Crazy Laws in Michigan and Fun Facts Part One

Crazy Laws in the State of Michigan

Do you know about the crazy Michigan law that approves weapons for teenagers?

How about the crazy law concerning drunks on trains? Or the rights of robbers who invade your home?

Prepare to be surprised and amazed when you read all about those and the other crazy laws currently in the state of Michigan. Part Two will follow with the 13 crazy laws still on the books in the cities of Michigan.

Persons may not be drunk on trains.

How do you drink a person?

(I apologize – I couldn’t help myself.)

The last Sunday in June of every year has officially been named Log Cabin Day.

This holiday is celebrated by log cabin home owners spending the day at a log cabin and having a feast the rustic way. If you don't own a log cabin, you can rent one at many state parks.

Does the rustic way mean rubbing two sticks together to start a fire? Just wonderin’.

You may not swear in front of women and children.

Not to worry. You can now curse all you like. This law was repealed in 2002.

A Roseville citizen cussed like crazy when he fell out of his canoe. He was convicted in 1999 under this law on the books since 1897 prohibiting ‘indecent, immoral, obscene, vulgar or insulting language in the presence or hearing of any woman or child.’

In 2002, the conviction was overturned by the Michigan Court of Appeals, and the law was repealed. Just thought you would like to know.

This robber needs an eye exam. He is exceedingly color blind.
This robber needs an eye exam. He is exceedingly color blind. | Source

It is legal for a robber to file a law suit, if he or she got hurt in your house.

Teach your watchdog to leave the robber alone… if he sues, you may need to take out a loan.

Any person over the age of 12 may have a license for a handgun as long as he/she has not been convicted of a felony.

Attention: parents! Do not aggravate your teens. They may be armed!

What a creative haircut!
What a creative haircut! | Source

A woman is not allowed to cut her own hair without her husband’s permission.

That must have been a helluva haircut that was so devastating it provoked this crazy law.

Question for you: What do you think?

Could this be the kind of haircut that provoked that crazy law? Just wonderin'.

It is a misdemeanor to ‘contumeliously reproach’ God.

Willful blasphemy may well be unsound. You could be treading on dangerous ground.

Michigan | Source
Mackinac Bridge
Mackinac Bridge | Source

Fun Facts and Illustrious Information about Michigan

Sault Ste. Marie, founded by Father Jacques Marquette in 1668, is the first European settlement in the Midwest.

Michigan is the only state to consist of two peninsulas.

The Lower Peninsula resembles a mitten. Many residents hold up a hand to depict where they are from.

The Upper Peninsula (the ‘U.P.’) is separated from the Lower Peninsula by the Straits of Mackinac, a five-mile channel that joins Lake Huron to Lake Michigan.

Speaking of the U.P., the people that live in the Upper Peninsula are called ‘Yoopers’ and are proud of it.

The people that live below the bridge are called ‘trolls.'

The Mackinac Bridge which connects the two peninsulas is one of the longest suspension bridges in the world, took 3 years to complete, and was opened to traffic in 1957.

A person from Michigan is called a Michigander or sometimes, a Michiganian.

• Michigan's Motto is 'Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam circumspice’ … if you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you.

University of Michigan Law Library
University of Michigan Law Library | Source

The name, Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwe word, ‘mishigamaa,’ meaning ‘large water’ or ‘large lake.’ The Ojibwe are also known as Chippewa.

The University of Michigan, founded in 1817 in Detroit as the Catholepistemiad, or University of Michigania, is the state's oldest university. The university moved to Ann Arbor in 1837.

Famous UM grads include Scopes trial defense attorney, Clarence Darrow; Swedish diplomat-turned-Holocaust-hero, Raoul Wallenberg; actor James Earl Jones (the voice of Darth Vader); material girl, Madonna; and former president, Gerald R. Ford.

The Saugatuck Chain Ferry

National Superconducting Cyclotron Lab
National Superconducting Cyclotron Lab | Source

The Saugatuck Chain Ferry, built in 1838, is a hand-cranked vessel that takes tourists from the town side of the river to the other shore for a walk to the beach, the historical museum or to climb the stairs at Mt. Baldhead.

Michigan State University in East Lansing was founded in 1855 as the nation's first land-grant university.

It served as the prototype for 69 land-grant institutions later established under the Morrill Act of 1862. It was the first agricultural college in the U.S.

The National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory is located at MSU.

MSU's illustrious alumni include the famously missing former Teamsters leader Jimmy Hoffa, actor Robert Urich, director Sam Raimi. and NBA superstar Magic Johnson.

Domino's | Source

Little Caesars, the third largest pizza chain in the U.S., was founded by Mike and Marian Ilitch in 1959 in a strip mall in Garden City.

There are now restaurants in all 50 states and new headquarters are to be built in downtown Detroit.

Traverse City is the tart cherry capital of the world, and hosts the week-long National Cherry Festival each July attracting more than half a million visitors.

Domino’s Pizza, the second largest pizza chain in the U.S., was founded by Tom and James Monaghan in 1960 in Ypsilanti.

The company now is simply known as Domino’s with headquarters near Ann Arbor. It is the largest pizza chain worldwide with more than 10,000 locations.

Michigan is a leading grower of fruit in the U.S. including cherries, blueberries, apples, grapes, and peaches as well as plums, pears, and strawberries.

Seul Choix Point Lighthouse
Seul Choix Point Lighthouse | Source
Michigan State Capitol
Michigan State Capitol | Source

Seul Choix (‘only choice’ in French) Point Lighthouse near Gulliver has been guiding ships since 1895.

The working light also functions as a museum, which houses early 1900s furnishings and maritime artifacts.

Michigan has152 lighthouses, the most of any U.S. state. The first lighthouse, Fort Gratiot Light, was erected in 1825 and is still active.

The first state capitol was located in Detroit, the original capital of Michigan, and was relocated to Lansing in 1847.

The present state Capitol with its majestic dome was built in Lansing in l879. The structure cost $1,510,130 – more than 24 million dollars today.

Michigan has Paradise in Whitefish Township in Chippewa County, and Paradise Township in Grand Traverse County. It also boasts Eden Township in Mason County, and Eden Township in Lake County.

But it also has Hell in Putnam Township in Livingston County. George Reeves, the founder of Hell, was a very creative entrepreneur. He built a thriving tavern and distillery in Hell in 1841.

When tax collectors came to Hell to assess his operation, Reeves and his customers hid the whiskey by filling barrels and sinking them to the bottom of the millpond. When the government agents left the area, the barrels were hauled back to the surface with ropes.

Root beer brown - or black - cow or purple cow - vanilla ice cream in grape soda
Root beer brown - or black - cow or purple cow - vanilla ice cream in grape soda | Source
Henry Ford 1863-1947
Henry Ford 1863-1947 | Source
1908 Ford Model S Runabout
1908 Ford Model S Runabout | Source
1916 Packard Twin Six Touring car
1916 Packard Twin Six Touring car | Source

Vernors ginger ale was created in Detroit and is the oldest surviving ginger ale sold in the U.S. In 1862, pharmacist James Vernor was trying to create a new beverage when he was called away to fight in the Civil War. When he returned, 4 years later, the drink he had stored in an oaken cask had acquired a delicious gingery flavor.

A Boston Cooler is typically composed of Vernors ginger ale and vanilla ice cream. No one appears to know how it got that name.

Note: If you drop your scoop of vanilla ice cream in root beer, you have a brown cow … also known as a black cow.

Faygo Beverages was founded in Detroit in 1907 by the Feigenson brothers originally from Russia. Their first three flavors were grape, strawberry and fruit punch. Today, Faygo Moon Mist is a popular seller.

Henry Ford, born in Greenfield Township, founded the Ford Motor Company in 1901.

The Model T was introduced on October 1, 1908. It had the steering wheel on the left, which every other company soon copied.

The entire engine and transmission were enclosed; the four cylinders were cast in a solid block; the suspension used two semi-elliptic springs.

The car was very simple to drive, easy and cheap to repair, and affordable at $825 in 1908 ($21,650 in today’s dollars).

The Packard Motor Car Company was founded in Warren in 1899 by brothers, James and William Packard, and was the first automobile manufacturer to offer an air conditioning unit in its cars in 1939.

By 1957, Packards which had outsold Cadillacs, were no longer assembled at the Detroit plant. Their designs and tooling were sold to buyers around the world. For decades they continued to be built in Russia under the ZIL and ZIM names, catering to elite Communist buyers.

The Michigan Dogman is a kind of werewolf-type beast described as having a man’s body and a dog’s head. It was first spotted in Wexford County in 1887.

In 1938 in Paris (Michigan), Robert Fortney was attacked by five wild dogs and said that one of the five walked on two legs.

Early Kellogg ad
Early Kellogg ad | Source
Paul Bunyan and Babe, his ox
Paul Bunyan and Babe, his ox | Source

The Kellogg Company was founded in 1906 in Battle Creek (the ‘Cereal City’) by Will Keith Kellogg whose brother, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, invented cold breakfast cereal as an alternative to traditional meat-based breakfasts.

W.K. Kellogg was the first to introduce prizes in boxes of cereal. The first premium offered was ‘The Funny Jungleland Moving Pictures Book.’

The Ella Ellenwood, a schooner that transported lumber from Montague to Milwaukee, went down in a storm in 1901.

The ship was not recovered, but its wooden nameplate did manage to float back to Montague all by itself a year later.

Montague also claims to have the largest standard-design weather vane – a ship and arrow which measures 48 feet tall with an arrow 26 feet long.

Oscoda claims to be the official hometown of Paul Bunyan, the giant lumberjack in American folklore, as the first published story about him appeared in the Oscoda Press in 1906.

Ossineke has a giant statue of Paul Bunyan and a neutered Babe, his blue ox. The statue was moved from its original site in Spruce. Paul weighs 11 ½ tons; Babe weighs 4 ½ tons.

Speaking of giant statues, note the size of the tourists at Paul's feet.

Here is another Michigan law: It is a misdemeanor to deface or climb on Paul Bunyan or Babe.

Uniroyal giant tire
Uniroyal giant tire | Source
Detroit-Windsor tunnel
Detroit-Windsor tunnel | Source

The Giant Tire was created by the Uniroyal Tire Company for the 1964 New York World’s Fair where it functioned as a Ferris wheel. Since 1966, it has been located on Interstate 94 near Detroit Metro Airport.

The world’s largest tire is 8 stories tall and weighs 12 tons.

The nation's first mile of concrete roadway was laid along Woodward Avenue in 1909 between Six Mile and Seven Mile roads in Detroit. This section of street cost $14,000 (equivalent to more than $2,000,000 today.)

The Detroit-Windsor Tunnel completed in 1930 is an automobile highway tunnel connecting Detroit in the U.S. with Windsor, Ontario in Canada. Total cost was approximately $25 million U.S.

The Detroit Zoo was the first zoo in America to feature cage-less and open exhibits that allowed the animals more freedom to roam.

The Detroit metro area sits atop a gigantic salt mine located 1,100 feet below the city. Most of the salt from the mine which opened in 1910 is used to de-ice roads.

Benton Harbor is the poorest city in Michigan, with a per capita income of $8,965, while Barton Hills is the richest with a per capita income of $110,683.

State flower – Apple blossom

State wildflower – Dwarf Lake iris

State tree – White pine

State fossil – Mastodon

State stone – Petoskey stone (composed of fossilized coral)

State gem – Isle Royale greenstone (found on Isle Royale and Keweenaw peninsula)

State soil – Kalkaska sand

State song – ‘My Michigan’

State Symbols

State nicknames – The Wolverine State, The Great Lakes State, The Mitten State

State bird – American robin

State animal – Wolverine

State game animal – White-tailed deer

State fish – Brook trout

State reptile – Painted turtle

Michigan Underwater Preserves
Michigan Underwater Preserves | Source

More Fun Facts

• The Michigan Underwater Preserves are 12 underwater areas where wrecks are protected for the benefit of sport divers.

Nancy Fleming of Montague was Miss America 1961.

Grand Haven is famous for its ‘singing sand’ beaches, which make a whistling sound when you walk on them.

The Cross in the Woods Catholic shrine in Indian River has a 31-foot high crucifix, the largest one in the world.

Michigan is the third leading grower of Christmas trees with 60,520 acres of land dedicated to Christmas tree farming.

Four flags have flown over Michigan - French, English, Spanish and United States.

Michigan is the only state that abuts four of the five Great Lakes: Huron, Michigan, Erie and Superior.

Favorite Henry Ford quote: "If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right."

Be on the lookout for Part Two - "Crazy Laws in the Cities of Michigan" and more fun facts.

© Copyright BJ Rakow, Ph.D. 2015. All rights reserved. Author, "Much of What You Know about Job Search Just Ain't So."

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Comments for Crazy Laws in Michigan and Fun Facts Part One 39 comments

DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 15 months ago from Oakley, CA

Another gem!

Good thing we have no such law in CA--I chop off my own bangs all the time. LOL

And, I guess I won't try for a ride on 'Babe.' LOL My dad used to tell the Paul Bunyan stories to me, and I loved them. I did not know they originated in Michigan.

As for the ice cream in root beer? Out here, we just call it a root beer float.

But if you want a purple cow, drop the ice cream into grape soda. ;-) (And I think that is from MA, where my mom was from...)

cam8510 profile image

cam8510 15 months ago from Columbus, Georgia until the end of November 2016.

My home is in Leelanau County, near Traverse City. I love this State, this County and Lake Michigan. Great hub depicting crazy laws and fun facts of Michigan.

Chantelle Porter profile image

Chantelle Porter 15 months ago from Chicago

I grew up in the UP. You made me homesick! I did not know a lot of the facts and none of the laws. Goos thing I am careful where i swear. Haha. Never been to Paradise (someday hopefully :) ) but there is a Christmas, MI. Great piece.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

The law about kids and handguns has me a bit concerned...what if the kid didn't like the haircut his mother got? Just curious. :) Have a great day and thanks for the laughs.

breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 15 months ago

Frankly, most people would be better off being drunk on the trains I sometimes travel on.

Larry Rankin profile image

Larry Rankin 15 months ago from Oklahoma

Always Funny and educational.

always exploring profile image

always exploring 15 months ago from Southern Illinois

This is great I learned a lot. My grandma Minnie had a twin sister who lived in Traverse City. I have never been to Michigan. I would love to see the Great Lakes....

ocfireflies profile image

ocfireflies 15 months ago from North Carolina

Like Bill, the kids with handguns really caught my attention. WHAT the ...

Great hub as always and filled with the funny and the WHAT the...

Shared and Pinned My Friend For Sure if only so others can see WHAT the is going on in Michigan.



fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 15 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

A LOT of interesting facts hail from Michigan! Two major Pizza Companies...never knew that. Also didn't know while in Michigan, you might be in Paradise or Hell. Isn't that true for wherever we live??

Must have been a group of really bright law makers who decided that Teens could own hand guns. Oh wait, that's a fact wherever we live too!

Tough break for the MEN that only women and children were legally allowed to curse and swear. Lotta tongue-biting must have gone on!

Michigan is all right by me!! Another great read...fabulous education Doc!!

AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 15 months ago from California

I think I will continue too drink persons as I curse away! Lots of fun!!!

sujaya venkatesh profile image

sujaya venkatesh 14 months ago

interesting hub

drbj profile image

drbj 14 months ago from south Florida Author

From the looks of the last photo of you that I recall, Patricia, you do a pretty professional job chopping off your own bangs. Could that possibly be a new niche? Just sayin'.

Paul Bunyan and Babe have withstood the test of age - they are still popular stories with children. Thanks for the info about the purple cow - I'll add it to photo info.

Hope all is well with you all.

drbj profile image

drbj 14 months ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Cam. Congrats on living in such a beautiful and interesting state. I love Lake Michigan, too, having grown up in Chicago. Delighted you enjoyed the fun facts and illustrious Michigan info. Part Two will be available soon.

drbj profile image

drbj 14 months ago from south Florida Author

So you are a Yooper, Chantelle? Then you certainly know what really cold winter weather is! Happy I was able to acquaint you with some new facts as well as crazy laws.

Hope you get a chance sometime to visit Paradise, and perhaps, even Eden. Hell - not so much.

drbj profile image

drbj 14 months ago from south Florida Author

I'm with you on the kids and handguns concern, Bill. Loved your response re kids and their respective mom's haircuts. And you are most welcome for the laughs. Any time!

drbj profile image

drbj 14 months ago from south Florida Author

I think you may have something there, bp. Perhaps people get drunk because they travel on those trains that you mentioned.

drbj profile image

drbj 14 months ago from south Florida Author

Happy to supply funny and educational info, Larry. And even happier to see you here. Thanks for the visit. Part 2 coming up soon.

drbj profile image

drbj 14 months ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Ruby. Delighted you learned a lot. Perhaps you will visit one or more of the Great Lakes one day. I am most familiar with Lake Michigan.

So your grandma had a Michigander twin? That makes you almost a genuine Michiganian. :)

drbj profile image

drbj 14 months ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Ruby. Delighted you learned a lot. Perhaps you will visit one or more of the Great Lakes one day. I am most familiar with Lake Michigan.

So your grandma had a Michigander twin? That makes you almost a genuine Michiganian. :)

drbj profile image

drbj 14 months ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Kim - I agree, that handgun law for minors is hard to understand. Seems every state has a number of very crazy laws that evoke that mind-boggling 'What the ...' reaction.

Thanks for the visit, finding it funny and the sharing and pinning. You are much appreciated, m'dear.

drbj profile image

drbj 14 months ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Paula. Yes, Michigan does have more than its share of crazy laws. I can only hope that teenagers are not taking advantage of that weird handgun law.

Delighted that you are finding interesting facts in this 'crazy law' series. Michiganders do know where to find tasty pizzas. And, as you pointed out, whether one lives in Paradise or Hell, life is what we make it ... more or less.

Thanks for your gracious visits, sublime comments, and being my friend. I knew I did not make a mistake when I cast my vote for the best commenter.

I'm thinking of commissioning a bronze statue commemorating your award which may weigh more than 2,000 pounds. How would you like it shipped?

'In pieces,' is not an acceptable response. ;)

drbj profile image

drbj 14 months ago from south Florida Author

Happy that you found this lots of fun, Audrey. One caution though. Make sure you have a full stomach before drinking 'persons.'

drbj profile image

drbj 14 months ago from south Florida Author

Thanks for the visit, sujaya. So . . . what else is new?

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 14 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

a-HEM! I prefer gold to bronze. Keep the size down. Just use the most expensive shipping. Now that I've won something for the first time in my life.....I feel the need to capitalize on it. Not much time left you know, Doc!

HA! and the Kardashians think they're special.

Say Yes To Life profile image

Say Yes To Life 14 months ago from Big Island of Hawaii

About thr robbers suing the owner - I remember a case in the 1980s when a man, whose house had been broken into many times, finally set up a booby trap. It was burglarized yet again, and the burglar was injured. He sued the owner, and won!

That's one of many reasons I have no desire to live in Michigan.

About Kellog's Corn Flakes - that was created by none other than my religion, the Seventh Day Adventists. It started the cold cereal revolution. That is one of many things I will be eternally grateful to them for, since I despise hot cereals.

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 14 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

I like the sound of the Boston Cooler! Thanks for teaching me more about the United States in another informative and entertaining hub, drbj.

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 14 months ago from England

Always makes me laugh, and I learn so much, I just have to wonder who makes up these stupid and amazing laws! wonder if we have any over here? now you got me thinking! lol!

Rolly A Chabot profile image

Rolly A Chabot 14 months ago from Alberta Canada

Hi drbj...

You never cease to amaze me at your research skills and the gift you have presenting them to us... strange laws indeed...

Hugs and Blessings from Canada

Genna East profile image

Genna East 14 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

• Any person over the age of 12 may have a license for a handgun as long as he/she has not been convicted of a felony.

Yipes! Are they kidding?

• A woman is not allowed to cut her own hair without her husband’s permission.

Okay...these laws are something out of the dark ages. Loved this one, Drbj. :-)

drbj profile image

drbj 14 months ago from south Florida Author

I dunno, Paula, you don't think a one-ton statue of gold is too tacky? Well, your wish is my command. I'm trying to use my supernatural powers to commission the most talented sculptor, but I'm having a devil of a time trying to reach Leonardo. Hmmmm, wonder if that is prophetic.

No, not deCaprio, the other Leonardo! And the Kardashians, all 265 of them, can't hold a candle to you, m'dear, when it comes to being special. Trust me.

drbj profile image

drbj 14 months ago from south Florida Author

That's what I'm talkin' about, Yoleen. The criminals seem to have more rights that honest citizens. The pendulum has swung much too far!

I am not a fan of pease porridge hot or any other way either so cold cereals in the morning are usually my thing. Kellogg's K cereal has a new flavor: wheat flakes with cinnamon and pecans which has become my new favorite. Try it, you'll like it.

drbj profile image

drbj 14 months ago from south Florida Author

The Boston Cooler, Alicia, and all those other coolers are delicious. And if you can keep the ice cream down to one small scoop, not too many calories. Delighted you are finding this series informative and entertaining. Thanks for your visits, m'dear.

drbj profile image

drbj 14 months ago from south Florida Author

Who makes up these stupid amazing laws, you asked, Nell? Why amazingly stupid legislators, of course. So happy to provide you with learning and laughter.

To answer your question, yes, your country does have some crazy laws and if I survive this series, I will go international. Promise.

And congrats on your well-deserved Hubbie award, m'dear.

drbj profile image

drbj 14 months ago from south Florida Author

Thank you, Rolly, for your very kind comments. Your visits are much appreciated, you know. And hugs and blessings backatcha.

drbj profile image

drbj 14 months ago from south Florida Author

You got that right, Genna. Some of these laws do appear to have been written in the Dark Ages. By lawmakers who must have been out to lunch, literally and figuratively.

Thanks for loving this and telling me so!

ladyguitarpicker profile image

ladyguitarpicker 14 months ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

Hi drbj, love your hub. I grew up in St.Joe, but never knew about some of these laws. The law about the gun is unreal. Great hub, Stella

drbj profile image

drbj 14 months ago from south Florida Author

So nice to meet you, ladyguitarpicker. So you are a real, genuine, Michigander. Who probably grew up where it is very cold and are now transplanted where it is more often very warm.

I agree - that gun law is extremely unrealistic. Thanks for the visit and the kind comments.

teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 14 months ago

I remember when women used to be concerned about cutting their hair without their husband's permission. My mom was not one of those people, she cut it when she felt like it. Good thing my dad was ok with it. I didn't know Michigan even had lighthouses. I'm sure they it would be worth a trip to see some of them. It is a lovely state. My sister lived there for nearly four years and it has lovely parks.

drbj profile image

drbj 14 months ago from south Florida Author

You are so right, Deanna. I had forgotten how subdued many married women used to be. Your mom was definitely ahead of her time. And so was mine. And so was my grandma who played the drums in an all-girls band when she was 17.

Michigan abuts 4 Great lakes with lots of container ship traffic so there is definitely a need for those lighthouses. And the state is a lovely place to visit.

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