(The 44th 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 - - -

    At the end of a year, I look through piles of paper for pieces of information about places to see in Michigan that I did not get around to passing along in editions of Michigan Travel Tips during the past year, especially in editions put together during the summer-tourist season.  Sometimes while I go through the piles of paper--when I rediscover something I wanted to report--I say something like: "Just Great! Missed it!"  But I know I cannot cover everything.  Through this edition of Michigan Travel Tips, I pass along pieces of information that I could have covered in recent past editions of Michigan Travel Tips, and I have other things about Michigan to pass along.

    In the past, I have mentioned Moran Iron Works in editions of Michigan Travel Tips, two editions of which are Michigan Travel Tips #19 and Michigan Travel Tips #40, and the main reason why I talked about Moran Iron Work is the company, under the direction of Tom Moran (or "Thomas" as his father seems to prefer calling him) has produced big metal sculptures for every Fourth of July Parade at Onaway (in Presque Isle County of the Lower Peninsula) since the late 1980s.  On Monday, November 19, 2007, I was at a restaurant (known as Manzana's) in Onaway with friends, and while ordered dinners were being served, a tall gentlemen entered the restaurant and sat at a table nearby, and from the start, he started talking to my friends and me, and he talked through the entire meal about various subjects, one of which was lumbering (he, now 81 years of age, was a lumberman).  During the conversation, I learned he was the father of Tom Moran--he was Harry Moran.  In essence, Harry Moran was able to report news that I could pass along through this edition of Michigan Travel Tips.  On July 4, 2007, a man from Chesterfield Township bid on and became the owner of the 2006 sculpture made by Moran Iron Works (the sculpture is known to me as "Atlas Holding Up the World of Steel"), and, soon after that date, I reported that the sculpture was going to be moved to Chesterfield Township in the fall.  This fall, several times, I traveled through Onaway, and every time I did, the sculpture was still there, and, in fact, the sculpture had been at Onaway the previous week--it was set up along a main street. Harry Moran said that the owners of sculpture have delayed moving the sculpture from Onaway to Chesterfield Township because of matters related to setting up the new business at 48475 Gratiot (G & T Used Truck & Auto Parts), where the sculpture will be shown off permanently.  For now, I can only report that sometime in the future "Atlas Holding Up the World of Steel" will be moved from Onaway to Chesterfield Township.  (By the way, to see Michigan Travel Tips #19, you can hit this link to it: Michigan Travel Tips #19; to see Michigan Travel Tips #40, you can hit this link to it: Michigan Travel Tips #40.)

    Here is a side story.  Harry Moran left his jacket at the restaurant.  I decided to take it to his home, which I knew the location of and which was a very short distance away from the restaurant.  When I was at Harry Moran's place, which was for the first time, Harry Moran showed off his trophy room--having, for one, the heads of animals, such as a wild bore, that he had shot at various places in North America and Africa.  You never know whom you will meet when you are traveling in Michigan.

    This past summer, a museum that had been damaged--if not "destroyed"--by fire several years ago was opened again, but I am only getting around to talking about the opening of the museum because I did not get to the museum to see it till very late in what can be called the "summer-tourist season."  On August 29, 2005, the museum to which I refer--The Original Mackinac Bridge Museum--was located above a restaurant in Mackinaw City known as Ma Ma Mia's Pizzeria & Restaurant, and, on that day, the fire took place in the restaurant and damaged the restaurant and the museum.  Many items of the museum, which were associated in some way with the famous Mackinac Bridge, were damaged or destroyed.  It was in August 2006 that the restaurant was opened again, but it was not till this past summer that the museum was opened.  However, today, the Original Mackinac Bridge Museum is not much of a museum, and my statement is made to note fact and not made to say, for example, that the operators of the museum are doing a poor job of operating the museum.  The museum is not well stocked with items related to the Mackinac Bridge, especially the building of the bridge, as it had been before the fire took place.  The museum does have the two original "spinning wheels" that were used in the process to string the wires that were grouped together to make the main cables that are parts of the structure used to support the roadway of the bridge over the Straits of Mackinac, and some of the other items that the museum has today are wrenches and construction hats, ironworker patches, and a small number of photographs.  In addition, in the small movie theater or auditorium, the management continually shows a film entitled Mackinac Bridge Story, which shows how the Mackinac Bridge was made in the 1950s, especially the late 1950s.  Officially, the Original Mackinac Bridge Museum, which is at 231 Central Avenue in Mackinaw City, is closed for the winter season.  During the next summer-tourist season, you will be able to see the museum again, and, right now, I report that the management of the museum is looking for items that can be placed within the museum for visitors to see, or, in other words, I will say that the management is desperately hoping people will donate items to the museum so that the items can be seen by visitors and so that the museum can be greatly improved.  If you know anyone who has items that have some type of relationship with the Mackinac Bridge, such as the construction of the bridge, pass along the idea that the Original Mackinac Bridge Museum could certainly use the items, and please do get the items passed along to the museum if the items will be otherwise thrown away or destroyed--not wanted anymore.

    Much is going on with tourist attractions throughout the year, so I am not able to put in my files all the changes with places as soon as the changes take place, and here is one example of a change.  From about 1981 to June 4, 2007, the location of the Grand Rapids Art Museum was 155 Division Street North (of Grand Rapids in Kent County of the Lower Peninsula), and from about June 4, 2007, to October 4, 2007, the Grand Rapids Art Museum was closed.  On October 5, 2007, a new home for the Grand Rapids Arts Museum (also known as "GRAM") was opened up--as least as part of a "Grand Opening"; from October 2, 2007, through October 4, 2007, special previews and events had been held, one of which was a concert on October 4.  Now, two of the special exhibits at the Grand Rapids Art Museum are "Modern and Contemporary Art from the Netherlands: The ABN AMRO Collection" (which will be at the museum through January 5, 2008) and "Another Place, Another Time: Chris Van Allsburg Drawings" (which will be at the museum through January 20, 2008), which features works by Chris Van Allsburg, who is an author and illustrator of books for children and is a native of Grand Rapids.  Besides the special exhibits on display, visitors can once again see items on display that are culled from the roughly 5,000 items contained within the museum collection.

    And, finally, I have gotten around to putting information about the Crawford County Historical Museum into my files; in essence, up to May 24, 2007, I had no listing for the Crawford County Historical Museum in my electronic files (it was an article entitled "Crawford County Historical Museum Now Open" in a publication called Choice Publications -- The Best Choice for May 24, 2007, that made me aware that my files did not even have a listing for the museum).  The Crawford County Historical Museum is located at Grayling (of Crawford County in the Lower Peninsula), and the museum is made up of several buildings--a main building and such buildings as a trapper's cabin and a firefighting station.  The museum is another place in Michigan where a person can see an old-time railroad caboose.  I obtained past newsletters related to the museum, and one newsletter (the issue for January 2007) notes that the museum has about 2,600 items, which are gathered together and overseen by the Crawford County Historical Society, and two of the items of the museum that I learned about in another newsletter are two telephones made in 1900, and the same newsletter notes that the caboose was built in 1939, and I learned a former schoolhouse on the property, which is considered the "Museum Annex," has military items from the Civil War (the 1860s) through Desert Storm (the early 1990s).  For now, I must report that museum is closed for the season, and, for now, I can only report the museum will not be open again for a new season till late May 2008.

    It is very possible that other changes have taken place at tourist attractions in Michigan since the start of 2007 that I could have reported in this edition of Michigan Travel Tips or another recent edition of Michigan Travel Tips, but what I have presented is all that I present, and, anyway, it is very likely some of the changes that have taken place I have yet to learn about.  Now, I do something that I do from time to time--I note that, if you are an operator of any type of tourist attraction in Michigan, you may submit information about changes with your tourist attraction to me so that I can report the changes, and, yes, I use information from big places and what might be called small places.  Remember: Each Michigan Travel Tips is a general-purpose publication and not a specific-to-one-place publication, and each edition gives a person information about a lot of places to see and can give the person a lead that can be followed to get more specific information.

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

    The Crawford County Historical Museum, Grayling, Crawford County, the Lower Peninsula.

    The Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids, Kent County, the Lower Peninsula.

    The Original Mackinac Bridge Museum, Mackinaw City, Cheboygan County, the Lower Peninsula.

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

Number One:

    Well, the snow season is here!  That can be good, and

that can be bad, depending on what the definition of good is

and the definition of bad is.  Because of snowy weather, maybe

you have already had to clean snow or ice off a windshield, and

maybe while you did, you thought about the summer sun and

about seeing some wonderful place in Michigan.  Maybe, you

have recently learned about the Crawford County Historical

Museum, which is located at Grayling, and maybe you have

thought about being able to see the place next spring or summer.

By the way, the Crawford County Historical Museum has military

items on display, and it has a 1939 train caboose and much more.

Since the snow season is here for a while, all you can do is

dream--you will have to wait awhile for the warm weather to return.

Till then, remember to clear all the snow from the windows and

lights of your vehicle before you head out to enjoy your safe



Number Two:

    Although winter weather is back--and that means snow and

sleet and even sometimes freezing rain--it is not the time to give up

on traveling to places in Michigan to have fun and see things,

especially since there is always something new to see.  On July 4,

2007, the Grand Rapids Art Museum was closed down, and the

work to move the museum to a new location began in earnest.

On October 5, 2007, the "Grand Opening" for the Grand Rapids

Art Museum in a new building took place, and now the museum is

open to the public again.  For examples, there are new special

exhibits to see, such as "Modern and Contemporary Art from the

Netherlands: The ABN AMRO Collection," which will be at the

museum through January 5, 2008, and "Another Place, Another

Time: Chris Van Allsburg Drawings," which will be at the museum

through January 20, 2008.  Remember: Enjoy your safe traveling

to the new Grand Rapids Art Museum!


Number Three:

    In the winter, on snow-covered roads, you have to slow down

and run at reduced speeds, and when you make a long drive on

snow-covered roads, it will take longer to get to a destination and

you will use more gas than you would if you had dry roads--for

example, it could take twice as long to make a trip on snow-covered

pavement than on dry pavement.  The more time on the road, the

more gas you will use, and something could happen to make you

use even more gas.  Think what could happen: If you were to use

a freeway, you could end up in a backup--at the head of which is

an accident that has the freeway closed and could have the freeway

closed hours.  So, before you head out, make sure you have more

than enough gas, or have much more gas than you know you normally

would need to make the trip on dry pavement or even wet pavement.

Be ready for the unexpected and enjoy your pleasant and safe

traveling in Michigan.


Number Four:

    Every month on the tenth, a man named Victor Swanson publishes

an edition of Michigan Travel Tips, which gives information about

places to see in Michigan, and, right now, I have a special message

from Victor Swanson.  He reports that, on August 29, 2005, the

Original Mackinac Bridge Museum at Mackinaw City was destroyed

by fire, and he says that, this past summer, the museum was opened

up again--though with few items for visitors to see.  This past summer,

a visitor could see the original "spinning wheels" that had been used

to string the wires for the big cables of the bridge!  Victor says that

the management of the Original Mackinac Bridge Museum is looking

for people who can donate items that can be put on display at the

museum for the next tourist season, which starts this spring.  If you

know about any items that no one wishes to keep anymore, contact

the Original Mackinac Bridge Museum at Mackinaw City!


- - - Contact Information - - -

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

copyright c. 2007
File date: 10 December 2007

To see the next edition of Michigan Travel Tips,
    click on: Travel #45.
To see the previous edition of Michigan Travel Tips,
    click on: Travel #43.
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    click on: Travel.
To go to the main page of The Hologlobe Press,
    click on: www.hologlobepress.com.