Lake Huron Beach Access in 1937


M25_SignWe almost take it for granted that if your near the lake in Huron county that your a short walk or drive away from being able to put your toes into the water. That was not always the case. I remember stories from my grand parents and others that the beach front was some of the last land to be sold and parcel developed. After the lumber boom had fizzed out in the 1880’s attention turned to farming. Since the dunes and swampy areas near the water were pretty unfit for farming they stayed clear of development until well into the 1900’s.

Parks were available but they were far and few in between. This small article appeared in 1937 in the Harbor Beach newspaper as many miles of M-25 were in process of being paved. It called on Huron leadership to extend the township roadways that stopped at M-25 right to the shore so tourists could access the beach and lake. Sanilac county took the lead on establishment of easements that were a model for much of the Great Lakes region. Today an example of township easement this can be clearly seen at Oak Beach. The road runs right up the water where, for many years, there was a boat ramp available righ on the edge of the park..

Beach

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Huron’s Drive-In Theaters


It’s widely recognized that the first drive in was Hollingshead’s drive-in opened in New Jersey June 6, 1933. It offered viewing for up to 400 vehicles and a 40 by 50 foot screen. The owner advertised his drive-in theater with the slogan, “The whole family is welcome, regardless of how noisy the children are.” The facility only operated three years, but during that time the concept caught on in other states.

Blue Sky Drive In Caseville Michigan


The drive-in’s peak popularity came in the late 1950s and early 1960s, particularly in rural areas, with some 4,000 drive-ins spread across the United States. Huron County is recorded in having two drive-in’s, the Blue Sky between Caseville and Pinnebog and the M-53 near Bad Axe.


blue-sky-drive-in-caseville


The Blue Sky operated from 1950 – 1977. Surrounded by farmland it offered summer nighttime movies for 300. Faced with decline in attendance the drive in showed “blue films” in the 1970’s. Remains of this theater were evident until about 2010 when land owners removed the last of the speaker stands and cement footings.


m53-drive-in-bad-axe-top.PNG


M-53 opened in 1953 and ran until 1988. Located just west of town, its 400 spaces drew folks from all over the county.

Today there are no drive-ins in the Upper Thumb. The nearest one is the Hi-Way Drive In in Sandusky. The Hi-Way is considered the oldest continuous running drive-in in Michigan.

Time Winds Down for Public Comment on Nestle Taking Michigan’s Water


NestleMichigan residents have only a few more days to express their views on letting Nestle, a foreign company, to expand its capability of pumping millions of gallons of pure water from Michigan’s aquifer for a mere $200.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) has a public comment period regarding Nestlé Waters North America, Evart, Osceola County, for a proposed increased large quantity water withdrawal made under Section 17 of the Michigan Safe Drinking Water Act, 1976 PA 399. Comments will be accepted until March 3, 2017.

Written comments can be emailed to deq-eh@michigan.gov

Nestlé announced a $36-million expansion at its Ice Mountain bottling operations in michigan-aquifersStanwood, in Mecosta County, on Oct. 31. In a state still reeling from the Flint water crisis the Swiss company would get nearly free access to pump 210m gallons a year for its bottled water business.

The company’s proposal to increase pumping from 150 gallons a minute to 400 gallons a minute from an aquifer underneath the plant is part of the expansion of the bottled water operations in Michigan. The company has already increased pumping to 250 gallons per minute, an increase for which no permit was required.

Sources:

  • Detroit Free Press
  • Michigan DEQ
  • The Guardian
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Fun in Michigan's Upper Thumb

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