Tag Archives: Caseville

The little city in the thumb that calls it self the perch capital of the world

Huron County Boating & Sailing


Here is another wonderfully produced video from LIVEHuron. This one focuses on our rich boating and sailing waters with some great shots of Caseville.

The videos are part of a promotional campaign produced  by Huron County Economic Development Corporation. They are short and highlight the best aspects of our wonderful area. If you think this is pretty good stuff please Like and Share.


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Best of the Upper Thumb


For well over five decades the Upper Thumb has been deemed the “Closer Up North” for the Southeast Michigan and Detroit area.  Sandy beaches, great fishing, parks and some of the friendliest proprietors around, Huron County is a great place to steal a weekend away from the “burbs” of Detroit without busting your wallet.  In less than a two hour drive you can be at the tip of the Thumb and sinking your toes into the sugar sand of Saginaw Bay. It’s family friendly unpretentious and considered by many to be an undiscovered Michigan destination.

There are many events throughout the year but the highlight festival of the summer is Cheeseburger in Caseville held in August. When it was first held in 1999 it was purely a local affair attended by only 5,000 locals. Now the event is considered the largest civic festival event in Michigan with over 100,000 visitors during  the 10 day event. Caseville becomes Key North during the event. Bring your Conch Republic passport for diplomatic treatment.

ThumbWind presents the “inside scoop” from locals and those who live here and wish our visitors to have a great time. A new page has been added Best of the Upper Thumb. This local information offers a collection of the “Best Of” for the  all the festivals and unique sites the Upper Thumb has to offer including Caseville’s Cheeseburger festival . This stuff just scratches the surface for a unique trip of fun and adventure.

Best of RibStock in Caseville. Last weekend of JuneRibstock is considered the warm up act for the big August festival. However this celebration of BBQ and country music is quickly becoming a favorite early summer event.

Best Place to Talk Politics During Cheesburger’s “Parade of Fools” This is the largest event of the festival. It’s also a great chance to meet and great local and national politicians who find their way into Caseville.

Best Gourmet Grocery to Create Your Own Cheeseburger There are dozens of local restaurants and charity’s who set up for the 10 day event. You may want to make your own. Here is the best place to get all the fixens for your own cheeseburger in paradise.

Best Taste of the Florida Keys in the Upper Thumb – Want to experience a bit of the Keys cuisine without the 1,500 mile car trip and all the bridge hopping? There are many roadside inns along M-53 that can go toe-to-toe with those on A-1-A. The only thing missing is the conch chowder.  Here is a stand out.

Best Bar Cheeseburger in the ThumbBar burgers are fun. However you may actually have to leave Caseville to find the best bar cheeseburger in the Thumb.

Best Place to Camp Next to the BeachThe Upper Thumb is a camper nirvana. However there is only one area where you can literally camp steps away on the beach. Find out where.

Best Things to do When Your Bored of Cheeseburger – Ten days of luau shirts, Margareta’s and cheeseburgers sounds like a lot of fun but for kids it can be too much. If you want to step away from the crowds there is plenty to see and do. Check out the suggestions.

Best Stroll During the Festival – See the odd sights and unique sounds and atmosphere found only on the water.

Ora Labora Grave Old Bay Port Cemetery AngelBest Place to Get Totally Scared – The Upper Thumb has been home to native and American settlers for over a millenia. The paranormal activity in one nearby town has been the subject of books, movies and TV shows. You can even stay in a famously haunted inn overnight if you dare.

The Best Place to Dance Polka – If your around after Labor Day the upper thumb has a polka festival that is one of the Great Lakes best.


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Big Industry in Little Caseville


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On the site of what is now the Saginaw Bay Marina and along Riverside Drive sat the Pigeon River Salt and Iron Works which was built in 1873. The investors were S. O. Edison, uncle of Thomas Edison, Sanford, and Francis Crawford. The furnace was moved there from Black River, (now Lorain), Ohio. The iron ore was mined from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and shipped from Marquette and Escanaba. The blast furnace had a capacity of producing 30 tons of pig iron daily. The brick chimney must have been an impressive slight over the harbor basin and Pigeon River at 45 feet high with a 9 ½ foot base it was the tallest structure in town.


Crawford-francis


The father of a future president, William McKinley Sr. also invested in the operation and according to local lore acted has superintendent of the operations until his retirement in 1876. McKinley was notable for being a pioneer of the iron industry in eastern Ohio. The iron works were run about a year, and then due to the Long Depression (1873-1879), depressed iron prices and high fuel prices the operation ceased. The furnace stood vacant and idle for years. The red brick kiln was torn down and each brick was cleaned for reuse. Today some of these bricks can be seen in several buildings in Caseville. The Blue Water Inn is one of the most notable businesses where the original chimney bricks were used.


Crawford-Mansion-Caseville


As an early founder of Caseville, Francis Crawford was one of the wealthiest men in the Upper Thumb. In 1856 he built a large Italianate mansion on the top of the bluff overlooking the harbor and town. Francis Crawford died in 1885 and the mansion was turned into the DeFord Hotel. The 150 ton house was moved in 2001 next to St Roch Catholic Church, refurbished, and now used as a funeral home.


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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.


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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.