Actual Roadside Historical Markers of Upper Peninsula Michigan All Presumably Written by the Same Guy

July 28, 2007

Old Presque Isle Lighthouse

This lighthouse, built in 1870 by Orlando M. Poe, is one of three Great Lakes towers built from the same plans. It replaced the smaller 1840 harbor light. The conical brick tower rises 113 feet from a limestone foundation. The Third Order Fresnel lens was made by Henri LePaute of Paris, which must be fascinating to the roadside tourist with extensive knowledge of the 19th century French optics industry. Patrick Garrity, the keeper of the harbor light, lit the lamp for the first time for the opening of the 1871 navigation season. Garrity served here until 1885, when he presumably died of boredom, as I have nearly died of such merely researching his life.

World's Largest Limestone Quarry

Limestone is a mineral raw material essential in making steel, chemicals, and cement. Henry H. Hindshaw, a geologist, established in 1908-09 the commercial value of this area's limestone for industry. The high purity of this deposit and the availability of water transportation led to the development here of a port and quarry. Both are named Calcite, after the principal ingredient of the stone. And while this is all very interesting, it does not explain why you stopped the car to make your kids look at a hole in the ground. Are you that shut down from regular family relations? These are the sorts of memories that turn them against you in the teen years, you know.

Fort Wilkins

As soon as miners began to enter the Copper Country, appeals were made to the army for protection from resentful Indians. Guess how that turned out? Do the world a favor and alleviate some of your white guilt by visiting one of the many tribal casinos up here. Every little bit helps.

The Metz Fire

On October 15, 1908, I can't stand my wife. I can't live this lie any more. Who reads these? Who? This is not what I wanted to do with a master's degree in history. Burn. Burn it all. Burn burn burn.


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One man's quest to be the humblest person alive
Copyright 2013, Chris White