MICHIGAN TRAVEL TIPS
THE HOLOGLOBE PRESS
(The 28th Edition)
Victor Edward Swanson,
RULES OF USE
The reports and stories contained on this Web page have been put together with information taken from "The Victor Swanson Fabulous Files of Places to See in Michigan and Wisconsin" and with information obtained from operators and staffers of tourist attractions and from press releases, Web sites, and other sources. The reports and stories are provided as a public service by Victor Swanson and The Hologlobe Press. Almost all persons and entities, such as staffers of radio stations, may freely use the materials; neither AAA Michigan nor any employee of AAA Michigan may use, distribute, download, transmit, copy, or duplicate any of the material presented on this page in any way or through any means.
- - - Travel Thoughts for Everyone - - -
The purpose of Michigan Travel Tips is to present information or a story about places to see in Michigan--the Upper Peninsula and the Lower Peninsula--but in this edition, you will see I have changed the focus of the purpose of Michigan Travel Tips by featuring one particular place in Michigan, and that comes about through an odd series of events. One event is one of my brothers was traveling from the Detroit area (the Lower Peninsula) to the Grand Marais area (of the Upper Peninsula) on June 29, 2006 (or the Thursday before the July 4 holiday), and I came along for part of the trip (which for me ended in the Hammond Bay area (of the Lower Peninsula), and another event is a person who regularly volunteers at Forty Mile Point Lighthouse (which is at Forty Mile Point Lighthouse Park of Presque Isle County of the Lower Michigan) enlisted my help in having Forty Mile Point Lighthouse open and staffed properly on July 1 and July 2 (of this past July). For two days, I was a volunteer staffer at a real working lighthouse of Michigan--the Forty Mile Point Lighthouse.
On Thursday, June 29, 2006, the main purpose of my trip to the Hammond Bay area was to stay with a friend in the Hammond Bay area, spend time goofing off in Lake Huron, such as by wading around in it every couple hours, and do proofreading on my forthcoming book (informally entitled The United States Book). Next, the goal of Saturday morning July 1 was to drop my friend off at Forty Mile Point Lighthouse in midmorning, after attending an annual crafts show informally entitled the "Hippo Show" at the Bearinger Township Hall, return to the vacation treat, do my work and do my--sometimes--goofing off. At midmorning on July 1 and when I got to Forty Mile Point Lighthouse, my friend urged me to help out when other volunteers were unable to show up to work. I, on July 1 and July 2, was the "greeter" at Forty Mile Point Lighthouse--right in the lighthouse building proper.
Here are some facts. In essence, Forty Mile Point Lighthouse was built in 1896 and put into real service in 1897. It is a lighthouse that is yet used to help guide boaters and crews of freighters--mostly at night, of course--on their trips through the Hammond Bay area of Lake Huron. The lighthouse is restored--though not completely restored. It is really two main sections, one of which is used by a live-in caretaker for Forty Mile Point Lighthouse Park and the other of which is the part of the lighthouse that people get to tour. The part of the lighthouse that people get to see has two floors of several rooms that have exhibits, such as photographs and various types of items, and has the tower, at the top of which is the working "light." (There is a basement, which I went down to see and which visitors do not get to see.) Forty Mile Point Lighthouse belongs to Presque Isle County, and it is usually open from noon to 4:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays from the Memorial Day weekend (which is in late May) through mid-October, and there is no admission fee to pay, even to go up in the lighthouse tower, and the idea of having no admission fee is unlike what some other nearby lighthouses have.
You might wish you could do what I did for four hours on two days at Forty Mile Point Lighthouse, and through this paragraph, I will give you an impression of what I did, which included helping at least 73 persons who went up to the top of the lighthouse on July 1 and helping at least 130 who went up to the top of the lighthouse on July 2. As a greeter, I met people as they entered the lighthouse building or shortly after they did; there are two entrances, a front entrance and a back entrance, and sometimes people came in one entrance while I was at the other entrance. I told visitors that they had two floors of exhibits to see and that they could indeed go up in the tower, if they wished. I made sure all guests knew about the "sign-in" book, which gives the management of the lighthouse and other staffers an idea of where people come from. I consider myself an expert in "places to see in Michigan," but I am not an expert about Forty Mile Point Lighthouse, but I do not have to be an expert, since other persons spend their time being experts about Forty Mile Point Lighthouse, one of whom is Joan Scheel, who is that friend of mine and who spent four-straight hours up in the tower of the lighthouse each day, a place where she greeted people, talked about the lighthouse, and answered questions. During my time at the lighthouse, I swept the 53 strairs that make up the staircase that lets people get to the lantern room (or the lamp room); I swept the stairs of the spiral staircase to--mostly--remove sand, which had come from the beach on soles of shoes or clothing. In addition to sweeping the gray spiral stairway that allows people to get to the lantern room, I swept elsewhere in the building and outside the building, and I shook out rugs or mats. Using a thumbnail, I removed a bit of unneeded white paint from a door handle of a closet door in a room on the second floor. I pulled weeds from flower beds around the building and tidied up. On Saturday, I even held a baby girl for a short while, while the mother was dealing with four other children, and I carried the baby girl--quite a cute girl, who was always smiling even in my arms--from the second highest landing in the tower (which is the "watch room") to the bottom of the staircase. I passed out pieces of literature. I helped open the place and close the place on both days, such as by opening up windows and setting screens in place; really, I did most of the closing-up work on Sunday afternoon. (Wow, I closed up--at least to visitors--a real working lighthouse of the Great Lakes!) And, of course, I explored the lighthouse.
Truly, I did duty at Forty Mile Point Lighthouse, certainly not what you might think I might do as a last-minute volunteer--stand around and look lost.
I have impressions and thoughts to pass along to you about Forty Mile Point Lighthouse now. First, the place is in need of some items to make it better; for instance, the place has--distributed in several rooms--some plastic backyard-type chairs or plastic patio-type chairs, and what I hope someone will do is donate to the lighthouse some wooden chairs that might have been used in a home in the early 1900s (the chairs should be in good condition, and they need not be collector's pieces, and they should be sturdy so that they can stand up to a lot of use, and they should give the impression that they would normally be used in a lighthouse, which is near water and in an area where there can be high humidity). Second, the lighthouse is a lighthouse that has yet to be finished in the restoration stage, but it is a lighthouse worth seeing, especially since--for free--a visitor gets to go to the "lantern room"; for example, you will see unwanted paint on parts of door handles in rooms of the second floor (someone in days long ago past did not do a good job of painting), and the paint should not be there, but that should not deter you from going to the lighthouse. Third, thumbtacks are used to hold up some signs, such as a sign on the front door, and the tacks could fall out (since they are not push in fully) and maybe a child could end up stepping on a tack, so I suggest that the tacks be removed and no tacks be used (something else should be used to hold up signs, such as automobile-painter's masking tape or some other type of tape or some type of hanger device that clips over the top of the door should be used (think of a device made with two very thin strips of aluminum or steel (each of which is about a half-inch wide and is bent over the top of the door and on to which is attached the hanger proper, and think of putting little cushions on anything that could wear away paint or finishes or whatever). Fourth, while I was acting as a greeter at the lighthouse, I wished I could have given people or wished people could have been able to pick up, a little map that showed what was on the grounds of the lighthouse facility; I think the operators of the lighthouse should quickly make a little map for people to pick up, and I think the map need not be much more that a four-inch-by-five-and-a-half-inch piece of paper (think about setting up an eight-inch-by-eleven-inch piece of paper with four maps--a page that can be duplicated easily and cut up into four maps).
Before I finish giving my impressions and related thoughts about Forty Mile Point Lighthouse, I have to add some information. I spent two more days at the lighthouse complex as a volunteer, and those two days were the Saturday and Sunday after the July 4 holiday. On the Saturday, I duty work in the "pilot house" (or "wheel house"), which is part of a real freighter that traveled on the Great Lakes, and on the Sunday, I worked in the lighthouse again.
Here is the fifth topic of my impressions and related thoughts. On the day that I was the greeter in the "pilot house" (or the "wheel house"), I did after a while find directions on a piece of page--a worn-out piece of paper--about how to make it possible for the "whistle to the engine room" to be made workable (which is important to have working, especially for children), but the directions were rather poorly worded, and, given that thought, I think a better document should be put together about what has to be done by volunteers to get the buildings ready for visitors each day (on the day that I was a volunteer in the pilot house, I learned some experienced volunteers were unaware of, for instance, how to set up the "whistle to the engine room" so that it could be operated by visitors). Really, the single document that I propose be made should have an overview of the complex (all the buildings), have information that is included in the sheets of paper and brochures that visitors may take with them, have information that is not included in the sheets of paper and brochures that visitors may take with them (such as information about when restoration projects were done, information about some of the original items in each building (done for each building separately), information about where some of the unoriginal things came from (such as the radar unit that is in the pilot house and was added a few months ago), and, of course, have information about getting the place ready for visitors each day, and the document should be given to each volunteer to keep, and more than one copy should be stored in the lighthouse, the pilot house, and the gift shop.
By the way, facts about restoring the lighthouse and other buildings seems to exist in only the minds of a few of the staffers, who someday will not be around to pass along the information to others, and that is not a good idea.
And that concludes my talk about the Forty Mile Point Lighthouse, and now I have to report news:
News item #1: On Wednesday, July 12, 2006, I took a trip from the Hammond Bay area (of the Lower Peninsula) to the Whitefish Point area (of the Upper Peninsula), and during the trip, I stopped in at a new exhibit (of sorts) at St. Ignace of Mackinac County (in the Upper Peninsula). St. Ignace has a new lighthouse, or St.Ignace has what should be described as a lighthouse that is new to St. Ignace; the lighthouse was once on exhibit at the Welcome Center operated by the state of Michigan at Monroe (of Monroe County in the Lower Peninsula). On the day that I saw the lighthouse, which is at "Chief Pier," two guys were working on setting up four lights (light polls) around it; the lighthouse had been set up in June, and it will be sometime soon a working light. The lighthouse is not named, and some of the facts about it are it is white with a red top, and when it becomes operational, it will send out light from thirteen miles to fourteen miles. Incidentally, the lighthouse is at a place that is the proposed "Huron Boardwalk" for St. Ignace.
News item #2: This summer is the last summer during which a person can visit the Clinch Park Zoo of Traverse City. The zoo is going to be closed down after the Labor Day weekend. Currently, the zoo is open from ten to four-thirty.
News item #3: On July 4, 2006, I attended the holiday parade at Onaway (Presque Isle County of the Lower Peninsula), and, by the way, after the parade was over, I was able to get one of the sets of index cards that parade announcers used to tell people over the loudspeakers what was passing by. The parade was led off by a police vehicle driven by Sheriff Terry Flewelling of Presque Isle County and by a vehicle driven by Lt. Ken Holmes of the Michigan State Police (the Cheboygan Post), and some of the other people or entities in the parade were the Onaway Area Fire Department (and, for instance, its 2006 Crimson Pumper), the Presque Isle County Fair Queen Court (headed by Queen Amber Anderson), a float associated with the Stepping Stones Garden Club of Onaway, Clear Lake Clowns (two of whom were Jim and Alice Patterson), a number of restored farm trackers (one of which was a 1960 John Deere 830), the 2006 Rogers City Queen and her court (Deanna Dimick was the queen), a float by the American Legion Post #317, the Onaway Federation of Teachers, the Onaway Area Horse Club, the Ocqueoc-Bearinger Fire Department (which showed off, for instance, its 2004 Tonye Tanker), the White Pine Pipes and Drums and the Highland Dancers, the 2006 Girls Senior League Softball District 13 Champions, and a number of businesses. One reason I went to the parade was to see the latest annual sculpture put together by Moran Iron Works, Inc. (of Onaway). (You should see the October 10, 2005, edition of Michigan Travel Tips, which can be reached now by clicking on Travel #19, because that edition of Michigan Travel Tips (which is the nineteenth edition) has information about the other sculptures made by Moran Iron Works, Inc.) Here is what the announcer that I was near read from an index card about the sculpture made by Moran Iron Works, Inc.:
2006 Entry is a 12,000 pound sculpture of Atlas holding up the world of steel. Atlas has a 4 inch solid steel skeleton with 1/2 inch think [thick] stainless steel cladding. The world is made from thousands of used parts, nuts, bots [bolts], wrenches, axe heads, hammer heads, and many other items. Much of the material for the globe was donated by area residents. Labor and Artistic input was a collaborative effort by Moran Iron Works Employees.
Several days later, I saw the sculpture up close on the property of Moran Iron Works, Inc., and that is where you might yet see it, if it has not been moved by the time you read this edition of Michigan Travel Tips and go to Onaway.
Your travel tips in Michigan in this edition of Michigan Travel Tips are:
The Clinch Park Zoo, Traverse City, Grand Traverse County, the Lower Peninsula.
The Forty Mile Point Lighthouse, Forty Mile Point Lighthouse Park, the Rogers City area, Presque Isle County, the Lower Peninsula.
The "lighthouse" at St. Ignace, St. Ignace, Mackinac County, the Upper Peninsula.
- - - Public Service Copy for Broadcasters (four pieces) - - -
In Michigan, some of the tourist attractions are only open
from the Memorial Day weekend through the Labor Day
weekend, and that means very soon, some tourist attractions
will close for the season, but this year, one tourist attraction
of Traverse City will be closed for good at the end of the
Labor Day weekend, and that tourist attraction is the Clinch
Park Zoo. Since the early 1930s, the Clinch Park Zoo has
existed, though not always at the current location, which is in
downtown Traverse City. The zoo has been in downtown
Traverse City since 1954. In essence, the zoo is surrounded by
the Clinch Park Marina, and if you go to the zoo, you can see
the "Spirit of Traverse City," which is a miniature steam train.
Remember: the 3.5-acre Clinch Park Zoo will be closed down
after Labor Day, and, currently, the hours are from ten to
four-thirty. If you get a chance to go and see the Clinch Park
Zoo for a final time, go with all those children buckled up.
Here is special news for everyone from The Hologlobe Press,
which, for one, publishes an Internet-only publication about
places to see in Michigan every month. The publisher--Victor
Swanson--says that there is a new lighthouse to see at St. Ignace,
which is in Mackinac County of the Upper Peninsula. The
lighthouse was set up or set in place in June; it had been moved
recently from the Welcome Center at Monroe of the Lower
Peninsula. The lighthouse is a new marker for the marina at St.
Ignace and exists at "Chief Pier," which is at the location for the
proposed Huron Broadwalk. You may not go up in the
lighthouse, but it is something more to see at Chief Pier. The
lighthouse is white with a red roof, and this lighthouse will soon
be a working light, which can send out light for up to about
fourteen miles. Remember: There is a new lighthouse at St.
Ignace, and The Hologlobe Press can be found at
On trips to out-of-the-way places, you will often have to
drive on two-lane country roads, which, by the way, may have
only a few cross streets over many miles. If you are traveling
and sightseeing on such two-lane roads, you should have the
low-beam headlights on, and that is true even in the daytime. In
the daytime, when you have your low-beam headlights on, you
make it easier for people coming in the opposite direction to see
you out in the distance. Consider this: During the daytime, if two
motorists are coming at you in the opposite direction and if the
second motorist wants to pass the other, the motorist who wants
to pass can make a better decision about when it is safe to
pass by being able to see the light from the headlights of your
vehicle. Remember: On a trip to, maybe, places in the Upper
Peninsula, even if it is during the day, have those headlights on
when you're on the two-lane country roads and enjoy your safe
It can be said that Michigan, like the other states of the United
States, has a number museums that hint at some of the reasons
why the United States has evolved since the 1700s into what it
is today--a good country for people to live in. Each museum
only tells a small portion of the story. For example, what exists
at the Les Cheneaux Historical Museum at Cedarville of the
Upper Peninsula hints at some of the reasons the United States
has become what it is, such as by showing off artifacts of the
1800s from the Cedarville area, especially artifacts of pioneer
families and Chippewa Indians. The museum is a log building,
and the museum has models of boats, boating paraphernalia,
and photographs, such as photographs of old hotels and schools.
Generally speaking, this museum at Cedarville is open to general
visits till early September, and then it is open by appointments.
To learn a bit about the U.S., see the Les Cheneaux Historical
- - - Contact Information - - -
The Hologlobe Press
Postal Box 5455
Dearborn, Michigan 48128-0455
The United States of America
copyright c. 2006
File date: 10 August 2006
To see the next edition of Michigan Travel Tips,
click on: Travel #29.
To see the previous edition of Michigan Travel Tips,
click on: Travel #27.
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click on: Travel.
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click on: www.hologlobepress.com.