M marks the spot

Tri-Point M Marker by Jordan McAlister

Tri-Point ‘M’ Marker by Jordan McAlister

From the “Things I Didn’t Know Exist Until Right Now” Files comes this photo of the Tri-Point ‘M’ Marker at the spot where Steuben County, Indiana; Hillsdale County, Michigan; and Williams County, Ohio meet Jordan writes:

As seen from the southernmost point of Michigan and the northwest corner of Ohio where they meet the eastern border of Indiana The tri-point for these three midwestern states is clearly marked, and is accessible on N 1000 E Road, a less than one mile stretch of dirt road going south of Toledo Street/West Territorial Road. The Wolverine State seems to have been responsible for marking its letter in the middle of the unpaved roadway.

See more in Jordan’s Hillsdale County, Michigan gallery.

Support Michigan in Pictures with Patreon

Dawn of the Donut

Dawn Donuts by scott_z28

Dawn Donuts by scott_z28

In honor of National Doughnut Day, mLive’s John Gonzalez & Amy Sherman have released their Essential Guide to Michigan’s Best Doughnut. They have their baker’s dozen of 13 winners at that link & you can also follow them at MiBest on Facebook. or @MichiganGonzo on Twitter.

Scott took this shot of the Dawn Donut sign in Flint back in 2011 & shares that Dawn Donuts was a Michigan-based chain that at one time had nearly 50 locations across the state. Most closed after Dunkin’ Donuts purchased the business in the early 1990s. You can see a bunch more great signs in his Vintage Signs album on Flickr.

There’s still a Dawn Donuts & the cool sign at this location – the last in Michigan. Check them out at Dawn Donuts on Facebook!

PS: Head over to Roadside on Michigan in Pictures for more vintage coolness!

Support Michigan in Pictures with Patreon

Will we find that the Truth is out there?

Lakenenland UFO by Kristina_5

Lakenenland UFO by Kristina_5

CNN reports that the Pentagon is forming a new task force to investigate UFOs that have been observed by US military aircraft:

Deputy Secretary of Defense David Norquist will help oversee the task force, which is expected to be officially unveiled in the next few days, according to the officials. Previous efforts to look into what the Pentagon dubs unidentified aerial phenomena were led by the US Navy as many of the documented encounters involved their aircraft.

…The Senate Intelligence Committee voted in June to have the Pentagon and intelligence community provide a public analysis of the encounters, following the official Pentagon release of three short videos showing US aircraft encountering these phenomena.

“We have things flying over our military bases and places where we are conducting military exercises, and we don’t know what it is and it isn’t ours, so that’s a legitimate question to ask,” the chairman of that committee, Sen. Marco Rubio, told a local Miami news station, WFOR-TV in July.
“Frankly, if it’s something from outside this planet, that might actually be better than the fact that we’ve seen some sort of technological leap on behalf of the Chinese or the Russians or some other adversary,” he added.

More at CNN.

Kristina writes that Lakenland is 15 miles east of Marquette on M-28. This sculpture park was created by Tom LaKenen (pron. Lay-Kin-en) several years ago. He started creating these pieces as a hobby. Eventually his yard became full and he had a hard time finding places to display them. He thought about trying to sell some except he is kinda proud of them and has so many hours into each sculpture that he would hate to see them go. This is when LaKenenland was born. See more in her excellent Michigan Oddities gallery on Flickr!

No word on if the Lakenland UFO will be investigated but fingers crossed!

Support Michigan in Pictures with Patreon


Wienerlicious, Mackinaw City

Wienerlicious, Mackinaw City, June, 2016, photo by Norm Powell

Remember folks: I don’t take the photos, choose the titles … or name businesses Wienerlicious. That said, have a Wienerlicious Wednesday Friday!

View Norm’s photo bigger, click for more of his Pure Michigan photos, and view & purchase photos at normpowellphotography.com.

More Roadside awesomeness on Michigan in Pictures.

Michigan County Monument

Michigan County Monument

Michigan County Monument, photo by Ragnar II

Monument to the Dean of Michigan’s Tourism Activity on Roadside America says:

If someone asked, “Who has had a rock pyramid built in their honor?” you might think of an Egyptian pharaoh or an Aztec king. You would probably not think of a bespectacled, middle-aged, mid-western man named Hugh J. Gray. Nevertheless, Hugh has one — on a smaller scale compared to the ones in Egypt and Mexico, but a rock pyramid nevertheless.

Hugh was, according to the plaque on his pyramid, the “Dean of Michigan’s Tourist Activity.” The pyramid, erected in 1938, stands on Cairn Highway, named apparently in reference to Hugh’s pile of rocks. Cairn Highway is an obscure back road today, which says something about the transient nature of fame.

Hugh’s pyramid is built of rocks from each of Michigan’s 83 counties.

Ragnar suggests that you plug the coordinates 44.948227, -85.352708 into Google Maps to find your way there. View his photo background big and see more in his slideshow.

More roadside attractions on Michigan in Pictures!

TBT: Spikehorn Meyers and His Bears

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!

Castle Rock, a Natural Lookout

Castle Rock, circa late 1920s or early 1930s, photo courtesy Seeking Michigan

This morning I saw a photo of Castle Rock in the Absolute Michigan group on Flickr that made me wonder about the history of this iconic UP tourist stop. Bob Garrett of the Archives of Michigan has the story in A Natural Lookout at Seeking Michigan:

The Upper Peninsula contains a wealth of great scenery. One might wish to climb to a high point and “take it all in.” Fortunately, nature sometimes provides a natural lookout. One such lookout is Castle Rock.

Castle Rock is located near St. Ignace, on the Upper Peninsula side of the Straits of Mackinac. The Rock is a natural limestone tower, standing nearly two hundred feet above lake level. Wind and water erosion have shaped it into a sort of “castle.” Visitors who climb the 170 steps to the top will receive a stunning view. Looking left to right, one can see St. Martin Island, Marquette Island in Les Cherneaux (on a clear day), the town of St. Ignace, ferries coming to and from Mackinac Island and the top of the Mackinac Bridge.

Castle Rock had been an ancient lookout of the Ojibway tribe, who often called it “Pontiac’s Lookout.” A company named Norton and Lund purchased the site around 1927. Norton and Lund built a stairway to the top of the Rock, opened a souvenir stand and made cabins available for tourists.

Shortly thereafter (Sources differ on the date.), a St. Ignace photographer and businessman named Charles Clarence Eby (1890-1961) bought the property. Eby hoped to increase tourism, and he used his photography skills toward that end. He launched a high volume postcard business, and his postcards and other promotional material drew people to the Upper Peninsula and the St. Ignace area.

Around 1958, statues of the mythical lumberjack Paul Bunyan and his blue ox, Babe, were built at the foot of the stairs. These were handcrafted by Calvin Tamlyn, who was Eby’s son in law. They still greet visitors today.

Castle Rock can be found north of St. Ignace, along I-75. Take exit 348, and you’ll be there. For more information, see the Castle Rock Web site.

You can head over to Seeking Michigan for more including some books in Michigan libraries, a photo of Paul & Babe and also a stereoscopic pic from the 20s. There’s a little more info on Wikipedia, including a panorama of the view from the top of the rock.

Seeking Michigan is the web site of the Archives of Michigan and it’s packed full of articles like this in their Look section and also an extensive & searchable Michigan photo archive.

More roadside attractions on Michigan in Pictures.

Roadside Ramblings in the Michigan Radio Picture Project

towers, photo by mfophotos

This “castle” in Owosso was actually a place used for entertainment and a writing studio for James Oliver Curwood. Now owned by the city of Owosso, it overlooks the Shiawassee River. Curwood made a living as a writer of wilderness adventure stories, some of which became screenplays for early movies. The castle was constructed to resemble a French chateau. August, 2009.

The above picture is one of many in the latest photo essay at the Michigan Radio Picture Project: Roadside Ramblings, the photography of Mark F. O’Brien. Mark is a regular on Michigan in Pictures (as is his daughter Marjorie) and shoots with all kinds of cameras. He writes:

Michigan is a state criss-crossed with highways. As the home state for the auto industry, the roads have played an important part in connecting communities, bringing in tourism, as well as being the main thoroughfare for commerce. Exploring Michigan’s roads, whether the major highways or the gravel backroads, has become one of my photographic pursuits. I often shoot with a “toy camera” — simply a plastic camera with a cheap plastic lens, limited exposure control, and infinite possibilities for photography. While I use all kinds of really nice cameras, it’s the Holgas, Dianas, and thrift-shop wonders that produce many of my most memorable and endearing photographs.

A full tank of gas, some maps, and a few cameras inevitably leads to a long day traversing some part of the state. If one is curious enough, just traveling all of the roads in a single county can take a long time to complete. Driving around and letting serendipity take its course is one way of learning about my state, as well as coming back with some photographs that sometimes offer a surreal aspect of what’s off the side of the road.

Click through to see the photos and I hope you get to do some roadside rambling of your own this weekend or soon!

Be sure to check this out bigger and also his whole Michigan Roadsides set (slideshow).

Watch your step atop Castle Rock

Watch your step!

Watch your step!, photo by robizphoto.

In their entry about Castle Rock, Hunt’s Guide to the UP says that Castle Rock is a limestone stack, eroded by water and wind to form a “castle” nearly 200 feet above Lake Huron:

Clarence Eby, a St. Ignace photographer and pioneer of area tourism, acquired Castle Rock and, in 1928, opened it as a destination, just as somewhat better area roads enabled motorists to go sightseeing in outlying areas. He made postcards of sights in Mackinac County, the island, and the Straits, created a guidebook with ads from resorts and cabins, and worked to create a Chamber of Commerce information center in town. Today Eby’s grandson Mark runs Castle Rock

Click the link above to see one of Eby’s colorized postcards and get more info including a panoramic photo from Wikipedia.

Check this out bigger and in robizphoto’s Landscapes slideshow.

Worlds (3rd) Largest Cherry Pie

Worlds (3rd) Largest Cherry Pie

Worlds (3rd) Largest Cherry Pie, photo by Allen Gathman.

February is National Cherry Month and there’s nothing more cherry than the cherry pie. The folks at Roadside America (who keep track of stuff like this) have this to say about the titanic battle for the World’s Largest Cherry Pie:

Charlevoix was the first into the mix. In 1976 a man named Dave Phillips, in a burst of bicentennial fervor, convinced local businesses in Charlevoix to bake the World’s Largest Cherry Pie as part of the town’s annual cherry festival. A giant pan was built, along with an equally titanic oven. Local farmers supplied the ingredients. The result: a cherry pie weighing 17,420 pounds. It was a world record.

Further south, the town of Traverse City had its own cherry festival. It had perhaps heard one too many boasts from Charlevoix, and in 1987 it decided to do something about it…

The Chef Pierre Bakeries went to work, and on July 25 it baked a cherry pie that put Charlevoix to shame: 28,350 pounds; 17 feet, 6 inches in diameter. As an added snub, the town had Guinness Book of World’s Records certify its pie as the largest ever. Charlevoix’s days in the spotlight were ended after only 11 years.

But time has a way of humbling the proud. The Chef Pierre Bakeries were bought out by Sara Lee. The cherry farms around Traverse City were turned into golf courses. Yuppies from downstate began invading the town, as they were invading Charlevoix. And in 1992, after only five years, Traverse City’s cherry pie crown was knocked clear into Canada when the tiny town of Oliver, British Columbia, baked a cherry pie for the ages — 39,683 pounds.

For some reason Oliver failed to save its pan, so you can still see the largest cherry pie pan in Traverse City here and get a sense of the scale right here.

Check Allen’s photo out bigger.