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Champion Milk Cow grave.

Grave: Cow of the Insane

Field review by the editors.

Traverse City, Michigan

Died 1932

Pet Cemetery.

Northern Michigan Asylum opened in 1885 and gradually became a sprawling complex on the western outskirts of Traverse City. It was so vast that it had orchards of cherries, peaches and apples, vineyards and vegetable gardens, field crops, and livestock from beef to chickens, horses to pigs. And it had its own herd of cows.

The most famous of these -- the most famous inhabitant, period, of the entire Asylum -- was Traverse Colantha Walker. She was a grand champion milk cow, producing 200,114 pounds of milk and 7,525 pounds of butterfat in her long life. When she died in 1932 the hospital staff and patients held a banquet in her honor. They buried her in a small, grassy knoll, under a granite tombstone, outside of the stately brick dairy barn that had been her home.

Cow of the Insane.

The Asylum closed in 1989. The cow's grave is still tucked into a tranquil corner of the grounds, but the sprawling former asylum now hosts restaurants and shops in a complex known as The Grand Traverse Commons. Traverse Colantha Walker's final resting place hasn't moved, but her neighbor is now the Botanic Garden at Historic Barns Park.

Also see: Behemoths | Roadside Pet Cemetery

Grave: Cow of the Insane

Botanic Garden at Historic Barns Park

1490 Red Drive, Traverse City, MI
Botanic Garden at Historic Barns Park. Southwest of downtown. From US-31/S. Division St. turn west at the stoplight onto MI-633/Silver Lake Rd. Drive a half-mile. Turn right at the stoplight onto Silver Drive, then quickly make a left at the Historic Barns Park sign. Drive about 100 yards. You'll see the tombstone on the right, underneath a tree.
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Nearby Offbeat Places

Statue: Cow of the InsaneStatue: Cow of the Insane, Traverse City, MI - < 1 mi.
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.
In the region:
Wayside Chapel, Atwood, MI - 34 mi.

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