Saturday, September 15, 2018

Postcard: Very twisted tree in Michigan's Thumb

You could fit Bella and even some others inside this strangely tangled tree!

No publisher is listed for this black-and-white photo postcard. All we have it what's etched onto the front:


I'm no tree expert, having failed to learn how to recognize different types of trees from quite a long way away, or even close up. If I had to put forth as guess, I'd say it's a beech or cherry. But readers' expert input is very welcome!

I found a second image of the tree, clearly from the same publisher, that shows a slightly different angle and gives a better look at the house behind the tree. You can see it toward the bottom of the webpage at

Harbor Beach, part of Michigan's Thumb, is home to about 1,700 residents and hosts a couple of museums and a sparkplug lighthouse that dates to 1885.

This postcard was mailed from Harbor Beach to Bayonne, New Jersey, in August 1969. The note states:
Hi Folks
Having a nice time. I do hope to get in to see you real soon. We stopped in Canada & saw the Falls. They are really beautiful. Right now we are on the farm. (The Squires Family)
I did discover an obituary for Lana M. Riedel of Harbor Beach, Michigan, who lived from 1947 to 2014. She was born on December 12, 1947, in Bayonne, New Jersey, to the late Jim and Margaret (Squires) Reid. So there is clearly a connection there.


  1. The crooked tree as we called it was in our front yard at 228 North Huron. It is definitely a mountain ash and it choked itself off and rotted back in 1977 I believe. The legend surrounding it was that when it was a sapling the French fur trappers known as a voyager's twisted it as a trail marker. Absolutely no idea if that's true or not but I loved playing in it as a kid and by Mom named her nursery school the crooked tree preschool after it.

    Erik Nilsen, Portland OR

  2. Great blog, I bookmarked it for future fun reading.

    One thought on the photograph. When I first found this postcard, I wondered why the photographer/publisher called it "The Tree That Grows" since all trees grow (Assuming they are alive!). But, when I followed the link to the other angle of the tree by the same publisher the title was "A Tree That Grows AT Harbor Beach, Mich."(emphasis mine). I am guessing that the first picture above was actually the second one published and someone misread or mistyped the first title.