Cold Weather Tips For Your Plumbing, Tested and Proven in Michigan

What can I tell you about my wonderful home town of Shepherd Michigan? It isn’t very large at 2,000 people, all who treat one another like relatives. It is that friendly. That’s why I love where I live, so much so that I want to share how amazing it is with others. Hence this blog. How many of you feel this way about your area? Are you loathe to leave home and explore living in other parts of the country, if not the world? Not me. I am staying put.

Shepherd is a veritable village with the most amazing welcoming vibe. It is smack dab in the middle of the lower part of the state in Isabella County. It doesn’t seem to be close to any major city, perhaps a good drive to Lansing, no urban metropolis. Thus, it is a quiet country life, and that suits be to a tee. It is warm in the summer and quite cold in the water, as with the rest of Michigan. It is therefore a microcosm of the great lakes state. We are between Lakes Michigan on the east and Huron on the west. How great is that for water and boating lovers.

As for the rest of it, life goes on in its usual pleasant way. I can say this right now that it is spring and some of the worst days of winter are behind us. We had a rough time for a while there, and I thought my pipes would freeze for sure. It’s a good thing I know what to do in advance to avoid a catastrophe. You know the consequence of bursting pipes. Yes, an icy flood and a dreadful cleanup. On the other side of the coin, there is the matter of keeping your tankless hot water heater operating all year round so we can enjoy those miraculous hot showers after a day out in the cold. If you haven’t experienced one yet, they’re a must – you can read all about them here: Just because it is February or March doesn’t mean you must stay indoors.

So my cold weather tip for winter, tested and proven in Michigan, are to have plumber’s number by your kitchen phone. Seriously, I do have some pointers for fellow Michiganders (or Michiganians if you like). Keep water flowing in your pipes by first addressing the functioning of the water heater. The two go hand in hand. Plus, you must leave a faucet or two open with a small drip. In a different direction, pipes age and erode and this goes for those connected to the water heater. Have everything inspected every other year unless you have done a big renovation. Clogged pipes are no bargain either and can cause water pressure to build up, thus bursting pipes.

I can’t cover it all here. I can only say that those of us who live in winter climates have to take note of potential problems that come with each season. In Michigan, we have all four so we have a gamut of issues to address.

5 Tips to Finding a Nice Hotel in Michigan

Finding a nice hotel anywhere can be a trying task. And with the large number of deals, promotions, and programs available out there, it’s very easy for your search to become overwhelming.

Just going online onto their site likely won’t work too since it seems like every hotel has a great website full of beautiful images these days. So how can you tell if a hotel will actually live up to its own hype? How do you choose the perfect hotel for your stay in Michigan?

Travelling in America can be quite expensive, especially in the larger cities. But if you’re planning to travel to the Great Lakes region anyway, then you might as well stay at the nicest hotel in Michigan while there.

The good news is that there are plenty of good-quality, affordable hotels available to you. The trick is to know what to look for as you do your research. Here are 5 tips that will help you do just that and find a nice hotel in Michigan:

  1. What Matters to You?

Before starting your search, start off by deciding what kind of accommodation you want and the budget you’re working with. Is the hotel’s location more important than the price to you? Do you want a great view or is it more vital to have some peace and quiet? Do you want to stay in a hotel that has all the modern amenities or would a small property with lots of charm be more suitable? Once you’ve decided on your top priorities, then you can start a search that is more targeted.

  1. Take Advantage of Travel Apps

Use travel apps like TripAdvisor and Expedia to narrow down your choice of Michigan hotels based on your preferences. The great thing about apps like this is that, apart from giving you the rundown of a hotel’s services, they also let you read reviews from past customers. This will help you have a really clear on what to expect, ensuring that you make the right choice for your trip. You can also use the apps to determine the type of room that you would like to book.

  1. Vet the Location

It’s also important to verify that the hotel is located in the best area for your trip. Do you want to stay in an establishment that is well-connected to the rest of the city? Or, would you prefer to get away from the hustle and bustle?

Whatever the case, check to ensure that the hotel is in a neighbourhood that you like and would feel safe in. If you will have one particular point of interest during your trip, then it makes sense to settle on a hotel that is close to it.

  1. Check the Amenities

Most booking apps and hotel websites will let you specify the kind of amenities that you’re looking for. That means you can narrow down your search by specifying amenities like a swimming pool, fitness centre, or hotel restaurant. You can cut down the choices even further by adding criteria like luxury, eco-friendliness, and even family friendliness to your search.

  1. Local Flavor

One factor that will have a big impact on how much you enjoy your trip is the ambience surrounding the hotel you will be staying at. So it’s important to ensure that your hotel is located in a place that has a dash of some great local flavour.

Taking Matters into my Own Hands

I started this blog to give a boost and shout out to my home town of Shepherd in central Michigan. I am a big fan. Then why do people plague me with questions about the water crisis in Flint. Do we have to bring up this old blot on the clean reputation of the state? In spite of remedying the problem, people still remember hard economic times when cost-cutting measures led to tainted drinking water in which lead and other toxins were found. It created a nation-wide scare about one’s local drinking water and the inherent risks to health. I never thought we would get past the irate press.

Let me jar your memory. Because of a lack of sufficient funds, the state mandated the building of a new water pipe system. The main water source for the town would be the Flint River, an obvious choice. But it wasn’t clean! Residents complained of an odd taste and foul smell in 2014. That was the tip off. Havoc ensued and a nationwide scandal. It made me wonder about my own area of Shepherd and the status of water policy. Can this sort of mislaid public policy occur here? Not waiting to find out, I immediately installed a home water filter system from, hoping to head off an unforeseen consequence. People get sick when the water is unclean, and some seriously. Flint really hit home for me at the time. I am still thinking about it.

You depend on the EPA to inspect municipal water systems, and I guess they came too late in Flint. I hope they have been to Shepherd since then. Meanwhile, my filter seems to be working well. My water tastes good, looks clean and clear, and seems to be up to par. Sure, I can drink bottled water (but it eats away your grocery budget as you well know), but I like the idea that the city water is healthy nonetheless. I doesn’t matter if you boil it in cooking or use it in bathing, but I want to know that no chemicals are present in principle.

Since I believe in taking matters into my own hands, not only did I install the home water filter system, but I wrote a letter to the mayor with a copy to the utility company. I am waiting a reply so I can print both the letter and the answer in the local paper. I want everyone to know that our water is, and always has been, super safe. Meanwhile, the shout out today goes less to Shepherd than to the great water filter company that provided a quality product.

Historic Buildings in Shepherd

Founded in 1885, the village of Shepherd has a major history attached to it. Platted earlier as the Salt River village by Elijah Moore and George W, Miller, the village was later developed as Shepherd by Isaac N. Shepherd. The founding father of the town brought several businesses to it including a post office, rail Depot, school house, and more. The town has several historical buildings in it as well. If you ever take a trip to the sweet Maple Syrup festival of the town and want to take a trip down the history lane, here are the places that you must see.

Shepherd Village Power House Museum

Built between 1908 and 1909, the Shepherd Village Powerhouse museum remains one of its most popular historical structures. The village was developed to quite an extent by 1911, and powerhouse was one of its major developments. The powerhouse was the village’s very first electric point and water pumping station. It consisted of a 35 kW coal gas engine that made up for both the power points. The powerhouse operated in the village from 1909 to 1912. The electricity provided to the building was from the outside during the years 1913 and 1925, as Consumers Power has bought it.

The operations were ceased during then and later became a village council hall until the year 1957. The powerhouse has now been turned into a museum by the Shepherd Area Historical Society. It is looked after and managed by the same organization. However, one can only visit the museum if a special visit has been arranged or one visits the town during a weekend in the Maple Syrup Festival.

The Railroad Depot Museum

The Shepherd Railroad Depot was constructed in the 1890s and served the area until the early 1960s. The depot was a part of the Ann Arbor Rail, and the depot had the same name as the village. The work of the railroad depot stopped when the depot couldn’t deal with the cost of the shipping. The trucking industry had taken over by the 1960s, and the passenger travel had reduced as well. The Railroad Depot too, was turned into a museum by the Shepherd Area Historical Society and has been preserved in its truest of forms. One can visit it during the maple syrup festival or on special request.

The Little Red Schoolhouse Museum

The Little Red Schoolhouse was built over a famed structure of the school in the Salt River area of the Shepherd village in the year 1911. The school was a one-room structure where students learned several skills and studied different subjects. Just like the powerhouse and the railroad depot, the schoolhouse also has been turned into a museum. Taken over by the Shepherd Area Historical Society, the schoolhouse is open during the maple syrup festival of the village. The organization also encourages people to help them take care of these building and preserve the old structures as much as possible.

Facts about Isabella County

Isabella County is a county set in the State of Michigan with its county seat as the Mount Pleasant. Set off as a country in as early as 1831, it was government organized county in the year 1859 itself. Set in the central Michigan area, the Isabella County comprises of the Mount Pleasant, and the MI Micropolitan statistical area in the mid-Michigan. If you ever plan to visit the beautiful area of the Isabella country, here are some of the facts you must know about it.

History of its name

Set as a county in the year 1831, the Isabella county was earlier known as Ojibway Besse. Ojibway Besse, or rather, the area of Chippewa was then named as Isabella. The name Isabella came from the Queen Isabella I of Castile, who reigned as the queen of from 1474 till her death. This name of the country was based on a suggestion offered by a US Indian Agent and ethnologist, Henry Rowe Schoolcraft.

History of Indians in the County

Once, the Isabella County was one of the most beautiful areas for pine and hardwood in the Great Lakes region. Lying right in the heart of central Michigan, the county saw its first Coe township in as early as 1855. The county was a hunting ground during the winters for several Indians and therefore, came to be known as Ojibway Besse.

The county has seen Indians travel the area for as long as 10000 years. Apart from Indians, Europeans too visited the area quite often, but they haven’t been around posting their two centuries of travel.

Demographics of the county

The Isabella County currently has a population of 70574, with a median age of 27 and a median household income of $40706. The poverty rate in the county is 28.8% and doesn’t have much of a racial-ethnic as well. The county consists of over 91% white, close to 2% of Black and African Americans, about 3% Native American and rarely any Asians or Hispanics. The only foreign languages that are common in the county are German, Spanish, and Arabic. However, Isabella County does have a high number of Native North Americans.


A large number of students from the Isabella County as interested in education and get degrees from the various universities around it. The most commonly opted universities are Central Michigan University and Murphy Beauty College of Mount Pleasant. As per the year 2015, the universities have awarded a total of 6716 degrees. Since most of the students in the county are inclined towards arts, so are their careers.

Economy and Housing

The economy of Isabella County is largely based on arts, entertainment, recreation, and education services. The gender gap in the employment isn’t much, but the males do earn 1.4 percent higher than the females at common jobs. Due to the careers opted and the financial condition of the county as a whole, the property values are 0.62 percent smaller than the national average. However, there has been a good increase in the property value over the last few years; it could still take a while to reach the national average.

Elijah Moore, George W. Miller and Salt River: Shepherd Area History

A tiny village based in the heart of Michigan, Shepherd is based in the Isabella County of the state. AAs per the 2010 census, the population of the village is only 1515 people. The area of the village is 0.97 square miles only but is quite famous nonetheless. Shepherd celebrates its annual Maple Syrup Festival in April every year, which is attended by numerous guests all the time.

However, the village near the Salt River has quite a history behind its name and birth. Here’s a brief history of the Shepherd area involving Elijah Moore, George W. Miller, and the giver of the village, the Salt River.

Salt River and Elijah Moore

The village of Salt River was first planned by Elijah Moore, who constructed two blocks and twenty two lots in the area. The village was formed on September 5, 1866 and had a hotel in it. However, this hotel served as the only one for several years in the area. The village was a part of the Coe Township and continues to remain so.

Salt River and George W. Miller

In 1867, an additional three blocks and forty five lots were added to the village by George W. Miller. Both Miller and Moore continue to add to the village and made it bigger until the 1870. Several new building were made, and the town even saw a log schoolhouse. However, it was replaced by a frame building later.

Shepherd and Isaac N. Shepherd

The village of Salt River gave rise to the village of Shepherd, whose name was based upon the name of the lumberman Isaac N. Shepherd who platted it on his land. The rails came to the village in the year 1885 with the name Shepherd for the station as it was built on the lumberman’s land. The village also had a post office by the name Salt River but it too moved to Shepherd by 1887 and was renamed. All the big businesses from the Salt River village moved to Shepherd by the 1890s. Salt River almost diminished by this time as people from that village wanted to live closer to the depot and the businesses and therefore, started moving.

Fire at Salt River

In the year 1887, a huge fire in the village of Salt River destroyed most of it. This also led the villagers to move across to the Shepherd village and almost made Salt River disappear. However, by the year 1889, the Shepherd village incorporated Salt River into its own and acknowledged it as a part of their village. The present-day Shepherd is thus, a mix of Salt River and old Shepherd.

Developments at Shepherd

Isaac N. Shepherd brought all the major businesses to the Shepherd village and developed it a lot. The village had Lansing, Alma, Mt. Pleasant, and the Northern Rail Depot. In 1911, the frame structure in the Salt River was also replaced and turned into a brick schoolhouse for the village.

Other Places to Visit in Michigan

Michigan stays as one of the most popular travel destinations as it ticks all the boxes when it comes to vacationing. Beaches, scenery, historical architecture, family friendly or good food, Michigan has got something for every type of vacationer. The most popular places from the destination state include Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, Holland, and Mackinac Island. If you plan to visit the state any time soon, here the places that you must go to.

Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor serves a perfect blend of romance and history and gives you the ultimate place for the couples to visit. You can visit the city museums, including the planetarium, the museum of art, and more. Apart from the cultural and historic flavors of the city, Ann Arbor also serves options for hiking, biking and canoeing. A tour of the Michigan Stadium is a much if you’re a football fan.

Mackinac Island

The Mackinac Island serves as the perfect vacation spot for the lovers of water sports and hiking. The calming island does not permit any motor vehicles and offers a breathtaking view of the Lake Huron. One can walk, hike, and bike in the area all they want.

You can also enjoy several water sports, and explore the coastline with their Great Turtle Kayak tour. The island also offers some tours for history lovers and has several buildings that tourists can visit.

Traverse City

Filled with amazing beaches, an orchestra for music, and art museum too spend time at; the Traverse City is one of the satisfying places to visit. The place offers many outdoor activities as well including hiking, biking, and several water sports around the beaches. While you’re there, you can indulge in some great food, winery tours, and breweries as well. Traverse City is a small town charm that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.


Holland, just like its name, brings all the Dutch flavors right into the heart of the USA. The city walking tour offers a beautiful walk in an area filled with tulips and takes you to a place with a working Dutch windmill. Holland offers several beaches for one to relax, and many lakes for one to go sailing, kayaking, and paddle boating. It is one of the most romantic places to visit in the state as it is as serene as filled with culture and art history. The place offers an art museum, symphony orchestra, and a petting zoo as well.

Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids is a place to visit if you’re looking for a great place to vacation with your family. Not only is the place filled with good architecture, but it also offers many museums tours, good food, and several outdoor activities.

The architecture of the structures in Heritage Hill goes as far as 1844 and serve you a great trip down the history lane. The Grand Rapids also features an open-air museum, Frederik Meijer Gardens, and a Sculpture Park for art lovers. If you’re into outdoor activities, you can opt for hiking, zip lining, or paddling.