The week of the 4th of July, I was in Michigan's Upper Peninsula to visit some old family stomping grounds. The Marquette/ Ishpeming/ Negaunee area is where my mom's people landed after arriving from Finland. My grandfather worked in iron ore mines for forty years while my grandmother cleaned houses and other odd jobs. And, when my mom arrived as a surprise when they were in their 40's, then raised the sparkplug that is the lady we call "Mom".
This area is also the setting for the novel Anatomy of a Murder. When Otto Preminger decided to adapt the book circa 1958, he brought the entire production up to this remote area.
You can read more about it in Part 1 of this photo tour.
We headed out to see a bar that I figured out en route was not a location from filming but the actual bar where the actual murder the novel was based on occurred. In the book the area is "Thunder Bay", but in reality, it's Big Bay, Michigan.
|the long road back to Marquette|
|you can tell by the movie poster outside, they are not shy about the connection|
|as it appeared at the time of the murder|
|so, this greets you when you walk in the door|
|if these are my people, I am beginning to think I come by my gallows humor honestly|
|photos of the trailer park area in the film|
|the interior of The Lumberjack Tavern|
In the novel and film, the bar is attached to an inn. For the purposes of the movie, they used a place called "Big Bay Inn". After the movie, they renamed the place "Thunder Bay Inn".
|A bit of nice signage|
|There are some changes to the front here, and Jimmy Stewart was not watching Dish satellite TV in the bar|
|the front of the Thunder Bay Inn, plus my dad and mom and Old Glory|
|my dad wanders around inside the Inn|
|memorabilia in the display case|
|some info about the Inn for lookie-loo's like me|
|the bill holder. I had a cup of coffee and bought a mug with this same art on it.|
|one last look back|
I was also keen to see the location used for the Law Library in the film, just because the architecture of the place was a big odd in the movie. Turns out it's the public library in Ishpeming, Michigan, which is a Carnegie Library, one of the libraries built through the philanthropy of famed industrialist Andrew Carnegie.
The place is just absolutely beautiful.
This isn't my picture, but here's the exterior:
And, inside (my photos):
|KNOWLEDGE. This librarian was kind and helpful.|
|they don't build them like they used to, kids. Man. You do not get this via the "lowest bid government contract". And it's lasted a century.|
|Carnegie Libraries all have a stained glass skylight, so said the librarian telling me about the building|
Stills from the film for context:
I mean, there's no mistaking that this is the place. I read that they went and raided the library at a law school for the books they put on the shelves. Which means some poor librarians had their work cut out for them shelving and unshelving these books.
|it's a working library, still very much in use|
I did go up, but I walked on the steel reinforcements. I am a big boy and no one needed me plunging through to the main floor.
|very little has changed here. It's a public work, so that chair could be seventy years old. It happens.|
|the narrow stairwell|
|I reflect upon Voelker|
|a very nice reading room where my mom was reading a magazine|
|and here Voelker looms large|
|always love the rare books and special collections. Of course Traver's books are in there.|
We then went around the block to the Mather Inn, which was the hotel where the cast stayed while in Ishpeming. It's curious that they put them up here as Ispheming is not as big a town as Marquette, but it is a very nice building and now condos, I believe.
On the right you'll see a building sticking off. This seems to be more or less what Traver fictionalized - transplanting the Mather Inn to Big Bay, as the building there on the right contains an entertainment space on the top story and the lower story is now a bar and likely was then.
I confess to some confusion. I thought the bar downstairs was where they filmed interiors for the bar scenes in the film, but after doing some digging and comparing a shot or two from the movie, that seems unlikely. Frankly, there's a lot of conflicting info online about where the interior bar scenes were shot, but I'll figure it out eventually.
|I mean, that's a pretty nice space!|
This bar/ brewery is on the lower story. Frankly, I wanted to stop and grab a drink, but I hadn't had lunch yet.
|from the outside|