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2nd Most Famous Person From Every Michigan County

By Jessica Shepherd, Mlive

Michigan has such a wealth of talent that we thought it was only fair to recognize the famous runners up from each of our state's 83 counties. From star athletes to iconic musicians, there are plenty of names that would have been worthy of our most famous list, had they not been beaten out by other Michigan celebs. Just like our original list, this lineup varies wildly from county to county. Some counties are the birthplace to huge names that you will immediately recognize, while others are less known (and perhaps more fun to discover).

Alcona County - Born Jan. 21, 1857, in Harrisville, Michigan, M.C. Miller was a sailor. Miller, who started sailing at the age of 10, was the captain of several ships, including the Hattie Brown and Cora B, according to the book "History of Bay County." According to the book, he lived much of his life in West Bay City.

Alger County - Brock Strom, born Sept. 12, 1934, in Munising, Michigan, was the captain of the 1958 undefeated Air Force Academy football team. Strom, who was an offensive tackle, was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1985.

Allegan County - Former Major League pitcher Phil Regan was born April 6, 1937, in Otsego, Michigan. Regan debuted in 1960 with the Detroit Tigers and subsequently played for the Dodgers, the Cubs and the White Sox. He served as a coach for Major League, Olympic, minor league and collegiate teams until his retirement in 2015.

Alpena County - Film director Joel Potrykus was born in 1977 in Alpena County. Now residing in Grand Rapids, Potrykus won the Best Emerging Director award at the 2012 Locarno International Film Festival for his first feature-length film, "Ape." Since then, he has directed films "Buzzard" and "The Alchemist Cookbook."

Antrim County - Author and athlete Rex Beach was born Sept. 1, 1877, in Atwood, Michigan. Known for his adventure novels, many of Beach's works were turned into films, such as "The Spoilers" and "The Silver Horde." During the 1904 Olympic Games, Beach won a silver medal as part of the American water polo team.

Arenac County - Standish native Pat O'Keefe was a high school athlete, a college baseball standout and a minor league player before going on to become the winningest coach in Michigan high school baseball history. During his nearly 50 years coaching for Grand Ledge, he has more than 1,200 wins under his belt. O'Keefe is a member of several halls of fame, including the Michigan Baseball Hall of Fame.

Baraga County - Born Sept. 22, 1934, in L'Anse, Michigan, June Webb is a country singer/songwriter known for songs like "Looking Glass" and "A Mansion on a Hill." She was the lead female singer for the Roy Acuff Show for a period of time in the 1950s and 60s. In 2011, Webb was inducted into America's Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame.

Barry County - Born Nov. 20, 1877, in Hastings, Michigan, Charles Rufus Morey is known as one of the first to teach art history in the U.S. He was one of the founders of the College Art Association, which currently has more than 13,000 members. Morey founded the Index of Christian Art at Princeton, where he taught for many years.

Bay County - Best known for her role on the hit AMC show "Breaking Bad," Betsy Brandt's career as an actress has been mostly concentrated in theater and television. Brandt, born Nov. 14, 1973, in Bay City, currently stars in the CBS sitcom "Life in Pieces."

Benzie County - Born Sept. 21, 1885, in Benzonia, Michigan, Paul Frederick Brissenden was a writer focused on the history of American labor. His book "The I.W.W.: A Study of American Syndicalism," which focused on the Industrial Workers of the World labor union, was his most well-known work.

Berrien County - David Adkins, better known as Sinbad, was born Nov. 10, 1956, in Benton Harbor, Michigan. A stand-up comedian who has also appeared in films and on television, he once had his own show "The Sinbad Show" on FOX. He has also starred in "First Kid," "Jingle All the Way" and "Houseguest."

Branch County - Race car driver Scott Brayton was born Feb. 20, 1959, in Coldwater, Michigan. Fourteen times, Brayton competed in the Indianapolis 500 before he died in a crash during practice for the 1996 race. In total, he participated in 148 races.

Calhoun County - Jamie Hyneman is known for being half of the duo behind the highly-popular and recently-ended Discovery series "MythBusters." Born Sept. 25, 1956, in Marshall, Michigan, Hyneman is the owner of special effects company M5 Industries, where "Mythbusters" was filmed. He has worked on special effects for movies like "Top Gun," "Flubber" and "The Matrix."

Cass County - Wrestler Chris Taylor of Dowagiac, Michigan was born June 13, 1950. During the 1972 Munich Olympics, Taylor won a bronze medal in freestyle wrestling. Before joining the American Wrestling Association, he wrestled for Dowagiac High School, Muskegon Community College and Iowa State University. Taylor died of a heart attack at the age of 29.

Charlevoix County - Architect Earl A. Young, well-known for designing the unique northern Michigan houses often reffered to as the mushroom houses, was born March 31, 1889, in Marcelona, Michigan. The homes feature stonework and distinct curves. Young sought to incorporate nature into the design of his homes.

Cheboygan County - New York Time best-selling author Scott Sigler has penned more than a dozen sci-fi novels, along with several novellas and many short stories. He is well-known for his latest series, the "Generations" trilogy, which started with the #1 best-seller "Alive." Sigler is a native of Cheboygan, Michigan.

Chippewa County - If you've visited or attended Lake Superior State University, you might be familiar with the Taffy Abel Ice Arena. Perhaps you also know, then, that Clarence "Taffy" Abel was an NHL player and Olympic silver medalist. A member of two Stanley Cup-winning teams, Abel was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame. He was born May 28, 1900, in Sault Ste. Marie and died in his hometown on Aug. 1, 1964.

Clare County - Soprano Amy Petrongelli is a 2003 graduate of Harrison High School. She debuted at Carnegie Hall as the soprano soloist for Haydn’s "Creation" in 2013. Petrongelli, one of the founders of the Khemia Ensemble, has also performed in productions of "Little Women," "Gianni Schicchi" and "A Midsummer Night's Dream," among others. She was recently inducted into the Harrison Community Schools Alumni Hall of Fame.

Clinton County - Advertising executive Leo Burnett was born Oct. 21, 1891, in St. Johns, Michigan. Named one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people of the 20th century, Burnett is known for creating some of the most iconic advertising campaigns and founding Leo Burnett Worldwide. The characters he created include Tony the Tiger, the Marlboro Man, the Pillsbury Doughboy and the Jolly Green Giant

Crawford County - Born Dec. 11, 1937, in Grayling, Michigan, Jim Harrison was the author of more than a dozen novels, several novella trilogies, countless works of poetry and much more. He might be best remembered for his novella "Legends of the Fall," which was adapted into a 1994 film starring Brad Pitt. Some of his other well-known works include "Dalva," "True North" and "Wolf: A False Memoir."

Delta County - Journalist Tom Bissell was born Jan. 9, 1974, in Escanaba, Michigan. Bissell, a 2010 Guggenheim fellow, is known as co-author of "The Disaster Artist," an account of an actor's experience working on the cult hit film "The Room." His other books include "Apostle," "Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter" and "Magic Hours: Essays on Creators and Creation."

Dickinson County - Former NFL coach Steve Mariucci was born Nov. 4, 1955, in Iron Mountain, Michigan. He was the head football coach for the California Golden Bears before moving on to head coaching positions with the San Francisco 49ers and the Detroit Lions. Since his time with the Lions ended in 2005, Mariucci has worked as an analyst for NFL Network.

Eaton County - Matt Greene was born May 13, 1983, in Grand Ledge, Michigan. Currently, he is an NHL defenseman and alternate captain for the Los Angeles Kings. Greene was a second-round draft pick in 2002 for the Edmonton Oilers.

Emmet County - Actress Megan Boone was born April 29, 1983, in Petoskey, Michigan. She is best-known for her role as Elizabeth Keene on the NBC series "Blacklist." She had a recurring role on "Law and Order: Los Angeles" and has appeared in the films "Step Up Revolution" and "My Bloody Valentine."

Genesee County - Actor and former NFL player Terry Crews was born July 30, 1968, in Flint, Michigan. Currently starring as Terry Jeffords on the FOX sitcom "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," Crews has previously starred in the TV series "Are We There Yet?" and "Everybody Hates Chris." His acting career started after he left the NFL in 1997.

Gladwin County - Former Major League Baseball pitcher Jim Kern was born March 15, 1949, in Gladwin, Michigan. He was picked as an American League All Star three years in a row. During his 12-year Major League Career, Kern played for six teams, including the Cleveland Indians and the Texas Rangers. In 1979, he finished fourth in American League Cy Young Award voting.

Gogebic County - Jack Gotta, born Nov. 14, 1929, in Ironwood, Michigan, is mainly known as a player and coach of professional football in Canada. After playing in college, Gotta was picked up by the Cleveland Browns in 1956 but, after he was cut, moved on to play in the Canadian Football League. After his career as a player ended, he coached for several Canadian teams and the Birmingham Americans during the only season in which the team won the World Football League World Bowl. Gotta died June 29, 2013 at age 83.

Grand Traverse County - Born Wayne James McMeekan Jan. 30, 1914, in Traverse City, Michigan, David Wayne was a television, film and stage actor. He played supporting roles in films like "Adam's Rib" and "How to Marry a Millionaire." Wayne was also known for playing Dr. Amos Weatherby on the television series "House Calls." Perhaps his largest accomplishment was winning the first ever Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical for his work as Og in "Finian's Rainbow."

Gratiot County - Known as the Michigan Madman, Elon Jack "E. J." Potter was born April 24, 1941, in Ithaca, Michigan. Potter was known for his high-speed motorcycle drag strip racing. He nearly hit 200 miles per hour on a tree-wheel motorcycle equipped with a jet engine. In 1999, he published a memoir titled "Michigan Madman: As Told to You."

Hillsdale County - Five-time AFL All-Star pick, Keith Lincoln was born May 8, 1939, in Reading, Michigan. A running back drafted in 1961 by the San Diego Chargers, Lincoln also spent some time playing for the Buffalo Bills. A member of the San Diego Chargers Hall of Fame and the Washington State University Athletic Hall of Fame, Lincoln still holds a post-season record for gaining 329 yards from scrimmage in the 1963 AFL Championship game against the Boston Patriots.

Houghton County - Notre Dame football star George Gipp was born Feb. 18, 1895, in Laurium, Michigan. He is known for uttering the phrase "win one for the Gipper" to coach Knute Rockne while on his deathbed. Ronald Reagan, years before his presidency, played Gipp in the film "Knute Rockne, All American." Reagan later used Gipp's famous quote as a political slogan, most notably telling George H.W. Bush during the 1988 Republican National Convention to "go out and win one for the Gipper."

Huron County - William L. Potts, born in Bad Axe, is credited as the inventor of the modern traffic light. While working as a Detroit police officer, Potts created the modern traffic light that uses a green light, yellow light and red light. A simpler style of traffic light with just a red light and green light was already in use in London when Potts invented his traffic light. In 1920, the first three-color traffic light was installed at Woodward and Michigan in Detroit.

Ingham County - Award-winning actor Burt Reynolds was born Feb. 11, 1936, in Lansing, Michigan. A pop culture icon, Reynolds is known for work on television and in film. He is best known for roles in "Boogie Nights," "Evening Shade," "Deliverance," as well as for his mustache.

Ionia County - Architect Sumner Spaulding was born June 14, 1892, in Ionia, Michigan. Sumner famously designed the Harold Lloyd Estate, which is commonly referred to as Greenacres. The property is on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and is also a California Historical Landmark. Spaulding also designed, in collaboration with other architects, properties like the the Catalina Casino on Catalina Island, Westchester High School in Los Angeles and the Behrendt House in North Hollywood.

Iosco County - A well-known comic book artist, J. Scott Campbell was born April 12, 1973, in East Tawas, Michigan. Campbell is best-known for his work with Marvel Comics, specifically his work on "The Amazing Spiderman." Much of his work involves creating covers for comic books, including an issue of "Justice League of America" and the six-issue run of "Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash."

Iron County - An adviser to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Emil Hurja was born Jan. 22, 1892, in Crystal Falls, Michigan. Credited as the first person to poll for a presidential candidate, Politico recently called Hurja "F.D.R's Nate Silver." A captain in the Army, Hurja also served as executive director of the Democratic National Committee in the 1930s and appeared on the cover of Time magazine in 1936.

Isabella County - Professional golfer Dan Pohl was born April 1, 1955, in Mt. Pleasant. Pohl, also known as Pohlcat, won two PGA Tour tournaments in 1986. He also tied Craig Stadler in the 1982 Masters Tournament before losing in a playoff.

Jackson County - A current co-host on the ABC talk show "The View," Paula Faris was born Oct. 26, 1975, in Jackson, Michigan. She previously worked as an anchor for "World News Now" and a weekend co-anchor for "Good Morning America."

Kalamazoo County - Political adviser Huma Abedin was born July 28, 1976 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Abedin most recently worked as vice chair of Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign. She also worked for Clinton during her 2008 presidential bid and during her time serving as secretary of state under President Obama. Currently estranged from her husband, former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, Abedin has recently been in the spotlight due to sex scandals involving Weiner.

Kalkaska County - Jeremy Wilkinson, a star athlete during his time at Kalkaska High School, went on to play football for Northern Michigan University. As a wide receiver at NMU, Wilkinson set records for single-game receiving yards and touchdowns. After playing in college, he went on to play arena football.

Kent County - Frontman for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Anthony Kiedis was born Nov. 1, 1962, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. As part of the band, which has a history that runs more than three decades, Kiedis was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2012. Some of the band's biggest hits include "Under the Bridge," "Give It Away" and "Scar Tissue."

Keweenaw County - Lt. Col. Antoine Gaujot, born Dec. 12, 1878, in Eagle Harbor, Michigan, received the Army Medal of Honor in 1899 for actions taken while serving in the Philippines. Gaujot's brother, Col. Julien Gaujot, also received a Medal of Honor, making the duo a unique pair of siblings to share the distinction. The two are the only set of brothers to receive the Medal of Honor for separate conflicts.

Lake County -Brandon Childress, a native of Baldwin, Michigan, was a two-sport star athlete during his time at Baldwin High School. With options to play basketball or football during his college career, Childress chose to play football at Central Michigan University. A redshirt freshman wide receiver, Childress had 327 receiving yards and a touchdown during the 2016 football season.

Lapeer County - A member of the National Academy of Sciences, George Owen Squier was born March 21, 1865, in Dryden, Michigan. A major general in the U.S. Army, Squier is credited with the invention that first allowed multi-line telephone communication. He also worked with the Wright Brothers to acquire the first airplanes used by the Army and helped establish the Aeronautical Division, U.S. Signal Corps, a precursor to the U.S. Air Force. Squier, who also is responsible for the creation of Muzak, is memorialized in Dryden with a water park and historic district bearing his name.

Leelanau County - Olympic bronze medalist Alisha Glass was born April 15, 1988, in Leland, Michigan. Glass, who was twice named USA Volleyball Female Indoor Athlete of the Year, was a star high school athlete before going professional. The 2016 Olympic Games was her first Olympic appearance.

Lenawee County - Composer and lyricist James Royce Shannon was born in 1881 in Adrian, Michigan. He is best-known for composing songs like "The Missouri Waltz," "Too Ra Loo Ra Loo Ral," and "There's a Red Bordered Flag in the Window." Besides working on music, Shannon worked as a drama critic for the Detroit Free Press and as the assistant manager for the Majestic Theater.

Livingston County - Former professional hockey player Andy Hilbert was born Feb. 6, 1981, in Howell, Michigan. During college, Hilbert played on the University of Michigan hockey team and was drafted to the NHL in 2000. He was drafted by the Boston Bruins in the second round and played for several other teams before an injury forced Hilbert to retire in 2010.

Luce County - A former NFL defensive end, Len St. Jean was born Leonard Wayne St. Jean Oct. 27, 1941, in Newberry, Michigan. Becoming a Boston Patriot in 1964 after attending Northern Michigan University, St. Jean was an AFL All-Star selection in 1966. He was also chosen for the Boston Patriots 1960s All-Decade Team.

Mackinac County - One of the wealthiest men in Wisconsin during his time, Hercules Louis Dousman was born Aug. 4, 1800, on Mackinac Island, Michigan. The Wisconsin Historical Society lists Dousman as a fur trader, lumberjack, land spectator and businessman. He also was an investor in the first railroad to connect Wisconsin with the Mississippi River.

Macomb County - Comedian and actor Dave Coulier is not Canadian, despite the fact that some assume he is. Coulier, who is known for playing Joey Gladstone on "Full House" and the newer reboot "Fuller House," was born Sept. 21, 1959, in St. Clair Shores, Michigan. He is also known for his impressions and voice work.

Manistee County - A pioneer for women in aviation, Harriet Quimby was born May 11, 1875, in Arcadia, Michigan. Quimby, whose memory is enshrined at the National Aviation Hall of Fame, was the first woman to receive a pilot's license in the U.S. She was also an accomplished journalist and screenwriter.

Marquette County - Known by the pen name Robert Traver, John D. Voelker was born June 29, 1903, in Ishpeming, Michigan. He is known for authoring the 1958 novel "Anatomy of a Murder," which was the basis for the best-selling film of the same name. Voelker, who authored several other books, also had a successful law career. He was appointed to the Michigan Supreme Court in 1957.

Mason County - Born Dec. 14, 1947, in Ludington, Michigan, Mike Hankwitz is the defensive coordinator for Northwestern University. Hankwitz played football while attending the University of Michigan. Shortly thereafter, in 1970, he began a college coaching career that has spanned decades and numerous colleges. He has worked in his current position since 2008.

Mecosta County - Current manager for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Clint Hurdle was born July 30, 1957, in Big Rapids, Michigan. Hurdle is a former outfielder who played for five separate Major League teams, including the Kansas City Royals, the team to which he was drafted in 1975. He also spent time as coach for the Colorado Rockies and the Texas Rangers. In 2013, Hurdle was named National League Manager of the Year.

Menominee County - Silent film actress Kathleen Kirkham was born April 15, 1895, in Menominee, Michigan. She is known for appearances in early "Tarzan" films, as well as roles in "The Married Virgin," "A Modern Musketeer" and many other films of the silent era. Before her work in film, Kirkham was a stage actress.

Midland County - Drummer Steve Shelley was born June 23, 1962, in Midland, Michigan. In 1985, Shelley joined critically-acclaimed rock band Sonic Youth and was a core member of the band until their split in 2011. He has also played drums for Sun Kil Moon, Cat Power, Disappears and others.

Missaukee County - Born March 21, 1924, in Lake City, Michigan, Albert Engel Jr. was a judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. As a U.S. District judge in 1973, Engel presided over a lawsuit that sought integration of Grand Rapids Public Schools. He died April 5, 2013 at the age of 89.

Monroe County - Tennis player, instructor and broadcaster Vic Braden was born Aug. 2, 1929, in Monroe, Michigan. He was well-known as a coach to champion tennis players, writing books and hosting an instructional tennis show on PBS in the 80s. He was, at one point, called the highest paid tennis coach in the world. Braden died of a heart attack Oct. 6, 2014.

Montcalm County - The billionaire behind the Meijer grocery store chain, Fred Meijer, was born Dec. 7, 1919, in Greenville, Michigan. Meijer invested millions into West Michigan, including creating the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park. He is known as the man behind the concept of the superstore, after the first Meijer store offered "one-stop shopping" in 1962.

Montmorency County - Hillman star athlete Matt Oswald, seen here stealing third base in 1996, is an inductee of the Hillman High School Sports Hall of Fame. Oswald, who helped Hillman win state baseball titles in 1994 and 1997, earned 15 varsity letters in four sports. He received a scholarship to play baseball at Central Michigan University.

Muskegon County - Seen here waving to a crowd, Earl Morrall spent 21 years playing for the NFL. Born May 17, 1934, in Muskegon, Michigan, Morrall was the second overall pick in the 1956 NFL draft. The MSU grad played for six different NFL teams, including six seasons with the Detroit Lions. Morrall, who died in 2014, was a three-time Super Bowl champion and was named NFL MVP in 1968.

Newaygo County - A starter for the Minnesota Vikings, NFL guard Joe Berger was born May 25, 1982, in Fremont, Michigan. After playing in college for Michigan Tech, Berger was drafted in 2005 by the Carolina Panthers. He also has played for the Dallas Cowboys and the Miami Dolphins.

Oakland County - Dr. Jack Kevorkian, who died in 2011, is remembered for his activism regarding physician-assisted suicide. Born May 26, 1928, in Pontiac, Michigan, Kevorkian served eight years in prison for second-degree murder as a result of a conviction for his role in the assisted suicide of a patient. He has been the subject of documentaries and the 2010 HBO film "You Don't Know Jack," in which Al Pacino played the role of Kervorkian.

Oceana County - Larry Paul Kelley, born in Hart, Michigan, is known for coming up with a way to produce man-made gemstones. A University of Michigan graduate, Kelley holds a patent for a method and device that creates thin semiconductor crystal layers used in solar cells.

Ogemaw County - Olympic athlete Alex Rose was born Nov. 17, 1991, in West Branch, Michigan. He finished 29th in the discus throw during the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio. A Central Michigan University alum, Rose is a dual citizen who represented Samoa at the Olympic Games.

Ontonagon County - Born Jan. 22, 1861, in Rockland, Michigan, Jack Carkeek was a champion of Cornish wrestling. Carkeek toured the country and the world taking on opponents. He was also known for getting arrested several times and serving jail time for fraud. Carkeek died March 12, 1924, in Havana, Cuba.

Osceola County - Astronomer Forest Ray Moulton was born April 29, 1872, in Le Roy, Michigan. A professor at the University of Chicago, he was known for coming up with the Chamberlin-Moulton planetesimal hypothesis, along with Thomas Chrowder Chamberlin. Moulton also wrote several astronomy texts and was the name sake of the Moon's Moulton crater and the Moulton plane in geometry.

Oscoda County - Basketball coach Jay Smith of Mio, Michigan was born June 21, 1961. Smith, the current head men's basketball coach at Kalamazoo College, graduated from Mio High School as the state's all-time leading scorer in 1979. He has previously worked as a basketball coach for Grand Valley State University and Central Michigan University.

Otsego County - Jake Dombrowski was born March 3, 1991, in Gaylord, Michigan. Dombrowski was a punter at Harvard during his college years, earning First-Team All-Ivy League honors during his senior year. He was signed by the Buffalo Bills in 2014 but never saw an NFL game.

Ottawa County - Cartoonist and animator Winsor McCay publicly stated he was born Sept. 26, 1869, in Spring Lake, Michigan. He was best known for his comic strip "Little Nemo" and the early animated film "Gertie the Dinosaur." According to Britannica, Gertie was the first character created specifically for an animated film, since others had been adapted from comic strips. McCay also created several other animated films and then focused on comic strips until his death in 1934.

Presque Isle County - An inductee of the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame, Marjorie Matthews was born July 11, 1916, in Onaway, Michigan. In 1980, Matthews was the first woman elected bishop within the Methodist Church. She served as a bishop in Wisconsin until she retired in 1984. Matthews died in 1986 at age 69.

Roscommon County - Roscommon's Bob Frye is a 2016 inductee of the Michigan Ski Hall of Fame. Frye founded Cross Country Ski Headquarters and was a co-founder of the Great Lakes Nordic Ski Council, which is now known as the Great Lakes Winter Trails Council. He also owns the patent to Ski Bones, which are used to hold together the tips and tails of skis.

Saginaw County - While her family moved to Compton, California when she was young, tennis star Serena Williams was born Sept. 26, 1981, in Saginaw, Michigan. Williams currently holds the most titles of any active tennis player, having won 38 titles between singles and doubles events. She is widely considered one of the best — if not the absolute best — female tennis players in the history of the sport.

St. Clair County - Silent film star Colleen Moore was born Aug. 19, 1899, in Port Huron, Michigan. Credited for popularizing the bobbed haircut for women, Moore starred in films like "Ella Cinders," "Lilac Time" and a 1934 film adaptation of "The Scarlet Letter."

St. Joseph County - Best-known for her role in the 1940 Marx Brothers film "Go West," June MacCloy was born June 2, 1909, in Sturgis, Michigan. MacCloy, who also starred in "Glamour for Sale" and "The Big Gamble," was known for her unique, low singing voice.

Sanilac County - Charles Lathrop Pack was born May 7, 1857, in Lexington, Michigan. Pack was a rich timberman and biographer Alexandra Eyle stated Pack was one of the five wealthiest men in the country prior to World War I. He became a vocal advocate for conservation of forests during his lifetime and was also known as an avid philatelist.

Schoolcraft County - Born November 11, 1941, in Manistique, Michigan, Ronn Rubick was a football player and coach. During his high school years, Rubick was known as the "Manistique Missile" and was named U.P. Back of the Year, as well as being named to the National High School All-American Team. He was also a successful high school coach and in 1978 was inducted into the Upper Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame. Rubick died in 2009 at the age of 67.

Shiawassee County - Named the New York Giants player of the decade for the 1970s, Brad Van Pelt was born April 5, 1951 in Owosso, Michigan. The linebacker played 12 years in the NFL after a successful college career at Michigan State University. Van Pelt received the Maxwell Award in 1972, was a two-time All American and an All-Star selection five years in a row. He died suddenly in 2009 at age 57.

Tuscola County - Sports reporter and reality TV contestant Heidi Androl was born Oct. 29, 1980 in Unionville, Michigan. A 2006 finalist on the NBC show "The Apprentice," Androl went on to work as a sports reporter for FOX Sports, NHL Network and Showtime.

Van Buren County - Rock bassist D'arcy Wretzky was born May 1, 1968, in South Haven, Michigan. Wretzky is known for her work as the original bass player for Smashing Pumpkins. In 2012, the Recording Industry Association of America certified the band's 1995 album "Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness" diamond, meaning it sold 10 million copies. Wretzky left The Smashing Pumpkins, known for songs like "Bullet with Butterfly Wings" and "Today," in 1999.

Washtenaw County - Currently playing Spencer Monroe on the hit AMC series "The Walking Dead," Austin Nichols was born April 24, 1980, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Nichols is also known for roles on the TV show "One Tree Hill" and the movies "The Day After Tomorrow" and "Wimbledon."

Wayne County - Rock musician Bob Seger was born May 6, 1945, in Lincoln Park, Michigan. Since 1976, when Seger released first commercially-successful album with the Silver Bullet Band, "Night Moves," he has been a staple of American rock music. Seger has sold more than 50 million records and is known for songs like "Old Time Rock and Roll," "Hollywood Nights" and "Like a Rock."

Wexford County - Born March 12, 1983, in Cadillac, Michigan, Luke Winslow-King is a singer-songwriter specializing in blues and jazz. Now based in New Orleans, King recently released his fifth studio album, "I'm Glad Trouble Don't Last Always." He studied music in college and is known for playing the slide guitar.

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Michigan’s Latin Motto

"Si Quaeris Peninsulam Amoenam Circumspice" or translated, “If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you”. Link out to this awesome picture tour of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula marvels from Mlive.

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Most Famous Person From Each Of Michigan's 83 Counties

By Jessica Shepherd;

We posed a question and then worked tirelessly to come up with some answers. Who is the most famous person from each and every county in the Great Lakes State? From military heroes to movie stars, Michigan and its 83 counties have produced many a-celebrity. That sometimes made this a hard question to answer but we did it. Of course, you know Madonna is a Michigander and so is Kid Rock, but maybe you would be surprised to learn the name of the most famous person from Monroe County. To avoid confusion, we decided to feature people born in each Michigan county. While many others spent extensive time in our state, we favored natives for this list. Yes, obviously, some counties have served as the birthplace for bigger names than others. That just means you will learn some new names when browsing through our list. Maybe you will even learn something new about the county in which you reside. Do you disagree with one of our picks for "most famous"? If so, let us know. Trust me, we chatted about this A LOT in our newsroom.

Alcona County
National Baseball Hall of Fame member Hazen "Kiki" Cuyler played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Chicago Cubs, the Cincinnati Reds and the Brooklyn Dodgers during his 17-year Major League career. According to the National Baseball Hall of Fame website, during Cuyler's career, he was "one of Major League Baseball's greatest hitters." The right fielder, born in Harrisville, Michigan on Aug. 30, 1898, helped bring home a World Series win for the Pirates in 1925.

Alger County
George Snow Hill, an artist known for his murals, was born Nov. 13, 1898 in Munising, Michigan. Spending time in Paris for a fellowship in the 1920s, he later spent time in New York and Florida. Some of his restored works are on display at the Tampa International Airport.

Allegan County
Artist Clara Elsene Peck was born April 18, 1883 in Allegan, Michigan. Peck specialized in illustrations depicting women and children. Her work was used in many magazines as well as books, such as "A Lady of King Arthur's Court" and "In the Border Country."

Alpena County
Actor Michael Bailey Smith was born Nov. 2, 1957 in Alpena, Michigan. Smith's acting career began in 1989 when he won a role in "A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child." His other credits include television shows "Charmed" and "My Name is Earl," as well as the movies "Men in Black II" and "The Hills Have Eyes."

Antrim County
Major League pitcher Roger Mason was born Sept. 18, 1957 in Bellaire, Michigan. Mason played for seven different Major League teams, starting with the Detroit Tigers in 1984. Mostly a relief pitcher, he retired in 1994.

Arenac County
Iva Ousterhout is the Iva behind the most famous chicken dinners in Sterling, Michigan. Iva's Chicken Dinners has served up the goods since 1938. Ousterhout no longer serves up the chicken herself but her recipe is still in use.

Baraga County
A political pioneer, Cora Reynolds Anderson was born April 10, 1882 in L'Anse, Michigan. In 1924, Anderson was the first woman elected to the Michigan House of Representatives. Additionally, she was the very first Native American woman to serve in a state legislature anywhere in the U.S. Anderson, who also worked as a teacher, was inducted into the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame in 2001.

Barry County
Televangelist Jack Van Impe was born Feb. 9, 1931 in Freeport, Michigan. Along with his wife Rexella Van Impe, he hosts the long-running "Jack Van Impe Presents." The show currently airs in several countries on various networks. In Michigan, the show is aired on both religious networks and as paid programming on major networks.

Bay County
Perhaps the world's most famous female pop star was born Madonna Louise Ciccone Aug. 16, 1958 in Bay City, Michigan. Of course, we known the hit-making performer simple as Madonna. One of the best-selling recording artists of all time, Madonna is known for her countless singles, including "Like a Prayer," "Music" and "Crazy for You."

Benzie County
Throughout the 1950s and 1960s Alan Wells worked as an actor, playing minor roles in many television series and films. Wells was born March 23, 1926 in Benzonia, Michigan. His work included roles in "Cape Fear," "The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp," "Wanted: Dead or Alive" and "Beachhead."

Berrien County
Model Kate Upton is perhaps most well-known for her work in multiple editions of the "Sports Illustrated" Swimsuit Issue. Upton, who was born June 10, 1992 in St. Joseph, Michigan, has also appeared in commercials and movies such as "The Other Woman" and "Tower Heist."
Runner up: Comedian Sinbad.

Branch County
Ultimate Fighting Championship Hall of Fame member Dan Severn was born June 8, 1958 in Coldwater, Michigan. Known by the nickname "The Beast," Severn is a two-time National Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight champion and the only UFC triple crown champion.

Calhoun County
An actress, comedian, dancer and singer, Betty Hutton did it all. Born Feb. 26, 1921 in Battle Creek, Michigan, Hutton is commemorated with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Her movie credits include "The Miracle on Morgan's Creek," "Annie Get Your Gun" and "The Greatest Show on Earth."
Runner up: Jamie Hyneman from "Mythbusters".

Cass County
Journalist Webb Miller was born Feb. 10, 1891 in Pokagon, Michigan. As a war correspondent for United Press, Miller covered World War I, the Mexican Expedition, the Spanish Civil War and many other high profile international events. A few years after his sudden death, a Liberty ship was named in honor of Miller.

Charlevoix County
Michigan Sports Hall of Fame member Bob Carey was born Feb. 8, 1930 in Charlevoix, Michigan. During his time at Michigan State University, he played basketball, football and track, serving as captain of the undefeated 1951 Spartan football team. The two-sport All-American went on to play football professionally for the Los Angeles Rams and the Chicago Bears.

Cheboygan County
Born March 8, 1890 in Cheboygan, Michigan, George M. Humphrey served as Secretary of the Treasury under President Dwight D. Eisenhower. An advocate for a free market economy, Humphrey served under President Eisenhower from 1953 until he resigned in 1957. During his lifetime, Humphrey also worked as a lawyer and a banker.

Chippewa County
A member of the cast of the beloved television series "Lost," Terry O'Quinn has worked as an actor for decades. Besides "Lost," his more notable credits include "Alias," "Primal Fear" and "Hawaii Five-0.

Clare County
Wayne Terwilliger is a former Major League Baseball player, coach and manager. Terwilliger, born June 27, 1925 in Clare, Michigan, played for five professional teams, including the Chicago Cubs, the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Kansas City Athletics. He released an autobiography, "Terwilliger Bunts One," in 2006.

Clinton County
Retired gymnast Jordyn Wieber is a gold medal gymnast, having taken the top spot with her teammates in the women's gymnastics all-around competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics. Wieber and her teammates were referred to as the Fierce Five. Born July 12, 1995 in Dewitt, Michigan, Wieber retired from professional gymnastics in 2015 and now attends school at UCLA.

Crawford County
Known for directing comedic films in Hollywood's early years, Norman Z. McLeod was born Sept. 20, 1895 in Grayling, Michigan. He directed early Marx Bothers films "Monkey Business" and "Horse Feathers." McLeod also directed the original 1947 version of "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty."

Delta County
Terry Brunk, better known as Sabu, was born Dec. 12, 1964 in Escanaba, Michigan. Sabu is Brunk's professional wrestling persona. Sabu has wrestled for several major wrestling companies, including Extreme Championship Wrestling, World Championship Wrestling and World Wrestling Entertainment. He continues to wrestle in a freelance capacity.

Dickinson County
Since 1995, Tom Izzo has led the Michigan State men's basketball team as head coach. Born Jan. 30, 1955, Izzo was recently inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Under his watch, the Spartan team has made it to the Final Four seven times and taken home an NCAA Men's Division I Championship.

Eaton County
Actor Harry T. Morey was born Aug. 21, 1873 in Charlotte, Michigan. During his career, he appeared in nearly 200 films. Morey's work included roles in "The Darkest Hour," "Beyond the Rainbow" and "The Return of Sherlock Holmes."

Emmet County
Best known for his role as Otis Campbell on "The Andy Griffith Show," Hal Smith was a character and voice actor who worked on a seemingly endless number of projects until his death in 1994. Other notable credits for Smith, who was born in Petoskey, Michigan on Aug. 24, 1916, include "Green Acres," "Beauty and the Beast," "An American Tail" and "Davey and Goliath."

Genesee County
Filmmaker and author Michael Moore was born April 23, 1954 in Flint, Michigan. His first full-length documentary film "Roger and Me" focused on his hometown. Moore won the Academy Award for Documentary Feature for his 2002 film "Bowling for Columbine."
Runners up: Actors Terry Crews and Sandra Bernhard.

Gladwin County
U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow was born April 29, 1950 in Gladwin, Michigan. Serving as a senator since 2001, Stabenow previously served on the U.S. House of Representatives, the Michigan Senate and the Michigan House of Representatives. She is the state's senior senator.

Gogebic County
Otto Binder was born Aug. 26, 1911 in Bessemer, Michigan. He is most well-known for his work writing for comic books, including the "Captain Marvel Adventures" series. He is also credited with helping to create the character Supergirl.

Grand Traverse County
A television personality and home improvement expert, Carter Oosterhouse was born Sept. 19, 1976 in Traverse City, Michigan. He is known for work on shows like "Trading Spaces," "Million Dollar Rooms" and "Celebrity Motor Homes." His most current project is the FYI series "HomeGrown Makeover with Frederique and Carter."
Runner up: Barry Watson, actor from "7th Heaven".

Gratiot County
Born June 9, 1945 in Alma, Michigan, Betty Mahmoody is best known for writing the memoir "Not Without my Daughter." The book was turned into a 1991 film, with Sally Field Starring as Mahmoody. Mahmoody also wrote a sequel titled "For the Love of a Child."

Hillsdale County
Actor Jason Robards Sr. was born Dec. 31, 1892 in Hillsdale, Michigan. He appeared in countless films and television shows in his career, which spanned five decades. Films Robards appeared in include "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House," "Bedlam" and "Abraham Lincoln." His son was Oscar-winning actor Jason Robards Jr.

Huron County
Born April 13, 1890 in Harbor Beach, Michigan, Frank Murphy held many high-level public offices before his final career move, a seat on the United States Supreme Court. Prior to his appointment on the country's highest court, Murphy served as mayor of Detroit, governor of Michigan and Attorney General of the United States.

Ingham County
Basketball star Earvin "Magic" Johnson was born Aug. 14, 1959 in Lansing, Michigan. Also known as a broadcaster, philanthropist and advocate for HIV/AIDS prevention, Johnson played with Los Angeles Lakers for 13 seasons after the team picked him first overall during the 1979 NBA draft. He recently announced he is returning to ESPN to work as an analyst for "NBA Countdown."

Ionia County
Writer Clarence Budington Kelland was born July 11, 1881 in Portland, Michigan. His many short stories and novels inspired dozens of works of film, including "Speak Easily," "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town" and the 2002 Adam Sandler film simply titled "Mr. Deeds." Three of his well-known series of books were "Mark Tidd," "Catty Atkins" and "Scattergood Baines."

Iosco County
Wide receiver Jeff Janis was born June 9, 1991 in Tawas City, Michigan. A stand out during his college career at Saginaw Valley State University, Janis was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the seventh round of the 2014 NFL draft. During a 2015 season playoff game against the Arizona Cardinals, Janis got attention when he caught a 41-yard Hail Mary pass from Aaron Rodgers to send the game into overtime.

Iron County
Born Sept. 9, 1906 in Iron River, Michigan, Aileen Fisher was a writer focused on children's literature and poetry. Awards for her work included the 1978 Excellence in Poetry Award from the National Council of Teachers of English. Fisher's books included "Runny Days, Sunny Days," "The Coffee-Pot Face" and "Rabbits, Rabbits."

Isabella County
Paul Carey, seen here on the right, was born March 15, 1928 in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. Carey worked as a sports broadcaster, most notably as an announcer for the Detroit Tigers from 1973 through the 1991 season, where he gave the play-by-play with legendary announcer Ernie Harwell (pictured here on the left). A member of the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame, Carey also did some broadcasting work for the Pistons and the Lions.

Jackson County
Former professional football player and coach Tony Dungy was born Oct. 6, 1955 in Jackson, Michigan. With the Indianapolis Colts, he became the first African-American NFL coach to win a Super Bowl in 2008. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame earlier this year.

Kalamazoo County
Director and producer McG was born Joseph McGinty Nichol on Aug. 9, 1968 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. His executive producing credits include televisions series "The O.C.," "Chuck" and "Supernatural." His directing credits include the 2000 film "Charlie's Angels" and "We Are Marshall."

Kalkaska County
Professional baseball player Emil Frisk was born Oct. 15, 1874 in Kalkaska, Michigan. A pitcher and outfielder, Frisk played for several teams, including the Detroit Tigers and the Cincinnati Reds. Frisk also had a lengthy and celebrated Minor League career. In his 2001 book "The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract," James called Frisk the best Minor League player of 1900-1909.

Kent County
Former professional boxer Floyd Mayweather had an undefeated record during his career. Born Feb. 24, 1977 in Grand Rapids, Mayweather now works as a boxing promoter. The winner of 11 titles, Mayweather was named the best pound-for-pound boxer of the past 25 years by ESPN.
Runners up: Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis and "Twilight" actor Taylor Lautner.

Keweenaw County
Col. Julien Gaujot, born Oct. 22, 1874 in Eagle Harbor, Michigan, received the Army Medal of Honor in 1911 for actions taken during the Mexican Revolution. Gaujot's brother, Lt. Col. Antoine Gaujot, also received a Medal of Honor, making the duo a unique pair of siblings to share the distinction. The two are the only set of brothers to receive the Medal of Honor for separate conflicts.

Lake County
Woodcarver R.W. Overholtzer is known for creating the Shrine of the Pines, south of Baldwin in Lake County. The log cabin is filled with hand-carved furniture Overholtzer created out of white pine trees as a tribute to the tree.

Lapeer County
NFL offensive tackle Jake Long was born May 9, 1985 in Lapeer, Michigan. A stand out while playing for the University of Michigan, Long was taken first overall in the 2008 NFL draft by the Miami Dolphins. He has also played for the Rams when they were still in St. Louis and the Atlanta Falcons. He is currently a free agent.

Leelanau County
Paving the way for Michigan women, Emelia Schaub was born in 1891 in Centerville Township, Michigan. Inducted into the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame, Schaub was the first woman elected as a county prosecutor in Michigan and served five terms in that position. She is also credited as the first female attorney to successfully defend a murder case.

Lenawee County
Born Oct. 11, 1985 in Adrian, Michigan, Kellen Davis is an NFL tight end drafted in 2008 by the Chicago Bears. He also played a season with the Seattle Seahawks, during which he earned a Superbowl ring. Davis is currently with the New York Jets.

Livingston County
Baseball Hall of Fame member Charlie Gehringer was born May 11, 1903 in Fowlerville, Michigan. The 1937 American League Most Valuable Player, Gehringer played for the Detroit Tigers from 1924 until 1942 and was widely considered one of the best second basemen in the sport. His number (2) was retired by the Tigers in 1983.

Luce County
Former Detroit Lion tight end Rob Rubick was born Sept. 27, 1960 in Newberry, Michigan. The Grand Valley State grad was a Lion from 1982 until 1989. Rubick now works as a sports broadcaster.

Mackinac County
Known as "father of the Mackinac Bridge," Prentiss M. Brown was born June 18, 1889 in St. Ignace, Michigan. Brown served as a Democratic U.S. representative and senator. He also served as chair of the Mackinac Bridge Authority during construction of the Bridge.

Macomb County
Singer and rapper Kid Rock was known as Robert Ritchie when he was born Jan. 17, 1971 in Romeo, Michigan. In addition to his music, Kid Rock is known for voicing his conservative political views. Having sold tens of millions of albums worldwide, the Romeo native's most widely recognized songs include "All Summer Long," "Picture" and "Bawitdaba."
Runners up: Actors Dave Coulier and Dean Cain.

Manistee County
Dave Campbell (second from right) is a former Major League baseball player and sports broadcaster. Born Jan. 14, 1942 in Manistee, Michigan, Campbell played for four different Major League teams, starting his professional career with the Detroit Tigers. Playing from 1967 until 1974, he held the nickname "Soup."

Marquette County
Engineer Clarence "Kelly" Johnson was born Feb. 27, 1910 in Ishpeming, Michigan. Johnson worked for Lockheed Martin, engineering multiple aircraft that broke speed records. He led the design of dozens of aircraft, including fighter and spy planes.

Mason County
Born Oct. 30, 1968 in Ludington, Michigan, Murphy Jensen is a former professional tennis player. Along with his brother and doubles partner Luke Jensen, he won the doubles title at the 1993 French Open. He has a son with actress Robin Givens.

Mecosta County
Chris Gore, born Sept. 5, 1965 in Big Rapids, Michigan, is a film critic and writer. He has hosted and appeared on several television shows, including "Attack of the Show," "The X Show" and "The New Movie Show with Chris Gore." He also co-wrote and produced the parody documentary "My Big Fat Independent Movie."

Menominee County
Actress Doris Packer was born May 30, 1904 in Menominee, Michigan. Packer is likely best known for her role as Theodore Cleaver's elementary school principal, Cornelia Rayburn, on "Leave It to Beaver." She also regularly appeared on "The Many Loves of Dobey Gillis" as Clarissa Osborne.

Midland County
Scientist Robert Jarvik was born May 11, 1946 in Midland, Michigan. Along with Willem Kolff, Jarvik invented the Jarvik-7 artificial heart. He also invented a ventricular assist device, the Jarvis 2000.

Missaukee County
Former defensive end Dan Bazuin was born July 22, 1983 in McBain, Michigan. A stand out at Central Michigan University, Bazuin was named the MAC Conference defensive player of the year for 2006. He was taken in the second round of the 2007 NFL draft by the Chicago bears but never played in an NFL game due to injury.

Monroe County
Model Christie Brinkley was born Feb. 2, 1954 in Monroe, Michigan. She is known for work with CoverGirl and the Sports illustrated Swimsuit Issue. She also appeared in several music videos for Billy Joel, to whom she was married from 1985 until 1994.

Montcalm County
Actor Daniel Henney was born Nov. 28, 1979 in Carson City, Michigan. Henney is widely recognized in South Korea, where he has starred in several series and films. He is known in the U.S. for voice work on "Big Hero Six" and his role on the television series "Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders."

Montmorency County
Okay, perhaps Bird Smith isn't famous and we aren't sure when he was born. But we like him. Plus, we had trouble finding a truly famous Montmorency County native. So, here's Bird. He owns Talley's Log Cabin Bar in Lewiston, where you can get a great burger and listen to Bird entertain his patrons.

Muskegon County
Born April 21, 1947 in Muskegon, Michigan, James Newell Osterberg Jr. is better known as Iggy Pop. Along with his former bandmates, the Stooges, Pop was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010. Sometimes referred to as the "godfather of punk," Pop is known for songs like "Lust for Life" and "Search and Destroy."

Newaygo County
Composer Roy Bargy was born July 31, 1894 in Newaygo, Michigan. Known for his ragtime compositions, Bargy lived in Chicago during his adult life. He worked as musical director for Jimmy Durante for many years.

Oakland County
Comedian and actor David Spade was born July 22, 1964 in Birmingham, Michigan. In the television world, Spade is best known for his work on "Saturday Night Live," "Just Shoot Me" and "Rules of Engagement." Also finding success in film, Spade has starred in "Tommy Boy," "Black Sheep" and "Joe Dirt."
Runners up: Kristen Bell and Jack Kevorkian.

Oceana County
NFL cornerback Dave Whitsell was born June 14, 1936 in Shelby, Michigan. Whitsell played football professionally for 12 seasons with the Detroit Lions, the Chicago Bears and the New Orleans Saints. He was the first team member from the Saints to play in a Pro Bowl.

Ogemaw County
Comic book writer Daniel Way was born Dec. 27, 1974 in West Branch, Michigan. He is known for his work on "Deadpool" and "Wolverine: Origins." He also wrote the plot for the "Deadpool" video game released in 2013.

Ontonagon County
Professional wrestler and football player Gus Sonnenberg was born March 6, 1898 in Ewen, Michigan. He played for five separate NFL teams, including the Detroit Panthers. Sonnenberg was also named the World Heavyweight Champion in professional wrestling in 1929, and again in 1939.

Osceola County
Joseph W. Guyton was born June 10, 1889 in Evart, Michigan. He died on May 28, 1918 on German soil during World War I. Serving with the 126th Infantry Regiment of the 32nd Infantry Division, Guyton was the first American killed on foreign soil during the war. In Evart and throughout Michigan, Guyton is memorialized with a park, an elementary school and a bridge.

Oscoda County
Okay, we can't lie — we had a hard time with this one. So, we are going to go with Mio founder Henry Deyarmond. He likely wasn't born here but he obviously played a critical role. His wife's nickname, Mioe, was the origin for the unincorporated Oscoda community of Mio.

Otsego County
Athlete Ferris Jennings was born Nov. 10, 1913 in Otsego County, Michigan. Jennings was the star quarterback for the University of Michigan during the 1934 season. He also played baseball and basketball during his time at U of M and went on to become a basketball coach at Urbana.

Ottawa County
Better known as BØRNS, singer/songwriter Garrett Borns was born Jan. 7, 1992 in Grand Haven, Michigan. A hit in the indie music world, Borns' debut full length album "Dopamine" reached number 2 on both the U.S. alternative and U.S. rock charts. The single "Electric Love" was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America.

Presque Isle County
Paul N. Domke was born Dec. 31, 1885 in Moltke Township, Michigan. Domke was the founder of Domke Gardens in Ossineke, Michigan. It is now known as Dinosaur Gardens.

Roscommon County
Charlton Heston was a young boy when his family moved to St. Helen in Roscommon County. (Okay, we cheated on the native rule just this once.) Heston appeared in more than 100 films during his career, including "Ben-Hur," "Planet of the Apes" and "The Ten Commandments." In his later years, he led the National Rifle Association, as president from 1998 to 2003.

Saginaw County
Stevland Hardaway Morris, better known by the name Stevie Wonder, is a living musical legend who said his first words and took his first steps in the great state of Michigan. Wonder was just a kid when he signed with Motown, going on to record classic songs like "Superstition," "Isn't She Lovely," and "Sir Duke." A 25-time Grammy Award winner, Wonder was born May 13, 1950 in Saginaw, Michigan.
Runner up: Tennis star Serena Williams.

Clair County
Best-selling author Terry McMillan was born Oct. 18, 1951 in Port Huron, Michigan. Her most well-known novels include "Waiting to Exhale" and "How Stella Go Her Groove Back," both of which were made into major motion pictures. Her most recent novel, "I Almost Forgot You," was released in June.

St. Joseph County
Perhaps best known for his role as an evil sidekick, Verne Troyer was born Jan. 1, 1969 in Sturgis, Michigan. Troyer, best known for playing Mini-Me in the "Austin Power" films, has also appeared in "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," "The Imaginarium or Doctor Parnassus" and numerous television series.

Sanilac County
Born Sept. 16, 1942 in Marlette, Michigan, Amos Tom Wargo (better known as Tom Wargo) is a professional golfer. Wargo won the 1993 PGA Seniors' Championship. He has over 100 top 10 finishes within the Senior PGA Tour.

Schoolcraft County
Elizabeth "Betty" Emry, born January 20, 1923 in Manistique, Michigan, played in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. She was a shortstop and pitcher for the Racine Belles. She is included in the Women in Baseball display at the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

Shiawassee County
Born March 24, 1902, Thomas Dewey is best known for his two unsuccessful presidential runs. Twice during his time serving as governor of New York, Dewey ran as the Republican nominee for president, first against Franklin Roosevelt and then against Harry Truman. The Chicago Daily Tribune famously printed the wrong headline, stating, "DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN," when Truman actually came out victorious.

Tuscola County
A member of the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame, Brewster H. Shaw was born May 16, 1945 in Cass City, Michigan. Logging more than 500 hours of space flight, Shaw took part in three space shuttle missions. He also worked as a manager at NASA before working in the private sector for Boeing.

Van Buren County
Actress and singer Loretta Long was born Oct. 4, 1938 in Paw Paw, Michigan. She is best known for playing the role of Susan Robinson on the long-running children's television series "Sesame Street." She is one of the original cast members of the show.
Runners up: Author Audrey Niffenegger and original Smashing Pumpkins bass player D'Arcy Wretzky.

Washtenaw County
Best known for her role as Yeoman Janice Rand on "Star Trek," Grace Lee Whitney was born April 1, 1930 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Rand starred in the original "Star Trek" television show as Captain Kirk's assistant and reprised her role in several "Star Trek" films. She was popular with fans and often attended conventions.

Wayne County
The Model T went down in history and so has Henry Ford, the man who invented it. Known as a pioneer of mass automobile production, Ford was born July 30, 1863 in Greenfield Township, Michigan. The Ford Motor Company is still based in Dearborn.
Runners up: Bob Seger, Diana Ross, Alice Cooper, Tom Selleck, Casey Kasem, Marlo Thomas.

Wexford County
Born Nov. 29, 1970 in Cadillac, Michigan, actor and comedian Larry Joe Campbell is best known for playing the role of Andy on "According to Jim." The Central Michigan University alum has appeared in the films "Wedding Crashers" and "Hall Pass." Campbell can be seen performing improv as part of with Jim Belushi and the Chicago Board of Comedy.

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Michigan Facts and Trivia


1. Detroit is known as the car capital of the world.
2. Alpena is the home of the world's largest cement plant.
3. Rogers City boasts the world's largest limestone quarry.
4. Elsie is the home of the world's largest registered Holstein dairy herd.
5. Michigan is first in the United States production of peat and magnesium compounds and second in gypsum and iron ore.
6. Colon is home to the world's largest manufacture of magic supplies.
7. The state Capitol with its majestic dome was built in Lansing in l879.
8. Although Michigan is often called the "Wolverine State" there are no longer any wolverines in Michigan.
9. Michigan ranks first in state boat registrations.
10. The Packard Motor Car Company in Detroit manufactured the first air-conditioned car in 1939.

11. The oldest county (based on date of incorporation) is Wayne in 1815.
12. Sault Ste. Marie was founded by Father Jacques Marquette in 1668. It is the third oldest remaining settlement in the United States.
13. In 1817 the University of Michigan was the first university established by any of the states. Originally named Cathelepistemian and located in Detroit the name was changed in 1821. The university moved to Ann Arbor in 1841.
14. The city of Novi was named from its designation as Stagecoach Stop # 6 or No.VI.
15. Michigan State University has the largest single campus student body of any Michigan university. It is the largest institution of higher learning in the state and one of the largest universities in the country.
16. Michigan State University was founded in 1855 as the nation's first land-grant university and served as the prototype for 69 land-grant institutions later established under the Morrill Act of 1862. It was the first institution of higher learning in the nation to teach scientific agriculture.
17. The largest village in Michigan is Caro.
18. Michigan's state stone, The Petoskey is the official state stone. It is found along the shores of Lake Michigan.
19. The Mackinac Bridge is one of the longest suspension bridges in the world. Connecting the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan, it spans 5 miles over the Straits of Mackinac, which is where Lake Michigan and Lake Huron meet. The Mighty Mac took 3 years to complete and was opened to traffic in 1957.
20. Gerald R. Ford grew up in Grand Rapids and became the 38th president of the United States He attended the University of Michigan where he was a football star. He served on a World War II aircraft carrier and afterward represented Michigan in Congress for 24 years. He was also was an Eagle Scout, the highest rank in Boy Scouts.

21. The Kellogg Company has made Battle Creek the Cereal Capital of the World. The Kellogg brothers accidentally discovered the process for producing flaked cereal products and sparked the beginning of the dry cereal industry.
22. The painted turtle is Michigan's state reptile.
23. The western shore of Michigan has many sand dunes. The Sleeping Bear Dunes rise 460 feet above Lake Michigan. Living among the dunes is the dwarf lake iris the official state wildflower.
24. Vernors ginger ale was created in Detroit and became the first soda pop made in the United States. In 1862, pharmacist James Vernor was trying to create a new beverage when he was called away to serve our country in the Civil War. When he returned, 4 years later, the drink he had stored in an oak case had acquired a delicious gingery flavor.
25. The Detroit Zoo was the first zoo in America to feature cageless, open-exhibits that allowed the animals more freedom to roam.
26. Michigan is the only place in the world with a floating post office. The J.W. Westcott II is the only boat in the world that delivers mail to ships while they are still underway. They have been operating for 125 years.
27. Indian River is the home of the largest crucifix in the world. It is called the Cross in the Woods.
28. Michigan has the longest freshwater shoreline in the world.
29. Michigan has more shoreline than any other state except Alaska.
30. The Ambassador Bridge was named by Joseph Bower, the person credited with making the bridge a reality, who thought the name "Detroit-Windsor International Bridge" as too long and lacked emotional appeal. Bower wanted to "symbolize the visible expression of friendship of two peoples with like ideas and ideals."

31. Michigan has more than 11,000 inland lakes and more than 36,000 miles of streams.
32. Michigan has 116 lighthouses and navigational lights.
33. Seul Choix Point Lighthouse in Gulliver has been guiding ships since 1895. The working light also functions as a museum, which houses early 1900s furnishings and maritime artifacts.
34. Forty of the state's 83 counties adjoin at least one of the Great Lakes. Michigan is the only state that touches four of the five Great Lakes.
35. Standing anywhere in the state a person is within 85 miles of one of the Great Lakes.
36. Michigan includes 56,954 square miles of land area; 1,194 square miles of inland waters; and 38,575 square miles of Great Lakes water area.
37. Sault Ste. Marie was established in 1668 making it the oldest town between the Alleghenies and the Rockies.
38. Michigan was the first state to provide in its Constitution for the establishment of public libraries.
39. Michigan was the first state to guarantee every child the right to tax-paid high school education.
40. Four flags have flown over Michigan - French, English, Spanish and United States.

41. Isle Royal Park shelters one of the largest moose herds remaining in the United States.
42. Some of the longest bulk freight carriers in the world operate on the Great Lakes. Ore carriers 1,000 feet long sail Michigan's inland seas.
43. The Upper Michigan Copper Country is the largest commercial deposit of native copper in the world.
44. The 19 chandeliers in the Capitol in Lansing are one of a kind and designed especially for the building by Tiffany's of New York. Weighing between 800-900 pounds apiece they are composed of copper, iron and pewter.
45. The first auto traffic tunnel built between two nations was the mile-long Detroit-Windsor tunnel under the Detroit River.
46. The world's first international submarine railway tunnel was opened between Port Huron, Michigan and Sarnia, Ontario, Canada in 1891.
47. The nation's first regularly scheduled air passage service began operation between Grand Rapids and Detroit in 1926.
48. In 1879 Detroit telephone customers were first in the nation to be assigned phone numbers to facilitate handling calls.
49. In 1929, the Michigan State Police established the first state police radio system in the world.
50. Grand Rapids is home to the 24-foot Leonardo da Vinci horse, called Il Gavallo, it is the largest equestrian bronze sculpture in the Western Hemisphere.

Thanks to: Ruby Simmons, Eric Merriam, James Toscas, Jan Lee Asmann, Janet Kijek, James H. Jackson, Katrina & Bryan Tollenaar

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1900s U.P. Earthquakes Twisted Train Tracks, Rocked Ships in Lake Superior

By Tanda Gmiter in

KEWEENAW PENINSULA, MI - You might not think of Michigan as a hotbed of earthquake activity, but for a couple years a century ago, our Upper Peninsula was rattled by what some have called a swarm of seismic activity. And these weren't just faint tremors. These were earthquakes that made a 427-foot boat out in Lake Superior quiver from stem to stern, then swing around in a different direction. They twisted railroad tracks near Houghton into the shape of a snake. And they sent miners running out of their underground tunnels - and prompted some of the men on the next shift to refuse to go to work.

From 1902 to 1909, more than 20 earthquakes jarred the Upper Peninsula, according to author Lisa Thiel in her book "Forgotten Tales of Michigan's Upper Peninsula." She researched old newspaper accounts of that era to describe the damage done by some of the larger quakes. Because these were felt across Copper Country, the early thought was that they were connected to the area's many mining operations. Descriptions blamed them on "air blasts" in the mines.

In the 1970s, a geologist's report for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources dug a bit deeper:
"It is thought that if the mining operations were not directly responsible for the earthquake, they at least facilitated rock slippage by creating avenues of weakness in the rocks of the subsurface," according to the description of a 1905 quake near Calumet, which measured a 5 on the Richter scale.

Below, we'll share a few of the earthquakes' descriptions. Some of these accounts are shared in Thiel's book. Others were described in newspapers from Michigan and Minnesota, or were compiled by the people behind Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula Facebook page, an Upper Peninsula tourism group that often shares fascinating tidbits about the Mitten's Land of the Upper Hand.

July 26, 1905: On this evening, there was an earthquake near Calumet that measured a 5 on the Richter scale. According to an DNR report on that quake: "Chimneys were toppled and plate glass windows were broken in Calumet, and the shocks from the earthquake were sensed as far north as Copper Harbor (50 kilometers) and as far east as Marquette (105 kilometers)." A local newspaper carried a report of the damage under the headline "Copper Country Shaken." It read:
"A severe shock of earthquake was felt throughout Copper Country at 6:20 o'clock Wednesday evening. The disturbance was especially severe at Calumet, where many windows were smashed, dishes were knocked from shelves, pictures fell from the wall and buildings swayed perceptibly, in some cases chimneys toppling over. The quake, which was at first attributed to an air blast, caused considerable excitement and at different mines the night shift men refused to go to work. At about the same hour, the shock was felt in Marquette and surrounding towns."

April 19, 1906: Great Lakes Capt. Harry Gunderson told The Duluth News Tribune that his crew aboard the 427-foot steamer Henry Steinbrenner was shaken by an earthquake when they were off the Keweenaw Peninsula's Eagle Harbor. The ship was on its way to Duluth on a day with nice weather and just a light breeze. Gunderson gave this account of what happened on board:
"Without warning, the great vessel suddenly quivered from stem to stern. She seemed to come to a standstill, though there was no shock of collision or jar from beneath to indicate grounding. The vessel rocked as if in the trough of a sea. Captain Gunderson dashed on the deck to find the lake in a terrible commotion. The needle in the compass raced in a circle, and the ship, which had been pointing a little south of west, swung around to the north in spite of the effort of the wheelsman. The water became smooth again almost immediately, and in a few minutes, there was nothing to indicate that anything unusual had occurred."

picture The Henry Steinbrenner, shown in the middle of two other boats in the St. Mary’s River near the Soo Locks. This photo was taken in 1905. Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress.

May, 1906: An earthquake near the Atlantic Mine south of Houghton left a section of railroad tracks twisted into an S-shape. "Here, almost directly above the lode of the mine, railroad tracks were severely deformed and caving occurred at the ground surface. Two other earthquakes were also experienced during 1906 in this mining region."

Photos from the Copper Country Historical Collections in the Michigan Technological University Archives show men standing by the tracks, assessing the damage. Another photo shows a man and his two young sons posing for a picture in front of the serpentine-shaped tracks.

Jan. 22, 1909: Another quake was felt in that same area. "A rumbling tremor was felt around Houghton and was believed to be caused by the crushing of pillars in a mine," according to a U.S. Geological Survey account.

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Things You Probably Never Knew About The Great Lakes.

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7 Facts About Earthquakes In Michigan

By Julie Mack, posted May 3, 2015, Updated by webmaster.

When a 3.6 Canadian earthquake rattled southeastern Michigan on April 19, 2018, and a 4.2 earthquake struck Michigan on Saturday, May 2, 2015; the common reaction was: Earthquake? In Michigan? Seriously? The surprise was not misplaced. Earthquakes in Michigan are rare and tend to be minor. In fact, Saturday's quake was the state's most powerful earthquake since 1947. The quake occurred about 12:20 p.m., with an epicenter about five miles south of Galesburg in Kalamazoo County. Below are seven facts about earthquakes in Michigan, drawn from the U.S. Geological Survey and other government websites.

1. Michigan has "very small probability of experiencing damaging earthquake effects," the Federal Emergency Management Agency says.
In fact, most tremors felt in Michigan originate elsewhere. Michigan normally does not have earthquakes; the state's emergency preparedness web page says. “However, we can suffer effects from earthquakes in neighboring states that have a higher likelihood of them.”

2. One of the earliest records of earthquake tremors felt in Michigan occurred in 1811 and 1812 from the New Madrid earthquakes in southeast Missouri.
Four earthquakes, each estimated at a magnitude of between 7.0 and 8.1, occurred between Dec. 11, 1811, and Feb. 8, 1812, in southeast Missouri and northwest Arkansas. "As many as nine tremors from the New Madrid earthquake series were reported felt distinctly at Detroit," the U.S. Geological Survey website says. If a similar earthquake occurred today in the New Madrid Seismic Zone, it could result in "the highest economic losses due to a natural disaster in the United States," according to a 2008 FEMA report. Michigan was not among the states listed at high risk in the report.

Those were the first well-recorded tremors. However, Wisconsin historian Dave Thorson said a 1793 journal references tremors near the Porcupine Mountains on Lake Superior. The journal was written by Jean Baptiste Perrault, a prominent fur trader in the late 18th and early 19th century. In addition, a 1977 state document says quake tremors in Michigan were documented as early as 1638 by French Jesuit missionaries.

3. Between 1872 and 1883, Michigan had a number of moderate earthquakes.
On Feb. 6, 1872, three shocks lasting 30 seconds were reported at what is now Bay City. Tremors strong enough to frighten horses were felt around Dearborn on Aug. 17, 1877. On Feb, 4, 1883, an earthquake cracked windows and shook buildings at Kalamazoo. The shock was felt in southern Michigan and northern Indiana, and even as far away as St. Louis.

4. "A series of unusual occurrences in the Keweenaw Peninsula mining area form a significant part of the seismic history of Michigan," according to the USGS.
"The first disturbance was on July 26, 1905 at about 6:20 in the evening," the USGS website said. "At Calumet there occurred what appeared to be a terrific explosion. "Chimneys fell with a crash and plate glass windows were broken. The explosion was heard far down in a mine and the shock was felt all over the Keweenaw Peninsula area and as far away as Marquette, about 70 miles southeast across Lake Superior.

Ten months later, on May 26, 1906, a similar phenomenon occurred. Train rails were twisted, and there was a notable sinking of the earth above the Atlantic mine. The disturbance was reported felt over an area about 30 to 40 miles in diameter. Another shock occurred in the same region on January 22, 1909. A rumbling tremor was felt around Houghton and was believed to be caused by the crushing of pillars in a mine," USGS website said. Today, the Keweenaw earthquakes "are generally dismissed as mine collapses," according to historian Lisa Shiel.

5. Michigan's strongest earthquake on record occurred on Aug. 9, 1947, about 35 miles from the epicenter of Saturday's quake.
The 1947 had a magnitude of 4.6 and was centered near Coldwater. It damaged chimneys and cracked plaster over a large area of south-central Michigan and was felt as far away as Muskegon and Saginaw and parts of Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin.

6. The most recent Michigan earthquake of at least 3.0 occurred on Sept. 2, 1994.
The epicenter of the 1994 quake was Potterville, which is southwest of Lansing, and it had a magnitude of 3.5. It was felt as far away as Grand Rapids and Jackson.

7. Earthquakes in this part of the country are typically felt over a much broader region than West Coast quakes.
"East of the Rockies, an earthquake can be felt over an area as much as ten times larger than a similar magnitude earthquake on the west coast," the USGS website says. A magnitude 4.0 eastern U.S. earthquake typically can be felt as far as 60 miles from where it occurred, and it infrequently causes damage near its source. A magnitude 5.5 eastern U.S. earthquake usually can be felt as far as 300 miles from where it occurred, and sometimes causes damage as far away as 25 miles.

Saturday's earthquake could be felt in parts of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin, as well as southern Ontario.

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These Michigan-centric things make little sense
By Jessica Shepherd,

If you are a lifelong Michigander, you are more than aware of all of our state's little quirks. You might not even realize how confusing some of our seemingly ordinary Michigan-isms are to those who aren't from the Great Lakes State. Let's take a look at some of the Michigan things that simply don't make sense. We'll try to lessen the confusion for our out-of-state friends.

You want some Mackinac Island Fudge, so you are going to head north on 1-75 toward the Mackinac Bridge and take the ferry over to Mackinac Island. Perhaps you'll check out Fort Mackinac. But, wait, what is the name of the place from which your ferry departs? Is that a typo? Mackinaw City? What's with the "w" at the end? It can be confusing for outsiders to figure out this whole Mackinac thing. We have to explain the pronunciation, which is made more confusing by the presence of a "Mackinaw" mixed into the bunch. Apparently, the difference comes from French and British settlers trying to spell Native American words. Couldn't they form a spelling committee and come to an agreement?

If you showed an outsider a map of Michigan and told them to point to the western portion of the state, it would make sense that they would gesture toward the portion resting atop Wisconsin and pointing at Minnesota. That part of the Upper Peninsula is clearly the western area of Michigan. Somehow, though, Michiganders get all hung up on their own peninsulas and the Lower Peninsula decided at some point to take the term "West Michigan" and apply it to the western portion of the state's southern land mass. It's very narcissistic, fellow trolls.

Anyone with a compass can tell you which way is north. If you grab a helium-filled balloon and let it go, you will find out all about "up." (Also, don't do that with the balloon. It's bad for the environment.) Taking into account the compass and the (fake) balloon, how could these two things blend? They just do, if you are in our state. Also confusing is where to draw the line for what is "up north." Some people define it as anything north of metro Detroit, while others say only the U.P. is truly "up north." There are nearly as many definitions of "up north" as there are residents of Michigan.

Three animals are on the Michigan flag. You'll spot the bald eagle, an elk and a moose depicted on a blue background when admiring our state's flag. But this combination makes little sense. If you were to pick animals to represent our state, maybe you should pick animals you will actually see here. There are less than 1,000 bald eagles, likely fewer than 500 moose and about 1,300 elk in Michigan. Basically, there is one elk for every 7,700 people living in our state.

What kind of party are you planning? If it involves streamers and balloons, you don't want to visit a Michigan party store for supplies. If your party only includes booze, lottery tickets and cigarettes, this is your party place. This has to confuse outsiders. Why don't we call these liquor stores or beer stores?

When a Michigander falls ill, no matter what the ailment, we reach for the Vernors. Sure, it's delicious and will probably improve your mood while sick, but this pop doesn't have medicinal properties. Maybe it has a placebo effect on Michigan natives. I'm sorry. Please don't kick me out of the state!

It makes sense that Michigan loves hockey — we are close to Canada and we can play outside several months of the year in the cold weather. So, we are madly in love with our NHL team, the Red Wings. There's just one thing — WHAT IN THE WORLD IS A RED WING?!? The logo is a wing connected to a tire. Huh?!? Apparently, the logo was taken from a cycling club. Now, that makes sense. Did anyone tell them ice hockey does involve wheels?

Next time you have a near-collision with someone's cart at the grocery store or you suddenly drop something, listen to the sound you make. What is that sound and why did you just make it? It's "ope," like "hope" without the "h." You can prove it by going to a Michigan location and nearly bumping into someone. Listen to the sound they make. It is invariably "ope," and no one knows why.

You want to turn left? You need to turn right. You want to turn right? You also need to turn right. The Michigan left is confusing for a few reasons. First of all, it is called a "Michigan left" but it isn't found everywhere in Michigan. It's randomly scattered throughout the state and the system forces drivers to turn right and then make a U-turn to go in the direction they desire.

Michigan's most beloved vacation destination is Mackinac Island. The tourist attraction is filled with fudge shops, horses and history. What is it missing? Cars. How can a state known for its place in automotive history and production have such a love affair with an island that outlaws vehicular travel (with a few exceptions for emergency vehicles)? I suppose we just need a break from all those cars once in a while? Maybe to make up for this, we should all travel to the Henry Ford Museum this winter to bask in our car love.

If you aren't familiar, a Boston cooler is a simple but delicious treat made from vanilla ice cream and Vernors. It's a specific variation of the ice cream float. Some say the only authentic Boston cooler is made with Stroh's vanilla ice cream, which also was originally made in Detroit. So, why in the world is this Michigan original named after a city in Massachusetts? Legend has it that the term "Boston" in the beverage's name is not referring to the New England city but instead to Boston Boulevard in Detroit. Still, we think the name Detroit cooler or Motown cooler would be, well, cooler.

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Why Michigan Can Feel Far-Away Earthquakes Better

By Tanda Gmiter at Posted Apr 27, 2018

When a 3.6-magnitude earthquake struck in Canada last week, people 50 miles away in Ypsilanti said they felt tremors underfoot. Why is it that the Great Lakes area can sometimes feel earthquakes that have epicenters so far away?

The secret to all that extra ground-shaking, it turns out, is in our old, dense rocks. According to scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey, earthquakes that happen east of the Rocky Mountains can cause long-distance tremors compared to a quake of the same size out West. Our area of North America has rocks that have been subjected to extreme pressure and temperatures. They're also millions of years older than the rocks that formed out West, and their early fault lines have had a lot more time to heal. All that makes our rock layers here tougher than what you'd find west of the Mississippi River, and so seismic waves produced by earthquakes travel more easily through our rocks.

"In contrast, rocks in the West are younger and broken up by faults that are often younger and have had less time to heal," according to a U.S.G.S. report. "So when an earthquake occurs, more of the seismic wave energy is absorbed by the faults and the energy doesn't spread as efficiently."

In an interview with Michigan Radio this week, Oliver Boyd, a U.S.G.S. research geophysicist, said while earthquakes in Michigan continue to be rare, there have been instances where people here have felt quakes that had an epicenter far away. In 2011, a 5.8 magnitude earthquake in Mineral, Va., was felt in Michigan, he said.

For more on the U.S.G.S. research, check here.

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2018 Michigan Milestones

Jessica Shepherd at

Here are milestones we will hit this year, in honor of 2018. Feel free to get nostalgic.

200 YEARS AGO: The U.S. Takes Control Of The Upper Peninsula. Though it wouldn't be added to Michigan's land until nearly two decades later, the Upper Peninsula was finally surrendered by the British and officially became U.S. territory in 1818. Islands in the St. Clair River also were completely turned over to the U.S. that year, as the result of the Boundary Settlement of 1818. Those boundaries also split Sault Ste. Marie into two cities — one in the U.S. and one in Canada, as it remains today.

155 YEARS AGO: The Seventh-Day Adventist Church Is Founded In Battle Creek. In May of 1863, delegates from across the country gathered in Battle Creek to officially form the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The history of the religious denomination is preserved in its founding city, with the Historic Adventist Village opening in 2000.

Henry Ford Was Born. The founder of the Ford Motor Co., Henry Ford, was born July 30, 1863, in Greenfield Township.

110 YEARS AGO: General Motors Founded In Flint. On Sept. 16, 1908, William Crapo Durant founded General Motors in Flint. It's said that Durant, a wealthy carriage maker, actually hated cars, but he founded one of the world's largest automakers anyway. In the end, things didn't go Durant's way, and he lost his fortune, ending up as a bowling alley manager in Flint. The company he founded, however, has lasted for 110 years.

The First Model T Built For Sale Is Constructed. The first Model T constructed for sale to the public was built on Sept. 27, 1908. It was a 1909 model built at the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant. Within the next 15 months, Model Ts were produced, according to the website

100 YEARS AGO: Michigan Bans The Sale Of Alcohol. After a statewide vote banned the sale of booze, Michigan went dry on May 1, 1918. That was less than two years before an amendment prohibiting the sale of alcohol was added to the U.S. Constitution and the entire country went dry. Michigan ended up repealing Prohibition in 1933, making it the first state to do so.

75 YEARS AGO: Detroit Race Riots. Racism and unequal living conditions for people of color in Detroit prompted a race riot starting on June 20, 1943, according to the Detroit Historical Society. About 200 people gathered on Belle Isle, starting fights and sparking the riot that would ultimately result in the death of 34 people and injuries to hundreds of others. Other U.S. cities experienced similar riots that year. Twenty years later, Martin Luther King Jr. led the Walk to Freedom March on June 23, 1963, scheduled to coincide with the anniversary of the riot.

70 YEARS AGO: Alice Cooper Was Born. Singer, songwriter and radio host Alice Cooper was born Feb. 8, 1948, in Detroit. Make sure to wish him a happy 70th birthday this year. Apparently, 1948 was a good year for Michigan rock 'n' roll, as fellow musician Ted Nugent was born on Dec. 13, 1948, in Redford. The Motor City Madman will join Cooper in the 70-year-old club later in the year.

65 YEARS AGO: The Deadly Beecher Tornado. An F5 tornado hit Beecher on June 8, 1953, killing 116 people and destroying nearly 350 houses. The tornado remains one of the deadliest in American history. That same day, several other tornadoes hit Michigan. A few weeks before the deadly June 8 disaster, a tornado hit the Port Huron area, killing two and injuring dozens on May 21.

60 YEARS AGO: Mackinac Bridge Dedication. Sure, the Mighty Mac first opened to traffic in 1957, but 1958 was the year construction was completed on the bridge and the dedication of the Mackinac Bridge, complete with a glorious parade to celebrate the structure on June 28, 1958.

Madonna Was Born. Pop icon Madonna will turn 60 this year. The Material Girl was born Aug. 16, 1958, in Bay City.

55 YEARS AGO: Little Stevie Wonder Sets A Record. Saginaw's own Stevie Wonder became the youngest solo artist ever to hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on Aug. 10, 1963 with his single "Fingertips — Pt 2." He was age 13 at the time it went to No. 1, but the legendary Michigan musician was just 12 when the song was recorded.

30 YEARS AGO: Last Playboy Club Closes In Lansing. While Playboy Clubs located in much larger U.S. cities closed their doors, the Lansing location had the longest life. The nightclub shut down for good on July 31, 1988, when the cocktail waitresses hung up their bunny ears and bunny tails for the last time.

25 YEARS AGO: Miss Michigan Kenya Moore Crowned Miss USA. These days, you might know her as one of the "Real Housewives of Atlanta." Back in 1993, Kenya Moore was taking the stage at Miss USA to compete for a crown while representing Michigan. And compete she did, because she took home that crown. She went on to compete in Miss Universe, ultimately getting a spot in the top six.

20 YEARS AGO: Strike At Gm Plant In Flint Lasts 7 Weeks. On June 5, 1998, 3,400 General Motors workers in Flint walked off the job and started a strike that would last 54 days. Shortly after the Flint Metal Center workers took to the picket line, another 5,800 from the Delphi Flint East plant followed suit. A total of 30 GM plants were forced to shut down operations and a loss of more than $2 billion was reported.

10 YEARS AGO: Last Time Red Wings Won The Stanley Cup. The Detroit Red Wings hold the distinction of being the U.S. based NHL team with the most Stanley Cup wins. They have 11, and the last one came in 2008 against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Yes, that was already a decade ago.

5 YEARS AGO: Detroit Files For Bankruptcy. Detroit became the largest city in American history to file for bankruptcy July 18, 2013. The decision came after the state appointed an emergency manager to address the debt facing the Michigan's largest city. At the time of the filing, Detroit's debt was estimated at nearly $19 billion. What a difference five years has made to the comeback city.

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Famous Faces Who Were Born In Grand Rapids

Adapted from an article by Jessica Shepherd,

Grand Rapids is best known today for great beer, ArtPrize and the mighty Grand River. But the second-largest city in Michigan has produced some big names in sports, entertainment and art, too. Did you know these famous faces entered the world right here? Sure, you probably knew about some of them, but there are probably some you didn't. Ponder these folks (presented in alphabetical order):

Ray Bentley - Former NFL linebacker, sports broadcaster.
Devin Booker - NBA player.
Roger Chaffee - astronaut, Congressional Space Medal of Honor.
Shawn Christian - Soap Opera actor.
Lorna Gray – Actress.
Thom Hartmann – radio host and author.
Adina Howard – Singer.
Lisa Kelly – first woman to be featured on the History Channel series "Ice Road Truckers."
Anthony Kiedis - Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman.
Eric Allen Kramer – actor.
Taylor Lautner – actor.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. - professional boxer.
Andy Riéhter - Actor and comedian.
Marvin Sapp – gospel singer and author.
Paul Schrader - screenwriter and director.
Del Shannon – singer.
Reed Timmer - meteorologist and storm chaser.
Morgan Tuck - WNBA player.
Chris Van Allsburg - author and illustrator Jess Walton – actress.
Joe Warren - wrestler and MMA.
Elizabeth Wilson – actress.
Tony Baker - actor and comedian.
Ford Beebe - screenwriter and director.
Otto Brower – director.
James Callahan – actor.
Frederick Stuart Church – artist.
Dennis Frederiksen – musician for Toto.
Arnold Gingrich - editor
Stacy Haiduk - actress
Matt Keeslar - actor
James Kirkwood - actor, director and writer.
Kevin Max – musician for DC Talk).
Colleen O'Shaughnessey -voice actress for “Sonic the Hedgehog”.
Ray Teal – actor; sheriff on “Bonanza”.

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Ghost Towns Of The Upper Peninsula

All that’s left of expired mining and logging communities are skeletons of stone and wood.

Elizabeth Fust and Daniel Truckey, Michigan History Magazine Published in THE GRAND RAPIDS PRESS May 14, 2017

What is a ghost town? Many people believe it is a place where people no longer live or that is completely abandoned. But a ghost town actually is a community that lacks an economy and no longer can support stores, restaurants, bars, schools, churches or government offices. Across the Upper Peninsula, dozens of communities fit that description. Those towns were settled near mines, mills, logging camps, quarries and railroads. With changes in technology and the depletion of natural resources often came the closing of such operations and the decline of those towns. Each of these ten communities represent the dreams and aspirations of investors, workers, immigrants, and families who wished to make a new life for themselves in the wilds of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and did, until their towns no longer could be sustained.


Robert Dollar of the American Lumber Company purchased 60,000 acres of white pine from the DM&M Railroad in 1881 to build a sawmill on the Tahquamenon River in Luce County, just west of Newberry. The resulting village was named Dollarville and included a school, grocery, saloon, and many other business. The train depot was used for community functions and the post office. After Dollar sold the mill in 1895, Dollarville suffered several fires, mill closers, worker strikes, sales of the mill, and the discontinuation of the post office. In 1920, the mill was put up for sale one last one last time, but by 1927 Dollarville had become a ghost town. It is now the site of the Dollarville Flooding project for fish and wildlife.


The Victoria Mining Co. was formed on a prehistoric mining pit along the Ontonagon River in 1857. It spurred the development of the small town of Victoria but soon faced difficulties due to falling copper prices following the end of the Civil War, prompting many families to leave town. Renewed interest in copper saw Victoria’s renewal in 1899. Its citizens projected a future on the banks of the Ontonagon when they built a playground for the children in 1919. However, another reduction in copper prices closed the mine for a final time in 1921, and the town was permanently abandoned. Today it is the site of the Old Victoria Restoration, featuring four log cabins.


In 1869, the Bay Furnace Co. built a blast furnace near the western shore of Grand Island Harbor. The township of Onota followed, located on what was originally a Native-American fishing spot. In 1871, Onota became the seat of Schoolcraft County. On May 31, 1877, a forest fire swept through Onota, leaving only the church and school unscathed. The Bay Furnace Co. went bankrupt as a result of the fire and was replaced by a sawmill, but by 1881, Onota was no more. Another settlement took the name Onota, while the site of the original Onota is now Christmas, Michigan. There, the restored furnace can be reached by trail.


The first mill at Scammon Cove on Drummond Island in the easternmost U.P. was established in 1883 and bought by the H.C. Johnson Company in 1890. Government land agent Maggie Walz recruited Finnish immigrants for a settlement there, and piano key manufacturer Charles Wood bought the mill in 1916. The town, called Johnswood, had a company store, film theater, boarding house, school and hospital. A series of forest fires burned down the all-electric mill in 1918, as well as the steam-powered mill that replaced it in 1925. By 1928, little was left of the town of Johnswood and what remained of the mill was ultimately torn down.


In 1898, future Michigan Gov. Chase Osborn explored a limestone range in Mackinac County and purchased it with William Fitch, president of the DSS&A Railroad. A quarry was incorporated under a combination of their names — Fiborn. In 1908, the quarry was sold to the Algoma Steel Co. Between a short recession in the early 1920s and the Great Depression during the 1930s, there was a brief period of growth for the quarry and village. The Fiborn quarry was eventually shut down in 1935. Later that year, the post office closed and the village began to disappear. The land was bought in 1987 and became the Fiborn Karst Preserve. Few remnants of the quarry works can be found today.


The lumber town of Watson in Delta County transported its timber to a mill by way of the Escanaba River or over land on sleighs in the winter. In 1898, the Escanaba & Lake Superior Railroad built a railway to Watson that served as the end of the line for two years until the railway was continued to Escanaba. Watson had a warehouse that doubled as a community hall, and children took classes in the one-room schoolhouse. The town’s general store housed the post office and had a gas pump in later years. In 1992, nearly 50 years after the sawmill ceased operations in 1943, the railroad route Watson depended on was closed, leaving Watson to become another U.P. ghost town.


Built in 1864 upon prehistoric copper pits in Houghton County, the Winona Mine changed hands throughout the years due to issues with mining operations and transportation. Winona accommodated many businesses and establishments, including the Bosch Brewing Co., which was later converted into a grocery store that operated until 1961. A sawmill built in Winona in 1921 helped to keep the town alive. However, after the mine closed in 1923 and the mill in 1929, the Winona community began to slowly disappear. Abandoned homes and shops crumbled, allowing the forest to recapture the land. Today, the school is still open for a handful of students, but very few homes remain occupied.


The name Pequaming comes from the Chippewa word pequaquwaming, which means “a narrow piece of land surrounded by water.” And this Baraga County town had a peninsula of its own jutting into Pequami ng Bay. The town’s sawmill was established in 1878 and became the first and largest lumber operation on Lake Superior. In 1923, Henry Ford bought Pequaming and ran the mill for car parts and crating material. He built several schools and turned Pequaming into a model town. After running part-time during the Depression, the mill closed in 1942 due to a manpower shortage. By the time the Ford Motor Company sold Pequaming in 1952, few residents remained there. Ford’s home was restored in 1989 and is today listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Iron County’s Metropolitan Mill was built on the north bank of the Paint River in 1887, which spurred the formation of a township called Atkinson. The mill was the largest in the country until it was destroyed by a fire in 1900. Six years later, Atkins on Township dissolved. In 1914, Royal F. Gibbs relocated Atkinson’s buildings to the south bank of the Paint and built a hardw ood mill there. The new town was named Gibbs City. In 1922, an explos ion destroyed the mill, causing the village to become abandoned. A cont rolled burn marked the end of Gibbs City in 1966. All that remains is the chimney of the Atkinson house.


In 1854, a prehistoric copper pit was discovered on the Keweenaw Peninsula, and the Central Mining Co. was formed to begin mining on the site. The village of Central Mine was settled around 1857. The mine proved very successful, producing more than a million pounds of copper each year from 1865 to 1894, and the town had a population of 1,200 at its peak. A fault in the ore formation was discovered in 1894, and after years of trying to find a minable vein, Central Mine closed in 1898. The town’s population had dropped to 100 by 1905. Its church, old schoolhouse and restored mining residences can be found at the site today.

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10 More People Who Were 'Born in Michigan'

Bob Eubanks – game show host, born in Flint.
Dave Coulier – actor, stand-up comedian, born in St. Clair Shores.
Elizabeth Berkley – actress, born in Farmington Hills.
Greg Mathis – judge TV personality, born in Detroit.
Gilda Radner – comedian & actress, born in Detroit.
Lily Tomlin – comedian & actress, born in Detroit.
John Heffron – comedian, born in Detroit.
Loretta Long –actress on PBS, born in Paw Paw.
Mathias Alten, impressionist painter, from Grand Rapids.
Jack R. Lousma – astronaut, born in Grand Rapids.
Madonna – singer; Bay City
Floyd Mayweather – boxer; Grand Rapids
Iggy Pop – singer; Muskegon
Grace Whitney – actress (Yeoman Rand); Ann Arbor
Jack Van Impe – televangelist; Freeport
Kate Upton – model, actress; St Joseph
Terry O’Quinn – actor; Chippewa County
Jordyn Wieber – 2012 Gold Medal gymnast; Dewitt
Norman McLeod – director (Marx Brothers); Grayling
Tom Izzo – coach; Dickerson County
Casey Kasem – Radio DJ, Detroit
Jamie Hyneman – MythBusters, Marshall
Kate Upton – model / actress, St Joseph
William E. Boeing – aviation pioneer, Detroit
Roger B. Chaffee – astronaut, Grand Rapids
Mary Barra – CEO of GM, Waterford
Roy D. Chapin – co-founder of Hudson Motors, Lansing
John DeLorean – founded DeLorean Motor Co, Detroit
Horace Elgin Dodge – cofounder of Dodge Brothers Co., Niles
John Francis Dodge – cofounder of Dodge Brothers Co., Niles
Tom Selleck – actor / producer, Detroit
Gregory Ellis Mathis – Judge Mathis, Detroit
Lilly Tomlin – comedian / actress, Detroit
Lee Majors – actor, Wyandotte
Thomas Roy Skerritt – actor, Detroit
Ed McMahon – comedian / actor / announcer, Detroit
Francis Ford Coppola – film maker, Detroit
Sonny Bono – musician / actor / congressman, Detroit
Ted Nugent – musician / activist, Redford
Dick Martin – Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-in, Battle Creek;
Robert Wagner – Movies and TV, Detroit;
Christy Brinkley – Model / actress, Monroe;
Stevie Wonder – Singer / composer, Saginaw;
Gilda Radner – Comedian / actress, Detroit;
Steven Segal – Movies, Lansing;
Sandra Bernhard – Movies / comedian, Flint;
Della Reese – Singer / actress, Detroit;
Robert Armstrong – Actor, Saginaw.

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Tiny Cities

Emily Bingham

When the Michigan territory was first surveyed, it was laid out in a grid of townships each measuring six square miles, supposedly the distance someone could travel on horse to and from the county courthouse in one day. Michigan now has more than 500 incorporated municipalities, and many of them are quite small— though the smallest ones are not necessarily the most remote. Read on to learn a little about some of Michigan’s cities (not including villages) with populations of less than 1,000. The location of the smallest city may surprise you.

Pop: 290 Incorporated: 1984 Though Omer claims the title of “smallest city in Michigan,” Lake Angelus is officially Michigan’s smallest, but it’s located in Oakland County, the second- most populous county in the state. It’s also tiny, size-wise: The city takes up 1.6 square miles, 0.6 of which is taken up by the lake that gives the city its name.

Pop: 337 Incorporated: 1903 Signs on the way into Omer declare it to be Michigan’s smallest city, but it is the second smallest. Omer is intersected by the Rifle River, which played a role in a story that gained international attention, when a canoeist who’d fallen into the river was ticketed, under an antiquated law, for swearing in front of children.

Pop: 514 Incorporated: 1905 This little city on the shores of Lake Huron was founded in the late 1800s and retains several of its turn-of-the-century structures, which can be seen on the Harrisville Heritage Route Trail. The city’s harbor is also a popular spot for trout and salmon fishing.

Pop.: 347 Incorporated: 1948 Named after the speculator who bought and platted this land at the turn of the 20th century, this Iron County city and former mining town sits along the far western border of the Upper Peninsula. It shares a police and fire department with the neighboring small city of Caspian.

Pop: 653 Incorporated: 1905 This former lumber town was founded under the name “Churchill,” but was renamed to honor its founder, Allen S. Rose, around the turn of the century when the railroads came through. The city suffered in 1910 when a fire wiped out 30 buildings in less than an hour.

Pop: 384 Incorporated: 1907 Located in Iosco County, just north of Saginaw Bay, Whittemore encompasses less than one square mile (0.99 square miles, to be exact). One of Whittemore’s claims to fame is the Whittemore Speedway, the longest continuously operating racetrack in the state.

Pop: 656 Incorporated: 1907 This Missaukee County city got its start as a sawmill town in the late 1800s. Its home to the very tiny roadside Wayside Chapel and is surrounded by scenic, rolling farms.

Pop: 492 Incorporated: 1899 As many as 15,000 tourists may cram onto this 3.8-mile island on a summer day during peak season, yet the year-round population is less than 500 residents. Many of the fulltime residents live in Harrisonville (known to some as “the village”), which is just up a hill past the Grand Hotel.

Pop: 777 Incorporated: 2010 Caseville sits on the tip of Michigan’s Thumb, at the mouth of the Pigeon River where it empties into Saginaw Bay. The 10-day “Cheeseburger in Caseville” festival, which celebrates Jimmy Buffet and the city’s “tropical” Great Lakes paradise vibe, is a major draw every August.

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The History of the USS Michigan

Reprinted from Wikipedia Searches

Side Wheel Steamer

USS Michigan was the United States Navy's first iron-hulled warship and served during the American Civil War. The side wheel steamer Michigan was built in response to the British Government arming two steamers in response to the Canadian rebellions in the late 1830s with Secretary of the Navy Abel P. Upshur selecting an iron hull partly as a test of practicability of using such a "cheap and indestructible a material" for ships. The ship was designed by Samuel Hart, and fabricated in parts at Pittsburgh in the last half of 1842, transported overland and assembled at Erie. The launch on 5 December 1843 was unsuccessful with the ship sticking after moving some 50 feet (15.2 m) down the ways and efforts to complete the launch ended by nightfall. On returning in the morning Hart found Michigan had launched "herself in the night" and was floating offshore in Lake Erie.

By 1908 the ship was noted in the journal The American Marine Engineer as being the oldest metal hulled vessel then existing and of interest to engineers because of the ship's age. The two engines were inclined simple steam engines of 36 inches (91.4 cm) with a 96 inches (243.8 cm) stroke that were original and running well in 1908. The first of three sets of boilers were return flue type that lasted fifty years before finally being replaced by bricked in return tube types. The operating pressure was low, 25 pounds (11.3 kg) sufficient to drive the engines at 20 rpm, with engine room piping of .125 inches (0.318 cm) thick copper connecting with brass flange joints. When, about 1905, the ship finally changed from kerosene lights to electric a special engine for the dynamo had to be constructed to operate on the low pressure steam. The steam was also used in a peculiar system for repelling boarders with hot water direct from the boiler. Coal consumption before the latest modifications was two tons per hour and after the modifications was as low as one half ton per hour. The ship carried two steam launches. The ship had never made even ten knots until dispatched from the harbor at Cleveland to Buffalo to prevent riots on the assassination of President William McKinley 6 September 1901 and, with the safeties weighted, she made almost fourteen knots at 30 rpm at one point.

Early Career
Michigan commissioned 29 September 1844 under the command of Commander William Inman and operated on the Great Lakes out of Erie, Pennsylvania, throughout her career. In May 1851, she assisted in the arrest of Mr. James Jesse Strang, known as "King James I", who headed a dissident Mormon colony on Beaver Island at the head of Lake Michigan, some 37 mi (60 km) from the Straits of Mackinac. Strang was soon freed, but was assassinated by two of his followers on 19 June 1856. The assassins fled to Michigan for sanctuary and were taken to Mackinac and released.

In an encounter with Great Lakes "timber pirates" the USS Michigan was rammed in the early hours of 6 May 1853, in southern Lake Huron, by the wooden-hulled Buffalo, the Michigan was badly damaged, but the Buffalo proceeded south towards the St. Clair River and was not "captured." Despite this, the Michigan assisted in arresting several of the timbermen who had been stealing timber in Michigan.

American Civil War
During the American Civil War, Michigan was armed with a 30-pounder Parrott rifle, five 20-pounder Parrott rifles, six 24-pounder smoothbores, and two 12-pounder boat howitzers. The Confederate States of America considered launching attacks against the North from Canada. Early in 1863, Lieutenant William Henry Murdaugh, CSN, planned to lead a group of Confederate naval officers to Canada where they would purchase a small steamer, man her with Canadians and steam to Erie to board Michigan and use her against locks and shipping on the Great Lakes. However, Confederate President Jefferson Davis didn't approve the plan.

Michigan cruised on the Great Lakes during most of the war providing an element of stability and security. On 28 July 1863, a short time after New York City had been seriously shaken by riots, Commander John C. Carter commanding Michigan reported from Detroit, "I found the people suffering under serious apprehensions of a riot....The presence of the ships perhaps did something toward overawing the refractory, and certainly did much to allay the apprehensions of the excited, doubting people." During August 1863, Michigan was called on for similar service in Buffalo, New York.

During 1864, rumors of Confederate conspiracies in Canada were heard again. In March, Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles ordered Michigan to be "prepared for active service as soon as the ice will permit." In the autumn, the Confederates finally struck. Led by Acting Master John Yates Beall, 20 Confederates embarked on the steamer Philo Parsons as passengers and soon seized her. They next captured and burned the steamer Island Queen. Meanwhile, Captain Charles H. Cole, CSA, a Confederate agent in the Lake Erie region, was attempting to gain the trust of Michigan's officers as the Michigan lay off Johnson's Island helping to guard Confederate prisoners. However, Commander Carter discovered Cole's duplicity and had him arrested before Beall reached Johnson's Island on Philo Parsons. When the prearranged signals from shore were not made, Beall reluctantly abandoned his plan and retired to Sandwich (now Windsor, Ontario) where he stripped and burned Philo Parsons.

Later U.S. Navy service
After the Civil War, Michigan remained in U.S. Navy service, and was the ship which intercepted and interned the army of the Fenian Brotherhood as it returned from its invasion of Canada near Buffalo in 1866. Michigan was renamed USS Wolverine on 17 June 1905 to free up the name Michigan for use by the new battleship USS Michigan (BB-27).

Wolverine was decommissioned on 6 May 1912.

Pennsylvania Naval Militia service
Wolverine was turned over to the Pennsylvania Naval Militia, which she served for 11 years, making training cruises in the summer for the United States Naval Reserve. For the 1913 centennial of the War of 1812 Battle of Lake Erie, Wolverine towed the brig USS Niagara from port to port as part of the celebrations. In mid-1920, when the U.S. Navy adopted its modern alphanumeric hull number system, she was classified as a "miscellaneous auxiliary" and designated IX-31. On 12 August 1923, a connecting rod of Wolverine's port cylinder broke, ending her active career.

In 1927, Wolverine's hulk was pushed up onto a sandbank in Misery Bay on the Presque Isle State Park Peninsula and loaned to the city of Erie, Pennsylvania, as a relic. She was sold to the Foundation for the Preservation of the Original USS Michigan, Inc., on 19 July 1948. But when fund-raising efforts failed to acquire sufficient money for her restoration and preservation, she was cut up and sold for scrap in 1949 to the Ace Junk & Salvage Company. Sam Tanenbaum, proprietor, donated the prow back to the city of Erie.

In 1950, Wolverine's prow was erected as a monument in Wolverine Park in Erie, near the shipyard where she had been built. On 22 February 1998, the prow was moved to the Erie Maritime Museum for restoration. Today it can be viewed inside the museum.

South Carolina-Class Battleship

USS Michigan (BB-27), a South Carolina-class battleship, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named in honor of the 26th state. She was the second member of her class, the first dreadnought battleships built for the US Navy. She was laid down in December 1906, launched in May 1908; sponsored by Mrs. F. W. Brooks, daughter of Secretary of the Navy Truman Newberry; and commissioned into the fleet 4 January 1910. Michigan and South Carolina were armed with a main battery of eight 12-inch (305 mm) guns in superfiring twin gun turrets; they were the first dreadnoughts to feature this arrangement.

USS Michigan (BB-27) spent her career in the Atlantic Fleet. She frequently cruised the east coast of the United States and the Caribbean Sea, and in April 1914 took part in the United States occupation of Veracruz during the Mexican Civil War. After the United States entered World War I in April 1917, Michigan was employed as a convoy escort and training ship for the rapidly expanding wartime navy. In January 1918, her forward cage mast collapsed in heavy seas, killing six men. In 1919, she ferried soldiers back from Europe. The ship conducted training cruises in 1920 and 1921, but her career was cut short by the Washington Naval Treaty signed in February 1922, which mandated the disposal of Michigan and South Carolina. Michigan was decommissioned in February 1923 and broken up for scrap the following year.

Ohio-Class Nuclear-Powered Guided Missile Submarine

USS Michigan (SSBN-727/SSGN-727) is the second Ohio-class nuclear-powered guided missile submarine in the United States Navy. She is the third ship to bear the name of the state of Michigan.

USS Michigan (SSBN-727/SSGN-727) was constructed at the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corporation in Groton, Connecticut and was commissioned on 11 September 1982. Michigan arrived in Bangor, Washington on 16 March 1983 and completed sixty-six Strategic Deterrent Patrols.

As of June 2007, Michigan has been converted to an SSGN at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. Her hull classification symbol then changed from SSBN-727 to SSGN-727.

On 12 December 2009, Michigan returned to Naval Base Kitsap, her home base, completing her first deployment after the SSGN conversion. The deployment began 10 November 2008, and included numerous missions. The ship also completed several theater security cooperation engagements with Pacific Rim nations.

On 28 June 2010, Michigan was one of three Ohio-class submarines involved in a US response to Chinese missile testing in the contested East China Sea. Michigan, Ohio, and Florida all surfaced simultaneously in the waters of South Korea, the Philippines, and the British Indian Ocean Territory respectively.

USS Michigan (SSBN-727/SSGN-727) is still on active duty with the US Navy. Her moto is Tuebor (I will defend). She is home to 15 officers and 140 crew. Home port is Bangor, Washington.

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Michigan’s Super-Power Steam Locomotives

Kevin P. Keefe For via Michigan History magazine

In the age of steam locomotives, trains regularly rode the rails that stretched through the U.S. One Michigan railroad company — the Pere Marquette — employed 39 impressive Super Power steam locomotives to transport goods across the state. Those “Berkshire” locomotives are remembered in Michigan for their historical impact, their splendor and their extraordinary power.

Early on a frigid December morning, long before dawn, there is a commotion inside a small industrial building on the east side of Owosso. Inside, past a pair of huge doors atop railroad tracks, comes the soft sound of steam. At first, it is merely a simmer, but after a while, it becomes a louder, more powerful rumble and, finally, a steady plume of coal smoke emerges from a rooftop chimney. Soon, the doors open to reveal a magnificent, gleaming-black steam locomotive, its towering 69-inch driving wheels slowly moving to the rhythm of shiny steel rods. The entire machine sings with the hiss of high-pressure steam— the sound of an awesome power.

The locomotive is Pere Marquette No. 1225. It is the pride of the Steam Railroading Institute, a museum dedicated to railroading in the first half of the 20thcentury. Preserved and maintained at Owosso since 1983, the 1225 is one of a handful of large, mainline steam locomotives still operating in the U.S. In standard railroad nomenclature, 1225 is called a “Berkshire.” It is classified as a 2-8-4, which refers to its two leading wheels, eight driving wheels and four wheels under the firebox at the rear of the engine, where the coal fire pushes the boiler pressure to 245 pounds per square inch.

Later that afternoon, 1225 will take a trainload of families and railroad fans on a ride through the snowy countryside aboard Steam Railroading Institute’s “North Pole Express,” a holiday train ride complete with Santa Claus and Christmas treats. Children and parents will marvel at 1225’s smoke and steam, and grandparents will remember an era when they heard melodious whistles in the night.

But there is much more to Pere Marquette 1225 than its role as a token of nostalgia. The locomotive is an important symbol of technological progress in Michigan, as well as a historical artifact of an era when the railroad industry pushed the design of steam locomotives to the limit, creating a class of super machines that ruled the rails for 20 years before bowing to the diesel engine.

Picture of 1225 Super-Power Steam Locomotive 1225


Lower Michigan was dominated by three major railroad companies during the steam era: New York Central, Grand Trunk Western and Pere Marquette. By the late 1920s, all three were fielding state-of-the-art steam locomotives. While partisans of New York Central and Grand Trunk Western might disagree, the title of “best steam locomotive in Michigan” must be reserved for the Pere Marquette’s 1225 and 38 sister machines, all of which were members of an elite family of locomotives.

Top-shelf locomotives weren’t always the Pere Marquette’s style. With origins in 78 small, ancestral grain- and timber-hauling railways of the 19th century, the Pere Marquette Railroad stitched itself together in 1900 from a merger of three separate companies that linked Detroit, Toledo and Saginaw with Grand Rapids and Chicago to the west. The owners named the railroad for the Pere Marquette River, which spills into Lake Michigan at Ludington.

The Pere Marquette finally reached the big leagues in the 1920s, when it was pulled into the orbit of O.P. and M.J. Van Sweringen, bachelor brothers who had made a fortune in Cleveland real estate before moving into railroading. They were leading exponents of leveraged financing, using holding companies to extend control of business after business.

In 1916, the brothers acquired the New York, Chicago & St. Louis Railroad, known as the Nickel Plate Road. By 1924, their empire had grown exponentially with the acquisition of the Erie Railroad, Chesapeake & Ohio and Pere Marquette, which were in a holding company called the Alleghany Corp. While Pere Marquette was the smallest of the properties, it was a key part of Alleghany’s portfolio. The Van Sweringens invested heavily in their Michigan acquisition by improving track, renovating signaling and building new freight yards and locomotive terminals. That investment was most visible in the city of Wyoming, on the southwest side of Grand Rapids, where a major expansion in 1923 brought huge new repair shops and a full-circle, 42-stall roundhouse.

The Van Sweringens, however, could not foresee the Great Depression, which cut deeply into their fortunes. From 1929 to 1930, Pere Marquette’s stock price fell by half, from $260 per share to $130. In 1931, the price plunged to $4. Only Chesapeake & Ohio, blessed with lucrative coal traffic, kept the business afloat. Both Van Sweringen brothers died within a year of each other during the Depression: M.J. on Dec. 12, 1935, and O.P. on Nov. 23, 1936.

Though the Alleghany Corp. was now limping through the Depression without its founders, the company continued to plan for a bright future. To ensure the best technology, management in Cleveland had organized an Advisory Mechanical Committee to pool member companies’ best engineering talent. The committee was influenced significantly by developments at Lima Locomotive Works in Lima, Ohio, where chief designer William Woodard was touting a revolutionary concept called “Super Power.” Woodard had developed a prototype locomotive called the A-1, the first machine to feature a 2-8-4 wheel arrangement. A four-wheel truck under an expanded firebox was the key to Super Power. Customers were demanding faster trains, but Woodard and his team determined locomotives were reaching their practical size limit because of weight and clearance restrictions across the U.S. rail system.


Woodard figured the answer was not to build bigger, heavier engines but to build more powerful ones. That meant finding a way to dramatically boost the steaming capacity of boilers, starting with the firebox. The new Berkshires wowed the Nickel Plate’s operating department and attracted the attention of Pere Marquette, which, in 1937, bought 15 Berkshire locomotives from Lima. Numbered 1201 to 1215 and designated the N-class, the Pere Marquette engines were slightly larger than the Nickel Plate’s 2-84s, with 26- by 34-inch cylinders, and 7,600 pounds heavier at 436,500 pounds. The tender capacities were the same, measured at 22 tons of coal and 22,000 gallons of water. Each machine could generate about 69,000 pounds of tractive effort and 3,000 horsepower.

After the WWII, the Pere Marquette’s move toward diesels accelerated as the railroad fell under the influence of Chesapeake & Ohio, which had controlled the Pere Marquette since a 1931 stock swap with Alleghany subsidiaries and had long coveted the latter’s huge industrial base. Steam locomotives were customized machines that required an army of boilermakers, pipefitters and machinists to manufacture them, as well as a massive fixed plant with shops, roundhouses and coaling towers to service them. The diesel, on the other hand, was mass-produced. It could run all day on a single tank of fuel, produce incredible amounts of traction at any speed and rendered many employee classifications unnecessary.

The first Pere Marquette division to drop steam locomotives in 1950 was the Canadian District, which linked Detroit with St. Thomas, Ontario, and Buffalo, New York. The Saginaw and Grand Rapids Districts followed shortly thereafter. The final active terminal for the Berkshires was in Holland, where some machines were used in the helper service over New Richmond Hill. The last active 2-8-4, its number lost to history, was dispatched Nov. 25, 1951, from Waverly yard to Grand Rapids to be decommissioned, closing out steam on Pere Marquette.


Hundreds of Pere Marquette railroaders had worked on the Berkshires since 1937, loving and respecting the gallant engines. The 2-8-4s had as profound an effect on the company’s fortunes as any motive power on any railroad. But, by 1951, the locomotives were merely business assets, holding value mainly as scrap metal. Chesapeake & Ohio began selling the 2-8-4s to scrappers, but 13 evaded that fate for a time, stored at a freight yard in New Buffalo. Though most were sold to salvagers by 1961, two Berkshires were rescued — the 1223, originally displayed at the old Michigan State Fair grounds in Detroit before moving to an outdoor exhibit in Grand Haven. The 1225, first exhibited at Michigan State University, is now at home in Owosso.

As if to confirm 1225’s status as one of Michigan’s finest steam locomotives — and its Lima Super Power heritage — the National Park Service in 1995 placed the engine on its National Register of Historic Places. With that honor, and with the dedication of scores of SRI employees and volunteers in Owosso, the locomotive continues to teach new generations about a glorious episode in America’s technical history.

Sorry I don’t have the space to post the entire great story here, but you can read the rest at: Grand Rapids Press and find Sunday Nov. 20, 2016; Riding the Rails: Michigan’s Super-Power Steam Locomotives.section D, page 2.

Be sure to visit the Steam Railroading Institute’s web site at

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Can you pass this Michigan quiz?

By Emily Bingham; in The Grand Rapids Press

The naturalization test is a key part of the process for becoming a U.S. citizen— of its 100 questions, an applicant is asked 10 and must get at least six correct.

We decided to imagine what might be on a Michigan naturalization test, and put together the following quiz— covering civics, history, geography and some random trivia— to test readers’ knowledge. (Be warned: Some of the questions are tough.) So, would you make the grade if you had to pass to become a true Michigander? Test your mitten knowledge here. Good luck!

Parrot; American robin; Common loon; Northern cardinal

83; 75; 99; 4

Jan. 26, 1837; Aug. 21, 1959; June 6, 1944; March 1, 1803

Rick Snyder; Ruth Johnson; Debbie Stabenow; Bill Schuette

Stevens T. Mason; Alpheus Fetch; George W. Romney; Rick Scott

15; 30; 5; 10

True; False

True; False

Apple blossom; Tulip; Rose; Sunflower

Wolverine; Elk; Moose; Bald eagle

Michigan has more public golf courses than any other state. Michigan has more lighthouses than any other state. Michigan has more rivers than any other state. Michigan has more state forest land than any other state.

He was the first chief justice of the Michigan Territory. He was the first to propose moving Michigan’s capitol from Detroit to Lansing. He was one of the founders of the University of Michigan. He helped redesign Detroit after the fire of 1805.

Detroit; St. Ignace; Sault Ste. Marie; Marquette

37 percent; 53 percent; 68 percent; 17 percent

We will prevail. Strength. Forever. I will defend.

Gerber (the baby food); Jiffy (the baking mix); Big Boy (the restaurant); Bissell (the vacuum cleaner)

“Big peninsula”; “Big hand”; “Big forests”; “Big water”

True; False

15; 22; 6; 3

True; False


0-5 Have you heard of Michigan? It’s a state located in the Midwestern U.S.

6-10 You must be new to Michigan.

11-15 You have an impressive amount of Michigan knowledge, friend.

16-20 You are a true Michigander.


1. The American Robin is the state bird of Michigan.

2. There are a total of 83 counties in Michigan, with 68 in the Lower Peninsula and 15 in the U.P.

3. Michigan became the 26th state on Jan. 26,1837.

4. Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson was first elected to the position in 2010.

5. Stevens T. Mason, known as the “ boy governor,” was just 23 when he was elected in 1835.

6. Thereare15 public universities in Michigan.

7. False. According to Census data from 2015, Michigan ranked10th, with a population of 9.9 million.

8. True. Michigan is at11th, between Wyoming and Minnesota, when it comes to area.

9. The apple blossom is the state flower of Michigan.

10. A wolverine is not featured on the state flag of Michigan.

11. Michigan does have more lighthouses, public golf courses and state forest land than any other state, but it does not have the most rivers.

12. Woodward did many things, but did not suggest moving Michigan’s state capital (which was moved to Lansing in 1847, 20 years after Woodward’s death).

13. European settlers founded a Jesuit mission in Sault Ste. Marie in1668.

14. 53 percent of Michigan is forested.

15. The word “TUEBOR” on the state seal’s coat of arms means “I will defend.”

16. Big Boy is headquartered in Warren, but was founded as Bob’s Pantry” in Glendale, California, in 1936.

17. The meaning of Michigan’s name comes from “bigwater” or“ big lake.”

18. True. The 38th president of the U.S. was born in Omaha, Nebraska; but his mother moved him to Grand Rapids shortly after his birth.

19. You’re never more than 6 miles from water in Michigan.

20. The only state with more coast line than Michigan is Alaska.

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Fun Facts About Left-Handed People That You Didn’t Know.

Being left handed I find this interesting. Hope you do to:

  1. Did you know that 5 to 10% of the world population is left handed?
  2. Left handed people are 3-times more likely to become alcoholics.
  3. Left handed people use their right side of the brain (most of the time).
  4. Left handed people tend to reach puberty 5 months later – than normal.
  5. Left handed people are good in many sports: baseball, tennis, swimming, boxing, etc. Did you know that more than 40% of the top tennis players in the world are left handed?
  6. Four, out of the seven, recent United States presidents were left handed.
  7. According to the statistics, left handed college graduates go on to become 26% richer, compared to their right handed colleagues.
  8. In the past, left handed people and left-handedness has been related and seen as many bad things, such as: mark of the devil, a sign of neurosis, nasty habit, rebellion, criminality, and homosexuality. Left-handedness has also been seen as a trait indicating creativity and musical abilities.
  9. Did you know that the word “left” in English actually comes from the Anglo-Saxon word lyft – which means weak or broken?
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Around Michigan

  1. Michigan has the largest State Forest system in the nation.
  2. Michigan is home to the Soo Locks, the world's busiest lock system, and the Mackinac and Ambassador Bridges, each formerly the world's longest suspension bridge.
  3. Michigan is the 11th largest state of the United States, and it was the 26th state to become part of the United States in 1837.
  4. The soda beverage Vernors was invented in Michigan.
  5. Faygo was founded in Detroit on November 4, 1907.
  6. Michigan is the largest producers of cherries of all the states.
  7. The name Michigan is derived from the Indian words "Michi-gama" meaning large lake.
  8. The State Nickname is the "Great Lake State." Others include "Wolverine State" or "Water Winter Wonderland."
  9. The State motto is “If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you.”
  10. From 13000 BC to 12000 BC The most recent of four major glaciers (Wisconsin glaciation) started to recede leaving a tundra like environment. The melting ice formed the Great Lakes, the Upper Peninsula and Lower Peninsula (in the Michigan Basin)
  11. About 12800 BC Mastodons and other ice age mammals started to appear in the fossil record
  12. from 11000 BC to 9000 BC Archeological evidence of Paleo-Indians in the form of sharpened stone tool points known as fluted biface appears.
  • Michigan is a leading state in the ownership of recreational boats and in the sale of hunting and fishing licenses.
  • Michigan ranks 3rd in the nation in licensed hunters at over 750,000.
  • The Great Lakes account for one-fifth of the world's surface freshwater supply.
  • Its shoreline is longer than every other state except Alaska.
  • Michigan is home to more public golf courses than any other state.
  • Michigan has 116 lighthouses and navigational lights.
  • Michigan has approximately 40 ski resorts.
  • Michigan has more than 4,000 miles of snowmobile trails.
  • Michigan ranks 1st in the nation in the number of registered snowmobiles.
  • Michigan forestland covers more than 52 percent of the state at 18.5 million acres.

  • One of the largest moose herds in the United States is at the Isle Royal Park shelters.
  • Based on sketches by Leonardo Da Vinci, this 24-foot sculpture known as “American Horse” in Grand Rapids the largest equestrian sculpture in the Western Hemisphere.
  • The 19 chandeliers in the Capitol in Lansing were specifically designed for the building by Tiffany’s.
  • Michigan’s state stone, The Petoskey can be found along Lake Michigan.
  • Grand Rapids’ very own Gerald Ford was the 38th president.
  • Windsor, Ontario is south of Detroit, Michigan, and is separated by the Detroit River. Windsor marks the only border crossing where entering the mainland United States from Canada involves traveling north.
  • Michigan is simultaneously known for its cities, supported by heavy industry, and its pristine wilderness, home to more than 11,000 lakes.
  • The canal and locks at Lake Huron were opened in 1855.
  • Michigan has around 150 lighthouses, the most of any U.S. state. The first lighthouses in Michigan were built between 1818 and 1822.
  • Michigan has the most registered boats (over 1 million) of any state in the Union.
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Treasure Or Tall Tale

By Garret Ellison as published by MLive on 2-22-15

Sometime in the mid-1890s, a boxcar laden with gold bullion stolen from the Confederacy at the end of the Civil War allegedly was pushed off a ferry into the roiling waters of Lake Michigan during a storm. Today, it awaits discovery on the lake bottom. As far as treasure stories go, it’s a doozy. But is it believable?

Unfortunately, there’s only one way to know for sure whether the story advanced by Muskegon-area shipwreck divers Frederick J. Monroe and Kevin Dykstra is anything more than a new entry in the encyclopedia of theories about what became of the fabled Confederate treasury after the war. Based largely on a deathbed confession relayed to Monroe in 1973, Monroe and Dykstra have spent several years searching the waters off Northern Michigan’s Benzie County for the treasure, which they fully expect will be found this summer. On board with the tale is Frankfort Superintendent Joshua Mills, who is excited by the economic prospects of treasure seekers descending on his coastal town en masse with a modern day version of gold fever.

Less convinced are Civil War historians, who consider the story preposterous. “It’s all a bunch of hogwash,” said Rand Bitter, author of a biography about the Union Army officer at the center of Dykstra and Monroe’s treasure theory. One might expect nothing less when it comes to a gold story.

A Tale Of The Tallest Order?

The thought of Confederate gold sunk in local waters is an intriguing notion that is sure to spark interest among Michigan residents. If true, then the answer to one of the country’s greatest mysteries has been in our backyard for more than a century. The story came under public scrutiny last fall, when Monroe and Dykstra announced the discovery of an unidentified Lake Michigan shipwreck bearing resemblance to Le Griffon, the yet undiscovered “holy grail” of Great Lakes wrecks. Amid the ongoing clamor around Le Griffon, the duo’s real purpose almost was rendered a footnote.

Finding the shipwreck — which they did in 2011 but held back announcing for several years was an accident, they said. The two actually were searching for sunken Civil War gold. Wait … what? Their story about how rebel gold found its way into Lake Michigan seems plausible as plausible, anyway, as any of the other folklore based on the 150-yearold legend of the Confederate treasury, which vanished under fairly well-known circumstances in 1865. There’s even an established Michigan connection. Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy, was captured on May 10, 1865, by members of the Fourth Michigan Cavalry near Irwinville, Georgia, about a month after the fall of the Confederate capital, Richmond, Virginia. Davis fled Richmond with the rebels’ hard currency reserves. Accounts differ on the exact size and makeup of the treasure, but it’s generally thought to have been about $1 million worth of gold, silver and jewelry. According to historical accounts, the treasure was gone by the time the cavalry caught u p with Davis and his men, who had little money on them.

What happened to the treasure? Monroe and Dykstra have a theory. Here it goes: A colonel with the Fourth Michigan named Robert Horatio George Minty went back down to Georgia more than a decade after Davis was captured and dug up the hidden gold. Minty, who retired as a brigadier general, was wrongfully court-martialed during the war. This, Dykstra and Monroe think, gave him motive to commit treason. Minty, who worked as a railroad superintendent after the war, somehow managed to get the treasure onto a boxcar headed north for Michigan. His destination: Upper Peninsula copper country, a region with known gold deposits. To get there, the gold needed to cross Lake Michigan. In 1892, the Ann Arbor Railroad began using coal-powered lake ferries to bypass congested Chicago train yards. From Frankfort, the ferries served ports in Wisconsin and the U. P. In dire straits, rail cars were sometimes pushed overboard in rough seas.

During one side-scan sonar search of the lake off Frankfort in 2012, Monroe and Dykstra found a coal car on the lake bottom. The two divers consider it a signpost indicating the deathbed confession is accurate and gold is real. “I believe the boxcar is out there, and this spring we’ll find it,” Dykstra said.

Do The Dots Connect?

Many dots must connect for Monroe and Dykstra’s theory to make sense. Rand Bitter, a former Ford Motor Co. design cost specialist who self-published an exhaustively researched 2006 book called “Minty and his Cavalry: A History of the Sabre Brigade,” thinks the theory is built on a shaky foundation. Col. Minty, Bitter said, was not present when Davis was captured by men led by a subordinate officer, Lt. Col. Benjamin D. Pritchard, of Allegan. “If three tons of gold had been hidden away in a hurry by Pritchard and his men, how would Minty have coordinated that from 150 miles away?” Bitter asked. “He wouldn’t have even known about it. They had to send a courier with word that Davis had been captured.” Other elements of the Minty connection are suspect, Bitter said, who contends that Minty’s postwar railroad employment never put him in the right position to manage a secret boxcar all the way from Georgia to Michigan. After the war, Minty’s first wife, Grace Ann Abbott, apparently was seen in Traverse City wit h a necklace made from a Confederate gold coin sovereign a detail Dykstra and Monroe feel supports their theory. Here, Bitter and the divers almost are on the same page. The coin necklace was real. Bitter thinks it most likely was given to Minty following Davis’ capture. The cavalryman also got Davis’ revolver and holsters, which now are on display in a Richmond museum. He never got any reward money for the capture.

But the hardest part for Bitter to reconcile is the family connection. Minty scandalously moved to Indiana in the 1870s and started a second family with his wife’s sister, Laura Abbott. Minty essentially became persona non grata with much of the Abbott family after that. It’s an important detail, because Minty’s brother-in- law, George Alexander Abbott, was the person who allegedly made the deathbed confession about a boxcar full of gold in Lake Michigan to a friend of Monroe’s grandfather. From depositions taken after Minty’s death, Bitter said it’s quite clear George Abbott did not care much for Minty after the cavalryman’s affair. “That’s supposedly someone who would know all about Minty’s gold?” he asked. “Interesting he’d have all the details.”

Frankfort Ready For Gold Seekers

Bitter and Dykstra have talked, but the divers and the chief critic of their theory didn’t connect before the gold-in-the-lake story hit the news. If the deathbed confession turns out to be true and gold is found, Dykstra acknowledged the possibility that it may not be from the Confederate treasury. The Minty theory grew out of his early research. Dykstra was drawn to the Civil War angle when that was the only reference to missing gold from the time period he could find on the Internet. He realizes it’s a “long stretch.”

Civil War experts aren’t the only skeptics. Shipwreck divers around the state are curious, but some question, privately, whether Monroe and Dykstra aren’t also angling for something like a reality TV show. The duo isn’t tightly networked with the wider Great Lakes shipwreck diving community by choice, they said.

The two men met about 20 years ago at a wedding. Both have backgrounds as professional photographers. Monroe, 61, of Muskegon, is a scuba instructor who said he graduated from dive school in California in 1972. He taught Dykstra, 51, of Fruitport, to dive a few years ago. “I’ve been treasure hunting pretty much my whole life,” Monroe said. The divers have met with Michigan officials, but state archeologist Dean Anderson declined to take a strong position on the veracity of their theory. If gold is found, the state likely will claim it as abandoned material on Michigan bottomland. “It’s not a story I’m familiar with,” said Anderson, who called the divers “forthcoming and cooperative,” particularly in recent discussions about a planned dive to the possible Le Griffon site this spring or summer. “I’m not in any position to evaluate what they’ve had to say” about the gold, he said. “We only learned much detail about it very recently.”

More discussions between the divers and the state are possible but not planned. In Frankfort, city superintendent Joshua Mills is eager for something to happen. Monroe and Dykstra have kept Mills in the loop since their initial dives began in 2011. The pair had a hand in helping outfit the Frankfort Fire Department with dive equipment paid for with some local private grants. They also have done some training sessions with the dive team, Mills said. If Frankfort gets an influx of treasure-seekers drawn to the gold story, it’s best the city be prepared for whatever could happen, Monroe said. “We’re pretty certain that gold will be found,” he said. “With all the people who come out, we think there’s a good chance it’ll be found this summer.” If that happens, Mills wants people to know there’s no monetary incentive in the treasure hunt. The state of Michigan probably would claim the gold, but, assuming there is gold down there, there could be other legal ownership claims advanced, depending on the treasure’s origin. “I think preserving the history and putting closure to the legend is something that could be a benefit to all,” Mills said. “We’ll see.”

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Aircraft Carriers On Lake Michigan?

By Garret Ellison as published by MLive on 2-22-15

The familiar mantra was prevalent around Northern Michigan in the early 1940s, when a pair of U.S. Navy aircraft carriers traversed Lake Michigan on daily pilot training operations the local folks knew about but didn’t discuss. “You didn’t know who you could trust,” said Amanda Wetzel, assistant director at the Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum near Northport. “The belief among everyone up here was that there were German and Japanese spies everywhere,” said Wetzel, who has spent months researching the secret naval training on Lake Michigan during World War II. Wetzel’s research is the focus of an upcoming exhibit at the lighthouse museum’s Fog Signal building. She has interviewed numerous veterans of the pilot training as well as people who lived around Northern Michigan and remember the operations and servicemen in town. “It’s become a very big project.”

Between 1943 and 1945, two U.S. Navy aircraft carriers stationed at Navy Pier in Chicago functioned as training platform for about 17,000 pilots, signal officers and other personnel. Former President George H. W. Bush was among the pilots who learned to take off and land on the 500-foot carrier decks. The carriers, the USS Sable and USS Wolverine, were converted Great Lakes paddle steamers. They had shorter flights decks and no hangar bays and required enough lake wind for operations. Lake Michigan was chosen for the secret training because it’s the largest body of water within the contiguous United States, Wetzel said. She said eight to 12 pilots died during the training, and about 100 planes now rest on the lake bottom after crashing during training missions.

At the time, the Navy also was experimenting with using drones launched from the Sable. The program was developed as response to the Japanese kamikaze pilots following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Wetzel said. The drones were operated using a spin dial with coordinates, controlled by a manned airplane nearby. The Navy used the abandoned Waugoshance Point Light off Emmet County for drone bombing target practice, she said. “They would literally drop bombs or fly the drones into it,” she said.

The lighthouse museum’s exhibit will open with a May 23 ribbon cutting ceremony.

USS Wolverine underway in Lake Michigan, where it was stationed from 1943 to 1945 to train Navy pilots, signal officers and other personnel. (National Archives photo) Aircraft Carrier USS Wolverine on Lake Michigan

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Random Facts About Michigan

Charles A. Lindbergh was born in Detroit on Feb. 4, 1902.

Michigan began charging an annual license fee of 50 cents in 1915 for Autos.

Michigan's first police woman began walking the beat in Detroit in 1893.

In 1942, the Davison Freeway in Detroit was completed and became the world's first urban freeway.

Michigan ranks Number 1 nationally in the production of dog sleds.

The onion is Michigan's largest fresh-market vegetable crop.

Michigan is the ninth most populous of the 50 United States.

Michigan is the 11th most extensive total area of the 50 United States and the largest state by total area east of the Mississippi River.

Michigan is the only state to consist of two peninsulas.

Michigan was originally part of the larger Northwest Territory until 1800, when western Michigan became part of the Indiana Territory. Eventually, in 1805, the Michigan Territory was formed, which lasted until it was admitted into the Union on January 26, 1837, as the 26th state.

There are 11,000 inland lakes in Michigan, 36,000 miles of streams and 9,679 miles of freshwater coastline.

Boaters spend $3.9 billion each year in Michigan and create 50,000 jobs.

Fishermen contribute $2 billion to the Michigan economy each year.

Coastal tourism is responsible for creating 57,000 jobs and generates $955 million for the Michigan economy each year.

The canoe and kayaking industry brings in $140 million for the Michigan economy per year.

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Great Lakes Fun Facts:

1. Lake Superior is actually not a lake at all, but an inland sea. Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake in the world in area (if Lakes Michigan and Huron are taken separately) and the third largest in volume with an average depth of 483 feet; maximum depth 1,332 feet.

2. All of the four other Great Lakes, plus three more the size of Lake Erie, would fit inside of Lake Superior.

3. Isle Royale is a massive island surrounded by Lake Superior. Within this island are several smaller lakes. Yes, that’s a lake on a lake.

4. Despite its massive size, Lake Superior is an extremely young formation by Earth’s standards (only 10,000 years old).

5. There is enough water in Lake Superior to cover all of North and South America in 1 foot of water.

6. Lake Superior contains 3 quadrillion gallons of water (3,000,000,000,000,000). All five of the Great Lakes combined contain 6 quadrillion gallons.

7. Contained within Lake Superior is a whopping 10% of the world’s fresh surface water.

8. It’s estimated there are about 100 million lake trout in Lake Superior. That’s nearly one-fifth of the human population of North America!

9. There are small outlets through which water leaves Lake Superior. It takes two centuries for all the water in the lake to replace itself.

1. Lake Huron is the second largest among the Great Lakes and the fifth largest in the world, with an average depth of 195, maximum depth 750 feet.

2. If not for the Straits of Mackinac, Lake Michigan and Lake Huron might be considered one lake. Hydrologically speaking, they have the same mean water level and are considered one lake.

3. The ‘Keystone State’ was one of the largest and most luxurious wooden steamships running during the Civil War. In 1861, it disappeared. In 2013, it was found 30 miles northeast of Harrisville under 175 feet of water.

4. Goderich Mine is the largest salt mine in the world. Part of it runs underneath Lake Huron, more than 500 meters underground.

5. Below Lake Huron, there are 9,000-year-old animal-herding structures used by prehistoric people from when the water levels were significantly lower.

6. There are massive sinkholes in Lake Huron that have high amounts of sulfur and low amounts of oxygen, almost replicating the conditions of Earth’s ancient oceans 3 million years ago. Unique ecosystems are contained within them.

7. Lake Huron has the largest shore line length of any of the Great Lakes, counting its 30,000 islands.

8. The shoreline of all the Great Lakes combined equals nearly 44% of the circumference of the planet.

1. Lake Michigan ranks third among the Great Lakes, and sixth among all freshwater lakes in the world with an average depth of 279 feet, maximum depth 923 feet.

2. Lake Michigan is the only Great Lake that is entirely within the borders of the United States.

3. The largest fresh water sand dunes in the world line the shores of Lake Michigan.

4. Because water enters and exits Lake Michigan through the same path, it takes 77 years longer for the water to replace itself than in Huron, despite their similarity in size and depth. (Lake Michigan: 99 years, Lake Huron: 22 years)

5. When the temperature of Lake Michigan is below freezing, sometimes ice balls are formed.

6. Within Lake Michigan there is a “triangle” with a similar reputation to the Bermuda Triangle, where a large amount of “strange disappearances” have occurred. There have also been alleged UFO sightings.

7. Singapore, Mich., is a ghost town on the shores of Lake Michigan that was buried under sand in 1871. Because of severe weather conditions and a lack of resources due to the need to rebuild after the great Chicago fire, the town was lost completely.

8. In the mid-19th century, Lake Michigan had a pirate problem. Their booty: timber. In fact, the demise of Singapore is due in large part to the rapidly deforested area surrounding the town.

9. Jim Dreyer swam across Lake Michigan in 1998 (65 miles), and then in 2003, he swam the length of Lake Michigan (422 miles).

10. Lake Michigan was the location of the first recorded “Big Great Lakes disaster,” in which the steamer ‘Lady Elgin’ carrying 600 people collided with the schooner ‘Augusta’ delivering timber to Chicago. Four hundred and fifty people died.

1. Lake Erie is the fourth-largest Great Lake in surface area, and the smallest in depth with an average of 62 feet, maximum depth 210 feet. It’s the 11th largest lake on the planet.

2. There is alleged to be a 30- to 40-foot-long “monster” in Lake Erie named Bessie. The earliest recorded sighting goes back as early as 1793.

3. Water in Lake Erie replaces itself in only 2.6 years, which is notable considering the water in Lake Superior takes two centuries.

4. The original publication of Dr. Seuss’s ‘The Lorax’ contained the line, “I hear things are just as bad up in Lake Erie.” Fourteen years later, the Ohio Sea Grant Program wrote to Seuss to make the case that conditions had improved. He removed the line.

5. Not only is lake Erie the smallest Great Lake when it comes to volume, but it’s surrounded by the most industry. Seventeen metropolitan areas, each with populations of more than 50,000, border the Lake Erie basin.

6. During the War of 1812, the U.S. beat the British in a naval battle called the Battle of Lake Erie, forcing them to abandon Detroit.

7. Lake Erie is named after the Erie tribe of Native Americans who lived along its southern shore.

8. The outflow from Lake Erie provides hydroelectric power to Canada and the U.S. as it spins huge turbines at Niagara Falls

1. Lake Ontario is the smallest of the Great Lakes in surface area although it exceeds Lake Erie in volume, and second smallest in depth with an average of 283 feet; maximum depth 802 feet. It’s the 14th largest lake on the planet.

2. The province Ontario was named after the lake, and not vice versa.

3. In 1804, a Canadian warship, His Majesty’s Ship Speedy, sank in Lake Ontario. In 1990, wreck hunter Ed Burtt managed to find it. Only, he isn’t allowed to recover any artifacts until a government-approved site to exhibit them is found. He’s still waiting.

4. Babe Ruth hit his first major league home run at Hanlan’s Point Stadium in Toronto. It landed in Lake Ontario and is believed to still be there.

5. A lake on Saturn’s moon Titan is named after Lake Ontario. It’s called “Ontario Lacus.”

6. In the Wyandot (Huron) language, ontarío means “Lake of Shining Waters”.

7. Lake Ontario is the last in the Great Lakes hydrologic chain and serves as the outlet to the Atlantic Ocean via the St. Lawrence River.

8. Lake Ontario is also the only one of the five Great Lakes not to share a shoreline with the state of Michigan.

9. It takes about 6 years for the water in Lake Ontario to replace itself.

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What’s In A Name?

Biggby Coffee – Founded in East Lansing in 1995; was originally known as Beaners Coffee. While this was a reference to the amount of coffee beans in the coffee, they changed the name so not to offend Mexicans.

Zingerman’s Delicatessen – Founded in Ann Arbor in 1982; originally was going to be named Greenberg’s Delicatessen. They named it after Hannah Greenberg, a regular customer at the fish market they owned. But just a few days before opening, a Farmington Hills business owner named Greenberg called to say they couldn’t use his name. We said let’s have an A name or Z name. We came up with Zingerman’s; it sounded zingy and fun.”,/p>

Founders Brewing Co. – Founded in Grand Rapids in 1997; the brewery’s official corporate name is actually Canal Street Brewing Co. as the brewery’s original location was on Monroe Avenue, formerly known as Canal Street. Early beer bottle labels featured a historic black-and-white photo of four local brewers sitting on a large wooden beer barrel. The word “Founders” appeared above the photo. It literally stood for the founders, meaning the some of the original brewers of the beer movement in Grand Rapids. Soon everyone started calling us Founders because that’s what was on the beer label. A customer offered to design a better label in exchange for some free beer and came up with the logo known today.

Faygo Beverages Inc. – Founded in Detroit in 1907; Russian immigrants Ben and Perry Feigenson worked as bakers in Detroit and started making soda pops based off their cake frosting flavors. The original flavors were strawberry (known as red pop), grape and fruit punch. They named their venture Feigenson Brothers Bottle Works. As Faygo grew, they were distributing their pop throughout the area, and they came to realize their name was just too long.

Domino’s Pizza – Founded in Ypsilanti in 1960; Tom Monaghan and his brother, James, purchased the DomiNick’s pizza shop in Ypsilanti in 1960. Later, the original Dominick wanted the name back. So an employee came up with the name Domino’s, and they stuck with it. The name also led to the iconic logo with three dots, signifying the company’s first three stores.

Read the entire story by Melissa Anders at

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More Fun Facts

  • In Sept. 1908, William C. Durant organized several independent automobile plants into what was to become General Motors.

  • The Stars and Stripes first flew over Michigan soil on July 11, 1796.

  • In 1870, Detroit became the nation's first telephone customers to have phone numbers assigned to them.

  • There are over 11,500 lakes in Michigan.

  • The world's only marble lighthouse is located on Belle Isle, the Livingston Lighthouse.

  • From 1910 to 1920, Hamtramck Michigan grew from 3,589 to 45,615 residents, leading the nation in growth for that period.

  • In 1936, Escanaba, Michigan harvested and processed 100,000 sq. ft. of ‘Bird’s Eye’ Maple to be used in the English Luxury Liner, the Queen Mary.

  • When the territory of Michigan was created on Jan. 11, 1805, Detroit was chosen as its capital.

  • Bagley's Corner was the original name of Bloomfield Hills.

  • Hog's Hollow was the original name of Utica

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    Did You Know?

  • The name Michigan is derived from the Indian words "Michi-gama" meaning large lake.

  • The State Nickname is the "Great Lake State." Others include "Wolverine State" or "Water Winter Wonderland."

  • The State motto is “If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you.”
  • Michigan was admitted to the Union in 1837, the 26th state.
  • Michigan has:
  • 57,022 sq. mi. of land area (16,439 sq. mi. in the U.P.)
  • 1,194 sq. mi. of inland waters
  • The population is 9,328,784 (1990 Census). 9,488,000 est. 1/1/93 (98 per sq. mi.).
  • The capital is Lansing (1847).
  • The largest city is Detroit.

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    Michigan Road Firsts

    2004 – M-6 opens featuring Michigan’s first Single Point Urban intersection.

    1988 – The nation’s largest concrete section bridge opens, the Zilwaukee Bridge carries I-75 over the Saginaw River.

    1988 – The 100,000,000 vehicle crosses the Mighty Mac bridge.

    1962 – The International Bridge linking Sault Ste. Marie Michigan and Ontario opens.

    1960 – Michigan is the first state to complete a border-to-border toll free interstate highway. I-94 runs 205 miles from Detroit to New Buffalo.

    1957 – The 5 mile long Mackinac Bridge opens.

    1956 – Congress approves interstate highway system.

    1942 – Michigan’s first divided 4 lane highway was from Detroit to the Ford Motor Co. bomber plant in Ypsilanti.

    1930 – First international underwater tunnel linking Detroit and Windsor.

    1925 – Michigan’s first State gas tax, 2 cents per gallon. It is currently 19 cents.

    1923 – Upper and Lower peninsulas are linked by ferry service.

    1919 – First state bond to build 3,600 miles of road.

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    Michigan Firsts

    In 1879 Detroit telephone customers were first in the nation to be assigned phone numbers to facilitate handling calls.

    In 1929, the Michigan State Police established the first state police radio system in the world.

    Grand Rapids is home to the 24-foot Leonardo da Vinci horse, called Il Gavallo, it is the largest equestrian bronze sculpture in the Western Hemisphere.

    The Upper Michigan Copper Country is the largest commercial deposit of native copper in the world.

    The 19 chandeliers in the Capitol in Lansing are one of a kind and designed especially for the building by Tiffany's of New York. Weighing between 800-900 pounds apiece they are composed of copper, iron and pewter.

    The first auto traffic tunnel built between two nations was the mile-long Detroit-Windsor tunnel under the Detroit River.

    The world's first international submarine railway tunnel was opened between Port Huron, Michigan and Sarnia, Ontario, Canada in 1891.

    The nation's first regularly scheduled air passage service began operation between Grand Rapids and Detroit in 1926.

    Michigan was the first state to provide in its Constitution for the establishment of public libraries.

    Michigan was the first state to guarantee every child the right to tax-paid high school education.

    Four flags have flown over Michigan - French, English, Spanish and United States.

    Isle Royal Park shelters one of the largest moose herds remaining in the United States.

    Some of the longest bulk freight carriers in the world operate on the Great Lakes. Ore carriers 1,000 feet long sail Michigan's inland seas.

    Sault Ste. Marie was established in 1668 making it the oldest town between the Alleghenies and the Rockies.

    Michigan includes 56,954 square miles of land area; 1,194 square miles of inland waters; and 38,575 square miles of Great Lakes water area.

    Standing anywhere in the state a person is within 85 miles of one of the Great Lakes.

    Forty of the state's 83 counties adjoin at least one of the Great Lakes. Michigan is the only state that touches four of the five Great Lakes.

    Seul Choix Point Lighthouse in Gulliver has been guiding ships since 1895. The working light also functions as a museum, which houses early 1900s furnishings and maritime artifacts.

    Michigan has the longest freshwater shoreline in the world.

    Michigan has more shoreline than any other state except Alaska.

    The Ambassador Bridge was named by Joseph Bower, the person credited with making the bridge a reality, who thought the name "Detroit-Windsor International Bridge" as too long and lacked emotional appeal. Bower wanted to "symbolize the visible expression of friendship of two peoples with like ideas and ideals."

    Michigan has more than 11,000 inland lakes and more than 36,000 miles of streams.

    Michigan has 116 lighthouses and navigational lights.

    The western shore of Michigan has many sand dunes. The Sleeping Bear Dunes rise 460 feet above Lake Michigan. Living among the dunes is the dwarf lake iris the official state wildflower.

    Vernors ginger ale was created in Detroit and became the first soda pop made in the United States. In 1862, pharmacist James Vernor was trying to create a new beverage when he was called away to serve our country in the Civil War. When he returned, 4 years later, the drink he had stored in an oak case had acquired a delicious gingery flavor.

    The Detroit Zoo was the first zoo in America to feature cage less, open-exhibits that allowed the animals more freedom to roam.

    Michigan is the only place in the world with a floating post office. The J.W. Westcott II is the only boat in the world that delivers mail to ships while they are still underway. They have been operating for 125 years.

    Indian River is the home of the largest crucifix in the world. It is called the Cross in the Woods.

    Michigan's state stone, The Petoskey is the official state stone. It is found along the shores of Lake Michigan.

    The Mackinaw Bridge is one of the longest suspension bridges in the world. Connecting the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan, it spans 5 miles over the Straits of Mackinaw, which is where Lake Michigan and Lake Huron meet. The Mighty Mac took 3 years to complete and was opened to traffic in 1957.

    Gerald R. Ford grew up in Grand Rapids and became the 38th president of the United States He attended the University of Michigan where he was a football star. He served on a World War II aircraft carrier and afterward represented Michigan in Congress for 24 years. He was also was an Eagle Scout, the highest rank in Boy Scouts.

    The Kellogg Company has made Battle Creek the Cereal Capital of the World. The Kellogg brothers accidentally discovered the process for producing flaked cereal products and sparked the beginning of the dry cereal industry.

    The painted turtle is Michigan's state reptile.

    In 1817 the University of Michigan was the first university established by any of the states. Originally named Cathelepistemian and located in Detroit the name was changed in 1821. The university moved to Ann Arbor in 1841.

    The city of Novi was named from its designation as Stagecoach Stop # 6 or No.VI.

    Michigan State University has the largest single campus student body of any Michigan university. It is the largest institution of higher learning in the state and one of the largest universities in the country.

    Michigan State University was founded in 1855 as the nation's first land-grant university and served as the prototype for 69 land-grant institutions later established under the Morrill Act of 1862. It was the first institution of higher learning in the nation to teach scientific agriculture.

    The largest village in Michigan is Caro.

    The state Capitol with its majestic dome was built in Lansing in l879.

    Although Michigan is often called the "Wolverine State" there are very few wolverines in Michigan. One confirmed sighting is in Michigan's thumb according the Grand Rapids Press (REGION sec B, page B3)

    Michigan ranks first in state boat registrations.

    The Packard Motor Car Company in Detroit manufactured the first air-conditioned car in 1939.

    The oldest county (based on date of incorporation) is Wayne in 1815.

    Sault Ste. Marie was founded by Father Jacques Marquette in 1668. It is the third oldest remaining settlement in the United States.

    Detroit is known as the car capital of the world.

    Alpena is the home of the world's largest cement plant.

    Rogers City boasts the world's largest limestone quarry.

    Elsie is the home of the world's largest registered Holstein dairy herd.

    Michigan is first in the United States production of peat and magnesium compounds and second in gypsum and iron ore.

    Colon is home to the world's largest manufacture of magic supplies.

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    If you know of a Michigan first, or a fun fact e-mail me using the "contact us" button below.

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