Kinde Michigan Grain Elevators and Depot

Kinde Michigan Grain Elevators and Depot c1940

It’s a slice of a true American farming community in the Thumb of Michigan. John Kinde founded the village in the 1880s during the region's transition from lumbering to agriculture. A lumber yard, general store, grain elevator, and post office were established followed by a train station in 1882 for the Port Huron and Northwestern Railroad, (PH & NW).

Kinde was once renowned as the “Bean Capital of the World“. Michigan white navy bean soup has been a staple for over one hundred years in the U.S. Senate dining room in the form of Senate bean soup.

The Kinde depot still operates today as a final stop in the Upper Thumb for the Huron and Eastern Railway.  The railroad operates 394 miles of track in The Thumb and Flint/Tri-Cities area of Michigan

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Loading Iron Ore in Marquette Michigan

The Presque Isle Dock near Marquette Michigan

For over 110 years the Lake Superior and Ishpeming Railroad dock have loaded over 500 million tons of ore. The pocket dock was built in 1912 and is 1,250 feet in length, 60 feet wide, and rises 75-feet above the shoreline.

The loading structure contains 200 pockets, each capable of holding 250 tons of ore. While not unloaded,  simultaneously the dock has a total capacity of 50,000 tons. If You Go Be sure to visit the nearby Presque Isle Park. With its beaches and small rocky cliffs, there are numerous opportunities for great picture taking when the lake is rough. 

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The Side-Wheel Steamer City of Alpena

Steamer City of Alpena

Steamer City of Alpena

The City of Alpena and the City of Mackinac were sister ships conducting service as part of the Detroit and Cleveland line. This 285-foot 2,000 horsepower sidewheel paddlewheel started service in 1893 and could carry up to 400 passengers and freight along the D&C’s “Coast Line to Mackinaw” run. 

The ship ran the Lake Huron Route for 28 years. In 1921 she was moved to Lake Michigan and renamed City of Saugatuck. By the late 1930s, the once-proud ship was reduced being rebuilt as a pulpwood barge hauling pulpwood and other freight. It was owned by several paper companies in its final years of service.  The ship was broken up for scrap in 1957. 

D&C - Detroit and Cleveland Navigation Company

Handbill Detroit and Cleveland Steamer Co.

Detroit and Cleveland Navigation Company often abridged as D&C, was a passenger and freight shipping company on the Great Lakes. It operated a line of 10 ships from 1868 to 1951 and was known for its opulent ships. In 1924 the company built one of the largest steamships in the world. At 538 feet, the ship Greater Detroit was launched on September 15, 1923, primarily running sailing overnight from Detroit to Buffalo. It stayed in service until 1950. 

The Start of Going up North

Steamship Traveling on the Great Lakes in the 1880s gave rise to the term, "Going Up North". Prior to the railroads and automobiles. Travel by steamship has gotten luxurious. Michigan's tourism and resort areas began to grow because steamships could take a businessman from Chicago or Detroit to join families in northern Michigan Friday afternoon and return him Monday morning rested and refreshed and ready to work.  

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The Huge Forrestville Dock and the Iron Chief Boat House

Dock and Boathouse Forrestville

Very little is currently available online on this huge Forestville dock. So, we turned to some genealogical information to fill in the blanks. This is an excerpt from Forestville Bicentennial History.

Forestville’s Huge Docks

The docks, or landings, built to handle lake shipping were maintained at a continual expense; but dockage, none the less, made a land-office business in the old days The original Forestville docks were made of logs cribs filled with stones, piling supporting the warehouse end of the pier. Their approaches were made down on the beach terrace, and neither of the docks ran straight out into the lake but stood at about a 15-degree angle from due east.

At the time of the 1871 fire, the "Ward" dock was being run by Jake Buel, the local lumber king. Jake and Eber B. Ward rebuilt the dock after the fire and operated it until about 1877.* 

Docks were a Community Gathering Spot

The docks became the economic centers of the shore towns, but they were also a social center as well. In small communities " going down to meet the boat" was a welcome adventure. The old docks were never equipped with railings and it is a wonder that more people didn’t fall into the lake. A few did, some of them drunk and one fellow rubberizing at the ladies along the boat rail rode his bicycle right off the dock end. Tom Potts, the drayman, once back his team off the docks. He unhooked them and they swam ashore.

The old dock afforded a fishing pier for the whole community. As far as I can remember, only worms were ever used for bait. The old-timers that I remember sometimes treated them more effective minnows, but we did sometimes resort to gaffs "or grab hooks to snag big perch when the water was clear, and they ignored our worms. Fishing from rowboat was unnecessary while the long docks stood.*

*Excerpt the Forrestville Bicentennial History

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Port Crescent Sand and Fill Operations

Port Crescent Sand and Fill Operation

Sand Operations For Glass Manufacturing

By 1894, all of the buildings in Port Crescent were gone, leaving few traces of the town behind. Nathaniel Bennett Haskell, who owned the sawmill and salt plant on the west side of the river died at age 82.

Haskell’s daughter Elizabeth "Lizzie" Haskell began to realize the value of the local sand quality for copper-smelting and glassmaking. The Haskell docks became a sand quarry and shipping operation utilizing the large docks for freighters to load. 

The unique sand along the beach was exhausted in the 1930s and the operations were abandoned. Lizzie died in 1936 in nearby Sandusky in Sanilac County, Michigan. 

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GMC 350 Dump Truck with a Silver Horse in Unionville, Michigan

An Unusual View - Horse in a 1950 GMC Truck

1950s GMC 350 Dump Truck With a Silver Horse in Unionville 1950s GMC 350 with a Silver Horse

Sometimes something catches your eye that you just have to circle back and take a look. This was one of those cases. It was almost like I was indulging my inner child who wanted to stop and take a look at just about every strange site during our family vacation trips in the 1960s.

Front of 1950s GMC 350 Dump Truck

This GMC truck was behind a bunch of faded storefronts in Unionville. I think one of the buildings was used to store classic vehicles. My best guess is that this is a 1950 GMC 350 Dump Truck. 

Horse in back of GMC 3500 Truck

I do not have a clue about the situation with the horse

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The Coast Guard Station in Harbor Beach 1929

The Huron Milling Dock Assessment During World War II

The Huron Milling Co. has dredged a channel from deep water in the harbor to its pier located about 2,900 feet west of the main entrance. The pier is used for receiving coal for company use. Local fishing boats also operate from it. It is a timber sheet pile, solid fill structure, partly capped by concrete, with dimensions and berthing space of 300 feet on the lower side, 195 feet on the upper side, and 165 feet on the face. Depths of water alongside are 15 feet at the face, ll feet at the lower side, and 13 feet at the upper side. The pier is lighted and is served by the Pere Marquette Railway, which has a 1,200-foot track in the center. It has a storage capacity of 8,000 tons of coal and by rehandling an additional l5,000 tons can be handled in the yard. Mechanical equipment in the yard consists of an l8-ton steam locomotive crane with a 55-foot boom and a 3/4 -cubic yard clamshell bucket for handling and a fireless steam locomotive for shifting cars.

The U.S. Coast Guard Station at Harbor Beach

The United States Coast Guard maintains a station at a steel sheet pile solid fill bulkhead wharf paved with concrete, about 3,400 feet northwest of the main entrance. The wharf lies offshore and has a timber approach 550 feet long and 5 feet wide. Small craft can be berthed at the north side of the pier where a 20-foot offset divides the width of the pier into 60-foot sections, with 8-foot depths of water alongside. An additional 70 feet of berthing space is available on the shore side of this pier with a 6-foot depth of water alongside.

Two small marine railways for handling the station motor-sailor and whaleboat run into the water on the front or face of the pier, which prevents its use for berthing. These railways are not available for private use and are not suitable for boats of any other type than those mentioned above.

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