Horsepower

Horsepower

On This Date: Photo taken 6/16/2013

On Mackinac Island you travel by foot, bicycle, or horse.


We’ve never taken one of the carriage tours. Maybe this year….

Number of pix taken on various June 16ths: 2576
Year of oldest photo: 2005

How I Rated the Date’s Photographs:

  • 1 Star: 34
  • 2 Stars: 243
  • 3 Stars: 1654
  • 4 Stars: 533
  • 5 Stars: 112

Revision History:

The Big Red Lighthouse

The Big Red Lighthouse

On This Date: Photo taken 6/12/2011

Holland, Michigan. Properly it’s the Holland Harbor Light, but everyone calls it Big Red.


There will be more lighthouses before we finish this walk through my photo files. I promise.

Number of pix taken on various June 12ths: 548
Year of oldest photo: 2005

How I Rated the Date’s Photographs:

  • 1 Star: 9
  • 2 Stars: 64
  • 3 Stars: 345
  • 4 Stars: 110
  • 5 Stars: 20

Besides my own pix, I’ve 25 photographs my brother took at a Habitat for Humanities project on 6/12/2010. Frankly they’re pretty boring; Richard was just documenting the project.

Revision History:

The Lower Falls

The Lower Falls

On This Date: Photo taken 6/10/2016

Tahquamenon Falls State Park. You park the car, follow the walk past the concession buildings, and this is the view. I love it.

I’ve always loved it.


I’ve been vacationing in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula since the early ’60s. This is the place I’m most likely to visit.

Paradise.

Number of pix taken on various June 10ths: 1182
Year of oldest photo: 2005

How I Rated the Date’s Photographs:

  • 1 Star: 7
  • 2 Stars: 104
  • 3 Stars: 897
  • 4 Stars: 156
  • 5 Stars: 18

Revision History:

Empire Bluff

Empire Bluff

On This Date: Photo taken 2/28/2008.

This is why we go north for my birthday.


On this date in 2008 we journeyed along M-22 and I got wonderful photographs at Glen Haven, at Empire, and at Betsie. The grand light and the superb sky certainly helped.

Number of pix taken on various February 28ths: 380
Year of oldest photo: 2005

How I Rated the Date’s Photographs:

  • 1 Star: 3
  • 2 Stars: 15
  • 3 Stars: 261
  • 4 Stars: 76
  • 5 Stars: 25

Revision History:

On the Beach

On the Beach

On This Date: Photo taken 2/25/2016.

About half the time February 25 is a travel day. I manage to take photographs, but a surprising number of them are of the Morley rest area, south of Big Rapids, which is flat and wide open and fairly photogenic. I also take pix of US-131, and the passing scenery.

We eventually make it to Traverse City. Last year we found the water high, relatively little ice, and the beach at Pointes North much abbreviated.


We’re not on the road today. We’ll head north in about a week.

Number of pix taken on various February 25ths: 84
Year of oldest photo: 2006

How I Rated the Date’s Photographs:

  • 1 Star: 1 [a very poor video]
  • 2 Stars: 4
  • 3 Stars: 63
  • 4 Stars: 14
  • 5 Stars: 2

Revision History:

Lewis Cass by Andrew McLaughlin: a review

A painful read; the author’s low opinions of almost everyone not named Lewis Cass overwhelm any value from his research. The early French settlers, according to this book, were incompetent and lazy, and didn’t understand democracy. The British who succeeded them were devious and untrustworthy. All of America’s subsequent Indian problems were provoked by foreign powers.

General Hull–well, he gets Hull right. Hull was incompetent, and he demonstrates that in detail. But even here the author’s text is unnecessarily biased.

Gave up after about 60 pages.

Revision History:

A Fine Place for a City by Nick Kekic: a review

This is a far better book than I expected. While it can be viewed as a biography of Kalamazoo’s founder, Titus Bronson, structurally it’s five short essays exploring aspects of his life and character. Along the way you get a lot of information about the early history of Kalamazoo County, learn a bit about Kalamazoo’s other founders, explore probably more of the history of English Puritanism than you perhaps want, and get a good description of the busiest land office in history. Nicely done.

And the map on the cover–Bronson’s original plat of the village–is just delightful.










This review was originally published on LibraryThing.

Revision History:

Portrait and biographical album of Barry and Eaton counties, Mich. by Chapman Bros: a review

This book–like all Chapman Brothers books with similar titles–is pretty much what the title says: a collection of biographies of folks and families who lived in Eaton and Barry Counties in 1891. The local biographies are preceded by a couple hundred pages of biographical sketches of the presidents of the United States and governors of Michigan.

The Chapman Brothers mass produced similar books for many Midwestern counties by selling subscriptions and sending out questionnaires. If you paid the subscription fee and returned the survey your biography would be printed in a book, which would arrive for you to place on your bookshelf. Chapman’s staff members in Chicago turned the questionnaires into very formulaic biographies, which were gathered into the book in no evident order. The resulting bios are as reliable as their sources–which varies, of course–and as interesting as the information the sources provided. Any impression one might get of local history or local geography is incidental and unintentional. That does not much meet my research interest.

For my purposes, the book is pretty frustrating. With no historical overview in the book, no deliberate organization, and neither maps nor other geographical clues, trying to glean any understanding of local history is difficult. Moreover, the template used to compose the biographies becomes pretty aggravating after the third or fourth example–you get a brief overview of the subject’s life, then reviews of his parents’ life stories, then back to the original person’s bio with more detail and perhaps a story or two. Unless you’re otherwise familiar with the person whose life’s being summarized, by the time you get to the meat of the composition you’ve often forgotten the subject’s name.

Another issue is the subscription model. Lacking either a geographical or alphabetical organization, I made searches for people and places I was aware of in both counties. These searches often came up empty, even for families I know to have been resident in the area around 1890. This, of course, indicates that the Dow and McCargar families, to pick two prominent Roxand Township clans, were uninterested in subscribing–which is OK, to be sure, but it leaves important gaps in the story. Side issue: This book consistently calls this township Roxana, and never calls it Roxand. I’m quite tempted to do so myself.

I do not mean to imply that this book has no value. I found a (somewhat) useful biography of Sylvanus Peabody, for instance, and now know a bit about him; this is information I’d not found elsewhere and knew I wanted. Which is a clue about the book’s usefulness: If one of the biographies is someone who’s interesting to you, it’s probably useful. That’s reason enough to locate a copy, and keep it around. But if you’re looking for an overview of local history, the Chapman books likely won’t meet your need.






This review was originally published on LibraryThing.

Revision History: