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.

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.