austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

Let's twist again

Because of the New England Parks Tour, we missed the Ingham County Fair. Sad, yes, although it could have been worse: the fair didn't have its roller coaster, a rare travelling Toboggan ride, this year. (The ride operating company split into two circuits, and the one not serving Ingham County got the roller coaster.) But we made up for it by getting to the Calhoun County Fair. We went along with bunny_hugger's parents.

bunny_hugger had discovered there was actually a church on the county fairgrounds and didn't remember having ever seen it. I didn't either. It turned out to be supremely findable, sitting basically on the corner of the lot in exactly the right space for people who were coming from our direction and parked and who were walking to the main entrance. This turned our party into a little message chain of ``oh, there's the church'' followed by ``a church?'' ``Yeah, there's a church on the fairgrounds'' ``where is that?'' ``the church is right there'' ``oh, there's the church'' and on it went. Maybe you had to be there. We were, and it was funny to me.

The central building for the fairgrounds has a plaque talking about how it came to exist. Allegedly, the grounds were originally laid out in the hopes of being made the state capital. That much is plausible enough; a lot of towns competed for the scramble to be the Michigan capital. (The obvious answer, Detroit, the only important city in the state in 1837, was ruled out because it was a city and farmers can't have that. That's the dynamic why most state capitals are a good day's hard travel by horse-drawn coach from any real cities that existed when statehood passed. Lansing got the nod when basically every other candidate city cancelled one another out.) The building asserts it was the town's proposed site for the state capitol, and they even call it the Capitol Building or something.

It would be a tiny capitol, even for 1837, when the only responsibilities of state governments were to incorporate railroad companies, establish a State Home for the Insane, and default on their bonds. But it's an attractive building with wood that looks far newer than the ancient structure it claims to be, and it was filled with ribbon-winning pies and photographs that inspire bunny_hugger and me to consider entering our own photos in this sort of contest. And stuff from the 4-H, producing a little message chain of ``here's some stuff from 4-H'' ``is there an active 4-H chain here yet?'' ``Yes, here's some of their stuff'' ``whose stuff?'' ``4-H'' ``is there an active 4-H chain here yet?'' And so that's still got me happy.

Trivia: The decision to strategically bomb targets in northern France ahead of the Normandy Invasion was not finally made by the Allies until the 11th of May. (Bombers had been attacking railway targets in the Ruhr and northeastern France in March, however.) Source: Why The Allies Won, Richard Overy.

Currently Reading: The Mapmakers, John Noble Wilford.

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