(The 35th 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 - - -

    Let use pretend you have friends named Pumpkin Boy, Little Snowman Clown, Hippo, Happy Guy, Meko, Snowy, Little Piggy, and Snowman Clown.  Picture them as you wish; I have my own images. You want to take them to some places in Michigan, if only so that they will stop jumping up and down and shouting--"Take us somewhere!"  Is that not the way such characters can be?  I am here to help you through this edition of Michigan Travel Tips.  Take notes if you wish, or save this document on some type of storage media (such as a floppy diskette or a jump drive), or print this document out on pieces of paper.  Generally speaking, this edition of Michigan Travel Tips focuses on places or pieces of information that I have recently learned about--in some cases, the places are places that I only recently learned existed.

    The Yankee Air Museum is one place that I have known about for a long time, as you would see by looking at a few of the previous editions of Michigan Travel Tips, one of which has information about a fire that destroyed the main building for the museum on October 9, 2004.  In the past, I have noted that people are working to rebuild the museum; since the fire took place, in essence, the operators of the museum have still used aircraft associated with the museum for flying events and more but they have had no real museum.  For this edition of Michigan Travel Tips, I can report that a groundbreaking ceremony related to the museum is scheduled to take place on April 16, 2007.  That means the museum is far from ready to be open for regular visits, but it means there is good news about the museum.  Till the museum is open, you can enjoy how aircraft associated with the museum are being used for everyone to see by attending a special event at which some aircraft will appear over the next few months, and you can see a schedule of the events by going to the Web site (www.yankeeairmuseum.org) related to the museum, which is based at Willow Run Airport, Belleville (in Wayne County of the Lower Peninsula).

    For some time--easily a decade--I have known about the Lumberman's Monument, which is located near the meeting point of Monument Road and River Road, which is west of Oscoda, in Iosco County of the Lower Peninsula, but only recently did I learn about a sculpture with a lumberman theme that is at a college in Alpena County in the Lower Peninsula.  Iosco County and Alpena County are two counties that exist in the northeastern quarter of the Lower Peninsula and touch Lake Huron; Alpena County is north of Iosco County, or, of course, Iosco County is south of Alpena County.  Alpena College is located at Alpena, and, in 1999, the college acquired a statue of a lumberman that had been at a gas station in Gaylord (of Otsego County in the Lower Peninsula) for about thirty years.  The statue is about thirty-feet high and made of automobile parts--particularly parts from Kaiser-brand automobiles.  I have the statute listed as the "Giant Lumberjack" in my files, and I note in the files that the lumberjack carries a double-bladed ax, and I state that the lumberjack, which is the mascot for the college, is at Park Arena of the campus (which is at 606 Johnson Street).

    By the way, over the years, I have seen the "Lumberman's Monument" called "Lumbermen's Monument," and I have a book with maps of the counties in Michigan that calls it "Lumbermans Monument," but the correct name for the monument is "Lumberman's Monument."

    This past October (October 2006), I traveled on M-28 in the Marquette/Harvey area (of Marquette County in the Upper Peninsula).  I had been in the Copper Harbor area and was heading back to the Lower Peninsula, which means--I was heading east on M-28.  At the time, it was early evening, and the sun was shining, though going down in the western sky.  I looked south or to the right at one point and saw a place.  I did not have time to stop to see what the place was, and anyway, I did notice the place seemed to be closed.  Not long thereafter, a number of days later, I learned the place that I had seen was "Lakenenland" or what is more formally known as "Lakenenland Monument Park."  It is a place that was created by Tom Lakenen, and it is a tourist attraction that has metal sculptures that have been made or crafted by Tom Lakenen.  Today, the place has about three dozen sculptures, and many of the sculptures are animals.  One sculpture has larger-than-life lumbermen cutting a tree in half, and one sculpture is a sailboat named The Phantom 506.  One sculpture is a dinosaur named "Dino," and it is very colorful because it is made of metal pieces that are covered in various colors of paint.  One way in which to see Lakenenland at this time of the year is to travel through it on a snowmobile (it is near what is called snowmobile trail "#417"). For a person who wants to go to it by car or truck or whatever, I will say that the person should use M-28 to get to what is known as Shot Point Road, which is about fifteen miles east of Marquette and which is across from Lakenenland.  Officially, Lakenenland is open every day of the year, and there is no admission charge.  If you get a chance to see it, remember to keep it as you found it or better--do not litter and do pick up any trash a bad visitor left to help Tom keep the place something worthwhile to see in Michigan.

    Oh, I have the impression Tom Lakenen is a "cool dude" (I do hope you do not mind my using informal language) and is having fun with Lakenenland, based on the answer he gave me through an e-mail message to my request for information about the hours for Lakenenland.  He stated, "...There is no electricity so if you want to visit after dark bring a flashlite, ha ha...."  In other words, based on that statement, I can say that Lakenenland is open twenty-four hours of each day of every year.

    One place that I have added to my files recently I have little information about, but that is not uncommon--that is, sometimes when I first list a place in my files, I only have a name, a location, and, maybe, something else that does not amount to much, such as a telephone number--and later, I will begin to look for additional information about the place.  The one place to which I refer is the Black Holocaust Museum, which is located in Detroit.  I can say that, generally speaking, this museum focuses on the slave days of the country and the lives of slaves.  I have an address listed for the Black Holocaust Museum--13535 Livernois Avenue--in my files, and I have a telephone number--1-313-491-0777--in my files.  That is what I know about the Black Holocaust Museum today, and, certainly, there must be more to know about it.

    Until recently, I only had "The Farm Museum -- Goodells (St. Clair County)" (with a telephone number and the hours that it seemed to be open) listed in my files--there were no details about the place; I have recently expanded my knowledge about the place.  Really, the Farm Museum, which is fully known as the "St. Clair County Farm Museum," is part of a complex of things to see at "Historic Village," located at Goodells County Park in Goodells of St. Clair County, which is in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan.  Historic Village is made up of the "Farm Museum," which is made up of barns, the Lynn Township Schoolhouse (built in 1885), the Murphy/Ryan Farmhouse (built in 1872), a building that was once used as a bank in Kenochke Township, a butterfly garden, a playground, and more.  Incidentally, the Lynn Township Schoolhouse was moved from a place called Yale to the present location in 1998, and the Murphy/Ryan Farmhouse was moved from Kenochke Township to the current location in 1998, and the bank building, which was used as a bank building in the early 1900s by C.C. Peck and Company, was moved from downtown Goodells to the current location in 2003.  Of course, the term "present location" really indicates "Goodells County Park"; the name of the park comes about from the idea that the park is at Goodells and the park is defined as a "county park" or park operated by the government of St. Clair County.  The county park is near County Park Drive and Goodells Road at Goodells, or the county park is not far from the exit ramp numbered 189 along I-69.  The museum has three old steam tractors, two of which are run or operated at events--a 1917 Port Huron (having a model number of 19-65) and a 1915 A.D. Baker (having a model number of 21-75), and I only learned through the Web site for the museum that the model number of each tractor has meaning.  The first number in a model number, such as the "21" in "21-75," indicates the horsepower that is available at the "drawbar" or the pulling bar or the towbar for pulling something, and the second number, such as "75" in "21-75," indicates the horsepower at the drive belt, which is used to run belt-driven equipment, and I learned the first number is smaller than the second number because the first number takes into account that the engine of the tractor has to move the tractor when pulling something (and power gets lost to do the work of moving the tractor).  Besides having "Historic Village," Goodells County Park has a water park, and, unlike Historic Village, which is only open in roughly the summertime, the water park is open throughout the year (usually from ten to eight).

    I have already talked about Lakenenland Sculpture Park, which is open to the public every day of the year; now I am going to talk about a place that is open to the public only a few days of the year, Fox Park Public Observatory.  Southwest of Lansing (the home of the state capitol building) is a place called Potterville, which is in Eaton County (of the Lower Peninsula).  In Potterville is a park called Fox Memorial Park, and in that park is Fox Park Public Observatory.  The observatory is home to the Capital Area Astronomy Association, and, in fact, the Capital Area Astronomy Association has used the Fox Park Public Observatory since 1999.  The building that is the observatory is, in essence, a rectangular structure that has a roof that slides off (the building is not what you might imagine the building to be if given no facts about it--a domed building).  Within the observatory are several telescopes, and, generally speaking, they can be used by the public--under the supervision of members of the Capital Area Astronomy Association--on one day of each month during the months from April through October, and that one day each month is usually a Friday or a Saturday around the 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, or 19th.  The address for the observatory is 3981 East Gresham, which is north of Lansing Road (and the observatory is between Cochran Road and Hartel Road along East Gresham).  I am unable to pass along any dates during which the Fox Park Public Observatory will be open for public viewing in the next few months, because the open dates are not available from, for instance, the Web site for the Fox Park Public Observatory, www.foxobservatory.org.

    Some things that I have seen recently I cannot give you directions to, so I can only note what you might see, if you look.  On Tuesday, March 6, 2007, in the afternoon, I was at a house in the woods of Michigan, and at least three deer as a group went walking by slowly within one-hundred feet of the house, and on Wednesday, March 7, 2007, early in the afternoon, three deer as a group walked by slowly within eighty feet of the house, and, on the same day, later in the afternoon, seven deer as a group walked by slowly within forty feet of the house, and on Thursday, March 8, 2007, in the morning, I saw two more deer.  When not at a zoo, I had not seen so many deer up close before those days; I had, for instance, seen one deer or two deer, such as along a road while driving somewhere or when walking a trail near the 40 Mile Point Lighthouse (of the Rogers City area of Presque Isle County of the Lower Peninsula).  If you get to Michigan, you might consider taking time to look for deer.

    Of course, anytime you travel in Michigan, you must watch for deer crossing the roadway ahead or about to cross the roadway ahead so that you will be less likely to crash into a deer.

    To close this edition of Michigan Travel Tips, I say again that I do take submissions of information about places to see or new things to see in Michigan.  For example, if Tom Lakenen were to create another sculpture, I would want Tom to send information about the sculpture to me so that I could note the information in an edition of Michigan Travel Tips.  I do not confine myself to reporting on well-known places or big places, such as The Henry Ford (which, by the way, I have always disliked as a name since the name was adopted several years ago), I focus on all places, trying to promote Michigan, which I had done on radio stations all over Michigan for about three decades, starting in the mid-1970s.  (Incidentally, The Henry Ford is that museum that has Greenfield Village and is located in Dearborn, Michigan.)

    P.S.: I invite you and your friends, such as, maybe, Meko, Snowy, and Little Piggy, to see the other Web pages associated with the Web site of The Hologlobe Press, such as those dealing with television history and trivia, which can be reached through this link: T.H.A.T. Catalog.

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

    Black Holocaust Museum, Detroit, Wayne County, the Lower Peninsula.

    Historic Village and the St. Clair County Farm Museum, Goodells, St. Clair County, the Lower Peninsula.

    Fox Park Public Observatory, Fox Memorial Park, Potterville, Eaton County, the Lower Peninsula.

    "Giant Lumberjack," Alpena Community College, Alpena, Alpena County, the Lower Peninsula.

    Lakenenland Monument Park, the Marquette/Harvey area, Marquette County, the Upper Peninsula.

    Yankee Air Museum, Willow Run Airport, Belleville, Wayne County, the Lower Peninsula.

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

Number One:

    In Michigan, some places to see on a vacation or another

trip are only open a few days each year, and one such place

is the Fox Park Public Observatory, which is at Potterville,

which is near Lansing and in Eaton County.  One day each

month from April through September of each year, the

observatory is open to the public, or people get to show up and

see the sky through telescopes of the observatory.  Generally,

the day that it is open is a Friday or a Saturday and is on a

weekend around the sixteenth or seventeenth.  Since the fall of

1999, the Fox Park Public Observatory has existed.  It is not

one of those domed buildings that you might expect to see--it is,

in essence, a rectangular building with a slide-off roof.  Your

opportunity to see the sky from the Fox Park Public

Observatory is coming again soon.  For more information,

make contact with the Fox Park Public Observatory.  And

drive safely, and enjoy your safe traveling in Michigan.


Number Two:

    It is commonplace in the northern half of the Lower Peninsula

and in the Upper Peninsula for snowmobilers to be riding along

the roads during the snow season, even in town of small communities.

In some parts of the state, you will see signs--each of which has an

image in black of a person on a snowmobile against a yellow

background--that make you aware of regular snowmobile crossing

points.  Often, though, there are no signs along a road to indicate

snowmobilers use it.  If there are snowmobilers ahead, they could

be crossing or getting ready to cross the road ahead--either from

right to left or left to right--or they could be riding along the shoulders

of the road.  Whenever you travel in an area where there is enough

snow for snowmobilers, always expect to see snowmobilers ahead,

and when you do see a snowmobiler ahead, slow down and be

ready for trouble--the snowmobiler might lose control of the

snowmobile in a rut or on ice.


Number Three:

    In the middle of the Upper Peninsula and along Lake Superior is

Marquette County, where you will find a unique land--"Lakenenland"--

to see and tour for free on any day you wish.  No, "Lakenenland" is no

exotic resort, and although the creator of "Lakenenland" sometimes

calls it a "junkyard," it is not.  Tom Lakenen is the creator, and what

he has created is a place with nearly three dozen metal sculptures.  He

has made various animals, and he has made a lumberman, a snowmobile,

a skeleton, a sailboat called "The Phantom 506," and more.  Some

sculptures, like "Dino" the dinosaur, are really colorful because they are

made of many colored pieces of metal.  Any day of the year, you may

stop in at "Lakenenland," which is about fifteen miles east of Marquette

along M-28.  It's free!  Remember: This place is fully known as

"Lakenenland Sculpture Park."  And you should go buckled up to

enjoy your safe traveling.


Number Four:

    Over the years, sculptors have created statues to celebrate the

lumbering days of Michigan and the "lumberman."  In Iosco County

of the Lower Peninsula, a statue has existed to celebrate the lumberman

since 1932, and it is called the "Lumberman's Monument."  It is famous!

A little north of Iosco County is Alpena County and the city of Alpena,

where Alpena Community College is located, and that college has the

"lumberjack" as a mascot.  At the arena at Alpena Community College

is a 30-foot-tall metal sculpture of a lumberjack, which was created

about forty-years ago.  The lumberman is also celebrated in the Upper

Peninsula.  Near Marquette is a place called "Lakenenland"--which is

more fully known as "Lakenenland Monument Park--and it has, for

instance, a metal lumberman statute standing and holding an ax and a

walking stick.  Today, signs of the lumberman are still all around.  Take

a look and enjoy your safe traveling!


- - - Contact Information - - -

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

copyright c. 2007
File date: 10 March 2007

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    click on: Travel #36.
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    click on: Travel #34.
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    click on: Travel.
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    click on: www.hologlobepress.com.