Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Treasure City (Michigan) Another Classic Gone

A while back I wrote about "Treasure City", an over the top tourist trap in Minnesota. It was on the road to our cabin up north and on rare occasions our parents would give in to constant pleading and actually stop there.  It had rocks, minerals, lots of shells, cheap pirate themed stuff, etc.

It was one of many such establishments but seemed to be the most flamboyant, the most unapologetic.  Remarkably it has survived for over half a century even with the main road being routed elsewhere.

So I was pleased to learn that there was another, apparently related Treasure City along the route of our drive through the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  Old images were promising (I think on study that this is the Michigan version).

The "U.P." as they call it is certainly not free of tacky commerce, so I had high hopes. Alas, it was not to be.  Here is Treasure City in early July of 2017.

Clearly it is a new building.  The snarling bear might look impressive but it is modern fiberglass, not in the spirit of the garish plywood of the original signage.  The sign says: Treasure City - This is It! Largest Gift Shop in the North.

As to the contents, I could not bear to take a single photo, or to linger long over how the kitchy have fallen.  It is a huge place, new, absolutely immaculate.  I did find a single table each of sad looking shells and unimpressive colored stones.  Otherwise it was T-shirts, sweat shirts, fake license plates, endless variations of cabin signs, cheap Chinese made toys... and not even any pirate stuff.  We just wanted a Jolly Roger flag and perhaps some fake doubloons for an upcoming "Treasure Hunt" when the extended family gathers.  But no.

It is the kind of place that grandma might go to and buy you a souvenir of your vacation.  Or in the case of the grandma in our party, not.

Contrast it with this recent(?) picture of the Minnesota incarnation of Treasure City:

Pirate Pete is not happy with you folks up in Michigan.  Not happy at all.

For more images of what I now consider The Real Treasure City, go HERE.   If you are in Michigan and want to find something similar, I suggest Shell City in Grayling.

For entirely forgettable stuff for your cabin and/or grand children, you can go anywhere.

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