David Yates on tourism development in Huron County

Season 2
38m | Nov 8, 2022

On the third episode of season two of Postcards from Huron County, podcast host Mandy Sinclair chats with local historian and author David Yates about the development of the tourism industry in Huron County in the nineteenth century. 

David shares stories from hotels past - the Point Farms Hotel, Hotel Sunset, Menesetung Park - where regional produce and meats from local fields and dairy were served in fancy dining rooms to some of the wealthiest and most famous people in central North America.

We talk about the steamboats that arrived on the shores of Lake Huron bringing travellers for their summer stay, and inviting locals to join for a weekend getaway in Detroit. He explains why tourism was able to develop at the turn of the century and early 1900s, and the ultimate decline of this form of tourism. 

David writes a column for Huron County newspapers spotlighting local history, including many articles highlighting the tourism sector of the late nineteenth and early twenties centuries, and is the author of Out of the Woods, Out of the Blue and That Freedom Might Survive, to name a few. 

He also taught many students history at Central Huron Secondary School in Clinton. 

Favourite quote of the episode: It was the auto capital of the world, and all those beautiful buildings were being erected in Detroit. It was one of the largest cities in North America, and the excitement of going to Detroit at the time would attract hundreds of people for a long weekend to go down and see a ballgame, the theatres, the music clubs and then come back after four days.

- of the hundreds of people who would travel to Detroit from Goderich on the greyhound steamboat for a long weekend away.

Related links: 

David is the author of the following books: 

Out of the Woods

Out of the Blue 

That Freedom Might Survive

The Time of Our Lives

Admiral Henry Wolsey Bayfield


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Postcards from Huron County is made possible with funding from the Huron Heritage Fund and Community Futures Huron Community Projects Initiative, and audio production by Clint Mackie at Faux Pop Media.


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