Scottville Optimists to raffle tour of Mackinac Bridge during hunting and fishing banquet.

September 10, 2015

Photo by Russ Miller

Photographer Russ Miller had the opportunity to view bridge during its construction. 

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

SCOTTVILLE — Two people will have the rare opportunity to tour the top of the Mackinac Bridge, thanks for the Scottville Optimist Club and the Mackinac Bridge Authority. The bridge tour will be auctioned off during the Scottville Optimist Club’s Hunting and Fishing Banquet, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015.

russ miller mackinac bridgeHamlin Township-based professional photographer Russ Miller had the rare opportunity to tour the bridge when it was being built in 1956. At that time, he was still in high school and working part-time for the newspaper.

“My good friend Jens Bach and I decided to take a long weekend trip to the Upper Peninsula,” he said. “Along the way we stopped to see the construction of the bridge. I had my 4×5 press camera and to my surprise one of the engineers agreed to take us out on the bridge. We had to walk up a temporary walkway as the roadway was not in yet. We were too young to be scared and I was able to capture views that we will remember forever.”

Today, the bridge authority grants 14 passes to the top of the bridge per year. Two of those passes have been acquired by the Optimist club.

Entrance into the banquet is $25 for adults and $15 for those age 17 and under. It begins at 6 p.m. and will feature a full dinner, beverages and entry into a door prize drawing.

The night will be filled with outdoor offerings – 8 big board items, hunting blind and many bucket raffle items will be available. Also occurring at the event will be the drawing for the club’s rifle raffle.

Those tickets are available for $5 each or 5 for $20.

Tickets are available at these Scottville businesses: Bottle & Can, Cox’s Sales & Service, Smith & Eddy Insurance, Squires Chiropractic and West Shore Bank or call Mark Watts, 231-462-3623. Tickets are also available through the Mason County Press. You may call 231-757-3202 or send us an email at


Pictured here are Club members: Left to right – Mark Watts, Karrey Rager and Joe Knowles holding the  Mackinac Bridge Pass.