WEIRD THINGS IN MICHIGAN: Deserted House on Bellow Island
If you have a boat and want to make a trek to this weird abandoned house, then you have to hear this story of the Deserted House on Bellow Island.
The story starts in 1910 as the house was built as a vacation getaway by Edward Taylor Ustick Sr., a prominent St. Louis businessman.
There was just a slight catch with staying on this island....as the family had to tolerate the massive amount of seagulls that also inhabited that little island. You’d think they’d catch some kind of disease transmitted by the birds, but wasn’t the case. The Ustick family would continue to summer at the house for approximately 30 years, living with the birds. What I mean by living with the birds is that the birds can do what they want, eat what they want, breed where they want, fly inside the house if they want and poop where they want. The Usticks obviously didn’t like this arrangement but what choice did they have, if they wanted to keep coming back to their summer cottage?
During World War II, the Usticks stopped visiting the island as job changes for Edward Sr. made it harder for them to make the trip from Massachusetts to Michigan. Then in 1948, Edward's son got a call from Michigan State police saying that six vandals had wrecked the small cottage. The police described that the vandals destroyed the house with axes. As one police officer was quoted, “I have never seen a building so completely wrecked with an axe. Even the plumbing was hacked and battered. An ice box was chopped and the bathtub, made of enamel covered cast iron was wrecked…..Every window in the building was knocked out and even the stairway was chopped and hacked.” Also, the entire insides were completely demolished – furniture, woodwork, paneling and all.
The strange and troubling aspect of the story is that the damage was done by the offspring of the Usticks’ “friends.” Why their own friends would perpetrate this act of disrespect & vandalism was never understood, but perhaps jealousy was a factor.
Unfortunately the house was never inhabited again and now sits a shell of itself, but if you have a boat and don't mind walking through seagull poop and seagulls in general then you can see it. Or just check out the pics above.