The stories are swell at a SBCS Convention “Show and Tell.”
Bill H. and Michael E. brought the tale and the evidence of the IRISH HILLS TOWERS saga. Apparently in the 1920s a farmer, who owned part of a hill that the Michigan Observation Company (MOC) sought to purchase for a tourist-based observation tower, refused to sell his portion. Whereupon, the enterprising company purchased the adjoining piece of land and built the IRISH HILLS OBSERVATORY and opened it to the public in September of 1924, to great success. By November of the same year (just 2 months later), the envious nay-sayer had built his own tower adjacent to the first and made it a bit higher to attract the tourists to his site. Reacting to challenge the Michigan Observation Company added a second observation platform atop the first and called their tower the ORIGINAL IRISH HILLS TOWER. The farmer then evened the height of his tower with the “Original” and named his tower the “Gray” tower. MOC then countered with the threat of tearing down their tower and erecting a metal edifice so large that the challenge would be over. From then until the 1950s the towers were competing attractions. In the 1950s they were operated as one attraction with a gift shop between. As of today, they are on the US National Register of Historic Places. Bill’s and Michael’s Salt and Pepper Shakers depict the Original Irish Hills Tower and the Gray Tower.
From the KLM and Goedewaagen collection of Simon H. comes a pair of rare Goedewaagen porcelain buildings. The building on the left is the Sofitel Legend Grand Amsterdam Hotel, the site and building has a long and storied history, prior to it’s re-incarnation as a hotel. The building on the left is the City of Hall of Dordrecht.
Steve B. and Terry M. went building hunting with Joe K. at the start of the weekend in Chicago. To the delight of all, the finds were special and the swapping even better. Terry found the very nice St. Peter’s Basilica in the same mall that Joe found the University Hall and a mutually-agreed-upon swap was executed.
Steve also shared his acquisition of the McPherson Opera House and the photo he had taken of the actual building.
There are lots of convention photos to be seen in the Members Only portion of the website. Head on over to MEMBERS ONLY / CONVENTION PHOTOS and click one of more of the links under 2017.