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Tiki Central Forums » » Collecting Tiki » » Waitoma Grotto - Holly, MI
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Waitoma Grotto - Holly, MI
uncle trav
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Joined: Apr 27, 2005
Posts: 1788
From: Kalamazoo
Posted: 2009-03-29 07:29 am   Permalink

Great article. Always strange how fast things fall from memory. That's what makes TC special. A storehouse for all the almost forgotten Tiki history. Being from Michigan it's great to have another piece of the puzzle to fit into place. Thanks to everyone who has posted to the thread and the local newspaper for the article. It would be great to see the images they used in the article.
http://www.mlive.com/fenton/index.ssf/2009/03/hawaiin_gardens_resort_put_hol.html

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[ This Message was edited by: uncle trav 2009-03-29 07:31 ]


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bigbrotiki
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Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11159
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2009-03-29 08:04 am   Permalink

Very nice! It is amazing how the timeline of Fred Barton's inspiration and involvement mirrors the heyday of Tiki: 1960 - 1965, the period of intense Tiki fever all over the States. The naive joy about Hawaiian statehood at the beginning, and then America's fall from grace and growing self-consciousness beginning with the Kennedy assassination, and the Vietnam war at the end. And then in 1972, a disco called "Electric Crater"! Classic! How the Bartons must have felt about that. Fred Barton was sort of a local Don The Beachcomber, as his daughter said an idea man, a doer who grew tired of a thing once it was finished and needed new challenges, it seems. Also, he burned himself out, if he died in 1975 -or he was already an old timer by then. Probably a heavy drinker/smoker/eater and....

Good to get the confirmation when the place was changed into its gingerbread/alpine lodge style. Too bad the article did not delve into the original reason for the name of of the lake.

[ This Message was edited by: bigbrotiki 2009-03-29 10:18 ]


 
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Bongo Bungalow
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Joined: Aug 20, 2007
Posts: 1273
From: Indiana
Posted: 2009-03-29 09:13 am   Permalink

I've got the information from the paper, that didn't make the article, on my office at work. I'll post it tomorrow.
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Bongo Bungalow
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Joined: Aug 20, 2007
Posts: 1273
From: Indiana
Posted: 2009-03-30 06:22 am   Permalink

Here's some additional info from Fenton Press reporter Amy Mayhew:

"We weren’t able to dig up any vintage photos at the Flint Journal photo library. But in the stuff Barb gave me, there are a few pictures that I felt I could scan fairly well. The first one is taken in the summer of 1961. It’s a picture of Jane and Fred Barton flanking Mayor Eddie Tam of Wailuku, Hawaii and Mayor Charles A. Mobley – Mayor of Flint. The caption reads as follows:



“EVERYTHING’S HAWAIIAN – Hawaiian Gardens, near Holly, had a real Hawaiian in the house Tuesday night. Mayor Eddie Tam of Wailuku was a guest for dinner and entertainment. He had taken part in a world conference of local governments in Washington, DC. From the left are Mrs. Fred Barton, wife of the owner of the restaurant; Mayor Tam; Flint’s Mayore Charles A. Mobley, and Barton. Mobley is giving Tam a lei made of spark plugs, lights, nuts and bolts.”





The second picture I scanned is the honeymoon cottage at Hawaiian Gardens, and came from a 1981 copy of the Northwest Oakland County Herald Advertiser. It was taken shortly after the Lakeview Inn went under and the buildings were up for sale again. When I was down talking to Don Winglemire, he said that his daughter Penny had stayed at the honeymoon cottage for her wedding night. Well, Penny happened to be working, so I sat down and talked to her. She said she got married on Dec. 31, 1976 and it was a blizzard that night. It was quite a treat to stay in the honeymoon cottage. She said they had a couple drinks at the Grotto bar before going back to the cottage. She said they had a huge inlaid tile bathtub that was enormous – way ahead of it’s time. She said the whole place was really cool – very exclusive. The caption reads as follows:



“HONEYMOON COTTAGE – “Honeymoon Cottage” patterned after one in the Hawaiian Islands once added atmosphere to the Hawaiian Gardens complex. Now locked and empty, it needs renovating to bring it up to the splendor it once had.”





ON HOW WINGLEMIRE MET BARTON

Mr. Winglemire told me that he originally met Fred Barton when he returned to Holly in the early 1950s. Prior to that, Fred Barton lived in San Franciso, CA where he had invented Bar’s Leaks. Because the automotive industry was in Michigan and his product was in huge demand, he moved back here. He chose Holly because his grandparents lived here when he was growing up, and he spent a lot of time here as a kid.



Mr. Winglemire said that Fred verified a story about his family for him. Evidently, when Fred was preparing to furnish his resort, he came down to Winglemires and asked if they would be interested in handling all of that. Mr. Winglemire said Fred was asking for way more than they typically did, but agreed to do it. He said he asked Fred why he wanted to used Winglemire’s Furniture, and Fred said that he remembered coming down there with his grandma in the early 1900s – I’m guessing around the 1920s or so – to pick out a casket for Fred’s grandpa who had died. Before it became a furniture store, Winglemires used to be a woodworking shop, specializing in caskets. Anyway, Fred told Don that when he and his grandma came in to pick out a casket, Don’s crazy great aunt Clara waited on them and got in the casket so that Grandma could see what a body looks like lying in it. I guess it had been rumored on down through the Winglemire ages that Aunt Clara was famous for offering that service, but everybody thought it was so absurd that it must be a joke. Well, Fred’s true life account put that little piece of family mystery to rest…so to speak."

There's one other detail than Jan provided to understand the history of Hawaiian Gardens and that's that Fred was perhaps a bit of a womanizer. So, it was with his second wife that he built the resort. (His daughter, who contributed to the article, was a product of his first marriage.) Then, it was with his third wife (reportedly a cashier in the gift shop)that Fred retired. Well... this kinda stuff happens...




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bigbrotiki
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Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11159
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2009-03-30 12:04 pm   Permalink

Great stuff. A spark plug Lei, what a classic! And finally a photo of Fred! He looks like in his 50s-60s, so he was not the youngest when he opened the place. Wonder if he was a Trader Vic's customer when he lived in San Francisco. Do you have the image with the caption intact? Would love to use it eventually.

And that honeymoon cottage! I bet it originally looked much more Polynesian than in that 1981 photo... Arrgh! Now I wanna see original pics of it...and of the interior! They must have advertised it? Nobody kept anything from back then! Well, ol' Fred sure liked to honeymoon.

I need help with something else: The most imposing structure of the compound is that 50 foot high rectangular tower, which is referred to as "Manu- a chief's house" in the brochure:


Now Polynesian pop is often marked by mixing up ethnic info and using the Polynesian idiom purely for mumbo-jumbo effect, and that might be the case here, because anywhere I looked, MANU refers to "birds" in the Polynesian language. But what is that tower based on in the first place? It's structure reminds me most of what is called "oracle tower", as seen in re-built Hawaiian heiaus, like King Kamehameha's temple in Kona:





It was later built out to resemble this old print (BOT page 58):






Does anybody on TC have any more info on the design, purpose and use of these towers? Or any other suggestions WHERE in Polynesia a structure like this might have been used in ancient times?




[ This Message was edited by: bigbrotiki 2009-03-30 12:11 ]


 
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uncle trav
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Joined: Apr 27, 2005
Posts: 1788
From: Kalamazoo
Posted: 2009-03-30 2:20 pm   Permalink

Fantastic. Thanks for going the extra mile Bongo to post the other info and photos. Classic. Great story. A true Michigan treasure now lost but by no means forgotten. Thanks again.



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Chub
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Joined: Jan 26, 2005
Posts: 264
From: Detroit, MI but now in sunny Los Angeles
Posted: 2009-03-30 5:19 pm   Permalink

Does any one else think this whole thread needs to be moved to the Locating Tiki section of Tiki Central? Is there any way to even do that?

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bigbrotiki
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Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11159
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2009-03-30 6:11 pm   Permalink

I have no idea, but basically agree. Just move it carefully, don't break it, it is precious!

 
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Unga Bunga
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Joined: Jun 06, 2003
Posts: 5820
From: CaliTikifornia
Posted: 2009-03-30 11:00 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-03-30 06:22, Bongo Bungalow wrote:
“HONEYMOON COTTAGE – “Honeymoon Cottage” patterned after one in the Hawaiian Islands once added atmosphere to the Hawaiian Gardens complex.






Well, at least I know where my next honeymoon will be.


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11159
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2009-03-30 11:34 pm   Permalink

You're gonna go camping? :




 
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AlienTiki
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Joined: Jul 08, 2005
Posts: 424
From: MAUI No Ka'oi
Posted: 2009-03-31 02:23 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-03-30 12:04, bigbrotiki wrote:







Does anybody on TC have any more info on the design, purpose and use of these towers? Or any other suggestions WHERE in Polynesia a structure like this might have been used in ancient times?




[ This Message was edited by: bigbrotiki 2009-03-30 12:11 ]



The towers in the Laukini Heiau are called Anu'u and are draped with bleached Tapa. I read it was a place were seers would enter and receive oracles. In front of the oracle tower is an alter where human sacrifices were made. Gnar Kill!!!



 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11159
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2009-03-31 10:36 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-03-31 02:23, AlienTiki wrote:
The towers in the Laukini Heiau are called Anu'u and are draped with bleached Tapa. I read it was a place were seers would enter and receive oracles. In front of the oracle tower is an altar where human sacrifices were made. Gnar Kill!!!



Thank You! So these towers were like spiritual energy funnels pointing to the heavens!




Well, it kinda makes sense...anu'u became manu (waitaminnit: "monu"), the kahuna became the chief,
and here, at the bottom of the tower...



...two natives are partaking in the offerings after the waiter recited the oracle ("You will have pork, and much of Sweet and Sour!")


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11159
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2009-04-01 09:58 am   Permalink

Apparently I can't let go of this fascinating example of Polynesia Americana. Driven by my regrets over the fact that the Hawaiian Village brochure was reproduced so small in "Tiki Modern" that one cannot read and appreciate the Polynesian Pop poetry of the captions, I started to zoom in on some of them, to share them with like-minded "leisure literature" lovers :







"An artistic triumph framed in volcanic rock.." Can that get any better? I couldn't make that shit up, -and I tried!
"...you gaze unbelieving.." is pretty good too, I wanna shoot a Tiki lounge commercial like that!

More glimpses from the back of the brochure:



I can hear the male voice over now, with Ren & Stimpy "up" muzak in the back ground!




Was this maybe Mrs Fred Barton No 3 ?

And then there is this cool little map:



...and it struck me: In my book publications, this place had always been a stepchild of sorts because, although it had all the right elements conceptually, it just didn't make the cut visually. To the experienced Tikiphile, all the above details were highly entertaining, but for the average reader, there was just not enough eye candy. Blowing up the renderings on the brochure DOES provide eye candy, but also:
Now fellow urban archeologists, WHAT do we notice is visually lacking when viewing the front and back renderings, and the especially the exterior postcard?:



One thing that is nice is that we can see the little vacation bungalows also visible in the overhead view on the map, and below, the motel on the right...





The Kaiser Aluninum Dome clone ( the Kahili Room) must have been added a little later...
So, this being Michigan, there is no tropical foliage to be seen, which makes the place look sorta industrial. But look at that big parking lot...and the Lounge on the right of that canoe topped A-frame..... ???.... ????.....

The total absence of that beacon of roadside Americana, the utter lack of the lighthouses of Polynesian pop, NEON SIGNAGE, is most conspicuous!
Did Fred feel that neon signs would take away from the "authenticity" of his native village? Or does the town of Holly have some kind of sign ordinance? Bongo?

I don''t believe the little map icon is indicative of the sign, it's too much a graphic, but the Tiki mask closely resembles Tiki signs made in that period, and that's what got me thinking "WHERE is the signage!?" Perhaps the roadside sign was even farther out than the parking lot shot, it sure would be nice to find confirmation in visual form.

Other unanswered questions are (already raised by Sabu) Since WHEN, and WHY, was there a Mauna Loa and Oahu Lake in Holly? Next time you talk to your Sister, Bongo, maybe you could mention those...



 
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uncle trav
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Joined: Apr 27, 2005
Posts: 1788
From: Kalamazoo
Posted: 2009-04-01 5:01 pm   Permalink

A little info on the lakes. I found this in a website about lake name origins of Oakland county.

"Another Mud Lake in Oakland
County’s Holly Township was renamed Lake
Mauna Loa, because a motel operator wanted a Hawaiian
theme for his establishment."

And this mention.
"Another switch in 1961 prompted a Holly Township motel operator to officially change a different Mud Lake to Lake Mauna Loa to give the business a Hawaiian theme."
Here is another image of the old site of the Hawaiian Gardens and Lake Oaho (red circle) this time showing both lakes.






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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11159
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2009-04-01 5:25 pm   Permalink

That's odd! What about Sabu's post from several pages before::

Quote:

On 2004-12-08 18:37, Sabu The Coconut Boy wrote:
Just found this auction for a 1920s topo map of Holly, Michigan on Ebay.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=37962&item=3767608236&rd=1&ssPageName=WDVW

It seems Mauna Loa lake existed back in 1920! So they probably chose the theme of the restaurant based on the topography and not the other way round. Very interesting!

Sabu



A forgery!?

I expected some earlier Hawaiian connection, such as the story of the naming of Owyhee County, Idaho:

Owyhee County originally included present-day Twin Falls, Cassia and Power Counties. It assumed its present boundaries in 1879.
The name Owyhee: "Owyhee" and "Hawaii" are two different spellings for the same word. When Captain James Cook discovered what he named the Sandwich Islands (known more recently as the Hawaiian Islands) in 1778, he found them inhabited by people called Owyhees. The spelling "Owyhee" is simplified a little from its original form: "Owyhee" is the spelling that British and American traders used during the early nineteenth century in referring to natives of the Sandwich Islands, and a number of Owyhees sailed on to the Columbia, where they joined trapping expeditions or worked at some of the fur trade posts.
Three of the Owyhees joined Donald MacKenzie's Snake expedition, which went out annually into the Snake country for the North West Company--a Montreal organization of Canadian fur traders. Unluckily, those three Owyhees left the main party during the winter of 1819-20; they set out to explore the then unknown terrain of what since has been called the Owyhee River and mountains, and have not been heard from since. Because of their disappearance, the British fur trappers started to call the region "Owyhee," and the name stuck."[3]


 
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