The Power of the Gales of November

While tropical storms and hurricanes continue to attack the region in and around the Gulf of Mexico, the “Gales of November” are stirring up the Great Lakes region just as they have for centuries. This unique weather phenomenon is created when cold, dry air from northern Canada converges with moist air from the Gulf of Mexico, over the still warm summer waters of the Great Lakes.

Throughout the history of the Great Lakes, November has been a prime month for shipwrecks. According to the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum at Whitefish Point (Paradise, Lake Superior), there are over 6,000 shipwrecks throughout the five Great Lakes – with an estimated loss of 30,000 lives. More than 60 of these ships have met their demise during the month of November – the most notably, the Edmund Fitzgerald which sank on November 10, 1975.

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The 2020 Census is Counting on You!

I think I first heard the word census during the summer of 1980, when I was in elementary school, and we spent our summer vacation researching our family tree on a cross-state road trip. I’m not sure I recall what it was or what it meant back then, but in recent years – as I’ve found a growing interest in my family history as well as the lives of others while researching for my writing, I have been finding more and more reason to access census data online.

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Recognizing Michigan’s State Symbols

On March 3, 1955 (65 years ago), the eastern white pine tree (Pinus Strobus, also known as a “soft pine”) was adopted as the official State Tree of Michigan. This conifer tree can be found in almost every county of the Upper and Lower Peninsula, typically growing in mixed forests and sandy plains. Click here to learn more about this and the other Michigan State Symbols.

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Oh the Places I’ve Spa-ed…

Saturday was spent traipsing around the snow-covered landscape at Treetops Resort in Gaylord, celebrating Michigan Winter Trails Day with the find folks at Great Lakes Winter Trails Council. After a snowshoe hike and a winter rafting trip, I was ready to warm my mind, body and soul with a relaxing massage at the Spa inside Treetops main lodge.

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Family Traditions Are Our Family Tradition

Yesterday we celebrated my family Christmas at my dad’s house on Gilkey Street in Plainwell — the house where his mother was raised and where we lived from when I was about six until moving out on my own after college. My paternal grandparents lived next door at the time – until they sold the house and moved to the cottage at Pine Lake (and also spent winters in Florida).

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Uncovering Michigan’s Rich and often Forgotten History, One Cemetery at a Time…

Inspired during cemetery visits while researching “Michigan’s Haunted Lighthouses” comes our latest project…tracking down some of the state’s most noted, historic and forgotten cemeteries. Join our quest by following Michigan Tombstone Tourist on FB.

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