The Historic Parshallville Grist Mill is a favorite spot for many when the leaves begin to change and the craving for cider and doughnuts takes over.
Located next to a picturesque dam that slows the flow of Ore Creek in the heart of tiny Parshallville, the area inspires artists of every genre — a setting that Kyle Goodwin is cultivating with his own business, Parshall Arts.
"There are a lot of families that come around," said Goodwin, who lives in Parshallville. "Everybody knows where (the Grist Mill is) at and there are so many inspirational things around town between the churches and the dam and the old buildings."
Graduating from Hartland High School in 2005, Goodwin left Michigan but eventually returned, picking Parshallville for its historic landmarks as his future home.
"I wanted to actually live here because I used to think about Cullen Road where the water gets right next to it," he said. "I can't believe I actually landed here."
Where Goodwin "landed" is right across the river from the popular 136-year-old cider mill, which offers families a more relaxed and scenic fall-outing experience. Parshall Arts is now offering those families an opportunity to capture that seasonal moment in a different way from Labor Day through mid-November.
This past weekend concluded Goodwin's second season, during which for as little as $4, visitors can buy a small canvas and paint whatever inspires them. For $5, Goodwin offers a canvas and children's sized paint kit, which the future artist is able to, along with their painting, take home with them.
"A lot of people like the idea of the kids painting something and it's something they can have forever and it's on a real canvas," Goodwin said.
Parshall Arts also offers a wide range of different size and shaped canvases, designed and made by Goodwin, and all are available for purchase year round. Area artists are also encouraged to leave their incomplete work with Goodwin and return to finish their paintings over the course of the season.
"Sometimes they get done and somebody parked two feet away watching them paint will ask them how much they'd like for it," Goodwin said. "Stuff like that happens. It's pretty wild."
Many of the visitors who come to the location, come for the cider and eventually end up trickling over to the other side of the river out of curiosity.
"We said, 'oh look, let's go check this place out,'" said Nancy Hawn of Pontiac while visiting the cider mill. "So we walked over here and my next-door neighbor is an artist so I picked him up a couple canvases."
White Lake resident Derek Charles Washington said he had never been to a cider mill before and enjoyed everything the area had to offer.
"The doughnuts were great," Washington said. "Cider was great and the paintings here — definitely. The originality of the community, I love that."
Despite this connection, grist mill owners said they're not familiar with Parshall Arts and declined further comment. But Goodwin says he gets along with them.
"I'd say that they generate customers for us right now, but (the owners) are really fond of it, I think," he said. "They've been helpful and they're great. They own the home across the road, so we're neighbors, too."
Since not everyone is inclined to sit and paint, browsing is still strongly encouraged and several local artists have their work displayed with Goodwin. Art for sale includes canvases, paintings, jewelry and clothing items.
"Kids really get into it," he said. "And their parents — just watching them and you can tell their parents are enjoying it."