Traverse City, Michigan: World Champion Cow of the Insane

Traverse Colantha Walker was a grand champion milk cow. You can visit her grave, marked with a big tombstone, on the property of the insane asylum where she was raised.

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Insane Asylum, Champion Milk Cow

Growing up in Traverse City, we found it very exciting and spooky to bicycle through the grounds of what used to the the state's largest insane asylum. It was built around the turn of the century on roughly 200 acres. All the buildings are connected by a web of underground tunnels. Near one of the farm buildings was a plaque attached to a rock that read:

Home of Cowlantha Walker
World Champion Milk Producer

The plaque listed the amount of gallons of milk and cream she produced in her lifetime. Most of the buildings are still standing, but slowly falling to development of the neighboring medical facility. The grounds are still public. It's worth the trip to see all the old majestic buildings with their high spires and chained-in porches and windows.

[Vince Opper, 08/07/1998]

World Champion Cow of the Insane

Address:
Silver Drive, Traverse City, MI
Directions:
US Hwy 31 north into town. Left at the rock pyramid onto 11th St. Cross Elmwood Ave. onto the former Asylum grounds, then keep bearing left. The road (Silver Drive) turns into a dirt road, then bends to the right. The grave is at the intersection of this dirt road and another dirt road, near the two dairy barns, under a tree.
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Nearby Offbeat Places

Mental Hospital Tour: Buildings and TunnelsMental Hospital Tour: Buildings and Tunnels, Traverse City, MI - < 1 mi.
World's Largest Cherry Pie PanWorld's Largest Cherry Pie Pan, Traverse City, MI - 1 mi.
Big Swan StatueBig Swan Statue, Elk Rapids, MI - 15 mi.
In the region:
Little Mac Rickety Replica Bridge, Reed City, MI - 60 mi.

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