Category Archives: Architecture

Pickle Barrel House

Pickle Barrel House - Grand Marais, Michigan
Pickle Barrel House – Grand Marais, Michigan

This strange little house is one thing I remember from my childhood and was awesome to see once again.

Below is from Pure Michigan’s website:

The Pickle Barrel House is one of the most unique structures in the country. This larger-than-life pickle barrel was originally built in 1926 by the Pioneer Cooperage Company as a summer home for cartoonist William Donahey. Donahey, the creator of the Chicago Tribune’s popular “Teenie Weenie” cartoon strip, also drew advertisements for pickle-peddlers Reid-Murdock & Co., who sold their product in a much smaller version of the barrel you see here. The cottage, which contains a living area, pantry, kitchen, and bedroom, stood on the shore of Sable Lake until 1937, when the house was moved into Grand Marais and placed on the corner of Lake Avenue and Randolph Street. For years it was a visitors information center, ice cream stand, and gift shop, and in 2003 the Historical Society purchased the building. It has been restored to its original condition as a summer cottage of the 1920s. Don’t miss this very special place. Kids especially love it! Museum is also on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

Greenfield Village – A Step Back in Time

One of my early visits to Greenfield Village in the early 70's
One of my early visits to Greenfield Village in the early 70’s

Growing up in Michigan I discovered my love of history thanks to a man named Henry Ford at a place he built called Greenfield Village.  Greenfield Village is an outdoor living history museum dedicated in 1929 and opened to the public in June 1933.

Most of the structures in this village have been moved and relocated to their present site while others are reproductions.  From an exact replica of Thomas Edison’s Menlo Park Laboratory Complex to the actual Wright Brothers Cycle Shop, there is a cornucopia of history from the 17th century to modern times.

As a child I remember the awe that this placed instilled in my soul.  Taking my family there brought back many childhood memories including being chased around Ackley Pond by a goose and subsequently bit by the beast.

If you ever find your self in Michigan, this should be on the top of your list of places to visit.

Greenbrier Hotel and Secret Bunker

Almost a year ago, I spent a wonderful week in West Virginia and one of the things I have always wanted to see was “Project Greek Island”, the infamous secret bunker under the west wing of the hotel. This bunker was built during the Cold War to house the legislative branch of the Government in case of a national emergency.  The bunker was decommissioned in 1992 after it was outed in a newspaper article.  Unfortunately, pictures were not allowed so I have obtained a few from the internet of the inside.

Greenbrier Bunker - Cafeteria (Photo by others)
Greenbrier Bunker – Cafeteria (Photo by others)
Greenbrier Bunker - Auditorium for Congress (Photo by others)
Greenbrier Bunker – Auditorium for Congress (Photo by others)
Beds line the dormitory for members of Congress. (Photo by others)
Beds line the dormitory for members of Congress.

The tour was fascinating and the part I found interesting was the bunker was both built and hidden in plain sight.

Blast door hidden behind false door. (Photo by others)
Blast door hidden behind false wall. (Photo by others)

Below is the only picture I was allowed to take with the false wall opened revealing the blast door.  The room beyond was part of the bunker and was used by the hotel as meeting space during the time the bunker was active.  No one ever knew they were in a Cold War bunker. Continue reading Greenbrier Hotel and Secret Bunker