The Little Brown Jug, and other Michigan – Minnesota connections

Since it's game day (Michigan at Minnesota) I thought I'd link to at least a few connections between Michigan and Minnesota.

1.  The Little Brown Jug is the trophy that goes back and forth between the two schools depending on which one wins the game.  It was originally purchased as a water jug for the Michigan team on an away game to Minnesota in 1903, it was left behind after the game (a 6-6 tie).  The Daily Gopher has an excellent roundup of the story (warning: Minnesota point of view) quoting from several Michigan football blogs.

Days later when Yost sent a letter requesting his water jug back, Cook replied saying "We have your little brown jug; if you want it, you’ll have to win it."

More on the Little Brown Jug, and on the Brown Jug (a South University campus bar and restaurant) at Arborwiki.

2.  Michigan shares a border with Minnesota along Lake Superior, and there is public transportation by ferry from Houghton, Michigan to Grand Portage, Minnesota via a stop at the Isle Royale National Park.  

Minnesota to Isle Royale ferry information:

Grand Portage Isle Royale Transportation Line began as a way for the
Sivertson family of Lake Superior's north shore to transport their catch of
freshwater fish from Isle Royale to Minnesota. It gradually expanded to include
passenger service.

Michigan to Isle Royale ferry information:

Unlike other Isle Royale ferry services, the Ranger III was designed by
the National Park Service specifically to bridge the gap between the
mainland and the Island. It was built to withstand the Lake’s fierce
storms and its ice breaking capabilities assist in opening the park in
the spring. An experienced nine-member crew take great pride in not
only maintaining the vessel, but in serving its passengers. The Ranger
III’s Captain, Bill Hanrahan, a graduate of the Great Lakes Maritime
Academy, has over 30 years of experience; the crews combined experience
is just under 200 years.

3.  Ann Arbor, MI was the site of GopherCon '92, a 50 person workshop for developers and users of the Gopher information system, a pioneering Internet publishing system that was for some brief furry moment the hot new thing on MTV and bigger than that super-complicated World Wide Web hypertext thing.  Prentiss Riddle wrote up the trip report for it, and here's his writeup on my presentation at the time:

RELATED TECHNOLOGIES: Ed Vielmetti of CICnet gave a talk on "what we would be gathering to discuss if UMinn had never developed Gopher", meaning primarily World-Wide Web (WWW). WWW was developed for the high-energy physics community and serves as a model of what Gopher could do if a discipline-oriented virtual community invested in it
heavily. WWW is based on SGML (Standard General Markup Language"), an ISO standard for marking up text which WWW uses to implement hypertext. SGML is a bear and it is a significant investment of effort to properly add a document to WWW, but the result is quite powerful (for instance, WWW handles footnotes in hypertext).

The Internet periodically notices that Gopher is not dead; here are a survey of the current Gopher infrastructure from Jason Kottke, some April development from George Hotelling, and a manifesto from Bjorn Karger


3 thoughts on “The Little Brown Jug, and other Michigan – Minnesota connections

  1. JimJ also offers ferry service from Michigan UP mainland (Copper Harbor) to Isle Royale.
    Ed. note: Thanks Jim! That one didn’t show up on my first search. I love this piece of their FAQ:
    Will I get sick?
    You may. If you fear that you may suffer from motion discomfort, your physician can prescribe Transderm Scop. Other less effective remedies are available over the counter.

  2. Edward Vielmetti

    One more Little Brown Jug that I didn’t know about is a horse race:
    The Little Brown Jug® is the most prestigious 3-year-old pacing race in North America. Each year more people journey to Delaware, Ohio to witness the “Jug” than to see any other harness race. 1997 was largest crowd ever to see a harness race, over 56,000, was in attendance.
    A horse has to win two heats to be declared the winner of the “Jug”. There are typically two or three elimination heats, and then the top finishing horses come back for a second heat. If no horse has won two heats the heat winners come back for a final heat. This makes for a very interesting afternoon of racing.
    Little Brown Jug® day is almost like an Oktoberfest … people come early and tailgate. Sports Illustrated once said that the biggest cocktail party in the state of Ohio is at the Delaware County Fairgrounds on “Jug” day. Join us for the 63rd Little Brown Jug® on September 18th, 2008.

  3. paddy power 20 pound bet

    I wish there were more events that were more about the trophy than the money involved – like the Ashes over here – a little brown urn (and not a jug)… great post, takes me back to days when the sport mattered and not the cash 🙂


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