LANSING, Mich. – Ever wonder about the stories of your ancestors regarding the brutal Michigan winters and the struggle to survive and having to walk to school in the snow (up hill, both ways)?
A recently found film reel from the 1930’s called “Winter Comes to Michigan” gives a grainy, black-and-white look into how Michiganders survived winters “back in the day.”
The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has posted the film on their YouTube page. MDOT says the film was on one of several reels found by sisters Nancy and Barbara Sleeper of Newberry, Michigan. The Sleepers told MDOT that their grandfather, Sanborn Sleeper, was the superintendent of the Luce County Road Commission from 1928 until sometime around World War II and that he acquired the films around then.
According to Nancy Sleeper, Sanborn was instrumental in bringing the “Snogo” to Michigan. The “Snogo” was an early snow blower and some of the films featured “Snogo” testing in Newberry.
The “Winter Comes to Michigan” film points out that winter travel has never been an easy ride in Michigan and if you thought it was bad now, you can see what it was like “back in the day.”