We're usually pretty busy thinking about our performances when we tour with a show, but we try to get out and about at least a little bit and see what the area we're performing in has to offer. This past weekend, Mary Beth and I had the chance to spend some time it two quaint Villages: Algonac, Michigan and Sombra, Ontario, Canada.
Marine City and Algonac, Michigan were, during the 18th and 19th Centuries, devoted to shipbuilding. Both cities were home to firms that built ships designed to move passengers and freight among and across the Great Lakes. In the 20th Century, Algonac moved into a different sort of shipbuilding - racing boats. Beginning in the 1920s, two partners, Chris Smith and 'Gar' Wood built wooden racing boats - the Miss Americas. Those boats set water speed records of over 120 mph. Later, Smith separated from Wood and formed the Chris Craft company, makers of premier wooden speedboats and pleasure craft.
This boat-making history is memorialized in the Algonac City Park, located right on the St. Clair River. There are statues commemorating Smith and Wood and the Algonac shipbuilding tradition, along with a soldiers' memorial.