Royal Oak, Michigan

March 12, 2009

Royal Oak, Michigan

Royal Oak, Michigan, photo by paulhitz.

Be sure to check Paul’s photo out bigger and see more of Royal Oak photos in his slideshow. You can also check out about 400 more Royal Oak photos from the Absolute Michigan pool.

On their History page, the City of Royal Oak explains that:

In 1819, Michigan Gov. Lewis Cass and several companions set out on an exploration of Michigan territory to disprove land surveyors’ claims that the territory was swampy and uninhabitable. The beginning of their journey seemed to support those claims until they reached a desirable area of higher ground near the intersections of Main, Rochester and Crooks Roads. Here they encountered a stately oak tree with a trunk considerably wider than most other oaks. Its large branches reminded Cass of the legend of the royal oak tree, under which King Charles II of England took sanctuary from enemy forces in 1660. Cass and his companions christened the tree, the “Royal Oak.” And so Royal Oak received its name.

As early as 1891, when Royal Oak was a small village, there were only a few hundred residents. In the 10-year span from 1900 to 1910 the population grew to over 1,000. By the time Royal Oak was incorporated as a city in 1921, the population had exploded to over 6,000. This was due in large part to new jobs created by the booming auto industry. The development of the super highway, Woodward Avenue, led to greater population expansion. Woodward Avenue replaced the old Indian road, Saginaw Trail, as the connection between Detroit, Pontiac, Flint and Saginaw, making Royal Oak more accessible. Today, the 28-mile Woodward Avenue (M-1), bridging 10 communities from the Detroit River north to downtown Pontiac, holds the honorary designation of Michigan Heritage Route. The designation was awarded because of the historical and cultural significance of some 350 sites along Woodward Avenue, including 42 historic churches.

You can get tons more great Royal Oak history & historic photos from Historic Royal Oak by Dr. David G. Penney.

Wikipedia’s Royal Oak entry says that as of 2000, the city had a total population of 60,062, making it Michigan’s 18th largest city. Michigan in Pictures has a lot of photos that involve Royal Oak (apparently there’s some sort of Photographic Guild that exhibits there).

Check out Royal Oak on Absolute Michigan’s Michigan Map.

Minong Mine

Minong Mine, photo by nasunto.

Nina went to Isle Royale in September and has been posting accounts on her awesome blog Black Coffee at Sunrise. This photo of Minong Mine appears in Day Five, which features a detailed description of their encounter with a pack of wolves:

Since the vegetation along the narrow trail was dripping with dew and leaning inward, it wasn’t long before we were both soaking wet from hip to ankle. Ten minutes after leaving our campsite, the ground became marshy and we found ourselves walking a long stretch of protective plank bridge. Just before reaching the stream crossing, the trail curved to the right and Craig suddenly stopped in front of me, turned around and said very calmly, “Uh…a whole pack of wolves…”

His voice trailed off as he turned back around to face forward again. I thought he was trying to be funny since I couldn’t yet see what was around the corner. After inching forward another foot or so, he turned to me again and the look on his face was priceless. “I’m not kidding,” he said. “There are at least five wolves on the trail ahead of us.” The next few moments were the most surreal and exciting I’ve ever experienced.

Read on at her blog for the rest of the account or see them all in her Isle Royale section.

Be sure to check this out bigger or in her Isle Royale set (slideshow).

You can learn a little bit about Minong Mine and see a picture of a 6000 pound copper nugget right here.

Check out many more Isle Royale photos on Michigan in Pictures.

Zombies love Michigan Blood

October 22, 2012


ZombieDay, photo by cpcaines

The Annual Grand Rapids Zombie Dash bills itself as the most terrifying night race in the world. Much as in the forthcoming zombie apocalypse, participants are divided into 2 classes, hardy survivors who will run a 5k for their lives a 5k, and members of the zombie horde who will attempt to separate said survivors from said lives. All the details are on the web site, and there’s also a post-race concert.

The event is also raising awareness for a topic near and dear to the un-beating hearts of zombies everywhere and also Michigan citizens. They’re holding early registration where you can also register for Michigan Blood Stem Cell Program at Gazelle Sports in Grand Rapids on Friday the 26th.

According to Barbara Hile, Program Manager for Michigan Blood’s Marrow/Stem Cell Program, “Patients needing blood stem cell (marrow) transplants can only find a suitable match within their family about 30% of the time. The remaining 70% of matches are made between complete strangers via the Be the Match Registry. Therefore, the more young people who join the Registry, the more chances we have of a match for thousands of patients with leukemia, lymphoma, and other blood diseases. A marrow transplant is often the patient’s last, best chance for survival.”

Read more at the link above or at

Check this out gruesomely gigantic and see more in cpcaines World Zombie Day, Royal Oak MI 2012 … if you dare.

Interesting (for me) side note: CP added three photos to the Absolute Michigan pool on Flickr and one of them was of my friend Bradley!


Fireworks!, photo by Craig – S

My definition of a free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular.
~Adlai Stevenson, speech in Detroit, 1952

The safety to be unpopular is a freedom we don’t always think of, but something we might well consider. It strikes me that in our relentless drive to get everyone on the same page, we’re not able to get anything done. There is a lot to be done and a lot of places we can find common ground to make our schools and communities better and protect the natural resources that make Michigan the place we love.

If it’s total agreement you’re looking for, that’s probably fascism. Democracy is messy.

Speaking of messy, you’ve no doubt noticed bigger booms over the last few days, That’s due to a new law in Michigan that allows the purchase of any federally allowed firework. The messy democratic process is already at work:

City officials across Michigan have scrambled in recent weeks to try to stymie the party in the sky — limiting when residents can set off fireworks in light of a change in state law that allows a more powerful category of explosives to be sold and used in the state.

Warren Mayor Jim Fouts blasted the state law, saying “pyromaniacs” are terrorizing the community, scaring children, pets, seniors and veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder with the louder explosions caused by the more powerful fireworks.

“The state has legalized these ‘consumer fireworks’ and people are going gung ho,” Fouts said. “People, who were hesitant to do illegal fireworks now are empowered.”

State legislators approved the looser fireworks legislation, which went into effect in January, to keep residents from taking their money to other states to purchase fireworks not available here. The new law forces communities to allow the fireworks on the day before, the day of and the day after federal holidays, such as the Fourth of July.

Warren, Grand Rapids, Ferndale, Novi, Birmingham, Royal Oak and other cities across Michigan are already creating ordinances to ban these fireworks during other times of the year.

Check this out background big and in Craig’s Bay City Michigan slideshow.

Here’s hoping you have an explosively fun and very safe Fourth of July! Here’s many more Fourth of July photos from Michigan in Pictures!

People meet Bear

People meet Bear, photo by FHGVZEhyde.

The Freep had a feature this week on Google adding the Detroit Zoo to their Street View this week. Street View is feature of Google Maps that presents 360-degree views of locations, allowing you to explore through your computer. Normally, they use a car for the photos – sometimes with humorous results – but that leaves a lot of interesting sights off the map. To that end, they developed the Street View trike.

In July, Royal Oak Patch posted a video of the Google Trike in action at the Detroit Zoo. They explained that this summer:

Google asked its users to submit nominations for pedestrian-only locations they’d most like to see on its popular map feature in several categories, including theme parks and zoos. More than 15,000 voters said they wanted a virtual tour of the Detroit Zoo, beating out the San Diego Zoo and Universal Studios in Florida, among others.

The Google Street Trike is a three-wheeled pedi-cab equipped with digital cameras. Google technicians spent two days collecting digital images of the zoo’s award-winning habitats and attractions, both indoors and out.

Here’s the the Detroit Zoo on Street View. TIP: Turn RIGHT to start your exploration of the Detroit Zoo!

Check this photo out bigger and in her Animals and Nature slideshow. She explains:

There is a little tunnel underneath the polar bear exhibit where you can see the seals swimming around, but today the bear decided to chill right on top of the tunnel. That has never happened before. People were freaking out left and right but it was so cool.

PS: The Street View technology also powers a previous Michigan in Pictures feature, What Was There.

powered by the sun...
powered by the sun, photo by Lou Peeples

The November show for the Exposure.Detroit photography group opens next Saturday (November 12) at 7 P.M. at the Bean & Leaf Cafe in Royal Oak. The show features the work of Lou Peeples and four more talented photographers: Kim KozlowskiSharon Foster-LanzettaTim White and Mary Jo Boughton. Definitely check the show and Exposure.Detroit out if you can – these folks are great!

Lou took this shot on a late August morning in Grosse Pointe. Check it out bigger and in his Grosse Pointe slideshow.

More mist on Michigan in Pictures.


Wave Goodbye to Summer!

September 3, 2011

Summer Fun......
Summer Fun……, photo by smiles7

Look out! The end of summer is crashing over the breakwall, and about 1.2 million Michiganders are hitting the road for Labor Day Weekend. If you’re one of them (or even if you’re not), you might want to check out Pure Michigan’s Labor Day Weekend page.  Lots of fun stuff there from Arts, Beats & Eats in Royal Oak, the Detroit Jazz Festival to the Fat Tire Festival way up in Copper Harbor.

Of course there’s also the Mackinac Bridge Walk and numerous Labor Day parades and observances.

You don’t really need any plans of course, throw a cooler or tent in the car and get out and grab a little summer before it’s gone!

Check this photo out bigger and in Julie’s Charlevoix slideshow.

A Hundred Views of Woodward

A Hundred Views of Woodward, photo by Terri Light Photo – Detroit.

The January Exposure Detroit Show is a group project titled Woodward Avenue: Mile by Mile. The show explores the architecture, people and energy on Woodward Avenue from its start at Michigan Avenue to where it ends in Pontiac through the lenses of a number of photographers in the Exposure.Detroit group on Flickr. The show will be on January 15, 2011 at the Bean and Leaf Cafe in Royal Oak.

All photos in the show are black & white, and you can see many of them at the edwoodwardproject tag on Flickr. Of course, the way to see them all is to check out the show from January 15 – February 3!

Michigan in Pictures has a great view from Detroit’s Golden Age Looking up Woodward Avenue, takes you cruisin’ Woodward in 1951 and many more photos from Woodward Avenue to explore. You might also enjoy the Woodward Avenue, Detroit’s grand old ‘Main Street’ from the Detroit News’ Michigan History section and M-1 Woodward Avenue at Wikipedia.

Check this photo out bigger and in Terri’s massive Belle Isle and Detroit slideshow. More of her work at

urban velvet

urban velvet, photo by Jon DeBoer.

Exposure.Detroit May Show - Poster by Jon DeBoer The May Exposure.Detroit exhibit opening party takes place on Saturday, Saturday, May 15th from 7-10 PM at the Bean & Leaf Cafe in Royal Oak and features the work of these 5 talented photographers:

You can see this photo bigger in John’s My Best slideshow and who knows, maybe up close and personal will be on the wall on Saturday!

looking out

looking out, photo by neubauerphotography.

The EXPOSURE.Detroit photography group opens their February Photography Exhibit  on Saturday, February 6th, 2010 from 7-10 PM at the Bean & Leaf Cafe in Royal Oak. The exhibit will feature the work of  five talented photographers:

Mike says that he loves trying to capture lightning. See this bigger in his slideshow.


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