1828 : First Territorial Librarian Appointed
Jul 3 all-day

Like many early pioneers, Henry Schoolcraft came to the Michigan Territory from upstate New York. In 1822 he accepted an appointment at Sault Ste. Marie as an Indian agent for the territory. From 1827 to 1831, Schoolcraft served on the Michigan Territorial Council in Detroit. During this time, he helped name 15 counties, founded the Historical Society with Lewis Cass and began the Library of Michigan with Wolcott Lawrence.

By 1828 the territorial council realized the need to collect, compile and store Michigan territorial laws and other important documents. In that same year, Henry Schoolcraft introduced a resolution to appoint a librarian for the council library, which consisted of 131 law books and documents used by the governor and legislators. On June 16, 1828, the resolution was approved by Governor Cass. Schoolcraft and fellow council member Wolcott Lawrence of Monroe County formed the first library committee.

On July 3, 1828, the Michigan territory’s library committee appointed William B. Hunt as the first librarian for the territory. His salary was one hundred dollars per year and his duties included attending the council meetings, arriving at the meetings a half hour before they began and staying a half hour after the meeting to deliver and collect books. In addition, William Hunt was in charge of the care and preservation of the library’s book collection.

As territorial council librarian, William Hunt was in charge of the care and preservation of the book collection. He also was responsible for the halls adjacent to the legislative rooms, located in the new territorial building in Detroit. Construction of the building began in 1823 and completed in 1828 – the same year the first librarian was appointed. The territorial Capitol was early classical revival style, with six columns supporting the portico and a 140-foot-high cupola crowing the roof. A façade with architectural details of the first territorial Capitol can be seen in the statehood gallery of the Michigan Historical Center.

Sources :

The Library of Michigan: Territorial Council Era, 1828 – 1837

1863 : Custer Leads Michigan Calvary Brigade at Gettysberg
Jul 3 all-day

Monument to the Michigan Cavalry Brigade at Gettysburg

It was unusual in the Union army for all the regiments in a brigade to be from the same state, but the Wolverine Brigade was one of the exceptions. Three days before the fighting started at Gettysburg they were assigned a new commander, promoted from Captain to Brigadier General in one step, the youngest general in the army, George Armstrong Custer.

Custer’s brigade clashed with Stuarts Confederate cavalry at the Battle of Hanover, Pennsylvania on May 30 and on July 2 at the Battle of Hunterstown a few miles north of Gettysburg. On July 3rd Custer and his Wolverines played a major role in defeating Confederate General Jeb Stuart’s attempted cavalry thrust around the Union army’s right flank. They would go on to be one of the elite units in the Union army.

From the monument:

This monument marks the field where the Michigan Cavalry Brigade under its gallant leader General George A. Custer rendered signal and distinguished service in assisting to defeat the further advance of a numerically superior force under the Confederate General J. E. B. Stuart which in conjunction with Pickett’s Charge upon the centre, attempted to turn the right flank of the Union Army at that critical hour of conflict upon the afternoon of July 3rd, 1863.

No photo description available.



Michigan Calvary Brigade Monument at Gettysburg and

Michigan Historic Marker at Gettysburg.


1897 : Village of Lake Ann Burns
Jul 3 all-day

On July 3, 1897, a small spark arose, creating a huge blaze, soon engulfing the small village of Lake Ann in flames. The fire swept out all 50 buildings making up the village’s downtown, and left 75 families homeless.

The damage cost $100,000 in 1897 dollars. The fire broke out mysteriously at William Habbler’s sawmill at about 1:30 p.m. It was also speculated that a spark from a tugboat ignited the blaze. The residents of Traverse City rushed to help fight the fire. Before the fire, the people of Lake Ann considered themselves rivals of Traverse City in a race to become the business center of lower Michigan. But now, they all worked hard to be sure that the inhabitants of Lake Ann were fed, clothed, and sheltered. Although Lake Ann never achieved becoming a business center rival to Traverse City, they remain a shady summer getaway.

Source: Michigan Every Day

1959 : Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip Visit Windsor and Detroit
Jul 3 all-day

On July 3, 1959 : Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip helped celebrate the First Annual Freedom Festival in Windsor. Arriving by train, the Royal Party transferred to the Royal Yacht Britannia and sailed up the Detroit River to Lake St. Clair and into Lake Huron on their way to Orillia, Muskoka, and on to Chicago.

People on the American and Canadian sides of the Detroit River lined its banks, cheered the Britannia and waved to the Queen and Prince Philip as it passed. Using 1950s camera and movie technology, they snapped and filmed mementos of the Royal visit for their children and grandchildren. For many people, the visit of Queen Elizabeth II is an exciting memory that is still as fresh as today. Diane McQueen St. Aubin who lived in Ecorse at the time, remembers the Britannia, “on the Canadian side of the River of course,” as a flash of elegance and color.

Source : Kathy Warnes, “Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip’s Detroit River Cruise”, 1959 “, Meandering Michigan History, June 2012.

1973 : Gaylord vs. Gaylord (Sibling Rivalry)
Jul 3 all-day

On July 3, 1973, Detroit Tigers pitcher Jim Perry started against the Indians in Cleveland. Except that Cleveland’s starter was his brother, Gaylord Perry.

This was the first time in American League history that brothers started against each. However, this was not the first time that athletes in the 1970s looked like they were in their 50s.

Fortunately, the Detroit Tigers won that evening 5-4 although neither pitcher received the decision.

Originally posted by Will, Founder, “Today in Michigan History: Sibling Rivalry Tigers Style“, Mitten State Blog, July 3, 2018.

More trivia:  Jim and Gaylord Perry are the only brothers to have both won the Cy Young Pitching Award, with Gaylord winning it twice.  Jim can take solace in that he has a baseball stadium named after him at Campbell University in North Carolina where he played one year before leaving for a 17 year major league campaign.   He was also an inaugeral member of the Campbell University Baseball Hall of Fame.   Gaylord on the other hand is a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame despite the fact that that the spitball was part of his arsenal.  When he co-wrote his autobiography in the 1970s, he even titled it Me and the Spitter.

Jim Perry wikipedia entry

Gaylord Perry wikipedia entry

2013 : Stars and Stripes Forever
Jul 3 all-day

To put you in the right state of mind for the 4th of July, listen to the Stars and Stripes Forever recorded by John Philip Sousa’s own band back on August 14, 1903, courtesy of the National Jukebox.

More about the National Jukebox

The Jukebox Day-By-Day

2018 : Charlevoix’s Castle Farms Celebrates Centennial
Jul 3 all-day

July 3-5, 2018

Castle Farms

It’s a castle. It’s a site for weddings. It’s an extraordinary garden. It is — or at least was — a giant rockin’ concert venue. And this year, it is 100 years old.

“It” is Castle Farms in Charlevoix. The sprawling grounds and the many buildings — including, yes, a stone castle — have undergone numerous transformations over the years. Perhaps its most famous iteration was as a large-scale site for concerts, when top rock and pop artists such as the Police, Men at Work, Tina Turner, and Aerosmith played to thousands of northern Michigan concert-goers.

Those days are gone but not forgotten. “I saw Huey Lewis there,” recalled Alison Hubbard, the president of the Charlevoix Chamber of Commerce. Today Hubbard sees Castle Farms as an economic driver for the area. “It’s an economic draw year-round and one of the top attractions for visitors and for weddings.”

That’s quite a change from the days when so many people went to Castle Farms shows that traffic on all roads leading there halted to a standstill for miles. Today the stunning monolith still brings people to Charlevoix but at a more regular pace and for other activities.

“Our vision is to support and enhance the community,” said Anora O’Connor, the general manager for the facility. “It’s family friendly. We have historical guided tours, a model railroad, weddings. We just opened a wine tasting room, 1918 Cellars. Linda works on the gardens,” she said, referring to Linda Mueller, who has owned the property since 2001.

Long before Mueller brought it back to life, however, there was Albert Loeb, who conceived it. In 1918, Loeb was the acting president of Sears, Roebuck, and Co., and without a doubt, a visionary of the age. In November 1917, Forbes magazine named him the Modern Mail Order Marvel, crediting him with transforming Sears and Roebuck from “a small concern” to a mega company doing $2.5 million per week in mail-order business. So when Loeb decided to build Castle Farms as a showcase dairy farm to promote cutting-edge farm equipment — all available through the Sears, Roebuck, and Co. catalog, of course — few questioned his idea.

Modeled after the grand stone barns and castles found in Normandy, France, the 1,600-acre Loeb Farm was intended to show how the right equipment could transform a rocky, infertile, tree-stump-dotted landscape into a thriving farm. Within six years of breaking ground, Loeb — who himself performed many animal husbandry and agricultural studies there — released what farm historians call “unprecedented documentation” on many record-setting animals.

It’s quick and mighty rise, however, precipitated an equally sudden and severe fall. Loeb died in 1924, and the farm ceased operations just three years later. For decades, its buildings served primarily as storage for the Loeb family and others. In 1962, John VanHaver stepped in with a new idea: He bought 100 acres and turned his part of the old farm into an small arts community four years later. He offered tours to the public, a café, and an art gallery, with a working artist studio on-site.

It was during this time that Linda Mueller first saw the property. Her boyfriend’s family had had a summer home in Charlevoix since the 1870s, and he invited her to visit following their senior year of high school in Lakewood, Ohio. “We went in and wandered around the Castle,” she said.

She and Richard Mueller were married in 1969, the same year that Arthur and Edwina Reibel purchased the property. Under their ownership, it eventually became a concert venue. With a capacity of 20,000, the shows sometimes became a rowdy gathering, and that plus the aforementioned traffic problems meant many in the area were relieved when the final concert took place in 1996 (Def Leppard, July 6).

The Reibels put the property up for auction a few years later, and Mueller went in to check it out. Although she bid $300,000, after dealing with liens and taxes, she ended up buying Castle Farms for $600,000.

So once she had the property, then what? “There was no vision. It just seemed like a good idea at the time,” Mueller said with a laugh. The first year was taken up with cleaning and repairs. In 2001, Mueller took a small step, hosting just a few events. As fate would have it, one of the first was the wedding of Anora O’Connor, who would begin working at Castle Farms one year later.

“This is my 15th, going into my 16th year,” said O’Connor.  She went from a sales director position at a local hotel to what could generously be described as a step backward, at Castle Farms. “I was an administrative assistant — sort of. It was a leap of faith at first. It was in a shambles. I didn’t know the vision, [but] Linda and Rich are just super generous.”

Now, all these years later, O’Connor is appreciative of what Castle Farms has meant to her as a career and what it provides for visitors. “In May through October, it’s busy with weddings and tours, and November through March it’s still one or two events each week,” she said.

If Mueller didn’t have a grand plan for the place at first, she has since come to see Castle Farms as many things to many people. It’s a tourist attraction, with the state’s largest outdoor model railroad, featuring over 2,500 feet of track. It’s a historical destination, with unique architecture and features. The Castle now has its own line of wines, 1918 Cellars, celebrating the year it was built. You can sample its eight wines in the new tasting room.

And weddings. Mueller thought that eventually the business would be evenly split among corporate events, tours, and weddings. While it does host some corporate events, and tours are increasingly popular, it’s really weddings where the Castle has made its mark. “We now have close to 200 weddings each year. Tours are growing. Corporate is not as big as we thought,” said Mueller.

Then there’s its big birthday: The Castle’s three-day centennial celebration kicks off July 3 with a Peek into the Past, with music by the Saline Fiddlers Philharmonic, guided tours, and displays. The Fourth of July is earmarked as Kids Day, and will add to the mix pony rides, family entertainment, and a tea party.

And for those who miss the sight and sound of music and crowds cranking across some of the prettiest pasture in northern Michigan, know that this summer, the Castle will once again be a concert venue. For one day only, on July 5, the Castle will welcome not one, not two, but five bands, starting at 12:30 with Duke and the Studebakers. Charlie’s Root Fusion takes the stage at 2pm, 3-Hearted follows at 3:30, Scarkazm at 5, and the Journey Tribute band concludes the festivities at 8:30, followed by fireworks.

Source : Ross Boissoneau, “Castle Farms : Albert Loeb’s Crazy Charlevoix Experiment Turns 100“, Northern Express, May 26, 2018.

Castle Farms Facebook Page.

2018 : Signs Your Were Born and Raised in Michigan
Jul 3 all-day
1. You know what euchre is.

And how to pronounce it.

2. You grew up with German, Polish, or Norwegian influence.

Maybe you ate, or still eat, sauerkraut regularly, or perhaps, like me, your family makes a traditional Norwegian meal of lutefisk and lefse every year on Christmas Eve.

Michigan has strong German, Polish, and other European influences that are easily defined by our love for pierogies, pasties, golumpkis, and similar cuisines we grew up watching our grandmothers make from recipes that were handed down through generations.

3. You make all company names possessive for no reason.

You call Meijer “Meijer’s” and Kroger “Kroger’s.”

4. You measure distance in time instead of miles.

When someone asks you how far away something is, you’re likely to tell them how long it’ll take them to get there as opposed to how many miles away it actually is.

5. You love going “Up North.”

Going Up North literally just means heading north a couple hours, and yet this is what defines Michigan summers for many of us. It could mean going camping at one of the state parks or going over the bridge into Yooper territory. Maybe you even go Up North to “the cottage” — the cottage being anything from a decrepit tiny cabin in the middle of the woods to a beautiful, sprawling house on Lake Michigan.

6. You have nicknames for other Michigan natives.

“Yooper,” “Troll,” “Fudgies,” and “Townies,” are all ways to identify others native to the Mitten state, and everyone knows what you’re talking about when you use these terms.

7. You have a Chicago accent.

You clip all your hard consonants, pronounce your A’s with a hard, nasally sound, and drop the G’s in verbs with the notable exception of “tornado warning.” T’s are pronounced like D’s when in the middle of a word and not supported by another consonant — think of how we say “ciddy” instead of “city” or “liddle” instead of “little.”

Most of these things aren’t evident until you get outside the Midwest and someone calls you out on sounding like you’re from Chicago.

8. You know what a “Michigan left turn” is.

You know a “Michigan left turn” is when you turn right onto a street followed by an immediate U-turn at the next crossover and don’t really understand why out-of-state drivers find the whole thing so confusing.

9. You have loyalty to certain local brands and foods.

You drink Vernors when you’re sick, prefer coney dogs to chili dogs, wonder why you can’t find Blue Moon ice cream anywhere else in the country, and likely have a family member who still side-eyes foreign cars.

10. You have a slightly different vocabulary than the rest of the country.

You call shopping carts “buggys,” say “kiddy corner” instead of caddy/catty corner, and tell people you’re going to the “party store” instead of the convenience store. The hilarious thing about Michigan’s unique phrases is that you never realize just how unique they are until you go out of state and find someone genuinely confused about what you just said.

11. You show people where you’re from by pointing to a spot on the back of your left hand.
12. You had to wear your Halloween costume over your winter coat at some point during your childhood.
13. You joined other Michiganders in shared confusion and outrage when Wisconsin tried to claim itself as the Mitten state a few years ago. Don’t get it twisted Wisconsin.
14. You refer to Ann Arbor as A2 and Kalamazoo as Kzoo.
15. You don’t think it’s weird when it’s 75 degrees today and the forecast is predicting three feet of snow for tomorrow.
16. You’ve been to a Friday night fish fry.
17. Someone in your family or a friend’s family have worked for or been laid off by the auto industry.
18. You think 40 degrees is a perfectly acceptable temperature to put shorts on.
19. You know a pastie is something you eat and not wear.
20. It’s a family tradition to cheer on the Lions on Thanksgiving.
21. You’re either a Spartans fan or a Wolverines fan. You cannot be both.
22. No matter whether you are a Spartan or a Wolverine, you hate Ohio State.
23. You love Motown music.
24. Bronner’s makes you never be able to be satisfied Christmas shopping anywhere else.
25. Pop cans are worth 10 cents.


25 Things You Know If You’re From Michigan. It’s illustrated!

10 signs you were born and raised in Michigan

2021 : President Visits Central Lake, Traverse City
Jul 3 all-day

When a reporter behind the King’s Orchard farm store counter asked President Joe Biden what brought him to Michigan, his answer was brief: cherry pie.

He said as much after picking out several pies, from apple to cherry to raspberry crumble, with farm co-owner Betsy King explaining each one and the other farm-grown products there.

Biden visited the store Saturday afternoon moments after Juliette King McAvoy, the farm’s vice president of sales and co-owner John King’s daughter, toured the president and his group through the cherry trees. Michigan’s Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and U.S. Sens. Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow, also Democrats, flanked him in the orchard. The four spoke with a crowd gathered on the farm’s strawberry field, pausing here and there for selfies and shaking plenty of hands.

The visit also was a chance for King McAvoy to let the president, governor and both U.S. senators know about the hardships a family farm like King Orchards faces, she said. Increasingly common bad weather shares the blame, with both a spring frost followed by a warm spell knocking cherry the farm’s yields down to about 25 percent of its sweet cherries and 15 percent of its tart cherries.

It’s the second such crop failure in as many years, and the fourth in 20, King McAvoy said.

And international trade disputes, particularly with Turkey over cherry exports, have battered prices on tart cherries for years.

“It’s becoming increasingly hard to make a living as a family farm, so I wanted to convey that … I believe Americans want to buy American-grown food and support family farms, and that we need to protect our food security,” King McAvoy said afterward.

That came as no surprise to Biden, she added — he related to her a story about a wine grower in California struggling with drought.

President Biden speaking with fruit pickers at King Orchards on July 3, 2021.President Biden speaks with fruit pickers at King Orchards on July 3, 2021.

She introduced Biden, Peters, Stabenow and Whitmer to two couples, Pedro Francisco and Juana Miguel, and Jesus Sebastien and Maria Pascual. All four came from Guatemala and have been working at the farm for 35 years. Now, their children have gone to college and they have grandchildren.

King McAvoy stressed to the president the importance of a pathway to citizenship as a way for immigrants to thrive, something he told her he supported for agricultural workers.

She said the farm’s operations are labor-intensive, and John King said 14 seasonal workers from Mexico are helping this year.

“Everywhere there’s an influx of immigrants, the labor creates wealth,” John King said afterward.

The President also made a stop at Moomers Homemade Ice Cream in Traverse City.

President Biden eating ice cream during the trip to Michigan on July 3, 2021.
President Biden eats ice cream during his trip to Michigan on July 3, 2021.
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

The trip was billed as part of a campaign to drum up support for Biden’s infrastructure package and other proposed policies, but the president opted to talk to voters one-on-one instead of delivering public remarks on the holiday weekend.

Source: Jordan Travis, “Biden visits King Orchards with governor, senators”, Traverse City Record-Eagle, July 3, 2021.

1783 : Americans Unable to Take Over Detroit From English
Jul 4 all-day

Although the American Revolution is over, the English refuse to turn over Fort Detroit to the former American colonists. It will be another 13 years before control of Detroit passes to the United States.

Source : Detroit Almanac