Locations include Sacred Heart Church, Madigan's Ace Hardware, This That & More, William G. Mather elementary school auditorium and the Munising Post Office
Several pamphlets and booklets have been fully digitized. They can be found on the Resources tab.
Photos from my trip to Central High School are also posted
Seeing as we are amidst the 70th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge I thought I'd share some Second World War history.
This is my great uncle, Edward Lang. He served with Company C of the the 517th Parachute Regimental Combat Team from 1943 until his death on Dec. 24th 1944. He was killed in action near Soy, Belgium.
Thank you to our courageous veterans, past and present.
Gerald Astor brings history alive though the words of survivors of the 517 PRCT.
ArtPrize is the largest art competition in the country, so, naturally, I spent my weekend gazing up at old buildings and hunting for Civil Defense items. Perched high atop the Michigan National Bank building is a yellow Thunderbolt siren. It replaced the Chrysler siren previously adorning the 13 story neo-gothic structure. From 1967-1987 the WZZM Weatherball was also atop this building.
The Morton House began its life as the Morton Hotel. It was later home to Old Kent Bank and Trust. From the early 1970s on it served as housing for the mentally ill. Much of the building was sealed off, untouched for decades. Recently ,Rockford Construction purchased the building and plans on turning it into condos and retail space.
After getting permission from the principal I was allowed access to Congress Elementary school on Baldwin St. As far as I can tell all of the interior signage remains exactly as it was placed more than fifty years ago. The lower level of the three story 91 year-old building served as its fallout shelter space. From what I can make out the exterior sign capacity reads 165. This clashes quite astronomically with the Community Shelter Plan's number of 1012 shelter spaces. Good enough for government work, I suppose.
I spent the weekend visiting friends in Manhattan. Most of these shelters are located on the Upper East Side.
I spent the day at the Grand Rapids City Archives digging through boxes and boxes of unsorted Grand Rapids Fire Department records.
The archival staff was very helpful and gave me digital prints of the four civil defense air raid sirens that used to stand ready to warn Calder city of an incoming attack.
All photos are property of the Grand Rapids City Archives or Grand Rapids Public Library archives and used with permission.
___________________________________September 2014 UPDATE__________________________________
I contacted the company that owns the Michigan National Bank Building at 77 Monroe Center which housed the siren in the first picture. The good news is a siren is still up there (not the original Chrysler but a Thunderbolt model); the bad news is that their insurance company won't let me up there to get a photo. Thanks to Eric from Michigan Civil Defense Museum for his expertise on this subject.
While digging in the archives I came across the 1983 Grand Rapids Fire Department Annual Report and found a picture of this guy. Rest in peace grandpa, and thank you for your service to the City of Grand Rapids.
I went back to Coldbook to photograph a few more fallout shelter signs that I had missed on my first trip.
The gentlemen working there were kind enough to give me a personal tour of the facility and share some of the building's history. See the Shelter Locations tab for added Civil Defense related pictures.