How One Kalmazoo Minister Ensured Michigan Had the Nation’s Best Hot Dogs
It seems odd that a Unitarian minister would be responsible for Michigan having the best hot dogs in America, but that's the story of Kalmazoo's Caroline Bartlett Crane.
Crane began lobbying Michigan's lawmakers for high quality meat standards.
Michigan's Hot Dog Champion and Quality Standards
Bill Ward shared the story with the All About Michigan History Facebook group,
Best hot dogs in the USA are found in Michigan... This specifically has to do with meat laws that were instituted after heavy lobbying by Caroline Bartlett Crane, a Unitarian minister in Kalamazoo, BEFORE Upton Sinclair wrote "The Jungle" These meat laws were so strict that Hebrew National -- generally the highest quality hot dog in most places -- was unable to meet Michigan standards... In fact, in the early 1970s, the US Supreme Court threw out portions of the law because they were too restrictive... laws that had been effect since the 1890s,
That's why iconic Michigan brands like Koegel in Flint, Kowalski in Hamtramck and Vollwerth in Hancock flushed as they had to meet more strict quality standards than existed nationally.
Kalamazoo's Caroline Barrett Crane - Activist and Suffragist
Crane is a native of Wisconsin but was installed at the Unitarian Church in Kalamazoo in 1889. She advocated for public health and sanitation as well as women's rights during her career. She is buried in Kalamazoo at Mountain Home Cemetery on the city's west side.