This early 1900s postcard titled “Michigan – A Summer Health Resort State” highlights the growing popularity of Michigan as a vacation destination during that time, particularly for those seeking relief from hay fever and other pollen-related allergies. The sailboat image on the postcard emphasizes the state’s strong connection to water-based recreational activities and its appeal as a health resort.
Michigan’s beachfront resorts and hotels, especially those along the Straits of Mackinac and Saginaw Bay, claimed to be near pollen-free, offering relief for hay fever sufferers. The state’s extensive shorelines, pleasant summer climate, and the perceived low pollen levels created an attractive environment for tourists seeking both leisure and health benefits.
Health tourism was becoming increasingly popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. People traveled to areas with perceived health benefits, often to escape the pollution and overcrowding of cities and to enjoy the fresh air and natural beauty of the countryside or coastal areas. With its extensive shorelines, forests, and clean air, Michigan catered to these health-conscious tourists by promoting its low pollen environments and other natural features.
The development of the railroad system during this period further facilitated the movement of people, making it easier for tourists to travel to and explore various parts of Michigan. Resorts, hotels, and summer camps were established around the state to cater to the growing number of visitors looking for a retreat from the stresses of urban life and seeking relief from allergies.