Peach Mountain: The Old Observatory in the Woods
In the mid-1950s, an observatory was organized on what is now called Peach Mountain, five miles south of Pinckney and six miles north of Dexter.
During the 50s and 60s, Peach Mountain held a fascination for explorers and weekend warriors. The drive thru the woods up to the buildings used to be open for anyone to come in and take a gander at the place...but that was many years ago. Now, the place is gated or chained off to discourage trespassers and vandals.
Owned by the University of Michigan, this patch of land is on a section of Stinchfield Woods. The property has a 1955 radio telescope (not used for many years), a 1958 U of M radio telescope, radio dish, control building, and equipment shack.
The Astronomy Department and the School of Natural Resources and Environment still uses this observatory for students to observe and study the night sky.
The McMath Telescope is located in a domeless rectangular building with a movable roof. When the telescope is being used, the roof is opened up for observations. The roof is obviously shut when the observatory is closed to keep falling leaves, rain, and snow out.
Peach Mountain still holds that same fascination for anyone who knows about it, as seen in the photos and video below. Some believe the place is abandoned, but not so. True, a building may not be in use anymore, but the observatory is still frequented by UM students and instructors.
If you are able to pay a visit, do so...but get permission and don't trespass!