Posted by: Kath Usitalo | November 23, 2010

Homemade: Time Travel

Find one-of-a-kind exhibits like this folk art vision of a lumber camp (see trivia, below)

The 5th edition of the Historic Michigan Travel Guide makes a great stocking stuffer

Michigan history buffs, armchair travelers and trivia fans will appreciate a copy of the Historic Michigan Travel Guide published by the Historical Society of Michigan (HSM).

Perfectly sized for stocking stuffing, the 4″x8″ book lists over 300 museums and historically important sites that are members of the HSM, from the well-known Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village of The Henry Ford complex in Dearborn to the tiny Pickle Barrel House in Grand Marais.

Write-ups include a brief description of each location, contact info and websites for the lighthouses and log cabins, farmsteads and school houses, train depots and other structures and sites that are open to the public.

At $6.95 the the recently released 5th edition of the guide, by HSM Executive Director Larry J. Wagenaar and Emily E. Asbenson, costs less than the previous version. It is available online from the Historical Society of Michigan.

HSM is an independent organization founded in 1828.


The guide is useful in planning a road trip to interesting places but is also a fun read and source of trivia. With the help of the guide you can find:

The guide contains quirky attractions like the Pickle Barrel House

1. Thomas Edison’s chemistry lab on wheels

2. Where the Teenie Weenies vacationed

3. How two families shared a home in the 1930s

4. An 80′-long, handcrafted diorama of the logging industry

1. The baggage car of the train that the inventor, as a youngster, traveled between Port Huron and Detroit selling newspapers is on display at the Thomas Edison Depot Museum in Port Huron.

2. The Grand Marais cottage shaped like a pickle barrel belonged to children’s book author Mary Donahey and William Donahey; he was the author and illustrator of a popular comic strip about a miniature society that started in 1914 and ran for over 50 years.

3. The Scolnik House of the Depression Era is a Victorian home in Muskegon furnished as an example of how two unrelated families were forced by economic circumstances to live under one roof.

4. The Monigal Miniatures recreates scenes from a lumber camp and is on display at the Iron County Historical Museum in Caspian, in the Upper Peninsula


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