Posted by: Kath Usitalo | February 11, 2010

Flaky Facts About Michigan

A beautiful blanket of snow at Blue Skies, our place in the Upper Peninsula

Okay, so I got my wish. The snow came—enough to keep the kids home from school so they could battle the elements and head to the hills for sledding. Here are some flaky facts about Michigan. Snow fooling:

* A flurry of “Snow Villages” or locations dotted the Michigan map in the 1800s. All have melted away:
Snow, Berrien County, 1875
Snowflake, Antrim County; 1879
Snow Prairie, Branch County, 1867
Snow’s Landing, Wayne County, 1800
Snowtown, Newaygo County, 1857

Neil Snow

* Neil Worthington Snow was a standout athlete at the University of Michigan. The 1901 football All American also lettered in baseball and track.

* Ray Muscott of Waters, Michigan received the first U.S. patent for a snow-vehicle, in 1916.

* A Great Laker, Carl Eliason of Sayner, Wisconsin, built the prototype of today’s snowmobile in 1924. (Okay, so it’s not Michigan—but this is the Great Lakes Gazette.)

* Top of the Lake Snowmobile Museum is Michigan’s only showcase for antique snowmachines and related memorabilia. A labor of love supported by volunteers who display their own sleds, it is located in Naubinway, the northernmost point on Lake Michigan. The annual Antique Snowmobile Show is February 19-20.

"Flash! Here's the All New Thunderbolt" reads the promotional piece on display with the vintage Thunderbolt sled at Michigan's only Snowmobile Museum

* In 1965 Sherman Poppen of Muskegon strapped two skis together and created a snow surfer for his daughter; the “Snurfer” proved popular and evolved into the snowboard.

* Ishpeming, Michigan is home to the National Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame and Museum, the birthplace of organized skiing in the U.S.

* The Ishpeming Ski Club was founded in 1887 as the Norden Ski Club, and in January hosted its 123rd annual tournament at the Suicide Hill ski jump.

* Michigan is home to the only “ski flying” hill in the Western Hemisphere, Copper Peak in Ironwood.

* You can learn to luge at the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex,Β one of only four luge tracks open to the public in the U.S.

* Retired physician Thomas L. Clark is now known as Dr. Snowflake for his talent at snipping intricate designs from paper

* The Les Cheneaux Islands area of the Eastern UP, known as The Snows, hosts its Snowfest this weekend.

* The Snows Bar & Grill in Cedarville serves a very good burger and Bloody Mary

Snows Bar & Grill: A rustic setting for a burger and a Bloody Mary



  1. You are fabulous, Kath! I love this post. My kids always prayed for snow days. I’m just a little sorry that my nights of wearing my pjs inside out and backwards and putting a spoon under my pillow are now over. πŸ™‚

    • hmmmm….I always told the kids to put their study materials under the pillow the night before a test, but am not familiar with the spoon under the pillow. You’ll have to fill me in!

  2. Once again, you have astounded me with unknown fun…I’m going send this one to my son. He likes to collect ‘facts’, too! πŸ™‚

    • Oh, we’ve got a million of ’em. And most of them are true πŸ˜‰

  3. Another beautiful picture taken at Blue Skies.
    I remember when we took the kids to The Snowmobile Museum…!

  4. Interesting snow facts, Kath! You got a million more? LOL! Think we’ve got another two months left?

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