West Michigan's mysterious Mr. Rover
Harry Wyckom was a turn of the 20th century Grand Rapids insurance salesman...and model. Wyckom posed as the character “Mr. Rover”, a traveling dandy who was pictured in scenes all around Grand Rapids and Western Michigan in front of notable buildings and scenic areas.
The cards, which were sponsored by and promoted area businesses, have become highly desirable among collectors.
But the whimsical Mr. Rover had a darker side. Harry Wyckom was suspected by some of embezzlement and other crimes. He fled Grand Rapids, reappearing in other U.S. cities, then vanishing again for long periods.
The life and times of Harry Wychom have been studied by Melissa Fox of the Grand Rapids Public Library and were featured in the article “Larger Than Life” in the May/June issue of Michigan History magazine. She shared the story of Mr. Rover with Current State's Peter Whorf.