Vintage MDOT newsreel is a window on winters past

Feb 17, 2016

A 1930’s era newsreel that nostalgically captures the work that went into keeping the state’s main roads free of snow more than seventy years ago has been rediscovered in a basement in the Upper Peninsula town of Newberry. We learn more about how popular it’s become from MDOT spokesman Dan Weingarten.

Consider this sentence: “Twenty years ago in Michigan, winter highway travel was restricted to those hardy souls who ventured out for short distances with Old Dobbin and the sleigh.”

Old Dobbin? The sleigh? Twenty years ago? As you’ve probably concluded,  the sentence you just heard goes back a long time, about eighty years.

It’s part of an old promotional newsreel called ”Winter Comes to Michigan.” It was recently re-discovered in Newberry in the Upper Peninsula. The film was produced sometime between 1933 and 1940 and captures the drama of severe weather and the snow removal effort.

Current State talks with Dan Weingarten of the Michigan Department of Transportation office in Ishpeming.