A native of New York, contractor Charles G. Learned helped build New York City’s water-works system and the Erie Canal. Around 1837 Learned and his brother-in-law purchased several thousand acres of pine land in Michigan’s Thumb area. Two years later, Learned and his wife, Maria Raymond, came to Port Austin and bought a house and three acres at this site. Learned’s cutover pine land became a 2,000-acre farm where he prospered as an agriculturalist and dairy farmer. With profits from his lumbering and farming enterprises Learned enlarged and updated this house in the French Second Empire style. In the 1860s Ohio congressman, later president, James A. Garfield, a family friend, was a frequent guest here. From 1931 to 1979 the house served as the Mayes Inn and Tower Hotel.
In 1896 John Schroeder built this one and one-half story log home for his family on a farm about a mile west of Freehand. His son George resided there until 1968. Exhibiting hand-hewn, notched white pine logs, boarded gables and a wood shingled roof, the cabin was moved to the Hartley Outdoor Education Center in 1978. Equipped with furnishings from the late nineteenth century, the cabin is a pioneer heritage studies site where students can practice pioneer crafts and skills.
I received the following press release from the DNR, it would be an unforgettable experience for someone like me who loves lighthouses. how often do you get the chance to live in a lighthouse. I wonder if they have a fog horn I can sound to wake up the campground in the morning?
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is offering a fresh idea in vacation destinations. The DNR seeks volunteers to spend a week or two between March 1 and Dec. 20 acting as lighthouse keepers for the Tawas Point Lighthouse, located on the grounds of Tawas Point State Park along the shores of Lake Huron in East Tawas.
Volunteer duties include studying the lighthouse’s rich maritime history, leading guests on lighthouse tours and other miscellaneous duties. In exchange for their work contribution, volunteers are able to stay in the newly renovated keeper’s quarters for a cost of $250 per person, per week. The living quarters include two bedrooms, a modern kitchen and bath.
Serving as a lighthouse keeper allows vacationers to enjoy a unique lodging experience with spectacular views, while supporting and preserving a historical landmark.
“I feel blessed to have many memories of folks I met this week,” former keeper Robert Ulrich wrote in the Lighthouse Keeper Journal. “Wonderful program, wonderful facility and wonderful memories.”
The lighthouse keeper program is open to singles and couples 18 years and older. Chuck Allen, supervisor at Tawas Point State Park, suggests that volunteers should be physically able to lead tours through the lighthouse and tower and perform housekeeping duties such as light maintenance or yard work. Applications and detailed information are available at www.michigan.gov/tawaslighthouse.
Dates and prices are effective through 2014. For details, call 989-362-5041 or 989-362-5658.
Tawas Point Lighthouse is one of 11 nationally accredited museums administered by the Michigan Historical Center, an agency within the Department of Natural Resources, in cooperation with the DNR Parks and Recreation Division. Located in Tawas Point State Park, off U.S. 23, 2.5 miles southeast of East Tawas, the lighthouse is open for tours from early May to mid-October, every day except Tuesdays.
The Recreation Passport is an easy, affordable way for residents to enjoy and support outdoor recreation opportunities in Michigan. By checking “YES” for the $11 Recreation Passport ($5 for motorcycles) when renewing a license plate through the Secretary of State (by mail, kiosk, online atwww.expresssos.com or at branch offices), Michigan motorists get access to state parks, recreation areas, state forest campgrounds, nonmotorized state trailhead parking and state boat launches. The Recreation Passport is valid until the next license plate renewal date. Nonresidents can purchase the Recreation Passport ($31.10 annual; $8.55 daily) at any state park or recreation area or (annual passes only) through the Michigan e-Store at www.michigan.gov/estore.
Learn more about this creative way of sustaining Michigan’s outdoor recreation and natural resources at www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport.
In 1889, at the urging of Saginaw Congressman (later governor) Aaron Bliss, the Congress appropriated one hundred thousand dollars for the construction of a new federal building in Saginaw. During the next several years the project stalled as city leaders rejected two different sets of plans drawn by U.S. Treasury Department architects. Congressman William Linton, who represented the Saginaw district from 1893 to 1897, persuaded the government to draft a third design. William Aiken, the newly appointed supervising architect of the Treasury Department, submitted a final plan which was enthusiastically approved by local officials in 1897. On May 11, 1897, Saginaw Postmaster A.G. Wall dug the first spade of dirt during ceremonies celebrating the start of construction. William Linton became Saginaw’s postmaster in 1898.
Inspired by Saginaw’s French heritage, architect William M. Aiken designed this stately “French chateau” to house Saginaw’s post office. Aiken once wrote the the corner towers represented the “defensive feature of frontier life.” The building, which opened on July 4, 1898, was built of Bedford limestone, ornamented with copper and topped with a red slate roof. The interior contains marble quarried in Colorado. In 1930 the post office faced demolition because of the need for a larger structure. Instead, it was extensively enlarged. Saginaw architect Carl Macomber doubled the buildings size yet designed the addition to be compatible with the original structure. In the 1970s the county acquired the post office and rehabilitated it as the Castle Museum. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1987.
if you want to visit the Castle Museum you can find out more at http://www.castlemuseum.org/
Designed by Detroit architects Spier & Rohns, the 239-foot-long Grand Trunk Western Union Depot originally featured a spacious waiting room, a popular dining room, a lunch counter, areas for baggage and express mail, and telegraph and railroad offices. It was built of Missouri granite brick and Bedford cut stone and originally roofed in slate. Later roofs were of red tile and, in more recent years, of asphalt. Once the largest station in outstate Michigan, the depot is also one of the largest in a small town anywhere in the United States. On March 27, 1960, Grand Trunk Western train No. 56 left the depot for Detroit. It was the last regularly scheduled passenger train in the United States to be pulled by a steam locomotive.
The Detroit and Milwaukee Railway brought Durand its first rail service in 1856. In 1877 the Chicago & North Eastern Railroad reached the town, and in 1885 the Toledo, Ann Arbor and North Michigan (later the Ann Arbor Railroad) added its tracks. The Grand Trunk Railway System and the Ann Arbor Railroad built this depot in 1903, at a cost of $60,000, to serve the thousands of passengers who came to this railroad center. In 1905 the depot was nearly destroyed by fire; however, within six months this near replica had been completed. The last Grand Trunk Western passenger train stopped here in 1971. Passenger service resumed in 1974 with Amtrak. The city of Durand acquired the depot in 1978.
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One of the inspirations for doing what I do is Mike and Frank from American Pickers, driving around in there van looking for “rusty gold”. I am not looking stuff to buy, but I am always looking for interesting things along the way that I can photograph. I always try to take back roads when I can, and traveling from Chesaning to Oakley, I saw this old semi trailer. I could make out a logo, but not to well, but it defiantly caught my eye since I especially like old advertising signs and murals. When I got home and looked closer at the photograph, I realized it was a Rainbo Bread trailer. It looks like it has been converted to something else since it has a smoke stack out the side, but the original logo was still visible.
It was fascinating to find it, since my dad used to work at the bread factory in Saginaw a long time ago. I remember going on a tour there when I was younger, and getting some freshly baked bread at the end of the tour. I tried to find the history of Rainbo Bread online but I could not find anything, the internet seems as empty as the building that was once home the bakery on Holland and Remington in Saginaw’s East Side.
I remember we always had Rainbo bread as a kid, and a lot of the stuff we bought was made locally and you knew where and how it was made. Now I go to the store and who knows where the stuff comes from, China I mostly. Maybe that is why I like the old advertising signs, and Frank and Mike buy a lot of them for their store.
There were lager corporations when I was a kid, but they had local factories since it was a little more difficult to ship, now anything can be shipped anywhere, and made who knows where. I guess that is why I prefer to go to locally owned and operated business.
Besides roaming the back roads of Michigan, I wonder around the internet on google and I find some interesting stuff to take photos of. I found an article about an old monastery in Fenton, so you know I had to check it out while I was in the area. I was driving down the street towards it, then I seen this enormous building, but half of it was ripped open when the outer wall collapsed. I was planning on getting a photo of this gorgeous old building and I ended up feeling like batman walking in on Harvey Dent with half of his facing melting in the acid he was lying in. The monastery is such an enormous building, the main floor is one story off the ground then the two main floors are way taller than average just by looking at the door opening you can see how tall the ceilings are. It has an attic that was tall enough to be used as floor space too, by my estimate it’s a 5 story tall stone building. It’s difficult to think that something so massive is so venerable to time and decay. “Ruin Porn” is the hip thing with photographers these days, maybe because where they live they have not seen the devastating effects of the economy like we have in Michigan. I was hoping to post a photo of a beautiful building and instead I feel like I am posting a corpse that was a victim of circumstances.
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When they call off school my kids get a phone call, email and text, or you can go on several different web sites to find out instantly if school has been canceled. When I was a kid, I had to sit by the radio and listen for my schools name to be announced in a long list of schools. I went to Carrollton Public Schools and it was a small district without any bussing so we were about the last school to close, and I would have to listen to the radio DJ read thru a list of a hundred schools waiting to hear if it was added to the end. There were no computers back then, so the list was not alphabetized, it was in whatever random order the schools submitted there closings. I remember on snow days waking up early just to listen to the radio and to see if school was closed and by the time I heard those glorious words “Carrollton Public Schools are closed” I was awake for an hour or two and now way to exited to go back to sleep. My brothers and I were out early playing in the freshly fallen snow. I think the best snow days were the ones that were never anticipated and mom would let us sleep in and then tell us school was canceled. It’s strange that we have so much information and instant access about what the weather is doing. I remember the days of Chuck Waters forecasting the weather with a map on a wall and some magnetic snowflakes and clouds. I hope wherever you are you are enjoying your “snow day”