Past and Present

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One of the most fascinating things about going through older photographs of Harbor Springs are the glimpses of the past that they bring. You can recognize buildings and places in these old photographs and see how they were 100 years ago. Often as a child, I would look at the world around me and wonder how it looked in the past, without paved roads, cars, or houses. What activities went on in these familiar places that I knew nothing about? This is the reason that photographs of recognizable places are so exciting to me, it shows how they looked in the past and I can reconcile the difference in my mind.

Ingalls and Main Street

Here are two photographs I came across in the Berry Ratliff collection of the Shay Family. The first shows Ingalls St. in Harbor Springs with Dorothy Shay in her little car in 1913. The two houses are still standing so the street looks much the same as it did in this photograph 100 years ago. The second photograph is of East Hill coming into downtown Harbor Springs. One thing I notice between the older photograph and the modern one is the lack of trees in the past. The bay was clearly visible whereas now there are trees that somewhat block the view. The differences and similarities in both pictures show just how much has changed as well as the things that have not.


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Mary Cummings is a lifelong resident of Harbor Springs and executive director of the Harbor Springs Area Historical Society.

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