5 Things in Michigan You Probably Don't Know About
Michigan is quite the eccentric (if not weird) state. Even Michiganders sometimes fail to realize what odd items and events surround us, so here's five that come to mind.
Cheeseburger in Caseville
Caseville, MI is a fairly nice, small beach town in the thumb area of Michigan. Offering access to Saginaw Bay/Lake Huron, the usually quiet town is a nice place for Michiganders to go for a summer day of fun. But every year in late August, for ten days, Caseville turns into "Key North" and plays host to a massive Jimmy Buffet tribute and cheeseburger festival, appropriately titled "Cheeseburger in Caseville". With events ranging from a massive parade to Jimmy Buffet cover bands, a cheeseburger cook-off/contest to laser light shows, and sandcastle sculpting to dozens of kids' activities, the festival turns Caseville on its head and makes it a wild and wonderous destination packed with people.
Reference/More Info: Festival Website
Grand Rapids: First City with Fluoridated Water
Despite growing concerns over whether fluoridated water is actually healthy (or safe at all), Grand Rapids, MI still has a monument dedicating it as the first city to have fluoride in its water. Replaced in 2007, the current iteration of the monument is called "Steel Water" and is made to outlast its predecessor, which is now in storage to preserve the portions of it that are still intact.
First Domino's Pizza in Ypsilanti
Originally named DomiNicks's Pizza, Domino's Pizza was started from a single restaurant in Ypsilanti in 1960. In 1965, one of the co-owners renamed it, and later in the 1960's the first two franchise locations opened. 200 more franchises opened into the 1970's and by 1985, it had become the fastest-growing pizza restaurant chain in the United States.
Reference/More Info: Domino's
The Northern Canal Project
At one time, a project was under way to build a canal across Michigan, connecting Lakes Huron and Michigan. The canal would have spanned the Lower Peninsula using the Grand River on the Lake Michigan side and the Saginaw River on the Lake Huron/Saginaw Bay side as origins. The intended route connected them by way of the Maple River and Bad River, and contracts for the work to prepare the route were made in 1838. Due to financial problems, the project suspended in July 1839 and was abandoned. The project was revived in 1849, but again did not succeed as planned. In some areas along the intended route, there is said to be timber brought in for the project left on the ground rotting in place.
Reference/More Info: Bay Journal
Tony's I-75 Restaurant
Along I-75 in Birch Run is now-famous Tony's I-75 Restaurant. Tony's is well-known for generous helpings of bacon with breakfasts or their famous BLT sandwiches. By 'generous' I mean 'oh dear God that's an entire pound of bacon on my sandwich'. Patrons in the know have claimed that the monsterous portions originated as a perk for long-haul truckers in need of extra eats for the road. Whether true or not, you're unlikely to find a single hungry person leaving the restaurant. Ever.
Main Photo Credit: Daniel Toth