(The 40th 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 - - -

    In the previous edition of Michigan Travel Tips, I said that this edition of Michigan Travel Tips was going to give information about a new museum focusing on snowmobiles that was opened up in July (2007), and the museum is called the Top of the Lake Snowmobile Museum and is located at Naubinway (of Mackinac County in the Upper Peninsula), but, because of several events that happened to me between July 10, 2007, and August 4, 2007, I report that I will not talk about that new museum about snowmobiles till the next edition (though it can be said that I have again reported through this edition of Michigan Travel Tips at least a little information about the new museum).  Most of the events that happened to me have led to my creating sections in this Web page that about things that you can see in Michigan, and one of the events has lead to my making a simple section about something that I found, which may have history going back to the 1800s in Michigan and which you will probably never get to see.  However, it is noted that a few sections in this edition of Michigan Travel Tips have nothing to do with events that happened to me directly and exist for you to learn about some things to see in Michigan.

    I begin by talking about that one event that happened to me and led to my finding something that you will probably never get to see.  On August 1, 2007, I was looking in the woods of private property for boundaries markers (steel pipes, the tops of which I expected to be sticking out of the ground).  By the way, the private property was within a half mile of a ghost town along Lake Huron--Grace Harbor--which was once a logging town or a least a place where logs were once moved to so that the logs could be gotten on to boats or ships, which could take the logs somewhere.  During the search, I found a piece of steel, which appeared to be a bar of steel--about five inches long--sticking out of the ground at the base of a tree, and it sort of looked as if the tree had grown on top of the piece of steel over a number of decades.  I wondered how big the piece of steel was, how deep the piece of steel was in the ground, and how likely it would be for me to get the piece of steel, given that it appeared I might not get it loose from the base of the tree.  Later, I got a shovel and attempted to see if I could get the piece of steel free from the ground.  I only had to do a little digging to get the piece of steel out of the ground, and I did not have to disturb the roots of the tree.  It appears I found a part of an old-time hinge.  I will say that, generally speaking, the thing when it was made was made from about a fifteen-inch long piece of bar steel, which was from a quarter-inch to a half-inch thick (it is tapered in thickness from one end to the other), and it is about an inch wide, and, at the thickest end, the piece is curled to form a loop, which looks as if a pin (related to another piece of an old hinge) can slip in, and through the flat part is a quarter-inch-diameter hole about one inch from the end and a quarter-inch-diameter hole about four-inches-and-three-quarters from the end, and it looks as if the holes are for bolts or nails.  The piece certainly looks as if it were made by a blacksmith--heated and hammered out.  I may have an incorrect idea of what the piece of steel is, and maybe no one that I will show it to will know what it is, but it does seem to me it was made in the early 1900s or in the 1800s.  I do think I will show it to a man named Mark Thompson, who is associated with the Presque Isle County Historical Museum, which is at Rogers City and where through August at least, you can find and see a special photograph taken from the top of the Mackinac Bridge--it is about five-feet long and about one-foot tall and is a 360-degree look at the Straits of Mackinac during the Labor Day Mackinac Bridge Walk of 1997 (the photograph was taken with a circa 1908 camera).

    On Saturday, August 4, 2007, I attended the "Mackinaw Historic Summer Celebration," which took place--as a sign noted at the entrance to the event--at the "Future Site of Old Mackinaw Historic Village," which is at Mackinaw City (in Emmet County of the Lower Peninsula), and during my time, there, I learned a number of things that I have to pass along to you.  Old Mackinaw Historic Village is a place being put together by the Mackinaw Area Historical Society, and, today, the "village" is made up of the "Freedom School" building (a one-room schoolhouse of decades past), an old-time privy, a "Tar Paper Tool Shanty," the "Pest House," and a building that is modern and sort of fashioned after an old-time garage (the building is used for storage).  The event was an "open house" (the second annual held at the site) and designed to let people see what condition the "village" is in, and, by the way, the event included, for instance, an old-time-rules baseball game and a horseshoe tournament.  The school house is a real one-room schoolhouse ("Mackinaw District #2") that was used in a place called Freedom from 1886 to 1933 and at a location that is about five miles from Mackinaw City along US-23 (or, today, a very short distance to the south of the state park known as Old Mill Creek).  After hearing a presentation given at the schoolhouse, I met and talked with Ken Teyson, who is the secretary for the Mackinaw Area Historical Society, and he reported to me that the schoolhouse was in terrible shape when it came in to the hands of the historical society.  The building was moved to the current site on June 30, 2006, as was reported to me by Mike  Fornes (a writer at the Cheboygan Daily Tribune), and the building has a new footing and concrete-block foundation wall.  Today, if you were to see inside the schoolhouse, you would see several old-time school desks for children, two blackboards, a U.S.A. flag with thirty-eight stars, an old wood stove (a "Bell-Wood," made by Lakeside Foundry, Co., Chicago, Illinois), and other items that are like what people might have seen in the schoolhouse when it was used (the items are not original to the building).  Ken Teyson and others noted that much of the schoolhouse is not original--for example, much of the wood of the siding and the floor is reproduced.  I discovered--by peaking in--that the privy, which is behind the schoolhouse, is a "three holer," and I found the Tar Paper Tool Shanty was a panel building once used by members of a family called the "Stimpson Family" (and it was not open for me to see).  The "Pest House" is a truly unique building, and it is an original building of Mackinaw City.  A "pest house" is a building that many towns or cities of the country had in at least the early 1900s, and such a house was used to try to tend to people who had such diseases as smallpox, scarlet fever, and cholera and was used to keep people with such diseases in quarantine (as much as possible).  This "Pest House" that I saw had been originally located a little northeast of the cemetery at Mackinaw City and had been used in roughly the first three decades of the 1900s.  Today, the outside of the Pest House is painted white, and Ken Teyson, who has lived in the Mackinaw City area for many decades, said that he remembers the building was a light yellow (incidentally, for a while, the building was used as a garage after it had been used as a "pest house" or, more fully, a "pestilence house"). A gal named Mary Lou Peters gave a presentation at the Pest House at one point in the afternoon, and when I talked with her after the presentation, I noted that I wondered if light yellow was used as the color of other pest houses around the country, but she could give no answer to my thought.  Through Ken Teyson, I learned few other real pest houses yet exist around the country, and Mary Lou Peters said that many such houses were usually burned after the houses had been shut down.  Little seems to be known about pest houses, or, I should say, for now, little information exists about the Pest House of Mackinaw City--good records, such as about who was treated, were not kept.  Mary Lou Peters stated in her presentation that pest houses were staffed by volunteers and records of where funds came to keep the Pest House running cannot be found.  I noted at the opening of this section that the site for the event was the future home of the "Old Mackinaw Historic Village," and that is the title that I use in my files of the place. Officially, "Old Mackinaw Historic Village" is still being put together and is not a regular tourist attraction.  However, Ken Teyson said that, at least this summer, people can show up during the day and can see the buildings if some volunteers happen to be doing work on something at Old Mackinaw Historic Village, and he said that people could call him (at 1-231-436-7641) or Dr. Kurt Grebe (1-231-436-7454) to make arrangements for a special tour (Dr. Kurt Grebe is the present president of the Mackinaw Area Historical Society).  Ken Teyson told me that sometime soon the historical society hopes to move two log-cabin-type buildings, now in the Carp Lake area, to the site, and the historical society is hoping to find a general store, a farm house, and a saloon, and Mary Lou Peters said that the historical society is trying to find maps related to the period from about 1885 to 1917 that can be displayed in the schoolhouse.  (I told her that their getting original maps could be hard but that their getting copies of old maps should not be too hard.)  Officially, Old Mackinaw Historic Village is located at 501 Wilderness Park Drive and is a very short distance to the south of the intersection of Wilderness Park Drive and Central Avenue (when you are in Mackinaw City, head west on Central Avenue to get to Wilderness Park Drive, and when you reach Wilderness Park Drive, turn left).  The entrance to Old Mackinaw Historic Village is on the left and across the street from "The Headlands," which is a park in Emmet County and where you will find hiking trails.

    Remember: To read a little more about one-room schoolhouses in Michigan--or, really, to read material from a few books that were used in one-room schoolhouses in the 1800s and early 1900s--you should see Michigan Travel Tips #23, which can be reached now by hitting this link: Travel #23.

    While I was at Old Mackinaw Historic Village, I met, for the first time, a man named Dick Moehl, who is currently the president of the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association (or GLLKA) and the treasurer for the Icebreaker Mackinaw Maritime Museum, Inc.  Dick Moehl helped make it possible for the Old Icebreaker Mackinaw to be made a museum, which is at Mackinaw City and is open to tours this summer.  Dick Moehl reported that, since the ship was opened up to tours this summer, about 175 persons see the ship each day, and he said that the best day so far was a day when 396 persons toured the ship.

    In the previous edition of Michigan Travel Tips, I reported I did not yet know what was the big sculpture that had been put together by Moran Iron Works for the July 4th parade (July 4, 2007) in Onaway, because on July 4, I was in Hayward, Wisconsin.  On July 12, I happened to travel through Onaway on M-68 to get to a store that seemed to have "dust caps" that I could buy for an old trailer, and I found the new sculpture--it was on the south side of M-68 on property belonging to the Moran family.  The sculpture is a head of a soldier, whose face is covered in camouflage paint and whose eyes are like mirrors.  The soldier is wearing a helmet, and when I saw the statue, which is made up of many pieces of plate steel (or sheet steel), it was facing in the direction of the statue of the head of George Washington, which is across the street, near the headquarters of Moran Iron Works, and which is to the west a very short distance from the head of the soldier.  On July 13, 2007, I was on the road again, and I stopped in at Moran Iron Works and spoke with Tom Moran in his office.  I asked Tom to give me the name of the sculpture, and he could not, and that is not bad.  Tom said that he has not given the sculpture an official name, but he said that he has called it the "Unknown Soldier," and some of the staffers at Moran Iron Works have called it "G.I. Joe" and "Soldier."  I have a problem, since I need a name for it so that I can file information about the sculpture in my files of places to see in Michigan.  I have thought of a couple names that might be used to identify it, two of which are "Everyman Soldier" and "Soldier Watching the Home Front," and the name that I have chosen to use to file information about the sculpture in my files is: "Steel-eyed Soldier."  In my files, I note that "...The sculpture is 11 feet tall, 11 feet long, and 8 feet wide.  It weighs approximately 5000 pounds.  The helmet of the soldier has over 500 individual pieces and is 1/4" and 3/8" thick steel plate...."  (The information comes from a fact sheet that Tom gave me.)  Tom reported that, on July 4, an auction was held to sell "Atlas Holding up the World of Steel" (the sculpture for the 2006 parade), and it was bought for $20,000 (money that went to a charity) by the operator of G & T Used Truck & Auto Parts, which is in Chesterfield Township (which is in the Detroit area and is in Macomb County of the Lower Peninsula), and later this year, "Atlas" will become a permanent display at G & T Used Truck & Auto Parts (the address to which is 48475 Gratiot, Chesterfield Township, MI 48051).  Also, Tom noted that the butterfly that he made for the 2002 parade in Onaway is on display at Pellston Airport (at Pellston of Emmet County in the Lower Peninsula).

    Now, I have to present at "adult" section, or, really, I have to present a section for adults to see and for children not to see, though it seems very unlikely children are going to read this section anyway.  It seems to me, every day, more and more people who take children on trips--particularly a vacation trip by car or another type of vehicle--think they have to have DVD players and such in their vehicles so that the children will be continually entertained and not prone to making the trip at least somewhat bad by complaining about, for example, being bored.  Generally speaking, it can take about four hours to drive between Iron Mountain (of Dickinson County of the Upper Peninsula) and St. Ignace (of Mackinac County of the Upper Peninsula) via US-2, so the idea of having to travel with a child or with children for four hours or so might be a deterrent to making the drive.  If you wish to take children on a drive along US-2 between Iron Mountain and St. Ignace and not have the children watch DVDs, I have this the idea for a game that you can have the children play, which involves having the children keep their eyes on the road ahead, and since I have no better name to call the game, I will call the game--"The Spot-the-Thing Game."  What you have to do is remember things that I am going to list for you in the next few sentences and get the children to watch for them, and you have to get the children to complete in trying to see a particular thing first, and the child that spots that thing first gets something, such as an extra little trinket that the child gets to ask for from the next tourist place you visit, which might be the Iron Mountain Iron Mine, which is along US-2 at Vulcan (which is near Iron Mountain).  One thing you might have the children watch for is the statue of a miner--named "Big John"--that is at the Iron  Mountain Iron Mine.  Nearby the Iron Mountain Iron Mine is a statue of a bear.  At Norway, there are Viking ships to watch for--in essence, there is a Viking ship at each end of Norway (the east end and the west end).  In Escanaba, when you drive on US-2, you can see several statues of fish, which are a few feet long (and they are colorful).  When I went through Manistique recently, I saw a big cow at Manistique, and that cow was "Jilly the Cow"--watch for that cow (in essence, a statue of a cow on a trailer) if you go through the Manistique area, though it may not be there when you get there.  In the Gulliver area--right the intersection of US-2 and Pawley Road--there are two figures of sorts that are together, and one figure is a farmer and the other figure is a cow (they are together in the field that is at the southwest corner of the intersection).  And if you go to Castle Rock, which is at St. Ignace, see which child is able to spot Paul Bunyon and Babe first (they are statues).

    To end this edition of Michigan Travel Tips, I have to report an incident for the history books or "for the record."  On Friday, July 20, 2007, I drove to Forty Mile Point Lighthouse Park, driving there to help a friend who had broken a toe a few days previous and who had to deliver two boxes of special "atlases" from the Environmental Protection Agency (of the U.S. government) to staffers on duty at Forty Mile Point Lighthouse.  During the very short visit, I help a man named Jim Stone carry a piece of wood from the beach near the lighthouse in to what is called the "foghorn" house (which is now used as a pavilion) of the park.  The piece of wood washed up on shore recently (south or the lighthouse), and I report that it looks as if the piece of wood could be from The Fay (or The Joseph S. Fay or The J.S. Fay), which I have talked about in previous editions of Michigan Travel Tips (the ship sank near the lighthouse in 1905).  Without making measurements of the piece of wood or weighing it, I will say that the piece of wood was about ten-feet long and weighed somewhere between one-hundred and two-hundred pounds (probably closer to two-hundred pounds than one-hundred pounds), and was like a "two-by-ten."  The reason it seems the piece of wood was from The Fay is it resembles known pieces of The Fay that are on the beach to the north of the lighthouse and pieces of The Fay that Jim Stone has seen in Lake Huron (a few hundred yards offshore from the lighthouse)--the piece of wood has metal-bolt like pieces that are like those on the known parts of The Fay.  Not long age, I uncovered forgotten information about David Syze (the first mate of The Fay who died during sinking of The Fay) and now it seems it is possible I have helped recover a real piece of The Fay.  Remember: Some wreckage of The Fay can be seen on the beach near Forty Mile Point Lighthouse any day of the summer tourist season and fall tourist season this year, and if you go to Forty Mile Point Lighthouse, you might see on display the newly recovered piece of what appears to be from The Fay that I helped bring up the beach to the foghorn house (however, it has yet to be confirmed from what ship the piece of wood comes from, and it seems I will have to tell Mark Thompson to see it).

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

    The Headlands, Mackinaw City, Emmet County, the Lower Peninsula.

    The Icebreaker Mackinaw Maritime Museum, Mackinaw City, Cheboygan County, the Lower Peninsula.

    Old Mackinaw Historic Village, Mackinaw City, Emmet County, the Lower Peninsula.

    Presque Isle County Historical Museum, Rogers City, Presque Isle County, the Lower Peninsula.

    The "Steel-eyed Soldier" statue (my name for it) created by Moran Iron Works, Onaway, Presque Isle County, the Lower Peninsula.

    Wreckage of The Fay, Forty Mile Point Lighthouse Park, the Rogers City area, Presque Isle County, the Lower Peninsula.

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

Number One:

    Mackinaw City is one of the most popular tourist destinations in

Michigan, and one reason for that is the Mackinac Bridge can be seen

at Mackinaw City.  It is also possible for a person who goes to Mackinaw

City to see a museum in the making--and that museum is Old Mackinaw

Historic Village.  That place is not an official museum with, for instance,

defined visiting hours or a set open-to-tourists season.  The place does

have several buildings, such as the real former "Pest House" or "pestilence

house" of Mackinaw City, which was used in the early 1900s.  If you

stop in and volunteers happen to be doing work, you could see what

is there.  Special tours can be arranged by contacting the Mackinaw

Area Historical Society ahead of time.  Old Mackinaw Historic Village

is on the west side of Mackinaw City along Wilderness Park Drive.

Keep that speed down, and enjoy your safe traveling to Old Mackinaw

Historic Village.


Number Two:

    At this moment, all types of travelers are on the roads.  For example,

some are going to work, and some are on vacation.  No matter what

type of trip you next take, you should make sure that, on the trip, you

will have with you a card that notes some medical information about you.

 The card should indicate any medications that you are taking, how

much you take, and when you take the medications.  The card should

indicate whether or not you are allergic to anything, especially certain

medications, such as medications of the penicillin family.  The card could

note past surgeries that you have gone through.  You could add other

information.  And what is really important is you keep the card near

such documents as a driver's license or a passport so that it might be

found easily, such as when you are ill and unable to pass it along to a

doctor or nurse.  Remember: Have that card with you for your benefit,

and enjoy your safe traveling in Michigan.


Number Three:

    So, you are going to take a drive on US-2 between Iron Mountain

and St. Ignace, and you will have children with you, and you do not

want them to watch DVDs on the drive!  What do you do?  Have

them watch for unique things along the road ahead.  In the Gulliver area,

there is a farmer and a cow to see in the fields at Pawley Road and

US-2.  You might see "Jilly the Cow" at Manistique--Jilly is a large

statue of a cow.  You should look for colorful statutes of fish at

Escanaba.  There is a Viking ship at each end of town at Norway.

Vulcan has a big miner known as "Big John," and nearby is a statue of

a big bear.  Think about it--You could make a game of it, giving a little

prize to the first child to see a particular thing.  Of course, your watching

for those things should make the drive less boring and more fun.  And

you might see unexpected things, too.  Remember: While driving, watch

for other drivers' mistakes, and enjoy your safe traveling.


Number Four:

    And, now, the following message comes from the publisher at The

Hologlobe Press--Victor Swanson--who publishes the free Internet-only

travel publication entitled Michigan Travel Tips.  During the summer,

families and couples and singles like to go to the beach to swim, look

for rocks, or look at the scenery, and sometimes those who go to the

beach take their dogs.  Michigan law allows everyone to walk the beaches

of the Great Lakes, and that is good.  What is bad is some people do

not pick up after their dogs--when the dogs do something on the beach.

Remember: If you take a dog to the beach, pick up after it, because

other people--especially children--lie on the beach in bathing suits or

walk the beach in bare feet.  Be considerate of others and enjoy your

time at the beach in Michigan.  And when you drive, watch for deer

crossing the road ahead so that you can enjoy your safe traveling to

your favorite beach in Michigan.


- - - Contact Information - - -

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

copyright c. 2007
File date: 10 August 2007

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    click on: Travel #39.
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    click on: Travel.
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    click on: www.hologlobepress.com.