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Vintage Views

A Barrel of Fun Becomes a Pickle of a Problem

The Pickle Barrel house was novel, to be sure; and it drew gawkers, but far too many.

The Kind We Catch Here: Tall-Tale Postcards in Michigan

The accessibility of burgeoning photography technology merged with American ingenuity and “tall-tale” postcards were created. Also called “exaggeration” and “freak,” they came on the scene about 1910.

The Biggest Little Game in Town

From early Tom Thumb courses to later Putt-Putt Golf, miniature golf was a source of entertainment for decades.
Those were exciting times. Aerial photography gave us new perspectives for destinations like Saugatuck and the Detroit business district.

Aeroplane Views of Michigan

People have wondered for centuries what the Earth looks like from the air above. Before modern aviation, people attempted to take aerial photographs by sending cameras aloft by balloon, kite and even strapped to pigeons.
Back in the day, autocamping was popular with families and their pets at sites like Houghton Lake in Roscommon County.

‘Thoreau at 29 Cents a Gallon’

In the 1910s, Michigan saw an increase in automobile ownership, more development of good roads in the state and an enthusiasm for motorists to take to the open road.
Kelloggs Vintage Snap Crackle Pop Rice Krispies

Visiting the Kellogg Factory

In the first five years of the 1900s, Battle Creek was in the grip of a “cereal boom.” There were more than 40 companies manufacturing cereal products made from corn, wheat or oats. Kellogg became the most widely known and successful among these enterprises and still is headquartered in Battle Creek.
Friedrich Tower Traverse City

Landscapes with a View

Michigan’s beautiful landscape, with its rolling hills, inland lakes, and patchwork of farms, fields and forests, encouraged entrepreneurs to build sightseeing towers that offered tourists a chance to see expanded scenic views from a height reached by paying a small fee.
The Negro Motorist Green-Book

Michigan’s ‘Green Book’

“The Negro Motorist Green Book,” first published in 1936, grew to include travel stops in a variety of Michigan cities.

Looking Back at Michigan’s Amusement Parks

From early amusement parks such as the Chutes Park in Chicago (1884) and Coney Island in New York (1885), came the craze that sprouted almost 2,000 small amusement parks around the country by 1920.
Miniature Traverse City

Land of the Lilliputians

Miniature villages once dotted the landscape.