A Landing a Day

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Sidnaw, Michigan

Posted by graywacke on December 28, 2014

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now more-or-less a once or twice a week blog), I have my computer select a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”  I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location.  To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean in the first paragraph), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

 Landing number 2143; A Landing A Day blog post number 571.

Dan: AYKM?*  Three OSers in a row, and 11/13, thanks to this landing in . . . MI; 51/41; 2/10; 9; 148.8.

*Are You Kidding Me?

Here’s my regional landing map, showing this UP landing:

 landing 1

My local landing map shows that Sidnaw is the only game around:

 landing 2

My watershed analysis shows that I landed in the Smith Creek watershed, on to the East Branch of the Ontonagon River (2nd hit):

 landing 31

Zooming back a little, we see that the East Branch ends up in the Ontonagon (2nd hit).  The patch of blue at the upper left is Lake Superior (15th hit):

 landing 32

From Lake Superior, we’re off to the St. Lawrence  (96th hit).

Here’s a lovely picture of the East Branch of the Ontonagan (Google Earth Panoramio shot by Kelly Pawlowicz):

pano kelly pawlowicz e br 6 mi W

Here’s my Google Earth (GE) landing trip:


You’ll note that I’ve landed twice in the E. Br. Ontonagon watershed.  The only other landing there was landing 1524, on September 21, 2008.  I started this blog two months later, but was writing fairly extensive emails to Dan at the time.  So, of course I had saved it, and of course, I pulled it up.  Here’s some of what I had to say back then:

I landed in yet another teeny town with its own website: 

 sidnaw website

See what I mean about how small it is?

And then, I cut and pasted a rather extensive piece on the history of Sidnaw.  Although I didn’t say so, I can only assume that it was from the town’s website.  (And there’s no such historical information now).

Sidnaw, pronounced “sid NAH,” is known as the logging center of Henry Ford’s hardwood empire and the home of a Civilian Conservation Corps camp later used as a World War II work camp for German POWs — with probably the only remaining POW camp guard tower (see picture below!).

Greater Sidnaw consists of “134 people and 19 bird dogs,” according to Duncan Township supervisor Warren Jenkins.

Sidnaw became part of Henry Ford’s 400,000 acres of timberland. In 1920 Ford built a lumber camp “the likes of which no sober lumberjack had ever dreamed,” wrote Ford. Lumberjacks slept in bunkhouses with steam heat and electric lights. Smoking and drinking were prohibited. The cost of laundering dirty clothes was deducted from their pay of $5 a day. Locals called Ford’s Sidnaw lumberjacks “lumber ladies.” 

Ford was so proud of his model Sidnaw camp that he showed it off to his good friends Thomas Edison and Harvey Firestone on their famous 1923 camping trip.

More about the former prison work camp for German prisoners of war in World War II:   From 1942 to 1945, the former Civilian Conservation Corps camp just outside Sidnaw housed 251 P.O.Ws and the two officers and 33 enlisted men who guarded them.

Here’s the guard house (still here if you’d like to visit it):

guard hosue pic from email to dan

I did an extensive Google search for the above write-up.  It is absolutely nowhere to be found!  So after I post this, anyone searching for information about Henry Ford & Sidnaw will be directed to A Landing A Day . . .

I did find a Flickr Photstream “The Henry Ford,” that has a number of pictures of the Upper Penninsula 1923 camping trip with Harvey Firestone, amongst others.  Click here to peruse the photostream (there are some very cool shots).

I saved Word versions of my emails to Dan, month by month.  So I was scrolling down through my “landing September 2008” file, (which included 29 emails, back when A Landing A Day really was A Landing A Day!).  Anyway, as part of my 9/14 email to Dan, I found a wonderful baseball reference.  Here’s what I wrote:

I just watched the Phillies win their third in a row against the Brewers, and am currently watching the Atlanta – Mets game (obviously rooting for Atlanta).  Atlanta scored 5 runs in the top of the 9th to lead 7-4.  Right now, it’s the bottom of the 9th, and the Mets have men on first and second with one out.  Strike out!  Now there’s two outs!!  Go Braves!!!  Yes!!!!! A groundout to second base!! The Mets lose!!  So now, the Phillies are 1 game back in the Wild Card, and 1.5 games out in the Eastern Division.


And the Phils did in fact GO.  They went on to win the National League East by 3 games over the Mets, then beat Milwaukee, then beat Los Angeles to go to the World Series where they beat Tampa Bay.

Moving right along:  Of course, I perused nearby GE Panoramio photos, and I found this by Ian Shackleford, taken a couple of miles NE of my landing:

 pano ian shackleford railroad a couple of miles east

I’ll close with the same photo I used to close my 2008 email.  I didn’t say where I got it, and I couldn’t find it under Google images.  Back then, I wrote the following:

Here’s a picture of Deer Marsh, about 7 miles S of Sidnaw:

rainbow pic 7 mi s of sidnaw from old email

That’ll do it.




© 2014 A Landing A Day




One Response to “Sidnaw, Michigan”

  1. Jessica said

    Is the guard shack shown the one behind the sides highschool? My cabin is up there. I’m 22 and learning a lot about the history of the town right now. Pretty interesting stuff!

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