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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Holiday spirit at the grave of Colantha.

World Champion Cow of the Insane

The grave of world champion cow, Calantha, is now a part of a 26-acre botanic garden, which is located inside a 56-acre new park - the Historic Barns Park. The botanic garden -- and the larger park -- will protect not only Calantha's grave, but the meadows, hills and wetlands of this lovely area.

Calantha doesn't have to roll over in her grave - her barn and farmland and woodlands are now protected for the future.

[Karen, 01/27/2010]
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

1490 Red Drive, Traverse City, MI
US Hwy 31 into town. Navigate to the Botanic Garden at Historic Barns Park. The grave is under a tree, at an intersection of gravel roads shortly before the visitor's center.
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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:
Olympic Size Cherry Spitting Pit, Glen Arbor, MI - 20 mi.

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