Thursday, 10 May 2012

Of Hell, Purgatory and Paradise

JPHS Batch ’66
Michigan, USA

BASED on Roman Catholic faith and other religious teachings, it has been said that once we die, it is either we go to Hell or Purgatory. But of course, the ultimate place of salvation for some who did good is Paradise. And depending on how we conducted ourselves during our lifetime, the “gate-keeper” and his record book would show which place you're heading.

Real and yet weird, these three biblical places –Hell, Purgatory and Paradise -- do actually and physically exist in America. And except for "hysterical and heavenly" imagination of sort that anyone can think of, these tourist resort and winter communities found in the states of Michigan and Colorado share one thing in common … people's curiosity on how they ended up with such names.

Hell, Michigan
Hell was first settled in 1838 by George Reeves and his family. George had a wife and seven children -- no reason to call it hell yet. George built a mill and general store on the banks of a river that was known as Hell Creek. The mill would grind the local farmers grain into flour. George also ran a whiskey still, so a lot of times the first 7-10 bushels of grain became moonshine (illegal liquor brewed from corn). In turn, horses would come home without riders, wagons without drivers … some would say to the wife, where is your husband? She'd shrug her shoulders, throw up her arms and exclain, ahh, he's gone to hell!!!.

In 1841 when the State of Michigan came by, and asked George what he wanted to name his town, he replied, "call it Hell for all I care, everyone else does”, so the official date of becoming Hell was October 13, 1841. (From Hell, Michigan website)

The Hell or Hi Land Lake in Livingston County, Michigan
Hell, or Hiland Lake
Hell or Hiland Lake is an unincorporated community at Putnam Township of Livingston County in the United States, Michigan. It is near the border with Washtenaw County, about 15 miles Northwest of Ann Arbor and situated three miles Southwest of Pinckney via Pattterson Lake road. The community is served by pinckney post office.

Something about this town:
On June 30-July 4, 2008 - KFC ran promotional sweepstakes "hotter than HELL" giving away 500 coupons for free hot wings.

Weddings in Hell, Michigan
*As they say, a marriage made in hell has nowhere to go but up.
* A good place for people to pose for snapshots next to unusual signs such as "Welcome to Hell".
 *Every second week of August, there's 4.8 and 10 miles foot race billed "run thru Hell"

Purgatory, Colorado
A winter paradise in the heart of San Juan mountains, Purgatory at Durango mountain resort is the perfect family vacation destination known for its unmatched scenery, terrain for all abilities and a vibrant historic downtown. It has gotten restaurants, shops fitness center and pool/spa. Most of all, this place is known for its best ski resort town.

Its annual snowfall:260.0 inches/661 cm, base elevation:8793 feet/2674 meters, summit elevation:10,822 feet/3290 meters. Purgatory, Colorado is located just 25 miles north of the historic mining town of Durango, colorado. (From Purgatory, Colorado website)

Tahquamenon Falls
Paradise, Michigan
PARADISE is an unincorporated community in Whitefish Township, Chippewa County, in the US state of Michigan. Paradise is on the northeastern portion of michigan's upper peninsula on the western side of whitefish bay, Lake superior. It’s about 60 miles by road from Sault Ste. Marie and about 55 miles north of Mackinac bridge. Founded in 1925, Paradise is surrounded by state and national forests and its main business is tourism.

Paradise is the hub of such attractions as the whitefish point lighthouse, the great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, Tahquamenon Falls, the Whitefish Point Bird Observatory, fishing, hunting, camping, swimming, snowmobiling, agate hunting, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and the annual blueberry festival in August. (From Paradise, Michigan website/Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

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