TBT: “Winter Comes to Michigan” newsreel

You don’t want to miss this very cool blast from the past!

After spending decades in a basement in the eastern Upper Peninsula, a 1930s-era newsreel from the Michigan State Highway Department has resurfaced to remind us of the challenges — and the fun — of winters past.

The film, “Winter Comes to Michigan,” created by the precursor agency to the Michigan Department of Transportation, gives us a black-and-white window to the era when Murray Van Wagoner, a future Michigan governor, ran the department from 1933-1940.

The film shows residents enjoying outdoor winter fun at several locations, such as Ishpeming’s Suicide Hill ski jump, fledgling downhill ski areas, outdoor public ice skating rinks and an elaborate toboggan run. Filmmaker and author Bill Jamerson, whose documentaries have explored winter sports and other aspects of our state history, said many of the film’s locations were probably in the U.P., while the toboggan run scene was probably filmed at a winter sports park in Grayling.

On this Throwback Thursday, enjoy a glimpse at how things were 80 years ago and see how some things — like the fun and the tribulations of winter weather — are timeless.