The link to this charming vintage film arrived recently in an email from Michigan relatives. It opens with views of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lake Shore and lovely Leelanau County, which we wrote about here. The aerial view of Traverse City shows beautiful Grand Traverse Bay and the peninsula to the east of downtown where one of my two cousins who are lucky enough to live in T.C. resides today.
“Roaming Through Michigan” was filmed in 1949, before the Mackinac Bridge spanning the straits between the two peninsulas that comprise the state was built. Construction on the five mile long Bridge began one month before I was born in 1954, and it was completed three years later. The Bridge’s official site has a live webcam, showing a very snowy view as I write this, and there is a high wind warning in place. Every Labor Day, the Governor of Michigan traditionally leads a walk across the Bridge. I suppose if you needed to cross today, you’d want to take the center lane as far from the rail’s edge as possible.
Even nowadays with the Bridge making it easy to get to, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula remains just as unspoiled as the views in the film from more than 60 years ago. Michigan is beautiful, and I am proud to have been born and raised there.