MICHIGAN TRAVEL TIPS
THE HOLOGLOBE PRESS
(The 39th 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 Main Thought ***
So what is it you have been doing lately? Have you been on a long-distance trip that took you to wonderful beaches? Have you crossed the North American continent by airplane or jet, from which you might have seen--while looking out a tiny window while using a pair of binoculars--the Detroit area (of Michigan)?
If I had known you were above the Detroit area and me, I could have looked up and waved. In addition, if I had known you were making a stop at Metropolitan International Airport (at Romulus of Wayne County in the Lower Peninsula), I could have met you for a short visit--a meeting of the minds. Also, if I had known you had enough spare time--forced on you by your taking part in a layover--I could have taken you on a little trip to downtown Detroit.
Of course, there is no way I can meet each person who comes to Michigan and take each person on a personally guided tour of some place in Michigan--I might consider giving a tour to a person to whom I have received a unique request for a tour..
If I were to give you a personally guided tour of some place in Michigan, I could take you to such places as St. Joseph (for a swim in Lake Michigan), Caseville (for a fish sandwich), and even downtown Detroit, which is the highlight of this edition of Michigan Travel Tips, and because I feature downtown Detroit in this edition of Michigan Travel Tips, you do get to come along.
Let us do one of those pretending mini-tours now!
You arrive at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport at eleven o'clock in the morning, and, fortunately for both of us, the sky is nearly clear of clouds and the temperature is about eighty degrees (Fahrenheit). I do hope you are not disappointed by having to travel from the airport to Detroit on I-94 in a 1986 Ford Ranger (one of my vehicles) and not some type of sports car for princes and such. The trip will only take about forty-five minutes, and it looks as if we will have to park at a parking lot. The cost to park will probably be ten dollars. Oh, look ahead! See that big tire off to the right. It stands about 80-feet high, and it has been, there, though in different appearance, for several decades, and, officially, it is in Allen Park. Yes, we are in the Dearborn area, and, yes, it is the area in which you will find Greenfield Village and the Henry Ford Museum, which exist under the umbrella title known as "The Henry Ford." (Here is an editorial comment: I have always disliked "The Henry Ford" as an umbrella name, which, by the way, was adopted in 2003, and I think better name, which I reported to the management of "The Henry Ford" soon after it had been announced the name was going to be changed to "The Henry Ford," would have been "The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village Complex," because the name would have kept people aware that the museum probably has more than the "museum" and the "village" and because "The Henry Ford" is hard to sell, such as by a radio announcer, and hard to make people understand what it is.) To get to downtown Detroit, we can take several freeways that connect with I-94, such as I-75, and we happen to be on the Lodge Freeway (officially, the "John C. Lodge Freeway").
Do not worry--I will not ask to borrow ten dollars to pay for parking!
I do not get to downtown Detroit often, because I do many things, and not getting down to downtown Detroit is not uncommon for a lot of people who live in the Detroit area, since, for example, people are busy with various things in their lives, but I can say that the most recent time that I was in downtown Detroit was on June 15, a day on which I happened to hear Tony Bennett in concert at the Detroit Opera House (when you go to a concert featuring Tony Bennett, you go to "hear" Tony Bennett not to see Tony Bennett). On that day, I got to see something at the Detroit Opera House that most people do not get to see. The Detroit Opera House has two main entrances for patrons--one is located along Madison Street and the other is located along Broadway. If you enter the place at the Broadway entrance, walk through the foyer-like area and beyond the doors ahead, and turn right, you will see doors that lead down a stairway to the "Volunteers Lounge," dedicated to Lee and Floy Barthel, who donated money to make improvements to the room over the last year or so. This room is where volunteer ushers meet before performances. There, they get instructions and they sign in and they sign up for other shows. The room has white walls, a leaf-design-like dark carpet, several light-brown square concrete pillars, fifteen lockers, which can be used by the volunteer ushers, a refrigerator, a coffee maker, and some other things, such as a recently installed wide-screen wall-mounted television monitor, which is used to show what is happening on stage during perfomances. Also, the room must be passed through by anyone who wants to get to the office of house manager, Randy Elliott. I saw the Volunteer Lounge several hours before the concert featuring Tony Bennett began, and then I walked around the downtown area for about two hours. When I went to present my ticket and enter the Detroit Opera House for the show, I entered at the Broadway entrance where a friend of mine was working as a volunteer. I presented my ticket to her and noticed she was using a computer-based ticket reader, which the Detroit Opera House had started to use regularly about a week before. The machine tried to read my ticket, and it shut down (the ticket was an authentic ticket). My friend tried several times to get the reader to work. The traffic was building up behind me. My friend went over to a true staffer of the Detroit Opera House to get help and get the machine repaired. The line behind me got longer, and, finally, the ticket got read properly, and a little later, the show began, and it was a good show, and even at one point, Tony Bennett sang without using a microphone and he could be heard by the audience. And although I never touched a ticket reader at the Detroit Opera House, I can say, "I broke a ticket reader at the Detroit Opera House. Cool!" (For more information about Tony Bennett, you should see "T.H.A.T. #39, which is a part of the Web site for The Hologlobe Press, and a link to the page is: T.H.A.T. #39.)
Although we are not parking in the parking-deck associated with the Detroit Opera House, we will begin the tour at the parking deck for the Detroit Opera House so that you are aware you can use the parking deck associated with the Detroit Opera House when you go to a performance at the Detroit Opera House. In essence, the Detroit Opera House is bordered by Broadway on the southwest, John R. Street on the southeast, Madison on the northeast, and what to me looks like Witherell when I try to interpret street signs and what looks like Park on at least one downtown Detroit map that I have. We can walk the border streets of the Detroit Opera House and see what stores or businesses can be seen.
To the northwest of the Detroit Opera House is a park, which has a shape that can be described as a quarter of a circle (think about cutting a circle in four equal parts), or, really, there are two parks that are shaped like a quarter of a circle. In essence, one park is to the east of Woodward and is bordered by Woodward, Witherell (or is it Park?), and Adams, and the other park is bordered by Woodward, Adams, and Park. Both parks make up what is called Grand Circus Park.
Several things can be seen in the park that is to the east of Woodward. First, there is a monument, and it is dedicated to Russell A. Alger, who was a "Soldier, Statesman, and Citizen" associated with Detroit and who lived from 1836 to 1907. There is a plaque or shield on the monument that has the face of the man, and the main feature of the monument is a statue of a woman, who, for example, holds a sword and a shield in the left hand. Also in this part of Grand Circus Park is a statue focusing on William Cotter Maybury, who, for instance, was the city attorney from 1876 to 1880, was a U.S. Representative from the State of Michigan from 1883 to 1887, and was the mayor of Detroit from 1897 to 1904, and this statue depicts William Cotter Maybury sitting in a chair, and, in essence, it is a life-size statue.
The other park--the park that is to the west of Woodward Avenue--has several things to see. At the corner of Adams (west) and Woodward is a statue erected in memory of Hazen S. Pingree, who was four times the mayor of Detroit and who died at age sixty on June 18 of the year identified on the statue as MDCCCCI. It is noted on the statue that he was "The Idol of the People," such as for fighting for equitable taxation.
I should think by now you realize we are in an area that has a number of theatres--not movie theatres or theatrical-movie houses. Over there--bordered by Elizabeth on the south and Woodward Avenue on the east--is The Fillmore, which up until a few weeks ago was known as the "State Theatre," which, on the 15th of June, for instance, still had on display posters for upcoming attractions that called the place the "State Theatre," one of which noted that "Warped Tour 2007" was scheduled for July 17, 2007. Also along Woodward in this area is "The Fox Theatre" (which is bordered by Columbia on the south). Bordered by Montcalm on the south and Woodward on the east is The City Theatre, which used to be called "The Second City Theatre" (The Second City Theatre is located in Novi (of Wayne County), as it has been since 2003). Of course, you are already aware of the Detroit Opera House. Music Hall for the Performing Arts is located along Madison Avenue. And the Gem Theatre and the Century Theatre are also along Madision Avenue, and, in fact, the buildings for the two theatres are side by side and attached; the buildings for the two theatres were moved to the present location in 1997.
Near the theatres that I have mentioned are two stadiums. Comerica Park--which is not a real park, such as a park with swings or flowers--is the stadium in which the Detroit Tigers play baseball games. If you walk around the park on the sidewalk outside the park, you will find places at which you can see the field, and from outside the gate when you are out in left-center field, you can see six statues dedicated to former players--Al Kaline, Hal Newhouser, Charlie Gehringer, Hank Greenberg, Ty Cobb, and Willie Horton (only two of which I saw play in person--that done at old Tiger Stadium, which still exists in Detroit). The other stadium hat you can see from the outside is Ford Field, and it is where in the Detroit Lions play home-based football games.
Now we are at Park Street and Woodward Avenue, and if you look to the south down Woodward Avenue, you will look toward Campus Martius Park, which is a few blocks away. Between this location and Campus Martius Park are, in essence, several plaques on stands along Woodward Avenue, and each plaque has a story related to what is called the "Woodward Avenue Heritage Tour," a walking-tour feature of Detroit. One of the plaques focuses on Vernor's Ginger Ale, and another plaque focuses on the story of streetcars in Detroit, and only one more of the plaques is about "Kresge Corner." Let me show you them as we head south to Campus Martius Park (we will see some of the plaques on the way to the park by using the sidewalk on one side of the street, and we will see the other plaques on the way back while on the other side of the street).
All the information that I have passed along to you about streets is probably vague information, given you lack a map to look at while you read this edition of Michigan Travel Tips. The main layout for the streets of Detroit and, in essence, the main-street layout for the Detroit-metropolitan area was created in 1806 by Judge Augustus B. Woodward. It was a fire in Detroit in 1805 that lead to Judge Woodward's setting up of the general basic layout of the streets of Detroit. Today, you can see the starting survey point for the layout, and it is at Campus Martius Park, which is part of what was once called Kennedy Square and is along Woodward. The spot was dedicated in 2004, as was Campus Martius Park, which, for one, is used for outdoor concerts in the summer and is given an ice-skating rink in the winter.
At Campus Martius Park is an old monument. The monument is at the southern end of the park, and the location of the monument is not the original location for the monument. Here is an inscription on the monument:
"THE MICHIGAN SOLDIERS' AND SAILORS' MONUMENT, DESIGNED BY RANDOLPH ROGERS, WAS ORIGINALLY LOCATED APPROXIMATELY 140 FEET NORTH OF HERE, ON AXIS WITH THE OLD CITY HALL AND CADILLAC SQUARE. ERECTED IN HONOR OF THE CIVIL WAR HEROES OF THE CITY OF DETROIT, THE MONUMENT WAS UNVEILED AT ITS ORIGINAL LOCATION IN A PUBLIC CEREMONY IN 1872."
That inscription gives you the theme of the monument, but it gives no more indication about what the monument is. I shall say that the monumet has several life-size statues of men dressed in Civil War uniforms and other features, and I shall say that it is large. I shall also note that the monument also has a short bit of text that notes that a time capsule was buried at the site on July 23, 2004, and that the time capsule is scheduled to be opened on July 23, 2104.
Let me take out my copy of the map of downtown Detroit (known as a "Detroit Visitors Map"), since I want to show you some of the other places we could walk to. See here--a few blocks away and near the Detroit River--this is the famous Mariners' Church, the inside of which looks like an upside down wooden ship. We could go to the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame. And we could walk along the river front, particularly on the part of "RiverWalk" that is open--a new section of "RiverWalk" was opened up this past June. In addition, in June, a new carousel, which is called the "River Carousel" was opened for rides, and this summer, it is operated from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on a Monday-through-Thursday basis, from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Friday, from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Saturday, and from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Sunday.
Oh, look at the time! We should be moving on. I hope you're having fun. We can still see a few more things before I have to get you back to the airport.
*** Other Thoughts ***
You should understand this edition of Michigan Travel Tips was published a few days after the July 4th Holiday had passed, but you may not know this edition would have been a good edition to report what sculpture had been produced and premiered by Moran Iron Works at the Fourth of July Parade in Onaway (of Presque Isle County in the Lower Peninsula) this past July 4. I cannot report yet what the sculpture is, because for several days around July 4, I was in Hayward (of Sawyer County), Wisconsin. For example, on July 4, I was staying at a house that is two houses away from the schools where a fireworks show is given annually in downtown Hayward, and I saw the show, and, for instance, during my stay in Hayward, I rode around town on a bicycle and rode the bicycle to the National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame, which has a lot of fishing-theme things to see, such as old outboard motors and old fishing reels, and I was inside the "big" fish, from the mouth of which I could look out at the surrounding streets and the nearby river.
I talked with several people on the way to Hayward from home and with several people on the way back to home from Hayward. On the way to Hayward, I spoke with Diane Schabo of the Welcome Center at Iron Mountain (of Dickinson County in the Upper Peninsula), and one thing I told her is there is a new snowmobile museum at Naubinway (which is in Mackinac County of the Upper Peninsula), and I told her I learned the museum exists because of a lighted sign that I had read at the Mackinac Bridge, and I told her that I knew nothing about the museum. On the way back home, I talked with a gal named Lea at the Welcome Center at Iron Mountain, and I told her what little I knew about the museum, and I talk about other things, and I delayed her leaving the Welcome Center and getting home, where her husband was waiting eagerly for her to arrive so that he could go to work (To Lea's husband's boss, I say--"Blame me for delaying Lea and, ultimately, delaying Lea's husband from leaving for work on time."). Later on during the trip home, I learned a little bit more about the snowmobile museum at Naubinway--particularly from a poster at a gas station at Naubinway and a young man named Ronnie who was working at the gas station near the new museum. The museum is called the "Top of the Lake Snowmobile Museum," and July 4th was the "grand-opening" day for the museum, and the museum is located along Tuffy Street, about two blocks south of US-2 (or is two blocks south of the "blinker light" along US-2 at Naubinway). That is all the information that I can report about the "Top of the Lake Snowmobile Museum" for now.
While at the Welcome Center at Iron Mountain, which is run by the government of Michigan, I found something for you to see. There is a display case--something like that which has several shelves that can be used to display books--that contains the "John H. Colenso Ore Collection." Mostly, the display case contains pieces of rock, such as stalamitic pasilomelane, hematite, calcite, chert, pyrite, jasper, and needle plematite. And that is something to see at the Welcome Center at Iron Mountain.
In the next edition of Michigan Travel Tips, I will have more information about the sculpture made by Moran Iron Works for 2007 and more information about the Top of the Lake Snowmobile Museum, and as you should expect, I shall have other information about places to see in Michigan.
Remember: If you have information about something new to see in Michigan, you may send the information to me, and if I deem the information to be useful for readers, I shall report the information.
Your travel tips of Michigan in this edition of Michigan Travel Tips are:
Campus Marius Park, Detroit, Wayne County, the Lower Peninsula.
The Century Theatre, Detroit, Wayne County, the Lower Peninsula.
The City Theatre, Detroit, Wayne County, the Lower Peninsula.
Comerica Park, Detroit, Wayne County, the Lower Peninsula.
The Detroit Opera House, Detroit, Wayne County, the Lower Peninsula.
The Fillmore Theatre (formerly "The State Theatre"), Detroit, Wayne County, the Lower Peninsula.
Ford Field, Detroit, Wayne County, the Lower Peninsula.
The Fox Theatre, Detroit, Wayne County, the Lower Peninsula.
The Gem Theatre, Detroit, Wayne County, the Lower Peninsula.
The Henry Ford, Dearborn, Wayne County, the Lower Peninsula.
Iron Mountain Welcome Center (and the "John H. Colenso Ore Collection"), Iron Mountain, Dickinson County, the Upper Peninsula.
Mariners' Church, Detroit, Wayne County, the Lower Peninsula.
Michigan Sports Hall of Fame, Detroit, Wayne County, the Lower Peninsula.
Music Hall for the Performing Arts, Detroit, Wayne County, the Lower Peninsula.
River Carousel, Detroit, Wayne County, the Lower Peninsula.
RiverWalk, Detroit, Wayne County, the Lower Peninsula.
Top of the Lake Snowmobile Museum, Naubinway, Mackinac County, the Upper Peninsula.
- - - Public Service Copy for Broadcasters (four pieces) - - -
If you go traveling in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, you
will see many of the license plates on the cars around you are from
Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin. No matter from where a person
comes, the person is very likely to use the services of a Welcome
Center. A Welcome Center is a place to get brochures about places
to see in Michigan and to get free maps of Michigan. There is more!
For example, if you go to the Iron Mountain Welcome Center, such
staffers as Diane and Lea can help you with directions to cities and
other places. In addition, the Iron Mountain Welcome Center has
something special to see--a display case with what is called the "John
H. Colenso Ore Collection," which, for one, is made up of various
examples of rock, such as jasper and calcite. Remember: When you
are in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, think about using the Welcome
Centers as rest-stop destinations, and enjoy your safe traveling.
Here is a special message from the publisher of Michigan Travel
Tips, the free monthly Internet-only publication that has ideas about
places to see in Michigan. The publisher of Michigan Travel Tips
is Victor Swanson, who for nearly three decades did traffic reports
and travel reports on radio stations across Michigan. Victor has
learned some people who travel in Michigan are not well-versed in
reading maps, which is an important skill to have. He suggests,
anytime you go traveling with children, teach the children something
about reading maps, and have the children even help in keeping track
of where you are in relation to a map. As a reminder, I say--all the
editions of Michigan Travel Tips are available through the Web site
of The Hologlobe Press, which is at www.hologlobepress.com.
And Victor Swanson urges you to keep children buckled up all the
time, and he hopes you enjoy your safe traveling in Michigan.
In the 1950s and 1960s, the streets in downtown Detroit during
the day were truly crowded with people, some of whom might be
shopping at Hudson's. Today, the crowds in downtown Detroit
during the day are small compared to the crowds of past decades,
except during special events. For example, on a weekday afternoon,
there is no trouble finding parking places, and it is easy to walk around
and see things, such as before the start of an evening show at the Fox
Theatre, the Detroit Opera House, or the Fillmore Theatre, which was
known as the State Theatre up until June. There are statues to see.
In 2004, Campus Marius Park was opened up, and you might find a
daytime concert there. A few weeks ago, more of the "RiverWalk"
was opened up along the Detroit River, and, every day, the "River
Carousel" is open for rides. Remember: When you are in Detroit,
watch out for pedestrians, and enjoy your safe traveling.
No matter where you go in Michigan, you can find sand. For
example, grab a shovel and dig down anywhere--you should easily
find sand. Of course, digging a hole in the ground to find sand to
see is no vacation thrill. If you want to find sand that can make a
vacation worthwhile, you could go to the Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness
Area, which is a portion of the Manistee National Forest, which
covers much of the northwestern quarter of the Lower Peninsula of
Michigan. The Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area is made up of
about 3,400 acres of land, and, generally speaking, it is located about
twelve miles southwest of Manistee. The place has a big trail system,
one trail of which is the Nordhouse Dunes Trail. There are places for
camping. And the dunes are thousands of years old and stand about
one-hundred-fifty-feet high. On a drive to the Nordhouse Dunes
Wilderness Area, have your headlights on for safety, and enjoy your
- - - Contact Information - - -
The Hologlobe Press
Postal Box 20551
Ferndale, Michigan 48220-0551
The United States of America
copyright c. 2007
File date: 10 July 2007
To see the next edition of Michigan Travel Tips,
click on: Travel #40.
To see the previous edition of Michigan Travel Tips,
click on: Travel #38.
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click on: Travel.
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click on: www.hologlobepress.com.