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Surrey With the Fringe on Top: 1908

Surrey With the Fringe on Top: 1908

Mackinac Island, Michigan, circa 1908. "New Mackinac and New Murray Hotels." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

Somewhere in Time

Many of you are probably already aware that the film "Somewhere in Time" with Jane Seymour and the late Christopher Reeve was shot on the island. Esther Williams made a movie there too, but I have forgotten the name of it.
The Island can be clearly seen from the Mackinaw Straits Bridge, a wonder in itself.

I've been to the Island

I've been to the Island a number of times, the last time being just last June. It happened to be one of the rare occasions that some motorized vehicles were there: some earth-moving machines such as a bulldozer and a backhoe.

So I was in the Blacksmith's shop, and the Smith was doing his demos of fashioning various items from iron stock, and suddenly the backhoe rolled by with extreme noise. Then the bulldozer went by, noisily. The Smith had been there in comparative peace and quite for weeks. He was taken aback, because the last thing he expected was the roar of diesel engines.

More News To Come

Not yet on the island's PR band wagon but it can only be a matter of time: "The New White Seal", "The New Baileys Drug Store" and "The New Marquette Furnished Rooms".

New Mackinac

An unusual use of sarcasm in an advertisement.

Mackinac, Formerly Michilimackinac,
John Read Bailey, M.D., 1897.

The New Mackinac

This hotel was built for the special comfort of summer boarders. On arrival, each guest will be asked how he likes the situation, and if he says the Hotel ought to have been placed upon Fort Holmes or on Round Island, the location of the Hotel will be immediately changed.

Corner front rooms, up one flight, for every guest. Baths, gas, electricity, hot and cold water, laundry, telegraph, restaurant, fire alarm, bar room, billiard table, sewing machine, piano, and all modern conveniences in every room. Meals every minute, and consequently no second table. Every guest will have the best seat in the dining hall.

Our clerk was specially educated for the "New Mackinac," he wears the original Koh-i-noor diamond, and is prepared to please everybody. He is always ready to sing, match worsted, take a hand at draw-poker, play billiards. sharpen your pencil, take you out rowing, lead the german, amuse the children, make a fourth at whist, or flirt with any young lady, and will not mind being cut dead when Pa comes down. He will attend to the telephone and answer all questions in Choctaw, Chinese, Chippewa, Volapuk, or any other of the Court languages of Europe.

The proprietor will always be happy to hear that some other hotel is "the best in the country." Special attention given to parties who give information as to "how these things are done in Chicago."

Bailey's Drug Store

Darn, if only it was a Building and Loan.

No more Mackinaw

As you can see in the 2008 photo, The New Mackinaw isn't so new anymore. In fact, it's gone. I think the small peaked-roofed building is the Visitor's Information Center.

Bucolic setting

To this day, even the garbage wagons are horse-drawn.

Wheels have changed

On the fringed surreys over the past decade.


Below is the same view from August of 2008.

Not much has changed there

I stayed on the island in the late 1990s and awoke to the clip-clop of the morning delivery wagons.

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