National Geographic : 1928 Mar
MICHIGAN, MISTRESS OF THE LAKES come more in evidence, you encounter a delightful surprise. A GLIMPSE OF HOLLAND TRANSPLANTED First you pass acres of truck green houses; then you glimpse small-farm methods of cultivation. Finally the sight of green meadows, with herds of speckled cattle dotting the misty, tree-fringed vis tas, makes you rub your eyes for the ex pected concomitant of Netherlands' wind mills and canals; for, these excepted, the scene is strikingly Dutch. Moreover, the names of successive towns - Vriesland, Zeeland, Holland-are suggestive. The Grand Rapids greenhouse region, as part of the State's under-glass cultiva tion of approximately 6,ooo,ooo square feet, supplies lettuce and tomatoes to the Middle States during those months when such products are normally out of season. Holland is said to be the largest Dutch settlement in the country. In 1847 its founders, fleeing overseas from unhappy conditions in the mother country, tented on west Michigan's meadows. Nowadays its manufactures amount to many millions of dollars a year. Numerous of its fac tory hands still speak only Dutch, and until recently the Dutch wooden shoe was made locally for neighboring farmers. The region possesses one distinctly pic turesque industry, that of giving day-old chicks joyrides to farms in distant States. That just-hatched chicks can carry on for two days without nourishment renders it possible to pack them in ventilated card board boxes and ship them by parcel post. In May, 1926, the Holland post office handled 300,000 of what are certainly the world's youngest of long-distance trav elers. THE STATE HAS A PROFITABLE "RECREA TIONAL INDUSTRY" The automobile circle tour around Lake Michigan measures 960 miles. To this, Michigan's west coast contributes 400 miles of highly diversified playgrounds. These range from sand-dune parks and cove-commanding camps in pine groves to cottage and hotel life on the innumerable inner and outer waters which fringe this wonderfully variegated lake shore. With fishing, boating, and camping to be found practically everywhere that the 305 Great Lakes wash her shores, coastal Michigan might well be described as the window of the inland Middle States. Many summer visitors spend their va cations in the free camps which are situ ated in various of the sixty-odd State parks. The large numbers are mainly due to the automotive development and the parallel development of good roads. Ap parently Michigan, so largely responsible for automotive mass production, has won the right to the local phrase which rather quaintly describes this summer touring as her "recreational industry." MICHIGAN'S DUNES PRESENT CONTRASTS OF FLOWERS AND DESERT The west coast's striking sand dunes, extending coastally from the Indiana bor der to the Leelanau Peninsula and rising to a height of from 50 to 180 feet, might be described as dwarf descendants of the great Ice Age; that is to say, postglacial Lake Michigan's level was 20 feet higher, and at places the shoreline was indented from 30 to 40 miles more deeply than at present. In time the excess water with drew, the centuries' winds swept the ex posed sands shoreward, and these lovely dune lands took form (see page 309). But one must not slight the claims of Paupukkeewis. Myth lovers will recall that this heap-big terpsichorean created Michigan's sand dunes while performing the Charleston, or some such lively dance, at Hiawatha's wedding: "Stamped upon the sand, and tossed it Wildly in the air around him. .. Like great snowdrifts o'er the landscape, Heaping all the shores with Sand Dunes." Some of the dunes have stabilized them selves with tree and flower, cedar, juniper, hepatica, ladyslipper, violet, and orchid. Against these the barren dunes wage jeal ous warfare, often sweeping forward to engulf them, while exposing to rearward a veritable cemetery of tree skeletons.* Yes, the old Indian dancer will still be at his mad antics, and the dune parks at Muskegon and Big Sable Point might justly be named after Paupukkeewis. Halfway up the west coast the salt works at Ludington and Manistee repre * See, also, "Indiana's Unrivaled Sand Dunes," by Orpheus Moyer Schantz. in the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE for May, 1919.