One of my favorite things to do now that I'm once again living in the Mitten is to play tourist. After living in states like Nebraska and Missouri for the last seven years and exploring my new surroundings out there, I realized I never fully took advantage of what was already in my own backyard!

Sure everyone knows about Michigan's historic contributions to the auto industry and Motown, but if you're curious to explore the finer minutiae of the Mitten you'll definitely want to check out this site.

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In conjunction with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the Michigan History Center has a website where you can locate and learn the story behind each of Michigan's historical markers-- all 1,793 of them...and counting!

via Michigan DNR/Michigan History Center
via Michigan DNR/Michigan History Center

Historical Markers of Michigan

The Michigan Historical Marker Program was established in 1955 and has been installing those familiar green and gold signs across the state ever since. According to Thumbwind, the original markers focused on early European settlements in the Mitten, native history, and military conflicts.

Today the program has grown to include significant Michiganders, historic architecture, and notable schools.

Map of Historical Markers

Of the interactive web application, the Michigan History Center says,

Learn about Michigan's fascinating history! Explore the map by navigating to an area of interest, filtering the points, or adjusting the map layers. Browse the list view by sorting fields or searching for keywords.

You're able to get as detailed as you want! Search by county or time period; you can even search by "theme" such as African-American history, the auto industry, or maritime history.

Honestly, this historical marker website is a great way to kill time and learn a little something about your surroundings in the process.

The website is still a work in progress so if you have anything to add or share, or any corrections to make, contributions are always appreciated. You can check out the website here but fair warning-- it's a time suck!

Lauren G/TSM
Lauren G/TSM

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