OT -- Roaming Through Michigan -- 1950s (?) look at the northern michigan

Submitted by king_kerridge on January 11th, 2012 at 2:54 PM

So this video will probably only interest the northern michigan natives, but its a look at scenic areas back in the 50s(?) with some old school narration. I am guessing the 50s because there are old looking cars, terrible bathing suits and no minorities found in the movie.

My favorite part comes @ 3:05 where the good natured exploits of Ole' SpikeHorn Meyers and his troupe of wild bears are detailed.


EDIT: couldnt get link to embed, sorry...




January 11th, 2012 at 3:03 PM ^

is filmed.  My buddies grandparents actually used to own the company that did the dune rides.  It's unfortunate you can't do that anymore but probably for the better because it would deteriorate the land.  Very interesting to see how much the area has been developed and grown up.  Thanks for the post. 


January 11th, 2012 at 3:11 PM ^

No need to guess about the year. The description says circa 1949:

"A short tourism documentary on Northern Michigan c. 1949 as part of James A. Fitzpatrick's "TravelTalks" series. Includes footage of Spikehorn Meyer, Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes, Mackinac Island, Traverse City, and other places."


January 11th, 2012 at 3:59 PM ^

This is outstanding!  Thanks for sharing this.

I grew up in northern Michigan, my wife's family has a house near Traverse City and Sleeping Bear, and my mother grew up back in the 30's visiting family in the Soo -- so all of this is pretty interesting to me.  A few observations:

The white barn you see from the view from the top of Sleeping Bear (panning from right to left) is still there, or at least was there as of a few years ago.  It was part of one of the in-holding farms in the national part that was created in the early 60s.  It is a pretty beautiful building.

I am thinking that some of these films are older than the 1949 era newsreel.  The pictures from the Soo Locks struck me as pre-dating WWII.  The reason I say this is that my mother and her brothers told me that back before WWII they could walk up to the locks and even cross over (on the walkways on the lock gates) to get to the rapids in the middle.  They used to fish out there.  Security tightened dramatically during WWII -- the locks were critical to the industrial supply chain and the war effort.  The film shows people walking right up to the locks.  Also, the cars on the boats look to me like 1930's models (but I'll acknowledge I am not an expert on old auto design -- I guess they could be late 40s).

Finally, one of my partner's wife's family is the original owner and now the concessioneer at Taquamanon Falls.  I'm sure he and his wife will enjoy seeing this.

Loved the bear guy too.   He looks like John Muir.



January 11th, 2012 at 4:36 PM ^

Nice.  My parents have some sort of a book about Spikehorn.  They tried to explain it once, but I guess you had to be there (in the 50's/60's I mean).


January 11th, 2012 at 4:58 PM ^

Glad Tahquamenon got so much exposure and still gets tourism...keeps dem trolls and cheeseheads away from the real beauty of the yoop :D

'spose I should put on my flannel bomber and grab a pasty before I go ice skating.

/livin the stereotype


January 11th, 2012 at 5:20 PM ^

...that part of Michigan, there's nothing like it on Earth.

Leelanau and Old Mission have turned into terrific wine regions, and there is a terrific Friday night perch fry at the Western Ave Grill in Glen Arbor.

I was a little surprised he cited Glen Lake because Torch Lake up the coast tends to get more recognition. For example, I've seen National Geographic give props to Torch Lake as being the most beautiful.

As for the Mackinac Bridge, there is an episode of "Modern Marvels" that goes into its construction. It was an utterly epic engineering triumph.