(The 31th Edition)


Victor Edward Swanson,


    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 - - -

    Between the Memorial Day weekend of this year and late October of this year, I did what can be called restoration work on two old houses in Michigan.  One house, which is in Ferndale (of the Detroit area in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan), was built in 1922, and of the two house to which I refer, it was the house that received the least attention.  The other house, which is in the Huron Beach area (of Hammond Bay in the Lower Peninsula), was built in 1955, and the house is considered one of the first year-round houses to be built in the area (before the house was built, the area only had what could be called very small summer-vacation cottages).

    It is what I discovered had been done by contractors, construction workers, repairmen, et cetera to the house in the Hammond Bay area over the years--especially the past three years or so--that inspired me to write this edition of Michigan Travel Tips, and what had been done was a lot of bad work, and I have examples.  Two years ago or so, the owner of the residence hired a contractor to put siding on the porch section of the house, and, for one, the contractor used silicone-type caulk, which could not hold paint, and because silicone-type caulk was used, I had to remove it (about eighty feet of caulk over a nine-hour-period) and put on other caulk, which could hold paint, and, besides that, I had to remove other caulk, which had been put on by someone else during this past summer, that was not smooth and did not cover all the gaps between corner boards and siding strips.  This summer, the owner hired painters to do simple work--paint the entire outside of the house, which is a house mostly made of cement blocks, and the painters did such things wrong as not completely paint all the mortar joints and not file nails holes before painting, and the painters painted in the upper windows of double-hung windows, which I had to free up and then paint properly.  (Other bad work had been done by both sets of construction workers, such as put roofing material on improperly or incompletely on the porch to which I have already referred and not properly cementing in new air vents in the crawlspace walls.)

    Around Michigan are a lot of houses or other buildings that have received restoration over the years and are now used as tourist attractions or for musuems and such, and a couple of those, I saw this summer, and on each one, I found bad restoration work, which should not have been allowed to be done or remain, and that makes me think some people who have historic sites and such in Michigan are unaware what good restoration work is or accept poor work or do not know when to remove a contractor from a job when the work is being done poorly (of course, this idea can apply to anyone having work done on a house by a contractor).

    Of the historic houses or buildings that exist around the state, some are open many days of the year for regular tours and some are open for only a portion of the year for regular tours, such as in the summer, or on special occasions, so a person who wishes to tour historic houses or buildings may not be able to see the insides of such houses or buildings when they are able get near them on a trip, and because of that, I want to talk about paint and caulking of historic houses and buildings and what a person should look for as good work, given that, often, the person can at least look at the outside of a historic house or building any day of the year, even though the inside may not be seen through a tour.

    There are techniques that should be used by a person doing caulking or painting that results in what I define as a good caulking job or a good painting job, and, here, I explain the techniques and talk about why the results are considered good and not bad.

    Painting windows, especially wooden double-hung windows: Some people will not or choose not to replace wood-based double-hung window units--maybe those of the 1930s or 1940s--with new and modern vinyl-based double-hung window units or fiberglass-based double-hung windows units, because they want to keep their buildings original, despite the work that might be involved in painting wood-based double-hung windows every so often (maybe every twenty years or so).  To paint wood-based double-hung window units, a person must do preperation work on the windows, such as fill holes, scrape off loose paint, and  wash, and a person should use a half-inch-wide brush (with natural bristles) and a one-inch-wide brush (with natural bristles) to do painting, which should be cleaned well after every use so that the brushes will last for years.  (By the way, I have and use several half-inch-wide brushes with natural bristles and wooden that I bought for about sixty cents each.)  To paint wood-based double-hung windows, a person must remember to wipe the brush along the surface to be painted easily and somewhat slowly and not slosh the brush back and forth, the latter technique of which does not get enough paint on the material to be painted for the work done and often leaves noticable bare spots or streaks.  A painter who does good work will keep the brush well soaked with paint, dipping the brush often in the paint container, but will not allow paint to get so heavy on the brush that drops of paint fall off, and the painter while running the brush along a surface will listen for what sounds like the bristles scratching the surface being painted--a sign that the brush is running dry or out of enough paint.  When a painter who is doing a good job runs a paint brush on a surface at the right speed, the paint will flow off  the brush easily, and when a painter follows the proper technique, the painter will use very little energy in painting, since the painter will not be working the muscles of the arm (and, in essence, the hand) much in controlling the paint brush, and when a painter follows the proper technique, the painter will be able to make straight lines and keep wet paint off of things that should not get painted.  Keep in mind: Such a painter will hold the brush lightly, using about as much pressure as might be used to hold a baby's toe. (Incidentally, a person who knows how to paint well with a half-inch-wide brush or a one-inch-wide brush will almost never have to use painter's masking tape.) A painter who is very likely to do bad work will use a brush that is too wide, and a painter who is very likely to do bad work will slap the brush back and forth on the surface that the painter hopes to paint, and such a painter is very likely get paint on surfaces adjacent to a surface being painted and leave the surface to be paint with not enough paint, and such a painter may say to clients that two coats of primer paint are needed on a surface before color-coat paint or top-coat paint is put on the surface (a painter who does painting well may only have to put one coat of primer on a surface, but a painter who does painting well will almost always put on two coats of top-coat paint). (Incidentally, a person who tells a client that two coats of primer are required, then the person may hope to make more money from the client by having to work more hours.)

    Remember: A person who hires a painter should see whether or not the painter has and uses half-inch-wide brushes with natural bristles and one-inch-wide brushes with natural bristles, and if the painter does not, the person should remove the painter from the job, and if the painter does not make a brush glide along a surface and if the painter slaps the brush back and forth, the person should remove the painter from the job.

    Doing caulking on windows, door trim, and such on the outside of a building: The main purpose of doing caulking is to fill in gaps between surfaces, such as between a window unit and trim pieces or between trim pieces and some types of siding or between trim pieces and brick or concrete block, and the main purpose of doing caulking to stop water from getting to places where it should not be and close down air leaks, and when caulking is done properly, the caulking can make a smooth transition material from one surface to another surface.  A person who is very likely to do bad caulking work will, for instance, put a tube of caulking in a caulking gun and run a bead of caulk where it is wanted (sort of) and do nothing more.  A sign of a bad caulking job is the caulk is rippled, uneven, and bumpy, and another sign of a bad caulking job is caulk does not fill in all the holes or spaces (gaps exist between caulk and surfaces).  A person who is very likely to do a good job caulking will have a container of warm water close by, and the person will run a bead of caulk (maybe for a length of several feet), wet a finger or several fingers, and run a finger down a portion of the bead of caulk to smooth it out, and the person will sometime push lightly on the caulk to make sure all gaps or holes are filled, and the person will dip the fingers in the water often and keep the fingers clean and wet, and, ultimately, the person will make the total length of caulk smooth from end to end.  (The person who will do a good job will keep the tip of the caulking tube clean.)

    Now that the techniques of doing good painting work and good caulking work are passed along, I can pass along the names of places at which you can see whether or not good work was done, and, of course, the places are historic places in Michigan, and here are the places:

    The Grice House is a museum at Harbor Beach, which is in Huron County of the Lower Peninsula.  Generally speaking, the place is open to regular visits during the summer-tourism season, which people usually consider the time from the Memorial Day Weekend (which is an annual weekend holiday in late May) and the Labor Day Weekend (which is an annual weekend holiday in early September).  In the off season, the Grice House can be seen on the outside without making any appointment, and it can bee seen on the inside by making an appointment.

    The John Johnston and Henry Schoolcraft Houses at Sault Ste. Marie of Chippewa County (in the Upper Peninsula) are open to regular visits from early June through early September, so you may have to only be able to see the outsides of them when you get to Sault Ste. Marie, but tht is good enough to make a very close inspection of the outsides--which you might not do if you went to the places during the regular open season when you would spend more time looking at the insides than the outsides.

    The Kimball House Museum is at Battle Creek, which is in Calhoun County (of the Lower Peninsula), and it is open to regular visits during much of the year, but you will probably find it closed for inside tours during much of the wintertime as a rule.

    Laurium Manor Inn is a well-known place at Laurium of Houghton County (in the Upper Peninsula), and people visit it to see how it was built throughout the year, and some people also look at the other houses standing nearby the Laurium Manor Inn, which gets regularly publicized by people in Michigan as a place to see in Michigan--particuarly the "Copper Country" region of the Upper Peninsula (where Laurium is located).

    The Moross House is a restored house in Detroit, which is in Wayne County (of the Lower Peninsula), and the address for this house is 1460 East Jefferson.

    Turner-Dodge House is at Lansing in Ingham County (in the Lower Peninsula), and this mansion, which is along North Street near the Grand River, is a little over 150 years of age.

    I could give a longer list of restored houses and other buildings, but I had another purpose for this edition of Michigan Travel Tips, and what I have indended to do with this edition of Michigan Travel Tips is make you more aware of what you should look for when you visit restored houses and other buildings in Michigan, which will indirectly raise the standards that you expect to see in restored houses, which may press the people who care for such places to do better, and if better standards get passed along, the general quality of the restored houses and other buildings in Michigan might set the standard for restored houses and other buildings in the the states of the United States of America.

    Your travel tips of Michigan in this edition of Michigan Travel Tips are:

    The Grice House, Harbor Beach, Huron County, the Lower Peninsula.

    The John Johnston and Henry Schoolcraft Houses, Sault Ste. Marie, Chippewa County, the Upper Peninsula.

    Kimball House Museum, Battle Creek, Calhoun County, the Lower Peninsula.

    Laurium Manor Inn, Laurium, Houghton County, the Upper Peninsula.

    The Moross House, Detroit, Wayne County, the Lower Peninsula.

    Turner-Dodge House, Lansing, Ingham County, the Lower Peninsula.

- - - Public Service Copy for Broadcasters (four pieces) - - -

Number One:

    Scattered along the Great Lakes that touch Michigan are marinas

or harbors, some of which are called "refuge harbors," and even

though the boating season is past, such places can be visited at this

time of the year.  One reason for seeing a refuge harbor, such as

the "Hammond Bay Refuge Harbor," is to see out over the water.

In the evening, a harbor along Lake Huron is a good place to try to

see a moon rise, maybe a full-moon rise--where the moon slowly

rises out of the water and soon you end up with a moon beam.  In

the evening, a harbor along Lake Michigan can be a good place to

see a sunset.  Even if a harbor is closed for the season, you might

still use it as a place to stretch the legs, and the place might have a

primitive toilet, which might save the day when you have a child who

just can't wait.  Remember: when a harbor is closed for the season,

you must take your trash with you.  And enjoy your safe traveling

in Michigan!


Number Two:

    If you travel to almost any town or city in Michigan, you are

very likely find at least one restored house or building that is

deemed a tourist attraction.  One well-known such tourist

attraction is the Laurium Manor Inn, which is at Laurium, which

is in the Upper Peninsula.  Another well-known tourist attraction

is the Moross House, which is along East Jefferson in Detroit.  And

yet another well-known tourist attraction is the Kimball House

Museum in Battle Creek.  To really learn how to recognize good

restored houses or buildings, the publisher at The Hologlobe Press

urgues to look at more than the insides of such places--the publisher

urges you to look at the outside paint and the caulking.  The subject

of paint and caulking is the theme of the current edition of the

Internet-only publication called Michigan Travel Tips, which is at

the Web site for The Hologlobe Press--www.hologlobepress.com.

Take a look--it's free.


Number Three:

    So you say you have nothing to do!  That's not possible, given

how many places there are to visit in Michigan.  Holland is a place

along Lake Michigan, and Holland is the place where the Cappon

House Museum exists.  It is a museum related to Isaac Cappon,

the first mayor of Holland.  The Cappon House Museum is located

at 228 West 9th Street at Holland.  On the other side of the state

from Holland is Marysville.  Marysville has the Marysville Historical

Museum, which has exhibits related to the Marysville area, such as

exhibits about Indians and pioneers.  Generally speaking, the

Marysville Historical Museum and the Cappon House Museum are

open for regular visits on weekends . Since Holland and Marysville

are far apart, it means you'll have to plan two trips to see the two

places that I have mentioned and other thing along the way to those

places.  Now, you certainly have something to do.  So enjoy your

safe traveling in Michigan!


Number Four:

    When reading or hearing about a museum in Michigan, you might

come across--"allow thirty minutes" for touring.  Really, thirty minutes

is not enough time to see almost any museum in Michigan, especially

the University of Michigan Exhibit Museum of Natural History, which

is located at Ann Arbor.  It is not a small museum with a few exhibits

housed in a couple rooms.  This museum has exhibits about Native

American culture and Michigan wildlife, and some of the themes of

the museum are geology and anthropology.  Just seeing a show in the

planetarium could take up thirty minutes.  But then again, maybe,

you need only thirty minutes to see the University of Michigan

Exhibit Museum of Natural History.  If that is the case, then you can

head over to the somewhat nearby University of Michigan Museum

of Art on the same day, and that'll be at least sixty minutes well spent.

Now, enjoy your safe traveling in Michigan.


- - - Contact Information - - -

The Hologlobe Press
Postal Box 20551
Ferndale, Michigan  48220-0551
The United States of America

copyright c. 2006
File date: 10 November 2006

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    click on: Travel #32.
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    click on: Travel #30.
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    click on: Travel.
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    click on: www.hologlobepress.com.