ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA 

Florida’s fourth-largest city and the second in importance as a winter resort, occupies a semi-isolated area of 58 square miles on the southern tip of the Pinellas peninsula, a 25-mile projection between Tampa Bay and Boca Ciega Bay. US 19, entering from the North, is its only free trunk highway.

St. Petersburg’s front yard is a series of landscaped parks and driveways paralleling Tampa Bay, a filled-in stretch of two miles embracing the city’s harbor, yacht basin, municipal pier, and major recreational attractions.

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Jordan Smith is the guide to ephemeral America for The American Guide. He currently works for the University of Notre Dame during the day and scans at night. He lives in South Bend, Indiana and you can find him on Flickr, his blog, or one of several Tumblr sites.

SILVER SPRINGS, FLORIDA 

Timucuan Indians settled around Silver Springs in the early 1500s. They were soon invaded by the Spaniards and eventually succeeded by Seminole Indians. In turn, the Seminoles, led by Chief Osceola, then retreated to southern swamps when pressed by the US Government in 1835. By the 1850s, barges carried cotton, lumber and nonperishables up the river to the growing community of Ocala. 

Paddlewheel steamboats made their way up the Silver River to the main spring and in the 1880s railroad cars began bringing even 
more tourists. Silver Springs and the Silver River have been tourist attractions ever since. In addition, the spring’s crystalline water has provided the perfect underwater backdrop for many Hollywood films and television programs including six Tarzan films, Sea Hunt, Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, and many others.

Silver Springs, will become a state park in October, following $4 million in renovation that includes the removal of exotic animals and amusement rides. Its famous glass-bottom boat tours, which started there in 1878, and the popular concert series will remain, but several exhibits and structures will be dismantled to convert the attraction into a more natural park. The park will remain open during the transition.

Sources: 1, 2, 3

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Jordan Smith is the guide to ephemeral America for The American Guide. He currently works for the University of Notre Dame during the day and scans at night. He lives in South Bend, Indiana and you can find him on Flickr, his blog, or one of several Tumblr sites.

FRANKENMUTH, MICHIGAN

A German settlement known throughout the State for its chicken dinners, served harvester style, and its Frankenmuth beer. It was settled in 1845 by a group of Franconians from Bavaria and, later, by refugees from the unsuccessful German revolution of 1848.

The neat village, spread out for some distance, has retained its German flavor; most of the inhabitants are descendants of the original settlers and speak the German language.

—Michigan: A Guide to the Wolverine State (WPA,1941)

Postcard Key:

1. Maypole 2-4. Frankenmuth Bavarian Inn 5. The Fischer Opera Haus 6. Schnitzelbank Shop 7. Bavarian Festival 8. Bodenbender’s Apfel Haus 9. Bronner’s 10. The Edelweiss Trio

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Jordan Smith is the guide to ephemeral America for The American Guide. He currently works for the University of Notre Dame during the day and scans at night. He lives in South Bend, Indiana and you can find him on Flickr, his blog, or one of several Tumblr sites.

Flintstones Bedrock City - Custer, South Dakota

Bedrock City, located on 30 acres, just outside of Custer, South Dakota, opened in 1966 by two local cement plant owners with an idea to build a replica of the popular Flintstones town of Bedrock.

The town features all the popular characters, their houses, Main Street, a City Hall, a Fire House, a working Cimena, a radio station, grocery store, police department and a Flintstones version of Mt. Rushmore (located nearby) called Mt. Rockmore.

Originally, the town and characters were made of cement but the majority of them have been replaced by fiberglass replicas of the original.

There is also a campground located behind the park that features an arcade, laundry, swimming pool, playground and putt-putt golf course.

Guide Note: Check out Roadside America and the Bedrock City website for more information.

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Jordan Smith is the guide to ephemeral America for The American Guide. He currently works for the University of Notre Dame during the day and scans at night. He lives in South Bend, Indiana and you can find him on Flickr, his blog, or one of several Tumblr sites.

THE MYSTERY SPOT - ST. IGNACE, MICHIGAN 

In the early 1950’s, three surveyors named Clarence, Fred and McCray came from California to explore the Upper Peninsula. They stumbled across an area of land where their surveying equipment didn’t seem to work properly. For instance, no matter how many times they tried to level their tripod, through the use of a plum-bob or level, the plum-bob would always be drawn far to the east, even as the level was reading level. As they continued their research of this land, they noticed a constant feeling of being light-headed. Later, realizing their queasiness and problems with the surveying equipment only occurred in an area about 300 feet in diameter, they felt they had discovered a “Mystery Spot”.

Millions have visited their Mystery Spot and many return year after year to experience the unusual sensations that occur within its boundaries. Where else can a tall person seem smaller by comparison or a visitor climb a wall and tilt precariously into the air but not fall? The laws of gravity seem uneasy while sitting in a chair with its back legs balanced on a beam and front legs suspended in the air. You will without a doubt remember your visit to the Mystery Spot for years to come.

The Mystery Spot Website

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Jordan Smith is the guide to ephemeral America for The American Guide. He currently works for the University of Notre Dame during the day and scans at night. He lives in South Bend, Indiana and you can find him on Flickr, his blog, or one of several Tumblr sites.

SANTA CLAUS, INDIANA




The village of Santa Claus was platted in 1846, and the suggested name of Santa Fe for the post office was ruled out because there was another Santa Fe in Indiana. Santa Claus was jocularly suggested as an alternative, since it was the Christmas season, and the name stuck.
Santa Claus becomes a beehive of activity with the approach of Christmas. From all over the world parcels pour in to be re-mailed in order to bear the Santa Claus postmark. In 1937 more than 600,000 pieces of mail passed through the little post office. 
- Indiana: A Guide to the Hoosier State (WPA, 1941)




All images from The Pie Shops collection.
Santa Claus, Indiana is still going strong. The town touts itself as “America’s Christmas Hometown” and is home to the Lake Rudolph Campground and R.V. Resort. You can check out the town’s website here.
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Jordan Smith is the guide to ephemeral America for The American Guide. He currently works for the University of Notre Dame during the day and scans at night. He lives in South Bend, Indiana and you can find him on Flickr, his blog, or one of several Tumblr sites.
Zoom Info
SANTA CLAUS, INDIANA




The village of Santa Claus was platted in 1846, and the suggested name of Santa Fe for the post office was ruled out because there was another Santa Fe in Indiana. Santa Claus was jocularly suggested as an alternative, since it was the Christmas season, and the name stuck.
Santa Claus becomes a beehive of activity with the approach of Christmas. From all over the world parcels pour in to be re-mailed in order to bear the Santa Claus postmark. In 1937 more than 600,000 pieces of mail passed through the little post office. 
- Indiana: A Guide to the Hoosier State (WPA, 1941)




All images from The Pie Shops collection.
Santa Claus, Indiana is still going strong. The town touts itself as “America’s Christmas Hometown” and is home to the Lake Rudolph Campground and R.V. Resort. You can check out the town’s website here.
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Jordan Smith is the guide to ephemeral America for The American Guide. He currently works for the University of Notre Dame during the day and scans at night. He lives in South Bend, Indiana and you can find him on Flickr, his blog, or one of several Tumblr sites.
Zoom Info

SANTA CLAUS, INDIANA

The village of Santa Claus was platted in 1846, and the suggested name of Santa Fe for the post office was ruled out because there was another Santa Fe in Indiana. Santa Claus was jocularly suggested as an alternative, since it was the Christmas season, and the name stuck.

Santa Claus becomes a beehive of activity with the approach of Christmas. From all over the world parcels pour in to be re-mailed in order to bear the Santa Claus postmark. In 1937 more than 600,000 pieces of mail passed through the little post office. 

Indiana: A Guide to the Hoosier State (WPA, 1941)

All images from The Pie Shops collection.

Santa Claus, Indiana is still going strong. The town touts itself as “America’s Christmas Hometown” and is home to the Lake Rudolph Campground and R.V. Resort. You can check out the town’s website here.

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Jordan Smith is the guide to ephemeral America for The American Guide. He currently works for the University of Notre Dame during the day and scans at night. He lives in South Bend, Indiana and you can find him on Flickr, his blog, or one of several Tumblr sites.

#AmericanGuideWeek checks in on the sights of Boise, Idaho, courtesy of our very own Guide to Ephemera, thepieshops:

Boise, Idaho

Boise, the capitol of Idaho and its largest city, stands on the Boise River at the extreme upper end of the Boise Valley. It is primarily a city of trees and homes and enviable climate. Protected by great mountains on the north and lying in a belt of prevailing westerly winds, it and its valley are never outraged by the cold blizzards that sweep down from Canada and paralyze eastern Idaho and the states beyond.

- Idaho: A Guide in Word and Pictures (1937)

Key:

1. Capitol Blvd. at Night 2. Greetings From Boise, Idaho 3. Main Street 4. Tenth Street Looking North 5. View of Business District 6. Federal Building 7. Union Pacific Depot 8. Capitol Blvd. 9. Idaho State Capitol

Day two of (Postcard) American Guide Week spotlights the Capitol of Idaho and the place I was born and raised.

At the time the Idaho: A Guide in Word and Pictures (1937) was published there were 21,544 people living in Boise.  As of the 2010 census Boise’s population was 205,671, so nearly ten times what it was 75 years ago. Even with the influx of people it’s still a beautiful place with plenty of open space, outdoor activities and scenic beauty.

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Jordan Smith is the guide to ephemeral America for The American Guide. He currently works for the University of Notre Dame during the day and scans at night. He lives in South Bend, Indiana and you can find him on Flickr, his blog, or one of several Tumblr sites.