Category Archives: Mystery Photo

Time for a treasure hunt! Can you guess where this photograph, related to a historical story in the Grand Traverse Region, was taken? Come back for next month’s issue and check your answer!

Ready to submit a mystery photo from your community? Send it to the editors of the Journal at gtjeditor@tadl.org. Remember to include the answer to your photograph in your email!

Reader Lights Up the Night with a Correct Answer!

The Gamewell system of fire alarm boxes was installed in Traverse City in 1881, one of only 250 cities that had them that early.  Each box could send a message to a central dispatch board which gave the location where the the box was activated.  Currently one box remains–on exhibition–at a place readers might readily guess: Where is it?

Congratulations to Cornelia for correctly answering the Mystery Photo question for December 2016. The last fire alarm box in Traverse City resides at Fire Station No. 1 on West Front Street, beside the main pedestrian entrance. Well done, Cornelia!

We offer kudos to the Traverse City Fire Department which honors its history. Thank you all for your service!

Traverse City’s “Queen City No. 2 Steamer”: Then and Now

Here are two images of the Queen City No. 2 Steamer, separated by more than 200 years. Traverse City’s second Steamer is still preserved at a location near Lansing, Michigan. Where would you go to view the two steamers? Extra credit if you get both!

Image from the “Grand Traverse Herald,” 1895.
Image courtesy of the author… this is somewhere in Traverse City.

Reader Solves “Mystery of the Missing Trees”

In honor of Veterans Day ( November 11), your editors ask: When did the Memorial Trees on Memorial Drive disappear? They were planted May 4, 1923, and no longer grace what is now Veterans Drive.

This is a hard question, so the winner will win a standing ovation, in addition to more free readings of Grand Traverse Journal!

A much easier question is, where is this plaque located?

Thanks to reader K for her answer. Congratulations and a round of applause to her! She was able to identify where the trees once were, and why they were planted. Unfortunately, she cannot help us answer the question of when the trees disappeared. There are sugar maples of the proper age at the entrance to the Memorial Gardens Cemetery, but we cannot know if these were trees planted in the ceremony to honor the vets.

The plaque is located on the grounds of the American Legion Hall on Veterans Drive, in the shadow of the tank that guards the property.

“Veteran’s Drive was once M-11, a trunk line into Traverse City.

According to the April 25, 1923 newspaper, the ceremony to dedicate the 30 trees was near Garfield Township hall with the trees starting there and going north (downhill) until the south city limit. The article also notes “Complete records of the trees and those whose death they commemorate will be filed at the county clerk’s office and a temporary marker will be placed on each tree at the planting.

Forty-two maples were planted on Arbor Day (May 4) 1923. It was hoped this would be the “first of several in the county.” The report of the ceremony notes “permanent markers of marble or bronze will be placed at foot of each tree giving name and service record of each [honoree].” and the “Record of each tree is now at the court house to be preserved for generation after generation.” The list of names to be included on the Monument and tablet” erected Arbor Day 1924 appears in the March 14, 1924 TCRE.”

Thanks again, K, for your sleuthing!

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The Case of the Missing Trees: A Veterans Day Mystery

In honor of Veterans Day ( November 11), your editors ask: When did the Memorial Trees on Memorial Drive disappear? They were planted May 4, 1923, and no longer grace what is now Veterans Drive.

This is a hard question, so the winner will win a standing ovation, in addition to more free readings of Grand Traverse Journal!

A much easier question is, where is this plaque located?

img_20161020_125152636 img_20161020_125208640

Reader Solves Mystery of Central Grade School

The architectural style of this school has sometimes been called “Collegiate Gothic” for its pointed arches and interesting ornaments.  One school in the Traverse area illustrates this style better than all others: what is it?

Thanks to Cornelia for successfully answering October’s “Mystery Photo!” Indeed, the school depicted is Central Grade School, located on Seventh Street in the Central Neighborhood.

The Latin inscription above the door on photograph below reads “Magnum Est Veritas et Prevalebit.” It may be translated “Great is the truth, and it shall prevail.”

The school reflects the times and the values of the community in the year of its construction, 1936. Its exterior ornamentations carry meanings about what schools are for and what kinds of knowledge are important. Certainly, a classical education was valued at the time of the construction of the building.

latin-inscription

Eagle

Gargoyle

Entrance

Readers Flounder in Ruggs Pond

Ruggs Pond is formed by a dam originally intended to generate power for what Northern Michigan community?  (Hint: it forms at the junction of two tributaries of the Jordan River)

Regrettably, not one person recognized that the dam at Ruggs Pond provided hydroelectric power to Kalkaska, Michigan. We encourage you to visit the Pond.  It is a beautiful place.

Postcard of Rugg Pond, Rapid River, 1905-1906. Image courtesy of Traverse Area District Library, 953.031910.13-2
Postcard of Rugg Pond, Rapid River, 1905-1906. Image courtesy of Traverse Area District Library, 953.031910.13-2

 

 

 

Image courtesy of GroundSpeak, http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WMF022_Rugg_Pond_Dam
Image courtesy of GroundSpeak, http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WMF022_Rugg_Pond_Dam

Ruggs Pond Dam Powered What City?

Ruggs Pond is formed by a dam originally intended to generate power for what Northern Michigan community?  (Hint: it forms at the junction of two tributaries of the Jordan River)
Gottfried Franke's crew building the Rugg Pond dam on the Rapid River in Kalkaska County. Image courtesy of Traverse Area District Library, 953.031910.13
Gottfried Franke’s crew building the Rugg Pond dam on the Rapid River in Kalkaska County. Image courtesy of Traverse Area District Library, 953.031910.13
Postcard of Rugg Pond, Rapid River, 1905-1906. Image courtesy of Traverse Area District Library, 953.031910.13-2
Postcard of Rugg Pond, Rapid River, 1905-1906. Image courtesy of Traverse Area District Library, 953.031910.13-2

Historic Strip Mall Identified and Dated!

Congratulations to Betsy, our August “Mystery Photo” champ, who correctly identified the Eastfield Plaza on Eighth Street! As to the date, would you guess the mall opened in the 1950s?

“Preposterous!,” you might say. Well, check out our October 2016 issue for a full history of this little shopping district gem, to be written by our fellow editor, Richard Fidler. As a teaser, a real, live pony was involved in the naming of the plaza… how can that be? Stay tuned!