. Early on, Michigan and Wisconsin with all of their timber & coal really created a bottleneck in this area. The lighthouse created an atmosphere of safety near Port Huron.
3rd Lighthouse-- Next we get back on the bus for our drive to Port Sanilac. The Lighthouse in Port Sanilac is about 30 miles from Port Huron.
The Port Sanilac Light complex currently consists of 5 historic structures--
1- Light tower
2--Ornate brick Lighthouse keeper's residence
3- The brick oil house
4- Wooden outhouse
5- The Well.
4th Lighthouse---Pointe aux Barques- ("Point of Little Boats") This lighthouse ranks among the 10 oldest lighthouses in Michigan. The name also implies the danger of shallow shoals and reefs that lurk beneath these waves. The foundation of this lighthouse is dressed stone and timber with a lot of bricks. President James Polk appropriated $5,000 to build the first lighthouse structure. Catherine Shook became the first female light keeper when her husband (who was the lighthouse
keeper) drowned. The present 1857 lighthouse is a conical white brick tower 89 feet tall.
When we visit our last LIGHTHOUSE (POINT AUX BARQUES----"Point of Little Boats") we will drive down Highway 53 (Van Dyke) and see many towns that you may have heard about but, have not seen. GET OUT YOUR MICHIGAN MAP & take a LOOK!!!!!! There will not be a TEST!!!
SIGN UP EARLY FOR THIS TRIP!!! This tour WILL SELL OUT SOON!!!!
Tour is $75--not $90. (early on I told you that the trip cost $90) I will NOT be buying your lunch or dinner. I believe that almost for sure we will eat two meals on this trip. Dinner location is undecided until I drive trip in July.
Getting ready for September 26 to October 3, 2019 TRIP to CANADA!!
I will drive this trip in my car in October of 2018!!
*Means good bye in FRENCH!!!!!!!!!!
In 2019 Money for TOURS must be in Stewart's hands 6 WEEKS BEFORE TRIP!! (will be enforced!! sorry!!)
May 9- Detroit .Black History Tour-$40-NEW-Lunch will be a restaurant at Woodward & Grand Blvd started by a refugee from Rwanda.
June 21-25, 2019- WASHINGTON D. C. TRIP--Sleep in beautiful Comfort Inn & Enjoy the NEW AFRICAN-AMERICA N MUSEUM. Many War Memorials, Statues, MLK Monument, & Harriet Tubman Museum!! BLACK HISTORY VIDEOS played on BUS BOTH WAYS from Washington to Detroit!!!!
Price- Single-$750 ----Double--$499 for each person.
July 11----Detroit & Hamtramck Polish History and Church Tour.($65) (includes lunch at the Polish Village Cafe!!!!!!)
August 2-5- Ohio & Kentucky Trip-Dble. Room-$375 each Single-$579 This is Stewart's best UGRR TRIP!!!!!
Sept. 1-3-Underground Railroad (UGRR) Tour to CANADA
($249 each) (Single-$386) --
HIGHLIGHTS- We will see--
1- Windsor UGRR Marker.
2- Sandwich Church (Sunday!!)
3-Amherstburg Lunch & Museum
4-Chatham- Frederick Douglas & John Brown met here.
5- North Buxton Annual Reunion
6 Uncle Tom's Cabin featuring Josiah Henson.(Uncle Tom!)
7- John Walls incredible UGGR story near Windsor.
Oct. 4 Tour to Chelsea, Ann Arbor & Ypsilanti. ($75?) This charming town west of Ann Arbor is a pure delight! We will go to Chelsea & see a play at the Purple Rose Theater. It was started by Jeff Daniels in 1991. We will eat lunch there & also tour the Jiffy Mix Milling Company. We then leave Chelsea & do a drive by of Ann Arbor. We will at least see the “BIG HOUSE”! In Ypsi we will go to the Sidetrack Bar & Grill, enjoy a terrific dinner, & a “to die for” Strawberry DESSERT! The first Hudson Dealer in the USA is across the street. Lunch is free but, you pay for dinner in Ypsi.
Oct. 26-Tour the two oldest cemeteries in DETROIT- Mt. Elliott & Elmwood.
($15) Meet at Elmwood at 8:45 AM. Call Stewart at 313-922-1990
PS- Stewart has visited all 50 states & 142 countries!! See his MUSEUM at his HOME.
*TBA To be announced
UNDERGROUND RAILROAD TRIP TO OHIO & KENTUCKY
AUGUST 2-5, 2019-(Sgl-$559) (Dbl-$299-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, Wellington, Oberlin.& Sandusky. Kentucky cities will include, Maysville, Washington, & Augusta...
AUGUST 2- 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 the 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) (the home that he was born in is in Kentucky) I have seen it once in Mays Lick, 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 3-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 4--SUNDAY-In the AM we will drive along the Ohio River. seeing romantic, historical,& relevant towns in Ohio associated with the UGRR. These include Richmond, Pt. Pleasant, Moscow, & RIPLEY. 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 Meriweather 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. (the same trip Meriweather 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 when 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 5-MONDAY --Today we get up EARLY for our departure from our Super 8 at 8:30!!!!!!!! We are going to Tour Augusta, Kentucky and take a boat ride across the Ohio River... Our Tour Guide will be Carolyn Miller and she is TERRIFIC!! Your experience on the boat will be quite different than the fugitives before the Civil War... Those fugitives were just SCARED TO DEATH but, their desire for FREEDOM outweighed anything else!!!!!!!!!!!!!. Carolyn will share many sites in Augusta that referred to slavery and the agony of that situation. About 10:30 or 11:00 we will leave Augusta and start our trek back to Ohio. and lunch at a Ponderosa Restaurant in Hillsboro, Ohio. After lunch, we are off for Wellington where we will learn about the “Wellington raid”That incident .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- You could also call 866-729-5215.
I will provide snack stuff, pop, water, etc. - THE END. Stewart
PS-You just enjoyed my BEST UGRR TRIP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
UGRR* TOUR TO CANADA
SEPTEMBER 1-3, 2019!!
Single.-Room--$386 --------------Double. Room--$216 each
The HIGHLIGHTS OF THIS TRIP ARE--seeing UNCLE TOM' CABIN and a visit to NORTH BUXTON'S ANNUAL REUNION!. We will also visit these major sites!!!!!!!!------ Windsor Historic Marker, Sandwich Church, Amherstburg Museum. Chatham History (John Brown & Frederick Douglas Meeting) & the incredible John Walls site.
Sept. 1 - SUNDAY- This three-day adventure begins in Eastpointe on Sept. 1. at 9:00 AM. First, we drive thru the tunnel, go thru customs., & visit the CURRENCY EXCHANGE!! It is a GREAT TIME to visit Canada for YOUR POCKETBOOK!! Please be aware of the different possibilities you have at customs. Of course, US Passports are best, but, an enhanced USA Driver's License also works.
Our first stop will be in Windsor (near the Casino) where we will see a Historic Marker which is tied in with DETROIT. Ed Dwight is the sculptor of these two monuments. In Hart Plaza in Detroit, the granite monument features George DeBaptiste pointing across the Detroit River to FREEDOM!! The Marker in Windsor represents the BEACON OF FREEDOM for thousands of enslaved blacks!!!!
Next, we are going to visit the Sandwich First Baptist Church which is the oldest black Church in Windsor. It is Sunday so we are going to pray in this church with our Canadian neighbors!! This will be a very solemn occasion! After the service, we will be given a tour of the church.
Next, we take off for Amherstburg where we will eat lunch at a choice of wonderful restaurants. After lunch, we have a little free time & then we visit the Amherstburg National Black Museum of Canada. We then take Highway 401 in our beautiful COACH BUS (Nuline Tours with the bus driver HENRY!) & drive to Chatham. --the most historic black town in Canada! We check into our wonderful Super 8 Motel. We will rest for a bit & then take a short tour of Chatham & finally dinner at your choice of many restaurants!!!
Sept. 2--MONDAY- We will have a continental breakfast at our motel. (you can make your own waffle!) There is also a Tim Horton's across the street and their new menu includes hot stuff. (by the way, Tim Horton was a defenseman for the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1950's!!) For another choice, Henry could drive us about 3 blocks to another breakfast place. (Breakfast Grill) We will leave our Super 8 and visit the church in South Buxton. From the church in South Buxton, we go to North Buxton & see the Annual Labor Day Parade. We arrive about 11:30 to see the famous annual “parade “ & to enjoy the beautiful people!” This parade will include tractors pulling floats & other things that you will only see in a small country town. Appreciate the hospitality and PLEASE SPEAK TO STRANGERS! Canadians are extremely friendly!! Many of the people will be Americans, Pack your own lunch or get it in North Buxton. Descendants from North Buxton have been arriving here each Labor Day for about 90 years to celebrate its history! This is a rare place where race is pretty much a non-issue!!! We will tour their museum & among the many things we will learn about is that the Black School was so successful that many local whites from the area left their schools, & enrolled in the North Buxton Black School!! I do not want to be condescending or patronizing, but this was a remarkable thing to happen. We will visit that one room school! MAKE SURE you take time to TALK TO PEOPLE on this wonderful day! Late in the afternoon, we will go into historic Chatham. Other historic sights will also be seen. Dinner is on your own in charming Chatham.(Glitters Fun Eatery or the Satellite Restaurant) We will be staying again at the Super 8 Motel in Chatham!!!
Sept. 3-TUESDAY- We enjoy another wonderful hot breakfast at our beautiful hotel. After breakfast, we get on country roads thru the agricultural Ontario countryside to Dresden. This is where Josiah Henson lived. He was the main character in Harriet Beecher Stowe's best selling novel-Uncle Tom's Cabin. Of course, we will see the “cabin” & museum. Hensen established the Dawn Settlement for slaves to learn skills & begin a brand new life of FREEDOM! Queen Victoria wanted to meet him! Josiah made two trips to England--& indeed he did meet Her Majesty!! Lunch arrangements in Dresden are WONDERFUL! We will have two or 3 choices. After lunch, we are off to the home site of the amazing John Wall's. He lived about 10 miles from Windsor near a small town called Puce. (Puce means mosquito in French!) It is one of the most famous & amazing UGRR stories of all times!! We then have some free time. That can be spent at numerous choices: the Casino, having dinner, visiting Dieppe Park & the Windsor Waterfront, or shopping at the Tunnel Duty-Free Shop. Group can decide on what they want to do or, e could just go home!!! That would include crossing the Ambassador Bridge and enjoying the USA from the BRIDGE!!
The departure point is 16600 Stephens Rd. in Eastpointe-48201.
Stephens is the equivalent of 9 & One Half Mile Rd. (their phone number is 586-872-2581 and their e-mail is ----firstname.lastname@example.org
Stewart McMillin can be reached at 313-922-1990 or email@example.com (cell phone-313-706-0942)
Bring enough money for FOOD and SHOPPING!!!!! and HAVE FUN!
PS- PAY ATTENTION!! Please get TRAVEL INSURANCE!! Call 866-877-3240
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.