Wednesday, September 30, 2009

M-50 to Jackson - Cabellas

Downtown Dundee is nice. This little square, more of a triangle really, is the center of downtown.

Cabellas is a huge sporting goods store. On the day I passed by, there was show on farm implements. Mostly old tractors. Since I was already running late, I didn't stop long or really look around.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

M-50 Trip, Dundee, The Old Mill

I've seen The Old Mill in Dundee for some time and finally decided to stop in at the last minute. I'm very glad I did. Since I was trying to get down the entire length of M-50, I didn't stay long, but the 20 or 30 minutes I was there was fascinating. I never made it off the first floor of the museum and learned a lot about the area.

The mill was built between 1848 and 1849. It changed hands several times before being donated to Dundee. Henry Ford purchased the mill for use as a factory and constructed a new concrete dam. The old wooden dam is still intact behind the concrete one. The mill is located on Toledo Street, so named because it was the main road between Toledo and Ann Arbor. There was a rapids in the area of the dam and the ford in the river was where the bridge is located.

The city building was built a few years ago on fill material. According to the man at the museum it was an old dump. Since the ground was unsound, they drove pilings into the bedrock. Unfortunately, the blasting at the conrete plant north of town sends shockwaves through the bedrock and has caused damage to the building.

If you get a chance to visit, it is well worth the time.

This is where the water was this spring.

You can see the difference. The picture of the bridge posted previously was taken from the corner of the building.

The back side of the mill.

M-50 Trip - Dundee

In doing Dundee, I was trying to decide how to present it. I was there in early March when the river flooded. The contrast between then and now is evident.

This is a pretty poor shot, and hopefully the worst one you will see. It is the only shot that I could find that shows the difference between the water level and the shot below.

I watched this building being built and thought it was a poor location. It was completed 2 or 3 years ago and flooded for at least the last 2 years. I'm told that this building was to be condos and that they were originally to be about $400,000. The price has reportedly been dropped to $200,000, but the building sits empty. I peered through the windows, and it appears quite nice inside. The large door here is apparently the entrance to the underground parking area. I'm not sure who would want to live in the building when getting to it could be a problem each spring. I suppose that the underground parking could double as an indoor pool.

An indication of how high the water was. What is hard see is that the water had covered the road the previous day and was still flowing over it near the center of the picture. M-50 was closed due to flooding.

The bridge today.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Between Monroe and Dundee

Between Monroe and Dundee there is a bridge. The road is lowered to go underneath the bridge. In all the time that I've passed under it, I thought it was an abandoned roadway. The bridge is old and in poor repair. The bridge has some features you don't really see on modern construction.

The bridge crosses the road at an angle and has these, I don't really know what you'd call them, parts that stick out so they're perpendicular to the road.

On each side there is what appears to be a tunnel alongside the roadway. At first I thought that these were for foot traffic to pass under the bridge. I was wrong. They are open on one end and on the other, as pictured here, only the upper part is open.

There were stairs to to the top and this is what I found there. The track appears to still be in use as looking the other way, the signal lights were on.

This is from just inside the other end of the tunnel depicted above. Here we can see mineral deposits hanging down from the ceiling. I don't know what sort of material it is.

This is a view of the underneath of the bridge. You can see that the concrete has fallen away in places exposing the steel structure which has begun to rust. I don't know the actual condition of the bridge, but I suspect it will cost plenty if it ever needs to be repaired.

On the west end of Monroe is this plant. The sign, which you can't see from here says, Good Time Food Company. This building has the signage "Home of Lotus Flour" It appears open for business which is always good to see.

This church is on the north side of the road heading out of Monroe. It was impossible to get a picture without wires or a telephone pole in it. To the west, there is a school that appears to be attached in some way to the church. Just to the east is another building. I'm not sure what it's purpose was. It may have been where the priest stayed, or perhaps the students of the school.

This is the east side of that building. It is fairly large, being three stories tall and fairly deep. I was amused by what appears to have been church quarters of some sort with a new Camaro backing out of the garage.

M-50 road trip

I set off yesterday on a mission to drive the entire length of M-50 from Monroe to where it ends near Grand Rapids. This is a trip that I've wanted to do for years. Ken's trip last weekend inspired me to get off my duff and finally do it. The trip was only partially successful. I only made it as far as Jackson. On the other hand, the trip was everything I'd hoped it would be and was the most enjoyable day I've had in a very long time.

This is where M-50 starts. The corner of Monroe Street and M-50 looking west. To the east, Behind me, is East Front Street, which continues and becomes M-50. Monroe was founded in 1785. As a child, Monroe was home to George Armstrong Custer as he attended school. He returned and married a woman from Monroe.

There are other important people from Monroe, but Custer is the most famous.