Ice Fishing Tragedy in the Upper Thumb

One of our readers sent us some sad news.

Two fishermen and their ATV & shanty fell through the ice yesterday (2/4/2018) near Rose Island (between Bay Port & Sebewaing) in 4-5 feet of water. They were only about a half mile out. Visibility was bad yesterday with the snow blowing around. They couldn’t make it back to shore and died. They were found about 900 feet from where they fell through.

Ice Safety Guidelines

It may take a deadly incident like this to remind people that ice changes and to be mindful of what is underfoot. The Minnesota DNR provides the following guidelines.

For new, clear ice only

  • Under 4″ – STAY OFF
  • 4″ – Ice fishing or other activities on foot
  • 5″ – 7″ – Snowmobile or ATV
  • 8″ – 12″ – Car or small pickup
  • 12″ – 15″ – Medium truck

Many factors other than thickness can cause ice to be unsafe. Currents from nearby rivers or debris in the ice can create thin areas.

White ice or “snow ice” is only about half as strong as new clear ice. Double the above thickness guidelines when traveling on white ice.


Download this Ice Thickness Guidelines from the Minnesota DNR.



Mysterious Murder in The Thumb

Michigan Murder Mystery

The Thumb Pointed Fingers is a genealogical fiction murder mystery based on actual events that occurred in Sanilac and Huron County Michigan in the early 1900’s. The story is focused on Carrie Sparling’s life on the farm near Tyre. It was a storybook setting for Carrie’s growing and prosperous family until the untimely demise of her husband J.W., and three of her six young adult children. The Sparling’s family doctor, the handsome Dr. Robert MacGregor became ensnared in the mysterious and unexplainable deaths and would live to regret taking on Carrie as a patient.


This is author Jackie Howard’s first book. She, like myself and thousands of others in the Thumb are related to the Sparling family and have heard the tale of the “Dying Sparlings”. The book does a wonderful job of portraying what life was like in the years before the automobile. Living in a small rural area. The need for a large family garden, the constant chores and activity associated with the farm. It notes the crucial role women played in the economic success of rural families. It also points out the lasting effects on those families who survived the 1881 Great Fire and the physiological toll it took on many. It’s a wonderful glimpse of life in an era long past coupled with an murder mystery that to many is still unsolved to this day.


The Most Exclusive Home in the Thumb

There are not too many exclusive areas that are widely known in Michigan’s Thumb. The historic gated cottage communities of Pointe Aux Barques and Harbor Beach Resort Association come to mind. But to really get away from it all one has to consider the finger of land that juts out into Saginaw Bay five miles; Sand Point. 

Sand Point was developed to be one of the most  prestigious  communities. This home located within Thumb Pointe is truly unique. With a clear view of sunrises and sunsets this beachfront  luxury home is currently on the market for a cool $1.1 million.

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At 6,000 square foot under air, this home sits on 138′ of sandy beach.  With five bedrooms, five full & three half baths, three double sided fireplaces, a library, office, screened porch, recreation room with full bar, sauna, workout room, and a five car attached heated garage. Across the street that is available canal dockage to tuck away your yacht. A luxury playhouse and one of a kind in the Thumb.


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