Michigan’s Woodstock: The Goose Lake Festival

Goose Lake International Music Festival

Goose Lake International Music Festival, 1970, photo by Michigan State Police (courtesy Archives of Michigan)

The massive Goose Lake International Music Festival took place August 7-9, 1970 near Jackson. Seeking Michigan’s feature Michigan’s Woodstock relates:

Performers included Rod Stewart and Faces, Jethro Tull, Chicago, Ten Years After, Mountain, the Flying Burrito Brothers and prominent Michigan acts such as Bob Seeger, Mitch Ryder, the Stooges, and the MC5. Approximately two hundred thousand people attended.

It began with a man named Richard Songer. In 1970, Songer was thirty-five and the owner of Portland Construction Company, a successful business in Southfield, Michigan. He purchased 350 acres near Goose Lake, located outside Jackson.

Songer intended to turn his Goose Lake property into a permanent park and live music venue. He hired people to pave parking lots and build large concrete rest rooms. A permanent revolving stage was built. As a band performed on one side of the stage, another band would be behind them, preparing to go on. When the first band finished, the stage would turn, and the second band would immediately appear.

You can read on for more and here’s several more links:

Photo caption: A crowded parking area at the Goose Lake International Music Festival, 1970. Photo from State Police records, RG 90-240, housed in the Archives of Michigan

Oz to be Filmed in Michigan!

oz or bust

oz or bust, photo by Jeff Westover.

My mother had every single Oz book in a shelf right outside my bedroom, and I spent a couple of years reading and re-reading my way through the adventures of Dorothy, the Wizard and company. The LA Times OnLocation blog says:

Michigan isn’t exactly Kansas, but anything is possible in the world of “Oz” — and film tax credits. Walt Disney Studios confirmed Friday that its upcoming film “Oz” — a prequel to the 1939 classic “The Wizard of Oz” — will be filmed in Michigan after all.

The movie, directed by Sam Raimi, has a production budget of more than $150 million and would be the largest feature film to ever shoot in Michigan.

The project’s fate had been uncertain after Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder recently proposed a big cut in the state’s film tax credit program to balance the budget. Snyder called for capping the program at $25 million a year.

…Burbank-based Disney decided to proceed with the film after receiving assurances from state officials that its previously approved $40-million tax credit would not be affected.

That was welcome news to Los Angeles-based Raleigh Studios, which has just opened a $76-million studio in Pontiac, Mich., where “Oz” will begin filming in August. The production will fill up most of the studio’s seven stages.

Casting is underway and information can be found right here.

Jeff took this at a few years ago at the Hot Air Jubilee. It happens July 15-17, 2011 at Ella Sharp Park in Jackson.

Check this out bigger and in his 2007 – various photos slideshow.

Atop Jackson’s Golden Towers

Art Deco Tower with Antennas

Art Deco Tower with Antennas, photo by benft.

Jackson County says:

The 17-story Tower Building was built in 1929 for the new Union and Peoples National Bank. The Tower Building was at that time referred to as the “Golden Towers.”

…In 1975 it was sold to the County for a nominal sum by the Raymond Kolowich family and became the County Tower Building. The County Commissioners’ Chamber is located on the 2nd floor up the marble flight of stairs. Italian leaded stained glass windows surround the chamber which was originally the main banking area.

At the top there is a “Falcon Cam” that is trained on the nest of a peregrine falcons! Click through to watch the chicks grow up!

Check this photo out bigger and in Ben’s cool architecture slideshow.

More architecture and more from Jackson on Michigan in Pictures!

Creating Cities in Michigan

Lansing, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Flint, Traverse City, Marquette and Kalamazoo are by no means all of Michigan’s cities (or even the largest). Each, however, seems to be an anchor for its region – a center to which people look to for culture, entertainment and commerce.

October 13-15, 2008, lovers of cities large & small from Michigan and all over the country will head to Detroit for the Creative Cities Summit 2.0 (CCS2), an exploration of what our cities could become and how we can work to make them. Organizers have chosen Detroit, a city so deeply forged in America’s industrial fires that it’s been devastated by the flickering of that flame. I’m headed down there and will try to bring some of the ideas back to you through Absolute Michigan – I hope that some of you can join me there.

The Photos (left to right)

Creative Cities Summit 2.0 in Detroit on Oct. 13-15, 2008

CCS2 will present a dynamic and engaging conversation about how communities around the world are integrating innovation, social entrepreneurship, sustainability, arts & culture and business to create vibrant economies. Full conference registration is $300 for the two and half day event, and there’s also a “no frills” registration that is only $100. There’s also a free “Unconference” at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) on the 12th for designers, urban planners, civic leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, students, community leaders to explore and discuss what’s possible for Detroit.
Keynote speakers include:

  • Bill Strickland, MCG-Bidwell Corp.
  • Richard Florida, Author Who’s Your City
  • Charles Landry, Author The Art of City Making
  • John Howkins, Author The Creative Economy
  • Dean Kamen, Inventor, DEKA
  • Majora Carter, Sustainable South Bronx
  • Doug Farr, Architect and Author Sustainable Urbanism
  • Ben Hecht, Pres. & CEO Living Cities
  • Tom Wujec, Fellow, Autodesk
  • Carol Coletta, CEOs for Cities
  • Giorgio Di Cicco, Poet Laureate, City of Toronto and Author, The Municipal Mind
  • Diana Lind, Editor, Next American City magazine

Breakout sessions on topics such as:

  • Race and the Creative City
  • Cities, Universities & Talent
  • Marketing, Media and the Creative City
  • Measuring New Things – ROI in the Creative Economy
  • Creative (Small) Cities
  • New Ideas in Urban Amenities
  • Community Vitality: The Role of Artists, Gays, Lesbians & Immigrants
  • Midwest Mega-region: How the Midwest Can Compete
  • Transportation Innovation for Cities
  • Making the Scene: Music & Economic Development

Much (much) more at creativecitiessummit.com.

In the Jacksonburg Public Square … History of Jackson, Michigan

Casler hardware 2

Casler hardware 2, photo by tstevensphoto.

The photo is part of Travis’s Jackson, MI set (slideshow). The marker denotes the location of the Jacksonburg Public Square – click through for full text of this marker and map of the location.

The best history online I’ve found is Jackson: The First One Hundred Years, 1829-1929 from the Ella Sharp Museum. It says, in part

Over one hundred and fifty years ago, a young New Yorker named Horace Blackman, a frontiersman from Ann Arbor and a Pottawattomie Indian guide, camped on the west bank of the Grand River at the intersection of what is now Jackson Street and Trail Street in the city of Jackson, Michigan. Blackman had been ‘spying out the land’ looking for a ‘location.’ Satisfied with what he saw, he purchased a quarter section and registered his one hundred and sixty acre claim. Several months later, he built himself a log cabin and then went home to collect his family, having become the founder of a future city.

…Jackson-for this is what the village would be called, after brief encounters with the names ‘Jacksonburgh’ and ‘Jacksonopolis’– had location. As the Indian trails clearly indicated, it was a cross-roads-a point through which people, ideas, information and materials going in various directions passed. Now, at a time when transportation had become a critical organizational link between the nation’s eastern populations and the frontier’s seemingly limitless resources and wealth, Jackson was in a position to benefit.

You can get much more at the link above and also check out Jackson, Michigan in Wikipedia.

Yesterday in Jackson, Michigan


main_street_looking_east_part2_9_27, photo by jacksonista.

Looking east, looking west, this set of old Jackson postcards is the best (you can also view the slideshow).

From the roller coaster at Hague Park to the casino at Wolf Lake to cell block 11 at the “new” state penitentiary to things that it’s hard to even describe, this set of over 150 old photos will take you way back.

Michigan Theatre Detail

Michigan Theatre detail

Michigan Theatre detail, photo by I am Jacques Strappe.

Marjorie says "Worth looking at big, the detail on this building is amazing."

On Monday (April 10, 2006) Marjorie will be the subject of our second Michigan Photographer Profile. We'll ask her some questions about herself and her photography and look at a bunch of her pictures.

Michigan Photographer Profile II

Prequel: Michigan Theatre Detail

Day I: Michigan Photographers: Michpics Talks with Marjorie O'Brien

Day II: Michigan Photographers: Marjorie O'Brien Answers Reader Questions

Day III: Michigan Photographers: Marjorie's Favorite