December 13, 2010Mid-Century Goodness In Grayling, MI
I stumbled upon these pictures while Tom and I were sorting through our photo archive during yesterday’s snowstorm. Brrr!
I took these pictures in Grayling, MI back in the beginning of October, and for various and sundry reasons hadn’t posted them. Well, today all the procrastination ends!
The reason we were in the Grayling area was to take a look at Hartwick Pines, which is apparently the largest stretch of virgin white pines in Michigan’s lower penninsula. It was really pretty, and had a logging camp museum in it that was actually nicely done. Anyway, what does all of this have to do with mid-century?
These cute frosted glasses were in the main section of the Hartwick Pines Welcome Century. It was a display about the history of Hartwick Pines State Park, and they had a lot of souvenirs in glass cases. These cute glasses were given away at gas stations in the area in the 1950’s. This set was owned by a local man and donated to the Park.
On the way back from the Park, we decided to stick to the back roads going home rather than the highway. This brought us through Grayling.
Grayling is a victim of the old story of “little town bypassed by big highway and forgotten in time”. During the 1950’s and 1960’s it was a vacation town. Today hotels such as Warbler’s Way Inn are for sale or sit empty on the side of the old highway US-27 that ran through Grayling. Today I-75 runs past the town and to the Mackinac Bridge.
The downtown is a throwback as well.
The old Chief Shoppenagon hotel and lounge, now vacant. When we peered inside, there were still furnishings from the 70’s abandoned in the lobby. The hotel was named after the real Chief Shoppenagon, a famed fishing guide and canoe maker who died in 1911. If you want to see a picture of the interior of the hotel in it’s heyday, click here.
The local bakery, which was still in business.
Look closely. Can you tell what this is???
That’s right, it is an old Ben Franklin store!
It took me three times walking past the place to figure it out!
Despite some abandoned motels and main street stores, Grayling isn’t doing too badly. The town itself was very cute and well kept. And it also had a vintage diner and a bottle cap museum! Oh…you want to see those pictures? Well, you’ll have to come back tomorrow!