Friday, July 7, 2017

Mackinac Island, Transportation, and the Grand Hotel PLUS Giveaway!

By Carrie Fancett Pagels
 
How Transportation Affected Mackinac Island & Northern Michigan Resorts

When I was researching Mackinac Island’s resorts, specifically the Grand Hotel, I was surprised to learn that the railroad industry very much influenced the creation of this glorious icon of Northern Michigan. My husband and I attended at lecture at the hotel by Bob Tagatz, the Grand Hotel Historian in which he explained how the railroad barons of the day were laying down tracks throughout the state and they worked with the shipping magnates, too, to develop a location where people would want to travel to.


Rates today to stay at the Grand Hotel are quite steep (unless you get in on
some of their discounted rates at special times of the year, which thankfully we’ve obtained for our upcoming July 11th and 12th stay). During the late 1800s, the rates were quite modest. I believe Mr. Tagatz quoted a rate in the 1890s of $1 a night for the cheapest rooms but the Grand Hotel website (http://www.grandhotel.com/about-grand-hotel/our-story/) shows $3 to $5 a night for typical rooms But you first had to get to the island! And that took some doing! However, investors were making sure that Americans could reach the Northern Michigan resorts which boomed at the turn of the century.

Railroads were making inroads all across America during this exciting time period. In Michigan, there were many railroads built to haul out their shipments of “White Gold” – Michigan’s White Pines, which had been prevalent but being logged out by the turn of the century. There were even ferries which took railroad cars across the Straits of Mackinac. Not only were passenger trains burgeoning but the steam ships that traversed the Great Lakes were busy as well. Some travelers came in covered wagons, like my great-grandparents purportedly did and had to travel up through Wisconsin to reach Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Immigrants were coming into Michigan at a fast clip, too. It wasn’t Trains, Planes, and Automobiles back then – it was Trains, Ships, and Horse-drawn wagons!


Back in the 1890s, you weren’t going to be driving up the interstate to get to the island. You’d need to take one of the railroads and/or a steamship up to the beautiful Straits of Mackinac. So that’s where your travel money was spent. I didn’t belabor this point in my novel, but Captain Robert Swaine, my heroine’s uncle, is an investor and also owns a shipping line and one of the other mysterious characters in the story has become one of the wealthiest women in America by her investments in transportation and in the steel industry which made the ships and trains! If you’ve ever traveled up I-75 in Michigan, to get to the Straits of Mackinac, I wonder if you’ve appreciated the ease with which you could make this travel!


Some good books which offer detail about the Grand Hotel and about transportation in general are America’s Summer Place Grand Hotel, History text by James A. Crutchfield and Photography by Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Robin Hood and Randall K. Powers (Grandin Hood Publishers and Grand Hotel, 2012) and Wet Britches and Muddy Boots: A History of Travel in Victorian America by John H. White, Jr. (Indiana University Press, 2013).










Giveaway: A copy of My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island: Maude’s Mooring (Barbour, July 2017) Have you given any thought to what it would have taken you to get to one of your travel destinations if it was 1895? 


About Carrie:

Bio – Carrie Fancett Pagels, Ph.D.

ECPA-bestselling author Carrie Fancett Pagels, Ph.D., is the award-winning author of a dozen Christian historical romances. Twenty-five years as a psychologist didn't "cure" her overactive imagination! A self-professed “history geek,” she resides with her family in the Historic Triangle of Virginia but grew up as a “Yooper.” Carrie loves to read, bake, bead, and travel – but not all at the same time! 
You can connect with her at www.CarrieFancettPagels.com.

Website: www.carriefancettpagels.com 
Blogs: Overcoming With God and Colonial Quills Facebook Author Page Facebook Personal Page Twitter Pinterest goodreads 
LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/carrie-fancett-pagels-09303538?trk=hp-identity-photo 
Amazon author page 



Links to purchase:
Links to purchase My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island: Maude’s Mooring (Barbour Publishing, July 2017) 
Barbour Publishing http://www.barbourbooks.com/product/My-Heart-Belongs-on-Mackinac-Island,14733.aspx?Tab=Books&sj=0 
Barnes & Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/my-heart-belongs-on-mackinac-island-carrie-fancett-pagels/1125051921?ean=9781683220886 
Amazon https://www.amazon.com/My-Heart-Belongs-Mackinac-Island/dp/1683220889/ref=sr_1_16?ie=UTF8&qid=1481305286&sr=8-16&keywords=fancett 
CBD https://www.christianbook.com/heart-belongs-mackinac-island-maudes-mooring/carrie-pagels/9781683220886/pd/220886?product_redirect=1&Ntt=220886&item_code=&Ntk=keywords&event=ESRCP 
Book Depository http://www.bookdepository.com/My-Heart-Belongs-on-Mackinac-Island-Carrie-Fancett-Pagels/9781683220886?ref=grid-view
Target http://www.target.com/p/my-heart-belongs-on-mackinac-island-maude-s-mooring-paperback-carrie-fancett-pagels/-/A-52027933

27 comments:

  1. Informative and interesting post about Mackinac Island in the past along with the transportation to get there. The Grand Hotel elegance causes a person to want to go visit. I've thought about how long it would travel to some place by train or horse and buggy as I see the Amish in our neighboring county. Thank you for sharing and the giveaway. marilynridgway78 [at] gmail[dot]com

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    1. Hi Marilyn! The Grand Hotel wasn't quite as elegant back in 1895, when my story is set. It had a bit more of a rustic lodge feeling inside, which was in vogue at the time. We have some Amish families living up here near the Straits of Mackinac, too, where I am staying this July. Quite a long trek to even cross the county!

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  2. this is very interesting. hmm travel back then to me would have been fun. on horse or carriage, so much slower, see more, yup, I can see me doing this LOL
    we traveled up this road and it was lovely. we didn't get to stay at the hotel, but were able to walk around the outside. oh my, lovely
    quilting dash lady at Comcast dot net

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    1. Hi Lori! I think the quality of the carriage ride depended greatly upon the carriage, the horses, the drivers, and the roads -- I can see where a train or ship ride would have appealed! Hopefully you'll get to go inside the Grand Hotel the next time you are Up North!

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  3. Since I live in west Texas, my mode of transportation in 1895 would have probably been horseback or stage. Possibly train. We wouldn't have had anything like the Grand Hotel, though. Thank you for the chance to win a copy of this book.
    susanmsj at msn dot com

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    1. Hey SUSAN! Trains were beginning to criss-cross our country, but I don't know about how far along Texas got because I don't know for sure what they were hauling out. But in Northern Michigan they were bringing folks to the resorts and getting the logs or lumber out of the area. Blessings!

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  4. I know there were trains in North Texas where I lived, so we could travel up to St. Louis by train. Other than that it would have been on horseback. Ft. Worth started sending cattle north by rail by then as well. Dallas did have a few nice hotels, but nothing like the Grand Hotel. Didn't make it that far in Michigan when I was there as a teenager on vacation with my parents. We were in Detroit to visit family.

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    1. Sorry you didn't get up to Northern Michigan and Mackinac Island, Martha! It is delightful up here! I'm really enjoying our visit this July! Blessings!

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  5. I think that I take the ease of travel choices today for granted. I can fly to California to see my granddaughter in a few hours, and I've driven the 6 hours north to get to Mackinaw Island in a comfortable car on good roads. I have stayed at the Grand Hotel a few times and have always enjoyed the historian's lectures. Thank you for the interesting post!

    lindajhutchins at gmail dot com

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    1. Hi Linda! Thanks for coming by! Isn't that something -- it is shorter to get to California by airplane than to drive up north to Mackinac Island! Bob Tagatz does an amazing job, doesn't he? Blessings!

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  6. I don't go anywhere special, but the monthly trips to see my daughter and her family four hours away would surely be different and take much longer than it does now. Thanks for the post!
    bcrug(at)myfairpoint(dot)net

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    1. Oh my, yes, Connie! Those four hour trips would probably take a few days and that would be a bi-annual trip to see her, I'm guessing. Blessings!

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    1. My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island is a Romantic Times Top Pick for July in Inspirational Romance, PTL!

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  8. I would assume horse and buggy for getting around. Although to get to the island I'm sure they would have taken a journey on a large ship

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    1. I've been shocked by the size of the large ships in photos taken from that time period, that were docked on Mackinac Island, Carole! Blessings!

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  10. Since I love to read, I'd probably take books...lol! Travel sure has come a long way since the late 1800's, hasn't it? :-)

    Fun post! Thanks for the giveaway chance to win "My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island"

    teamob4 (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. We have so many fast options today, Trixi! But do we enjoy it more when we get there? Hugs!

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  11. Thank you for the great post Carrie. I've never really thought about it but I would think travel back then would be by horse and buggy or wagon. Not as comfortable as our travel is today I'm sure. I have never been in Mackinac Island and have always wanted to go. I live in Northeast Indiana so it would be a good long drive but not too bad. Maybe one day. We have some friends who's daughter was proposed to at the Grand Hotel. Her family and his family were all up there staying at the hotel so after the proposal they had a huge party.

    Thank you for the post Carrie and the chance to win a copy of My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island.

    Blessings,
    Cindy W.
    countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

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    1. Hi Cindy! Thanks! If you are ever up to the island you need to plan on staying overnight and preferably a couple of nights and try to go do the things away from downtown where all the day traffic is. Yes wishes!

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  12. Thanks for the travel history, Carrie. It is hard to imagine that one would be willing to go to all that effort to get away. No wonder they stayed for the whole season! As I am flying from Minneapolis to Buffalo and then driving to Niagara Falls, Ontario in the next week, I imagine I would be either not going at all, or I would be staying much longer than 8 days!! Although I must admit, the train ride would be a welcome change of pace.

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    1. Yes, I'd imagine by the time you finally got there you'd want to stay! I pray you have a wonderful trip, Betti! Blessings!

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  13. Thanks for sharing a bit of history.
    As I have said many times... I love this book!

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  14. What a great glimpse into the Grand Hotel Carrie! It sounds like such a lovely place to stay. I would have felt pretty comfortable in Maude's day too. Imagine how she'd feel if she & Ben were suddenly transported to the Grand today!!!! Have a wonderful time this week.

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  15. This is very interesting Carrie. The more I learn & hear about Mackinac Island, the more I want to visit, but not during winter I don't think ;-). It sounds like a charming place.

    Many times over the years as we traveled the long hours trip to Pegion Forge & Gatlinburg, Tennessee, I often thought about the wagon trains moving west all those many years ago. I admire their pioneer strength, determination & faith as they made their journey west.

    ...I am not entering...just wanted to congratulate you on your book, My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island: Maude’s Mooring, Carrie! I loved it! Enjoy your stay & book signing.

    Blessings, Tina

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  16. Andrea Stephens is the winner of Carrie's book. Please contact us with your email address. Thanks!

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