Opening of Mackinac Bridge - November 1, 1957

Opening of Mackinac Bridge – November 1, 1957, photo by daveumich

An Absolute Michigan feature via Michigan History Magazine on the opening of the Mackinac Bridge on November 1, 1957 says (in part):

With the bridge ready for traffic, but fearing inclement autumn weather at the Straits, officials decided to have an official “opening” on November 1, 1957, but an official “dedication” in late June of the following year.

Amazingly, the weather on the first day of November (preceded by two days of rain and fog) was sunny and pleasant. However, the weather in late June was so cold and wet (with six-foot waves on the Straits) that some of the events were shortened or canceled altogether. According to one observer, it “was a bleak, gray day, more like March than June, and the only parader who looked happy was a snow queen from Cadillac, who rode on an ice throne float, throwing snowballs made of popcorn.”

…On November 1, after paying the $3.25 toll (taken symbolically by former U.S. Senator Prentiss Brown, who chaired the Mackinac Bridge Authority), Governor G. Mennen Williams crossed the bridge (driven in a car by Mrs. Williams because the governor had forgotten his driver’s license). Then, according to United Press International correspondent Thomas Farrell, cars lined up for one mile on both sides of the Straits “swarmed” on to a bridge whose size “staggers the imagination.”

In his opening day remarks, Governor Williams predicted that the bridge would add $100 million annually to the state’s tourist trade. He continued, “Michigan at last is to be one state, geographically, economically and culturally, as well as politically.”

I think we can probably agree that it’s had a tremendous impact on Michigan! About this photo with a unique view of the festivities, Dave writes:

A friend found this large format color slide earlier this year and I scanned it at high resolution. It shows Governor G. Mennen “Soapy” Williams at the tollbooths on the St. Ignace end of the Mackinac Bridge on the day it opened, November 1, 1957. I have seen many photos of this day, but never one quite like this.

Be sure to check this out big as the Mighty Mac to see the faces in the crowd and jump into Dave’s slideshow for more.

Michigan in Pictures has lots more on the Mackinac Bridge and you can get a comprehensive look at the bridge on the 50 Year feature on the Mackinac Bridge at Absolute Michigan.


FULL, photo by ddt_uul

The annual Labor Day Bridge walk across the Mackinac Bridge takes place this Monday (September 2, 2013). UpNorthLive reports that you can turn your Labor Day bridge walk into a one of a kind experience with a trip to the top of the Mighty Mac!

More than 40,000 people are expected to participate in the 56th Annual Labor Day Bridge Walk which will take on Monday, Sept. 2.

For the second year in a row, the Michigan Department of Transportation and the Mackinac Bridge Authority are asking the public to share their Labor Day Mackinac Bridge Walk experiences on social media with photos and videos. One person sharing their memories will be chosen at random to receive a once-in-a-lifetime tour to the top of the Mackinac Bridge.

Through Monday, Sept. 9, you can post your memories of walking the bridge, either this year or in a previous year, on Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #MightyMacWalk13. Memories can include photos or videos.

A lucky person whose entry is chosen at random by computer will receive a tour for two to the top of the bridge, courtesy of the MBA. The person who travels the furthest to walk the bridge this year and post a memory will win a Pure Michigan gift pack, courtesy of the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

Read on for more and check out the pics on Twitter and Instagram. Get all the details on the annual Mackinac Bridge Walk from the Mackinac Bridge Authority. If you want to see what it looks like from the top, check out my friend Spike’s Mackinac Bridge slideshow!

Dave took this shot on Labor Day, 2010. Check it out background big and see more in his great Mackinac Bridge Walk slideshow.

Much more on the Mackinac Bridge at Michigan in Pictures!

Bridge at Twilight 1562-12

Bridge at Twilight 1562-12, photo by StacyN – MichiganMoments

Right now thousands of people are participating in the Mackinac Bridge Walk, an Michigan tradition that began on Labor Day of 1958 and has continued every year since then. While just 68 people made that first walk, it now averages over 50,000 people. You can tune in for some shots from the Mackinac Bridge Cam and see one from this morning on the Michigan in Pictures Facebook.

If you’d like a little Labor Day reading, I heartily recommend How Labor Won Its Day from the Detroit News Rearview Mirror.

See Stacy’s photo bigger and see some more cool shots of this Michigan icon in her Mackinac Bridge slideshow.

Much (much) more about the Mackinac Bridge on Michigan in Pictures!

rolling fog

rolling fog, photo by Through My Eyes. [nicole wamsley]. astra_amara.

Much more of Mackinac and the Mackinac Bridge on Michigan in Pictures.

Check this out bigger in Nicole’s if by sea… slideshow.

Mackinac Bridge Sunset

December 4, 2010

Mackinac Bridge  Sunset

Mackinac Bridge Sunset, photo by GLASman1.

From high above the Straits of Mackinac

Check it out background big and in Mark’s slideshow.

More Michigan aerial photographs from Michigan in Pictures.

Mackinac Bridge Walk, photo by mackinacbridgerun

Every year, thousands of people come to the Mackinac Bridge on the morning of Labor Day for the annual Mackinac Bridge Walk. They’ll do it again at the 53rd annual walk on Monday, September 6, 2010 from 7-11 AM.

The Mackinac BridgeGet all the history of the Mackinac Bridge Walk from Michigan in Pictures and click that button for tons more info on the Mackinac Bridge.

View the photo larger in mackinacbridgerun’s slideshow.

Mackinac Bridge.....I-75

Mackinac Bridge…..I-75, photo by bitsorf.

In this week’s Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce e-News, Laura Oblinger wrote :

In 1957, the Mackinac Bridge connected the state to new economic and social opportunities. More than a half-century later, high-speed Internet service (broadband) can have a similar impact by connecting all regional businesses to the global marketplace. Statewide broadband deployment is projected to result in a $400 billion increase in the state’s gross state product over 10 years.

If tourists can remain connected to their work, it could mean an additional $52 million to the Traverse City area economy due to stays being extended by just two days.

You can check out the Chamber’s Regional Broadband Initiative page and learn a lot more about Michigan’s Broadband Initiatives and even check connectivity across the state through Connect Michigan.

Check this out bigger!

Much more about the Mighty Mackinac Bridge from Michigan in Pictures!

Mackinac MI UP Great Lakes Passenger and Auto Ferry City of Munising connecting Mackinaw City and St Ignace before the Mackinaw Bridge was build

Mackinac MI UP Great Lakes Passenger and Auto Ferry City of Munising connecting Mackinaw City and St Ignace before the Mackinaw Bridge was built, photo by UpNorth Memories – Donald (Don) Harrison.

Before the Mackinac Bridge was built (check Absolute Michigan for lots more on that), going to or from the UP was by ferry. The City of Munising was the last of the breed:

Built by the American Ship Building Company of Cleveland in 1903 for the Pere Marquette Railway Company, the “Pere Marquette 20″ became the “City of Munising” in 1937. The Michigan Department of Highways used the ship to ferry autos across the Straits of Mackinac until 1959. The ship was used for potato storage by a Washington Island, Wisconsin firm until 1973.

Michigan State Ferry Album has some photos of the City of Munising and other ships that plied the Straits.

Check this out bigger and see some shots of the old ferry docks in Don’s slideshow of old Mackinac photos

2008 Mackinac Bridge Walk

2008 Mackinac Bridge Walk, photo courtesy Michigan Department of Transportation & Mackinac Bridge Authority

The annual Mackinac Bridge Walk is a Michigan tradition that has been held every year since the Bridge opened in 1957. This year is the 52nd annual and it takes place (as always) on Labor Day  (September 7) from 7-11 AM. The walk is free and you can get all the details from the official Mackinac Bridge web site.

There’s more info available on Wikipedia and you can learn all about the Mackinac Bridge over at Absolute Michigan.

The Mackinac Bridge

Mackinac Bridge Opening

While this year’s annual Labor Day walk across the Mackinac Bridge isn’t getting nearly the fanfare of last year’s 50th anniversary walk across the Mighty Mac, it’s still the one day each year that you can walk across Michigan’s engineering wonder.

The photo above is from the Opening Ceremony gallery at the Mackinac Bridge Authority web site where you can also find a Bridge Walk gallery and more information about the bridge. For a ton more photos and stories about the Mackinac Bridge, click the button below!

The Mackinac Bridge


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