Signs of the times

My never-ending quest for Michigan racing memorabilia yielded an interesting find. Have a look at what I found at the Burley Park flea market a couple weeks ago…


It’s a sign from the now-defunct Great Lakes Downs in Muskegon. It is somewhat ironic that a sign I frequently ignored at the races managed to grab my attention in the outside world.

I saw it lying in a wicker basket and thought to myself “I’d recognize that font and color scheme anywhere.” Just to make sure, I asked the vendor where he found the sign, and he told me he got it from a Muskegon scrap yard. Jackpot. The sign was soon in my possession.

After a series of auctions stripped GLD of little souvenirs like this and scattered them across the state, and likely across the nation, it has been hard times for the memento collector in me (aside from a pad of paper from the racetrack kindly given to me by a couple of former members of the Office of Racing Commissioner after reading the above post). A recent article and photo essay further confirmed that nothing will be left standing of my old favorite track when it’s all said and done.

That said, something as small as a “keep off the fence” sign totally made my day.


Filed under Great Lakes Downs

3 responses to “Signs of the times

  1. old time race fan

    I understand the feeling. While I do not collect a lot of stuff, I do have a small 6 pack cooler with Ladbroke Detroit Race Course written on it. It’s a cheap little thing. My wife keeps wanting to throw it out, but I just don’t want to let it go, even though it is quite worn. It was a giveaway at the Michigan Mile, circa early 1990’s.

  2. And it looks good on the deck!

  3. mibredclaimer

    Old Time Race Fan,
    It’s funny how the everyday objects can mean the most. Right now, my current gym bag and lunch pail sport the GLD logo. However, my prized possession is a saddle used in races by Lyndon Hannigan signed by the GLD jockey colony. I display it prominently wherever I take it.

    As for DRC mementos, my grandpa has a section of bleachers from the racetrack. They’re quite uncomfortable.

    It does look pretty natural there, doesn’t it? I’m trying to think of an appropriate place to hang it, but I don’t have any fences that need kept off at the moment.

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