A little help out there Michiganders and Michiganians? Found in Midland, Michigan, an 8 x 10 photograph of what I believe is one of the earliest, if not THE earliest photograph of the Scottville Clown Band. WHAT? You don't know about the Scottville Clown Band? The clown band was formed in 1903. I believe the photo shows a 48 star flag, which was first flown in 1912. Midland is just over 100 miles from Scottville, which is just about how far I would expect a 100 year old photograph to travel. On the other hand, there is a moose. I do not know if the big fellas were found this far south in the state. Somewhere in between here and there, someone dropped their ink pen on the trombone player. Do any of you modern day clowns recognize Gramps?
Following cribbed from Wikipedia:
Scottville is the home of the Scottville Clown Band which performs at over 60 parades and concerts each year all throughout Michigan.
The Scottville Clown Band's roots date back to 1903 when a group of local merchants dressed in costume and performed for local festivals. At that time, the group dressed as hillbillies. In the 1920s, the group became known as the Scottville Lady's Band and the (male) members dressed in drag. This group lasted until the outbreak of World War II, when many of the band's key members joined the service.
In 1947, Ray Schulte, owner of Scottville men's clothing store Schulte & Thompson, re-formed the band as the Scottville Clown Band. They made their debut at the 1947 Scottville Harvest Festival. They also played for the Ludington Fourth of July parade in 1948.
Word spread about the band and it soon was performing outside the Scottville-Ludington areas, including the Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival. The band has played every Coast Guard Festival parade since 1950.
Today, the Scottville Clown Band is a non-profit corporation with over 300 members. It performs over 60 times a year for parades, concerts, entertainment tents and private celebrations. Profits from performances and merchandise sales help maintain the band's extensive music collection and its coach. The band also maintains the Raymond Schulte Memorial Scholarship Program, which provides thousands of dollars a year to children going to music camps.Original photograph, circa 1912+? Collection Jim Linderman