10th Anniversary – Reflecting on the Uniqueness of Michigan

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“A Little Lakeside Character”
2015 Cottage Issue – “A Little Lakeside Character” | Before photography, illustration was the pre-eminent art form in magazines. Michigan BLUE purposely commissioned Holland illustrator Gary Odmark to be an integral part of the magazine since its debut in 2006. Gary’s iconic imagery has nostalgically hinged Michigan BLUE readers to real and imaginative destinations. Illustration by Gary W. Odmark; gwodmark.com

THERE IS SOME ARGUMENT as to whom to attribute the phrase, “one picture is worth a thousand words,” but there is little arguing the value of the photographic and illustrative artistry shared in every issue of Michigan BLUE. Adventure. Nostalgia. Discovery. Home. Sometimes words just don’t do.

Life on water has many luxuries. Our goal at BLUE has always been to express each one as best we can; to artfully enhance the distinctive Michigan lake lifestyle of our readers. Every issue of the magazine is designed to celebrate Michigan traditions and prize simple rituals that turn ordinary days and moments into something special.

To celebrate 10 years of publishing, the images and photographs shared on this and subsequent pages were selected from past issues, on the merits that they articulate what gives Michigan BLUE purpose. Please, reminisce with us.


“Voyaging the Great Lakes”
2012 Summer Issue – “Voyaging the Great Lakes” | Once upon a time in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, majestic cruise ships — passenger steamers — sailed the Great Lakes, helping establish Michigan as the most maritime state in the nation. This artful cover image paid homage to that era. Illustration courtesy Canadian Pacific Railway Archives/A6375
“The Lure of Lures”
2006 September/October Issue – “The Lure of Lures” | Michigan is steeped in fishing history. The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw the creation of some of today’s most coveted collectible lures by some of the country’s most prominent manufacturers: Heddon, Paw Paw and Helin. Photography by Michael Buck; mbuckstudio.com
“Elegy for the Ice”
2014 Winter Issue – “Elegy for the Ice” | Winter transforms Michigan’s Great Lakes shorelines into winter icescapes. Photography by Ken Scott; kenscottphotography.com

Ice balls, anchor ice, ice caves, icescapes — winter on or near giant, freshwater lakes has a unique way of drawing us from the warmth of home.

“For the Love of Boats”
2007 May/June Issue – “For the Love of Boats” | Cadillac-based Four Winns Boats grew to be one of the most respected names in boating. Owner John Winn was an avid boating collector, as evidenced by his personal museum in Charlevoix. Photography by Don Rutt; ruttphoto.com

Chris Craft, Gar Wood, Hacker Craft — they defined the finest in wooden boats and they were all built in Michigan.

“Growing Home”
2008 July/August Issue – “Growing Home” | This authentic, hand-peeled log home on Walloon Lake epitomizes the Northern Michigan retreat. Photography by Patrick Chambers; patrickchambersphotography.com
“Uncovering the Waterfall Coast”
2013 Travel & Adventure Issue – “Uncovering the Waterfall Coast” | Michigan has a cascade of treasures, not the least of which are its waterfalls. On the day President Lyndon Johnson signed the National Historic Preservation Act in 1966, he also bequeathed America’s first national lakeshore: Pictured Rocks in Munising. Photography by John McCormick; michigannutphotography.com
“Call of the Islands”
2010 Summer Issue – “Call of the Islands” | It is said that islands are how you escape in Michigan. These ports-of-call to adventure are scattered throughout the Great Lakes. The Les Cheneaux Islands in the Straits of Mackinac comprise 36 of them. Photography by Marge Beaver; photography-plus.com
“The Beach House”
2011 Spring Issue – “The Beach House” | There’s a saying we at BLUE like to share, “There are two types of people: those that live on water and those who want to.” Lake Michigan sunsets and views to Empire Dunes and the Manitou Islands punctuate this beachside home near Frankfurt. Photography by Jeff Garland; jeffgarlandphotography.com

This low dune home was just a scramble of steps to a panoramic expanse of surf and sandy, pebble-jeweled beach.

“Romancing the Water”
2009 May/June Issue – “Romancing the Water” | There’s something special about a boathouse. Equal parts storage and style, shelter and showpiece, a boathouse possesses a romantic, nostalgic appeal. Found across the state, those that remain share a common purpose and philosophy: an intimacy with the water matched only by being on the boat itself. Photography by Jeff Garland; jeffgarlandphotography.com

Randy Prichard, Associate Publisher

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