History’s Gem of the Month: Tourist Information from the 1920s

Fall 2007


Last year, a couple of boxes of Grand Marais memorabilia were donated to the museum from the John Strom family. Included were several newspaper clippings going back to the 1920s, as well as some old post cards, logging equipment, and other items. The following article, written by Robert Page Lincoln, was published in the Minneapolis Tribune. In that this article mentions many areas that no longer exist, it must have been published during the 1920s. The post cards included below also were from the same era, or earlier. Notice that the Munising picture has almost no houses or other structures. Also, the Sable Falls picture shows a falls that is very much different that what we see today. Compare this picture with the one included in this month’s Grand Marais Scenes.

Outdoors . . .

Without doubt, Alger County, in the upper peninsula of Michigan, contains more attraction per square mile than any other section of the state. Here are a list of the attractions that are of interest to the traveler and outdoor lover:

  • The world famous Pictured Rocks of Sandstone.
  • The bathtub of the gods on William’s Island.
    • An enormous “tub” in the rock about 100 feet long and 30 wide.
  • Miner’s Castle
    • From the top of which Father Marquette preached to the Indians in their birch bark canoes below. On top of this rock can still be seen a rugged cross cut in the face of the sandstone and beside it a bowl hollowed out of the rock for the holy water.
  • Caves of the bloody chiefs
    • Where the Indians placed their prisoners of war, with such a thing as escape impossible.
  • Virgin’s rock and Bridal Wreath Falls.
  • The gigantic caves on Grand Island.
  • The remarkable grandeur of the shifting sand dunes of Grand Marais.
  • Remains of ancient iron furnaces near Munising, and the ancient charcoal kilns near Onota.
  • The enormous meteor at Star Siding on M-28, just a few miles from Munising.
  • The 200-foot glacial pothole on Perch Lake trail out of Munising.
  • Cox’s trout pond at Wetmore
    • The only inland body of water in the Upper Peninsula that flows both into Lake Superior and Lake Michigan.
  • Ancient Indian burial grounds on Sandpoint.
  • The location of Munising Bay
    • “Where stood the wigwam of Nokomis, daughter of the moon and grandmother of Hiawatha.”
  • Grand Island
    • The home of the elk and albino deer, where the renowned George Shiras III, famous wild life photographer, experimented with almost all of his night photography of wild life. … Grand Island is one of the most unusual islands in the United States, second only to Isle Royal, having 40 miles of shoreline, 13,600 acres of virgin timber.
  • The ancient fur trading posts of the American Fur Trading Company
    • Still standing, with fur derrick intact. Au Train, the resting point for the dog teams that carried the mail on one of the first mail routes to be established in the Upper Peninsula. Peter White was the mailman. The beautiful Adam’s Trail, one of the finest drives in the Upper Peninsula.
  • The Cusino Deeryard
    • Ranked as one of the largest deeryards in the United States.
  • The Hiawatha National Forest
    • One of the government’s most ambitious efforts in Michigan. It has considerable wilderness that is untouched by either fire or the axe of the lumberman. The vast pine plantings in this forest which are a study in themselves and might well be studied by foresters elsewhere.

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