Pere Marquette 1225

Pere Marquette 1225, photo by Mi Bob

Every year, the Steam Train Railroading Institute in Owosso operates an annual North Pole Express that takes you to the North Pole and back. Over on Absolute Michigan, The Polar Express Comes to Michigan from Michigan History Magazine explains that author Chris Van Allsburg his well-known children’s book, The Polar Express, on train experiences he had as a boy in Grand Rapids:

The book’s popularity led to a movie released in November 2004. Michigan railroad buffs recognize the sound of the movie’s train whistle, which comes from one of the nation’s few working steam locomotives.

Built in 1941, the Pere Marquette 1225 is an enormous steam locomotive, measuring one hundred feet long and sixteen feet high. Replaced in 1951 by a more efficient diesel engine, the 1225 was saved from the scrap heap and decades later, ended up in Owosso as the star of the Steam Railroading Institute (SRI). Shortly thereafter, the 1225 was restored to its former glory.

As researchers prepared the movie version of Van Allsburg popular book, they were drawn to Owosso and the 1225. Technicians recorded the sound of the whistle, the clatter of the wheels and the rumble of the four-hundred-ton locomotive rolling down the tracks. The sounds were merged with the animated Polar Express.

Check the photo out bigger and see more in Bob’s slideshow.

More trains on Michigan in Pictures and also check out the Pere Marquette 1225 slideshow in the Absolute Michigan pool!


Before…, photo by Michael in A2

I hope that everyone is gearing up for an enjoyable Thanksgiving. I’m thankful for all of you who take the time to check out and share Michigan in Pictures every day, and I am hoping to be thankful this afternoon for the Lions beating the Packers … though I suppose many of you U.P. readers would be happy with a Green Bay victory.

In any case, Happy Thanksgiving , and if you want a happy memory, here’s a great post on the 1962 Thanksgiving Day Massacre where the Lions handed the Pack their only loss of the season.

Check this photo out background big and see more in Michael’s Personal Favorite Photographs slideshow.

More Thanksgiving on Michigan in  Pictures.

Happy Halloween!

October 31, 2013


Untitled, photo by Bearcats Photography

Mike writes that every year they have family and friends over for homemade stew and fresh bread. He says the only catch is they have to carve a pumpkin.

I’m thinking that’s a great plan – Happy Halloween everyone!!

View his photo background bigtacular and see more in his slideshow.

More Halloween fun on Michigan in Pictures!

The Pumpkin Armada

October 25, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!, photo by jnhkrawczyk

If you’re still in the market for pumpkins, check out this listing of Michigan pumpkin patches, hayrides & corn mazes.

Jill took this shot at Parmenter’s Cider Mill in Northville. View it bigger and see more in her Halloween slideshow.

More pumpkin info on Michigan in Pictures!

Labor Day 1942

The Detroit News Feature “Holiday for Labor” an early tradition in Detroit is an excellent look at the tradition of labor and labor day parades in Detroit:

The Detroit Trade Assembly’s labor parades in 1865 formed a part of established parades and gatherings on national holidays, such as the Fourth of July or Washington’s birthday. The unions gathered at Campus Martius, each carrying a banner with a name and symbol of their occupation. Many wore all white with matched hats or aprons. The names of their unions sound a bit quaint today: blacksmiths, iron molders, ship carpenters, caulkers, joiners, coopers, cigar packers, tailors, broommakers, stovemounters, bricklayers, shoemakers, painters, bakers, tinsmiths, cabinet makers, and saddle, trunk and harness makers.

…In those years, Labor Day was seen as a welcome holiday for working men and women who labored before the concept of sick days, paid leave, weekends and paid vacations. A Detroit News editorial from Sept. 5, 1927 put it this way:

“In America no man need be apologetic because he works; he needs to explain if he does not. Accordingly, Labor Day is not the peculiar property of some group, but is the holiday which recognizes that this great country of ours with all its glorious achievements, ideals and purposes is a vindication of a whole people’s pride in labor.”

Read on more MUCH more!

This is part of a series of photos taken at the 1942 Labor Day Parade in Detroit by Arthur S. Siegel. Check them all out at the Library of Congress.

Lots more Labor Day on Michigan in Pictures.


Remember, photo by LindaB.

While the Memorial Day page at the Center for Civil War Research Center lists roles that people from many states had in creating Memorial Day, there’s no doubt that Michiganders had some part in it:

“On the sixteenth of April, 1862, some ladies and a chaplain from Michigan were chatting together at Arlington Heights. They were talking about the horrors of the war and one lady said: ‘How lonely and cheerless the bare graves of the soldiers look.’ Another proposed gathering some flowers and laying them on the graves of the Michigan soldiers that day. They did so, — and the next year they decorated the same graves. The third year [1864] the same chaplain and ladies were in Fredericksburg, and they decorated the soldiers’ graves there. So the beautiful custom grew and spread its influence with its flowers each year.”

What’s more, as detailed on Michigan in Pictures last year, Michigan was the first state to make Decoration Day a state holiday. Here’s hoping that you have a chance to remember and reflect upon those who have given their lives for our nation, and also that few more are called to do the same.

View Linda’s photo at Flickr and see more in her Great Great Grandfather slideshow.

More Memorial Day on Michigan in Pictures.

Today is National Pie Day!

January 23, 2013

National Pie Day ~ January 23, 2012

National Pie Day ~ January 23, 2012, photo by Trish P. – K1000 Gal

Today (Wednesday, January 23rd) is National Pie Day. A whole day just for pie? The Pure Michigan Blog explains:

Created by the American Pie Council, ‘Pie Day’ is dedicated to celebrating America’s love of pie. And in Pure Michigan, we know and love pie. In fact, Michigan produces:

  • More than 50 percent of the nation’s apple slices and is the largest supplier of apple slices used in commercially prepared apple pies.
  • Roughly 75 percent of the country’s tart cherry crop every year. Those are the ones that go into pies, juice and preserves.
  • 25 percent of the national highbush blueberry crop (110 – 180 million pounds)

While there are many flavors and variations of this classic American dessert, nothing makes for a better pie than using pure, fresh ingredients and fruits – Michigan’s surrounding Great Lakes and rolling hills create a perfect climate for fruit-growing and is a leading producer of many popular pie fruits that can be found in local bakeries as well as national store-bought brands.

To celebrate, Pure Michigan has teamed up with the Grand Traverse Pie Company to offer fans on Twitter the chance to win an entire pie every hour between 10 AM – 5 PM on the 23rd. Just tweet your favorite type of pie to both @PureMichigan and @GTPie. Tweets must include the hashtag #puremichiganpie and entrants must follow both Pure Michigan and Grand Traverse Pie Company on Twitter. Click through for more.

Trish made a peach/blueberry pie with Michigan fruit: Peaches from Steimel & Sons Farm in Suttons Bay, Leelanau County and blueberries from Hazen’s Farm in Howell, Livingston County.  Click to see it on black  and get lots more tasty goodness in Trish’s Michigan Harvest slideshow.

MLK March 8

MLK March 8, photo by JSmith Photo

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. I hope you have today off. I also hope that you get a little time to reflect on the continuing quest for equality for all, here in Michigan and all over the planet. Until we all have equal rights, it doesn’t seem to me like we can truly count ourselves successful.

If you do have the day off, MLK Day is also a National Day of Service. The State of Michigan explains:

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Everybody can be great because everybody can serve.” To honor his words of inspiration and encouragement, the Michigan Community Service Commission (MCSC) asks you to mark January 21, 2013 on your calendar for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. The MLK Day of Service was initiated by Congress in 1994 and has been developed beyond a federal holiday honoring Dr. King into a national day of community service. In honor of this special day, thousands of service projects will be planned across the country grounded in Dr. King’s teachings of nonviolence and social justice.

File that page away for next year as you can seek small grants from the state for events that engage volunteers in community projects and head over to to find projects in your community.

See Jeffrey’s photo background big and see more in his MLK CommUNITY March and Peace Vigil slideshow.

More MLK on Michigan in Pictures – be sure to check out the Great March to Freedom!

What's around the corner?

What’s around the corner?, photo by johnmcgrawphotography

A new year always holds a lot in the way of promise and possibilities. If you have any predictions or hopes for the great state of Michigan in 2013, please share them in the comments.

See it on black and see a couple more shots in John’s University of Michigan slideshow.

Wishing you all the very best in 2013!

Enjoy your New Year’s Eve!

December 31, 2012


086>, photo by mark5032001

Here’s hoping everyone has a safe & fun New Year’s Eve as we all bid farewell to 2012 and enjoy the first moments of 2013!

View this photo from Bay City’s 4th of July celebration on black and see more in Mark’s photos from Bay City.


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