Michigan M-25 was the first scenic highway in the States in 1940 • Thumbwind
The main topic was the US position on our isolationist policy declared in the months leading up to WWII. However, war was not yet declared and rationing was not even considered. Large portions of the M-25 were now paved, and this Michigan scenic drive was considered a tourist destination.
Here is an interesting piece of the Huron Times in April 1940 highlighting the travel possibilities in the thumb. With the exception of a few spelling corrections, the article is as it appeared in the Harbor Beach Times. We’ve highlighted the article with links to other stories on Thumbwind.
90 miles of Michigan Scenic Drive
Hop aboard, everyone for a sightseeing getaway on the 90-mile Scenic Drive in Huron County, Michigan. We will start at White Rock at the bottom right of the map on US 25. White Rock was an Indian altar or shrine. All the lands north of it were allotted to the Indians for hunting grounds in a treaty concluded at Detroit in 1807. The lands south of this original demarcation line became the property of the âWhite Peoplesâ.
Next is Wagener Park, named in honor of Harbor Beach pioneer PO Wagener. It contains the most beautiful stand of cedars in the Poucet district. This bathing beach flashes invitingly.
Harbor Beach – Starch and Bootlegging
Step on the gas. We are now in Harbor Beach, home of Supreme Court Justice Frank Murphy. This industry, in the short term, is owned by the Jenks family and is the largest specialty starch factory in the world.
These lake breezes’ the ships on the distant horizon. That’s life. We follow the shore to the beautiful and prosperous village of Port Hope. We will relax for a few minutes in WR Stafford Park, named in honor of the founder of the village.
Whiskey Harbor – initially, to escape duty, whiskey was smuggled from Canada. Several barrels are said to be buried in the port. Save your seats in Huron City, the summer home of Professor Wm. Lyon Phelps is Lighthouse Park, a federal gift to Huron County. There is a deer. This park is a refuge for these beautiful creatures.
Gateway to the top of the thumb: Grindstone City
We pass through Grindstone City, the scene of the county’s premier industry, and the beautiful resort town of Pointe Aux Barques, Thumb Nail of Michigan.
Along the rugged shore we see. Turnip Rock, Kimball Point, Twin Rocks, Broken Rocks, sandstone caves and the site of an Indian pottery factory and village. âPoems in the Hand of Godâ the natural landscape of Huron County is one of the most beautiful in the world.
Kimball Rock has an interesting Indian legend linked to it. Click’s Click ‘- Hope these snapshots are good.
After taking a look at these beautiful bathers, check out those long bass strings brought in by fishermen or lucky women. Perch and pike are also abundant in Huron County.
All aboard we’re on our way across the country made famous by the novel by David Orr; “White gold.”
These two parks, with a beautiful swimming beach, are Murray Van Wagoner and W, L. Jenks and AC McGraw parks.
The ghost town of Port Crescent
That 125. Ft. Chimney stands like a lone sentry guarding the ghost village of Port Crescent, a thriving port that disappeared in 1884 along with the lumber industry.
With 500 acres of parks, “in a natural paradise”, Huron County is Michigan’s playground and recreation center. We make our way past the pot of gold buried somewhere on Loosemoore’s Point to Oak Beach Park and the summer resort colony.
Have you noticed that everywhere along Scenic Highway 25 are good hotels, restaurants, cabins, cabins, free campgrounds, and all accommodation for tourists.
We drive on the smooth pavement to the state park. These sand dunes overlooking the sparkling waters of Lake Huron are a favorite haunt of the American eagle. Every tree native to Michigan is found in this beautiful playground, planned by VV Philp, the former administrator of FERA.
Related - Port Crescent State Park - Camping out in a lumber Era ghost town.
Caseville The Thumb Campsite and Playground
More than 120,000 people in 1939 signed this register in the departmental park of Caseville, where we have just entered our names. It is the largest of the units in Huron County Park. The meadows. The McKinley family lived in Caseville for four years.
General George M. Meade said that, American survey, the marker near the tip of Sand Point. Thus, the “Hero of Gettysburg” was named in the colors of here.
The ruins of the Ora Labora settlement and the M-25 Bay Harbor off Michigan
These ruins of log buildings mark the site of the settlement of Ora Labora, a religious-socialist experiment from the times of the Civil War. The Wild Fowl Bay marshes are Michigan’s best duck hunting grounds.
We pass the Wallace stone quarry and the bay harbor with its summer colony and its “sports paradise”.
We see from the highway an Indian tree, famous in Indian legend. A white man, “who discovered the Indians’ secret lead mines”, was reportedly tied to this tree and burned alive.
This landmark at the mouth of the Shebeyon, “where the lead ore is hidden,” the creek was the first church in Huron County. It was built by Reverend J. Auch, a Lutheran missionary, in 1850.
Sebewaing; An old Indian village on Michigan M-25
We are now entering the prosperous village of Sebewaing. The name is Chippewa and translates to “near the meandering stream”. An ancient battle took place here between two large Indian tribes. âSkeletons of warriors have been unearthed on Main Street in recent years. Sebewaing has a beautiful park and many industries, including a large sugar factory.
Another park, near the Tuscola County line. Want to see a bit of the beautiful agricultural country of Huron County? ‘ OK !’ We turn east to Sebewaing, through Owendale, north to Pigeon and east to Elkton and Bad Ax, the seat of Huron County. At Ubly, we find the largest REA factory in the world.
The bean capital of the world near Michigan M-25
Yes! Kinde is the world’s bean center for pea beans. You’re right! Huron County is a garden. Almost everything we eat is grown on the half a million acres of its fertile land. The county is also a leader in dairy, thoroughbred horses and purebred cattle. Population! Approximately 32,000. Now introduced to this county of Huron, come and enjoy, fully with us, “the nicest place in the world.”
Extract from the Harbor Beach Times of April 16, 1940
Michigan Road Trip Fun Resources
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Haunted and Spooky Sites in Michigan Thumb – The Upper Thumb is full of abandoned places in Michigan and has long been recognized as an active paranormal country. It has been the subject of books, films and television.
Grindstone City – White Church Gallery – When it opened in 2015, the White Church Gallery was Thumb’s only art gallery. The uniqueness of the restored church and the remoteness of the location make it a fantastic place.
Caseville Camping 1919 – Caseville County Park was and is a premier oceanfront park in Michigan’s Thumb. The park opened in 1919 and has been a campground and seaside destination in Caseville for Southeast Michigan. The park is located on the site of an old sawmill and a salt production operation.
The Mystery of the Rush Lake Holes – One area that fascinated us was a deep pool of water carved out of the sandstone at the end of Quarry Road. It was bigger than the size of two Olympic swimming pools. We threw stones at it and tried to determine the depth of the water. Unfortunately, we were usually chased away by an irritated neighbor or got bored and went to explore something else.