Vagabond Motel

Wednesday, August 26, 2015 0 No tags Permalink


Vagabond Motel and Cabin Court
On U.S. Highways 23 and 27
Mackinaw City, Michigan
Box 568 — Phone 4621
While Visiting Michigan’s Water Wonderland – Let us contribute to your Vacation Enjoyment. Completely Modern, spacious units – Centrally Heated. Excellent Beach and enclosed patio – Outdoor grill.

Genuine Natural Color, Made by Dexter Press, Inc., West Nyack, N.Y.
Pub. by G. C. O’Neil, Detroit, Mich.

This lovely vintage postcard, the second I have from this old Mackinaw motel, is unsent. This card also seems to be newer than the other, perhaps early 1970s. The sign is different, as is the siding on the left building set. The description is quite a bit shorter, though.

This motel was near the Ferry docks, and all of that original area is long gone. Shame, as the Vagabond was lovely.

Bell’s Melody Motel

Wednesday, August 19, 2015 0 No tags Permalink


Bell’s Melody Motel
1067 South Huron (U.S. 23)
Mackinaw City, Michigan 49701
“As You Travel…Stay With Us.” Pleasant Rooms With Electric Heat – TV – Tubs & Showers – Swimming Facilities. Family Rates Available. Full View Of The Mackinac Bridge, Mackinac Island And The Scenic Straits Area.
Fred, Helen, Karl, Walleen Berakovich
Phone (616) 436-5463

Pub. & Photo by Garnet O’Neil, 6088 Auburn, Detroit, Mich. 48228
Made by Dexter Press, Inc, West Nyack, New York

There are current addresses for Karl (Alanson), Walleen (Petoskey) and Helen (Cheboygan). Fred passed away in 2011 at age 87 in Petoskey. He was married to Helen. From his obituary: “Upon retirement, Fred and Helen moved to Mackinaw City where they owned and operated several businesses including Bell’s Melody Motel, the Beachcomber Motel, the Tip of the Mitt Motel, the Dinner Bell, the Peppermint House and the Sail Inn Bar, all in Mackinaw City. He enjoyed water sports and spending time with his family.” Karl was his son.

Mom, Kirsten and I recently stayed in the Bell’s complex (read about our trip here). I love Bell’s. Best beach. Friendly staff. Clean, comfortable rooms. Very reasonably priced. If you are looking for a true up north experience, you should check out Bell’s.



More Mackinaw here:

Surf Motel

Vagabond Motel

Battle Creek Central High School

Thursday, May 21, 2015 0 No tags Permalink


This lovely vintage postcard, postmarked September 17, 1917, was sent to me by my fantastic cousin Angie. It features what is now Battle Creek Central High School. Our little community has many school districts – Lakeview, Pennfield, Harper Creek and Battle Creek Central. I went to Lakeview.


Written in pencil, it’s a little hard to read (and no punctuation). Here’s what I can make out:

Dear Sister, 
Am in Battle Creek in a furnished room with one of my boarders have been here since Monday she goes to Chicago next Thursday and I am giving out to Ruth LaPrints in the country for a short visit – she found this and she would send auto after me Friday. We are going to Camp Custer today and to Marshall County Fair tomorrow. Oh I am having a fine time but will have to find a job soon am so glad you could go to Lulas. With love Margaret – will write a letter soon.

It’s an interesting message for sure! Camp Custer was built in 1917 for military training during World War I. I believe Bob’s grandfather has photos of Camp Custer being built. It became a much bigger deal in World War II. The wiki is here, if you are interested. And the fair in Marshall…well, the Calhoun County Fair is Michigan’s oldest continuing operating fair!

The school on this card, the current Battle Creek Central High School, was built on Van Buren Street in 1909. They greatly expanded onto the building a few years back. Here is the Google Street View now:


Thank you Angie, for sending this great card!

More Battle Creek here:

Maple Street

Downtown Battle Creek pt. 2

Downtown Battle Creek pt. 1

Post Tavern

Monday, May 18, 2015 0 No tags Permalink


My amazing cousin Angie sent me this card, featuring the Post Tavern in Battle Creek. Postmarked June 5, 1914 using a green 1 cent Washington stamp. It was mailed to Miss Mabel Shrestall in Tipton Iowa. I’ve scanned the back, for your viewing pleasure.


The original Post Taven was opened in 1901, a six-story hotel with 135 rooms. The ten-story addition was built in 1913, near when John thought it was the swellest hotel he ever was in.The oldest part of the tavern and the bridge across the street were torn down in 1960. I snagged this screenshot from Google News:

None of the original Post Tavern exists now. Angie, thank you so much for this awesome postcard!

More Battle Creek here:

Battle Creek Sanitarium

Hart Hotel

Sandstone Motel


Battle Creek Sanitarium

Tuesday, December 30, 2014 0 No tags Permalink

Vintage Postcards – Battle Creek Sanitarium


South View Sanitarium, Battle Creek, Mich.

This lovely vintage divided-back postcard was mailed January 7, 1913 using a green 1 cent Washington stamp. It was mailed to Dr. Julia Ross, W. University Ave., Champaign, Ill. It reads:

Dear Friend;
How are you? I think this is a nice place and the weather is just as mild as our Ill. weather so far Wish you and Sister a Happy New Year. With Love N. Jervis

The handwriting is so lovely!


Palm Garden, Sanitarium, Battle Creek, Mich.

This lovely vintage divided-back postcard was mailed May 15, 1913 using a green 1 cent Washington stamp. It was mailed to Mrs. F.A. Rugg, Washington Ave., Seymour, Conn. It reads:

May 13th, 1913
We are leaving this lovely place today. I would like to stay here a month – the health foods are very good and I have enjoyed them. Hope to see you soon. K. 

Bob surprised me with these beautiful cards from the Lansing postcard expo. If you are not familiar with the Battle Creek San, this wiki has all the history. Perhaps you’ve seen The Road to Wellville?

This was the place to have high school proms when I was in school. It didn’t have the palm garden in those days, though. I’d like a palm garden in my house. I think it would improve my health and well being, especially during winter months!

Hart Hotel Battle Creek

Tuesday, October 14, 2014 0 No tags Permalink

Vintage Postcard – Hart Hotel – Battle Creek, MI


The Hart Hotel
Fireproof – Air-Conditioned
Battle Creek, Michigan
100 Rooms with Bath
Dining Room – Coffee Shop
Battle Creek’s Newest and Finest Hotel

MWM Color-Litho “Bursheen” Finished, Made Only By MWM Co. Aurora, Mo.


Battle Creek News Co., Battle Creek, Mich.

Genuine Curteich-Chicago “C.T. Art- ColorTone” Post Card (Reg. U.S. Pat. Off.)

Bob got me these two beautiful cards at the Lansing postcard expo this summer. That’s right, while I was looking through stacks of Florida chromes, he selected these and surprised me with them. Isn’t he sweet?

The Hart Hotel still stands in my hometown, though in much sorrier shape. It was purchased by the Scientologists in 2002 and they have supposedly been renovating it into a church, but there is no change that anyone could see. This BC Enquirer article from 2005 has some history on the Hart.

Linen cards were generally produced from 1930 – 1945. The number on the front of the second card, 5B-H589, would put that one printed in 1945 (Curteich cards are well dated).


Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find any interior historical photos of this place. When built, the hotel had a soda fountain, coffee shop, dining room, ballroom and three shops: Mae Dorsey Hicks Jewelry, Seaman’s Dress Shop and a bookstore. In the 1960s, local high schools had their prom at the Hart (mine was held at the Federal Center). In its final days as a hotel, it ran rooms to questionable characters, and probably by the hour. I don’t remember when exactly it stopped being a hotel, but I do remember in the 1990s having to go pick up a coworker who was “living” at the CAP center at the Hart…sort of a half-way house between jail and freedom.

More of the Cereal Capital of the World here:

Kellogg Regional Airport

Maple Street 

Lakewood Inn

Goldies Cabins

Wednesday, July 30, 2014 0 No tags Permalink

Vintage Postcard – Goldies Cabins



Goldie’s Modern Cabins – Northeast of Charlotte, Michigan, on U.S. 27 & M-78. Private showers and toilets. Clean, cool, comfortable accommodations for the entire family. “A cheerful place to stop.” Phone Charlotte 1958. Goldie and Lyle Thompson, proprietors.

Pub. by H. J. Bell, Lansing 4, Mich.

This lovely vintage postcard was mailed from Charlotte on August 25, 1955 using two 1-cent green George Washington stamps. The card was clearly kept in a scrapbook, stuck with an adhesive. Some of the paper did not come off, so the writing is partially obscured. Best I can make out:

Staying here tonight Sure having a good time and nice and cool. Don’t work to [sic] hard. Frances

We recently made a photo trip to Goldie’s here. Goldie’s was right down the street from the Sundown.

Want More Michigan?

Fidelman’s Resort

Sandstone Motel

Vagabond Motel

Kellogg Regional Airport

Saturday, November 9, 2013 0 No tags Permalink

Vintage Postcard – Kellogg Regional Airport

Kellogg Regional Airport

New Air Terminal
Kellogg Regional Airport
Battle Creek, Michigan

Curteichcolor 3-D Natural Color Reproduction REG U.S. Pat Off
Scherer News Co., Battle Creek, Mich.

This vintage postcard was mailed using a gray 5 cent Washington stamp “ABCD” Mail for Better Business Service postmark from Battle Creek on February 18, 1964. It was mailed to Mrs. Robert Rundle, 604 18th Ave, Monroe Wisconsin. It reads:

Dear Sis: well here it is Sat. P.M. I have been in Room 318 at Leila Hosp. since Wed. morn. I was burned at work Wed morning on the right foot and ankle 2nd degree also in the groin or crotch, I don’t know how long I will be here I thought I had my share by I guess I had more coming Deb is O.K. with safe. Love Bro Norm.

First things, first…that’s a hell of a message without a lot of punctuation. I suspect that Brother Norman simply had someone pick up a postcard from the Leila Hospital gift shop so he could send messages, and the new airport terminal was the most attractive/only available postcard. I wouldn’t guess that Norm actually received his crotch/groin burn while working at the airport, or that he carried a supply of airport postcards in his pocket just in case of 2nd degree burn. Perhaps he worked at one of the cereal manufacturing plants (Kellogg’s, Post and Ralston Foods are all here in town, making Battle Creek the Cereal Capital of the World). From what I understand, there is a good chance of injury making cereal (degloving, anyone?). Also, I wonder what other mishaps he had experienced, given that he believed karma had already had its way with him prior to this most recent injury.

Leila Hospital is now Bronson Battle Creek.

Kellogg Regional Airport is owned by the City of Battle Creek. According to their website, “for the 2011 calendar year, Kellogg Airport was the fifth busiest airport in Michigan.”  Now, if you live near Battle Creek, you are probably thinking that the City is made up of a pack of liars…because our airport is tiny. It’s not a regular commercial airport at all. However, WMU’s College of Aviation actually is housed in the “new air terminal” in the postcard (and is the third largest flight school in the country). From their website “the Flight Operations Building is the former airport terminal and tower. Its space is now devoted to administrative offices, flight planning areas, and flight briefing/debriefing rooms.” We also have a branch of the Air National Guard flying in and out of this space, as well as three smaller aircraft manufacturing plants (Duncan, WACO and Centennial). Our little airport has a very long runway, and when the Presidential Air Force One flies in to West Michigan, it’s normally through Battle Creek.

WMU aviation

And now, for a personal story. When I was young, my Dad worked at Clark Equipment Company. His job required that he travel out of town for work  most of the time, only coming home on weekends. Mom would take me to go pick Dad up from this little airport when he got back into town. He’d arrive with his giant old suitcase, swizzle sticks from drinks had in the hotel lounge and mini bars of soap from the hotel. I remember the airport being an exciting place. Air travel itself seemed exotic and wonderful. One time, Dad managed to get me up into the tower of the airport, as seen in the postcard above. One of the air traffic controllers gave me a stick of Big Red gum, and I was able to look out and see the view. I felt like I was on top of the world.

More from Battle Creek:

Sandstone Motel

Lakewood Inn

Downtown BC at Night

Budd Lake Island, Harrison Michigan RPPC

Wednesday, October 30, 2013 0 No tags Permalink

My Aunt Suzie found some great RPPCs in the family collection from Harrison, Michigan. This one is the final in the series, and features the island in Budd Lake. Wikipedia notes “Budd Lake is well known to have an abundance of healthy fish including the elusive Muskie, a fisherman favorite that can reach sizes in excess of 40 inches.”

Budd Lake Island, Harrison Michigan


The elusive Muskie? If you type that exact search term in Google, you’ll get a surprising number of hits. Now, you’re thinking, I have got to learn more about this fish. Well, here’s your Muskie 411. Literally, that’s the name of the site.

Like this? Check out the other cards from this collection:

Surrey House


Harrison, Michigan RPPC

Saturday, October 19, 2013 0 No tags Permalink

My Aunt Suzie found some great RPPCs in the family collection from Harrison, Michigan. This first card shows the Bud Lake Inn and the groceries and hardware store. My great grandfather wrote the date on the back, 1947.

Harrison, Michigan RPPC

For other postcards from this collection, click here and here.