A St. Joseph man has discovered a rusty piece of Michigan history. A car graveyard that actually started out as a makeshift breakwall to keep the rushing waves of Lake Michigan at bay.

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How did it get there

Nathan Voytovick, a 26-year-old historian and lifelong resident of the West Michigan community, says that work done throughout the 1930s to protect the city's shoreline caused major erosion for residents who lived along a neighboring bluff.

"All that did was push the problem to the neighbor next door," Voytovick tells WZZM-TV in the video below. "The people began panicking."

By the time the 1960s rolled around, residents were so desperate to save their homes that they began building a makeshift groyne out of old junk.

"They began chucking debris, anything that they could find, over the bluff to stop the waves," said Nathan. "Washing machines, dryers, beds, and even cars were tossed over the edge."

He notes that about 150 cars were piled up near the bottom of the bluff before the authorities caught up to Carl Kuyat, the man who instigated the plan.

The Car Graveyard today

More than 50 years later, the remains of old cars and car parts are still stacked along the shore. City officials have decided to leave the heap of old vehicles where it is and have posted signs warning the public that exploring in the area could be dangerous.

Using a drone and some careful maneuvering, Voytovick takes the TV station on a tour through the 'Car Graveyard' in the video below.

 

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