Traverse City Attractions: History Center's Magical History Tour Bus

Traverse City Attractions: From Perry Hannah and 6th street to the waterfront and State Hospital, take a journey through history and discover how Traverse City formed into the Northern Michigan mecca we all know and love today.

In a new effort of self-sufficiency, the History Center of Traverse City has devised a means of generating the funds needed to continue their dedication to preserving and presenting the history of Traverse City and the Grand Traverse region. Riding the economic times, so to speak, the History Center of Traverse City, in collaboration with local partnerships including Celtic Shuttles, has inaugurated the first bus tours of Traverse City with the Magical History Tours.

Aimed for Northern Michigan vistors and locals alike, the Magical History Tour begins at the History Center where knowledgeable museum and community guides bring alive the actors and dramas of our past: the raw lumbering days, the coming of the fruit industry, the expansion of railroads and factories, early resorts, and the growth of the Traverse City State Hospital.

The tour then hits the road on a comfortable coach for a 90-minute, nine-mile tour of Traverse City. Learn about the stylish homes of Sixth Street and which Traverse City founders lived in them; then go back in time with stories that vividly enliven the Old Town commercial district, the historic Courthouse, Traverse City’s beautiful downtown, the Bay front and Warehouse district, Traverse City’s oldest neighborhood, Slabtown, and the Village at the Grand Traverse Commons, formerly the site of the Traverse City State Hospital.

Along the way, charming tour guides mix interesting facts with humorous asides and personal anecdotes to share stories about Traverse City founder Perry Hannah, turn-of-the-century colorful con artist “Wild Bill Germaine," cannons that mysteriously discharged during a ceremonial Fourth of July occasion, the Native American presence at the mouth of the Boardman River, patient care at the Traverse City State Hospital, and little known facts about the relationship of Traverse City to celebrities like Henry Ford and golfing great Walter Hagen.

This is what Traverse City Magical History Tour collaborators are saying:

"The History Center proudly launches its best story-telling effort ever, taking the unique history of our town and making it accessible by way of the Magical Tour buses to thousands of visitors and friends who come to Traverse City during the four gorgeous seasons of the year. The Magical History Tours will be a fun and educational way for visitors to see more of what this delightful community now offers, and at the same time gain appreciation for the people and institutions who came before us to build it and keep it prospering for our time. And this is now our time – to proudly show our fair city, to celebrate its great history, and to warmly welcome thousands of guests each year into our wonderful home. May the Magical History Tour add to the success and enjoyment of Traverse City!" -Bob Knechel, President of the Board at the History Center of Traverse City

"The new Magical History Tour initiative is an engaging way to tell more visitors about Traverse City's past. People from all over are looking for connections to our local history. Our region and its past are uniquely ours, and people want to understand how and why our town looks like it does. On the tour bus we can show and explain our town's story, and by doing so create a greater connection between visitors and Traverse City. Engaging people in this way gives them another reason to spend more time in Traverse City. And since history is a four seasons attraction, we may draw them back again, any time of year." -Raymond R. Minervini II, partner in the redevelopment of the historic The Village at Grand Traverse Commons.

The History Center of Traverse City hopes to invite 10,000 people on the Magical History Tour of Traverse City in its first year; a goal that, combined with projects already underway, will ensure its continued success throughout the rest of 2012 and beyond.

Tours are currently only offered on Saturdays and Sundays at 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m., but should be available seven days a week during the busy summer season.

Sign up for the ride of your (Traverse City) life today! Click here to purchase tickets and experience for yourself the Magical History Tour.

There are more ways to help and experience the History Center of Traverse City! Find all the ways you can ensure the preservation of Traverse City's history for generations to come, visit the History Center today!

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