Winter is Coming

August 22, 2014

Hesperia Propane Tanks by John Mickevich

Hesperia Propane Tanks, photo by John Mickevich

“Winter is Coming.”
~ House Stark

A little reminder to soak up summer while we have it. If you need a little more, the Old Farmer’s Almanac says:

Published Wednesday, the New Hampshire-based almanac predicts a ‘super-cold’ winter in the eastern two-thirds of the country. The west will remain a little bit warmer than normal.

Publishers claim their forecasts–based on a ‘secret’ formula that looks at weather and astronomical trends–have an 80 percent accuracy rate.

‘Colder is just almost too familiar a term,’ Editor Janice Stillman said. ‘Think of it as a refriger-nation.’

John says this row of propane tanks caught his eye on a recent drive down M-20 near Hesperia. View his photo bigger and see more in his Ilford film slideshow.

More black & white photography on Michigan in Pictures.

Clare Harrison MI Spikehorn Meyers Clare County MI RPPC 1930's-40's M77

Clare Harrison MI Spikehorn Meyers Clare County MI, photo by Don…The UpNorth Memories Guy

Here’s a Throwback Thursday featuring one of Northern Michigan’s most colorful characters:

Harrison’s most colorful character was John “Spikehorn” Meyers, known to thousands of Michigan residents simply as Spikehorn. He was a showman, naturalist, politician, coal miner, tile manufacturer, furniture builder, inventor, realtor, bear hunter, lumberjack, and above all, individualist. The old gentleman had a fertile imagination under his white thatch of hair and full white beard.

According to neighbors, Spikehorn’s interest in the woods and buckskins developed around 1930, when he opened his Bear and Deer Park established on his property at the corner of US-27 and M-61. Rumor has it the park even contained an occasional buffalo.

Spikehorn and his friend, Red Eagle, dressed in buckskins for tourists and treated them to tales of their adventures in the woods. He enjoyed feeding his pets sweets, popcorn, and pop and loved posing with his deer and bears for cameras.

His enemies were the Conservation Officers, as indicated by the sign in front of his business: “Feed Conservation Officers to the Bear.”

Spikehorn also appears in one of the best Michigan history videos, Roaming Through Michigan, a classic newsreel.

View John’s photo big as a bear and see more in his Spikehorn Meyers & Harrison MI slideshow.

Tons more history and more roadside attractions on Michigan in Pictures!

Rising Above

Rising Above, photo by Tom Hughes

“Mr. Scott never did anything for Detroit in his lifetime and he never had a thought that was good for the city.”
~ J.L. Hudson

Sometimes when you peer into history, you see things you didn’t expect, and that’s definitely the case with today’s subject. The Cass Gilbert Society’s page on the James Scott Memorial Fountain on Belle Isle explains that the fountain was completed in 1925, designed by noted architect Cass Gilbert (designer of the US Supreme Court Building in DC), and executed by sculptor Herbert Adams

The fountain was the result of a bequest from millionaire playboy James Scott, a figure of much controversy in Detroit at the turn of the century. Detroit’s fountain of mirth  from the excellent Rearview Mirror series in the Detroit News (removed, but see The Wayback Machine) tells of the opposition from prominent citizens and clergy like J.L. Hudson and Bishop Williams that a playboy, loafer, gambler and vindictive practical joker like Scott be memorialized solely because he was able to plunk down a vast sum for his own monument. While public opinion kept the project scuttled for years after Scott’s death, influential Alderman David Heineman and others took up the charge, likely seeing how a vastly expensive fountain could enhance Detroit’s island park.

Speaking to reporters gathered in the office of Mayor Philip Breitmeyer, Heineman said: “I can look around this office and see pictures of men who played poker with Jim Scott. I say the bequest should be accepted.” He also recalled that “Jim always liked Belle Isle and loved to see the children there.”

The mayor agreed with Heineman. “I don’t believe the city has a right to insult any of her citizens by refusing a gift for such a good cause,” he said.

In the end, their view prevailed. It took more than 15 years, but Breitmeyer lived to attend the fountain’s dedication in 1925. Cass Gilbert, the New York architect who planned the Detroit Public Library, won a competition for design of the glistening white memorial at the lower end of the city’s pleasure island.

Read on at archive.org and see Wikipedia for more on Belle Isle.

Tom took this shot on Sunday. See it bigger and see more including a detail view in his slideshow.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This post previously appeared but sadly the photo was deleted by the owner. It’s one of my favorites so I re-blogged it!

More black & white photography and more Belle Isle on Michigan in Pictures!

Twain

April 10, 2014

Twain by Ralph Krawczyk Jr

Twain, photo by Ralph Krawczyk Jr

If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.
~Mark Twain

View Ralph’s photo bigger and see more in his iPhone 5s slideshow.

There’s much more photographic goodness from Ralph on Michigan in Pictures.

Detroit T3200 Roll 2 exp. 18

Detroit T3200 Roll 2 exp. 18, photo by Marty Hogan

You’ve seen a lot of Marty’s ranging in the U.P. and lost rural places on Michigan in Pictures and he recently posted photos from a visit to Detroit.

View his photo background big and see more in Marty’s Detroit Kodak T3200 Film slideshow.

Silver Lake in Black & White

February 25, 2014

Silver Lake

Silver Lake, photo by Jeff Gaydash

View Jeff’s photo bigger, see more in his black & white slideshow and definitely check out more photos from Jeff on Michigan in Pictures.

More black & white photography on Michigan in Pictures.

Hot Stove League

February 7, 2014

Comerica Park Winter - Detroit, MI

Comerica Park Winter – Detroit, MI, photo by memories_by_mike

The Freep has an interesting article with Detroit Tiger GM Dave Dombrowski discussing the teams offseason strategy.

View Mike’s photo background bigtacular and see more in his Detroit slideshow.

More Tigers on Michigan in Pictures.

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