Page 58 - Manistique Visitor Guide - 2023
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Manistique Visitors Guide
toss coins and watch them descend, among clearly visible trout and limestone-encrusted timbers; to the depth of the 40-foot pool,” the newspaper said. “Without John Bellaire’ s aid, it is felt the Big Spring would have been com- mercialized and that the park area there would not have developed.”
The newspaper article included an expla- nation for the frozen spring in the context of Boynton’ s research.
 Bellaire persuaded Frank Book of the Palms Book Land Co. in Detroit to sell 90 acres around the spring to the state for $10 to pre- serve the area as part of a state park. Later land acquisitions and exchanges brought the park’ s acreage to a total of 308 acres.
“It is believed that the mineral laden water, being heavier, sank to the bottom, thus causing the stagnant surface water, which was relative- ly free from minerals, to freeze,” the article stated. “As Indian Lake is still ice-bound, there is no outlet for the surface water which is draining into the spring from the surrounding landscape.”
 Bellaire and an American Indian friend cre- ated Indian legends about the spring to attract more visitors to the site.
Dennis Green, current Michigan Department of Natural Resources supervisor at Indian Lake and Palms Book state parks, confirmed that ice does occasionally cover the spring.
During the summer of 1933, James W. Boynton, a nephew of Bellaire and chemistry instructor at Western State Teachers’ college, made a qualitative analysis of the spring’s waters, finding them to contain iron carbon- ate, calcium chloride, magnesium sulfate and sodium.
“Generally, this occurs in the spring or during a winter thaw,” Green said. “Basi- cally, it happens when snow melts from the surrounding cedar swamp and runs into the Big Spring.”
The following April, a county engineer reported the spring was topped with a thin sheet of ice. Newspapers reported the occur- rence as the first time the spring had ever been known to freeze over.
Palms Book State Park is found at the north- ern terminus of M-149.
“Kitch-iti-kipi has been free from ice throughout the past winter during which upon one occasion the mercury dropped to 40 degrees below zero, the coldest weather experienced here in 31 years,” the Escanaba Daily Press reported. “Heretofore, tests of the water have shown the temperature to be fairly constant, hovering within a degree of the 40 mark both winter and summer.”
Until the ice thawed, park staff closed the raft.
Waterfront Dining
for Fresh Gourmet Sandwiches, Hearty Soups & Homemade Desserts
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Crust Deli
Open 7 Days in Summer.
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   Over 100 Years of Serving Our Community.

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