The Pure Michigan campaign is credited with attracting 3.2 million out-of-state visitors to Michigan.
It is an effective campaign with a surprisingly long history.
Michael Federspiel, executive director of the Little Traverse Historical Society and history professor at Central Michigan University spoke with Cyndy about the Pure Michigan of the past.
According to Federspiel, Northern Michigan was faced with reconstructing its image
“It was an area looking for an identity,” said Federspiel.
The major message of 19th century promotional campaigns was a combination of relaxation and exploration.
“During those years when the railroads were in charge of publicity, they would create booklets that would be in hotels and railroad stations. They would point to Northern Michigan where you could be very active, or not active at all. The Pure Michigan campaign targets non-Michiganians,” said Federspiel.
According to Federspiel, in 1898 Ernest Hemingway's family decided to come to Petoskey and bought property. The Hemingway family still owns that original cottage.
“You have resort communities that were founded in the 1870’s that were places people came to spend the season.”
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