Our family recently took a trip up north to visit a friend in Harbor Springs, Michigan. When we’re traveling I usually map out the roadside attractions that I find interesting. The mushroom houses of Charlevoix were one of the things I didn’t want to miss.
These mushroom or “hobbit” houses are a part of the architectural collection built by Earl A. Young. This self taught builder started in 1919 and continued into the seventies. He fashioned over two dozen creations using indigenous materials. The mushroom houses are known for their prolific stonework, undulating lines and focused attention to tiny details.
The houses can be found on Park Ave. and Lake Shore Dr. Park Avenue can be reached from Bridge St. or by Clinton St. west of the stoplight. The houses are found in a cluster here.
The hobbit houses on Lake Shore Dr. are more spread out. From downtown on Bridge St. you would take Park Avenue near the bridge towards the hospital and turn right on Lakeshore Drive.
We parked at the hospital and walked to view the houses but you can also drive by them in your car. You can’t access the inside, however, they are available to rent for vacation, family reunions, ect. If you’re interested in renting or taking a “virtual tour” you can visit here. I will forewarn you they’re very pricey but perhaps you could split it between several people. The Thatch House has 6 bedrooms and 5 1/2 baths!