Today in Michigan History

March 3, 1875

Mackinac Island National Park was created.

Just three years after creating Yellowstone National Park—the nation’s first national park—Congress made Mackinac Island the nation’s second national park. Twenty years later, the park was given to Michigan and became the first Michigan State Park.

Thank you Michigan Start Pages for this glimpse into our past.  See more here.

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Good News for the Detroit Zoo!

The Detroit Zoo has seen some significant attendance increases!  Congrats to them!  Check out this link for the full story:

http://www.freep.com/article/20090819/NEWS03/90819044/1202/RSS

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Top Ten Tuesday – Michigan Summer Hot Spots

Based on the input from our readers, here are the Top Ten Summer Hot Spots:

10. Copper Harbor

9. Ludington

8. Irish Hills

7. Pictured Rocks

6. Lexington

5. Tahquamenon Falls

4. Traverse City

3. Tawas City/East Tawas

2. Mackinac Island

1. South Haven

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Houghton Lake – A Lake for all Seasons!

Houghton Lake is Michigan’s largest inland lake with over 32 miles of beautiful shore line and 22,000 acres of sandy bottom water.

Enjoy spectacular fishing on Houghton Lake!  If you are lucky enough to catch Big Wally the Walleye or any of his friends (blue gill, pike, bass, crappie or perch) you could be eligible to win $50,000.00 in cash and a brand new Smoker Craft Boat package from Spicer’s Boat City. Each fisherman catching a tagged fish will receive a $50.00 gas card and earns a place in the finals for a chance at $50,000 and the boat package in April 2010. Big Wally IV and 29 of his closest friends have been released into Michigan’s Other Great Lakes – Houghton Lake, Higgins Lake and Lake St. Helen. These tagged fish are waiting for you to catch them.

Houghton Lake is also Home of Tip-Up Town USA, one of the country’s largest Winter Festivals since 1951.  Two local businessmen, Bob Sweet and Bob Carmen, conceived the idea of creating a little fun on the ice to relieve the long winter months, and by which they might attract more tourism to the area during the off season.

A Grand Parade opens the festival activities on the first Saturday of the festival at 10:00am. The Grand Parade travels east from the Houghton Lake Heights along M-55 and ends up at the TUT USA site, where clowns, games, contests, concessions, cavorting, demonstrations and aerial performances are part of the feverish activity.  A spectacular fireworks display over the ice in front of the TUT USA site begins at dusk on both Saturday evenings of the festival.
Tip-Up Town USA visitors can take the Polar Bear dip, watch snowmobile races, join a fishing tournament, watch pie eating contests, go ice skating, or just sip hot cocoa.  This large festival has something for all ages.  Tip-Up Town USA is held annually the last two weekends in January.

For more information or to plan a visit to Houghton Lake, please visit: www.visithoughtonlake.com or www.tip-up-townusa.com

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Michigan Icon – Big Boy

Big Boy restaurants are a Michigan tradition.  A road trip through Michigan isn’t the same without that iconic Big Boy character appearing on the horizon just when you need to take that food break.

Fred, Louis, and John Elias started their Big Boy franchise in 1951, changing the diners they currently owned into the Big Boy brand and growing and franchising their vision of the brand.  In 1987, Marriott sold the chain they purchased from Bob Wian (the founder of Bob’s Big Boy) to the Elias Brothers.  In 2000, Elias Brothers filed for bankruptcy and was bought by Robert Liggett who formed Big Boy Restaurants LLC.

Big Boy is involved with many charities and communities across Michigan.  Since 1978 they have been working with the Boy Scouts on Operation Can-Do; which collects food across the state for the disadvantaged.  They also are involved with the Thanksgiving Day Parade, Toys for Tots, and sending needed items to our troops overseas.

For more information on this Michigan staple or for the location nearest you visit www.bigboy.com.

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Michigan’s Birds of Paradise

The small town of Paradise is located along the western shoreline of Whitefish Bay, just 70 miles north of the Mackinac Bridge.

Paradise is the Wild Blueberry Capital of Michigan, the Cranberry Capital of Michigan, Home of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, and the Gateway to Tahquamenon Falls & Whitefish Point.  Paradise is also a great place for bird-watching.   The annual spring migration starts when the snow begins to melt in mid-March and lasts approximately two months.

Paradise visitors can make the short trip to the Whitefish Point Lighthouse, one of the first lighthouses to guide mariners as they ventured out on Lake Superior.  Don’t forget to walk the beautiful beaches along Lake Superior and check out the rocks that come in every shade of the rainbow.  The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum is located near the lighthouse and visitors can view the bell from the Edmund Fitzgerald along with many other marine artifacts.

Hundreds of miles of snowmobile and cross country ski trails are groomed and ready for winter enthusiasts to enjoy throughout the winter.

For more information or to plan a visit to Paradise, please visit: www.paradisemichigan.org

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