Archive for November 2010

Marquette’s Historic Peter White Public Library

November 29, 2010

Peter White Public Library - A National Treasure

On November 15th, Peter White Public Library announced what everyone in Marquette and the surrounding townships already knew – the library is the jewel in the Queen City’s crown – and as good or better than any library in the United States. The library was picked out of 123,000 libraries in the country as one of only five to receive the National Medal for Library and Media Services. You can read more about this wonderful honor that has made all very proud at the library’s website http://www.uproc.lib.mi.us/pwpl/NationalMedal.html

Following is the section from My Marquette about the history of the Peter White Public Library. Additional historic photographs of the library are included in the print version of the book:

            Helen and I started up the library’s high front steps.

            “Isn’t it beautiful?” asked Helen, stopping after a couple seconds to admire the building. “It looks just like a Greek Temple.”

            “Yeah,” I said, “or a Southern plantation house made of stone.”

            “We have bigger libraries than this downstate,” said Helen, “but I haven’t seen one so graceful.”

— The Only Thing That Lasts

 

Although the current impressive and beloved library building was built in 1903 and opened its doors the following year, Marquette’s first library began not long after the town’s founding.

In Iron Pioneers, several of the female characters early on form the Ladies’ Literary Society, an early book club as well as a sign of social distinction in some of its members’ eyes. Although this group was fictional, reading clubs, especially among women, were common in the nineteenth century, and such groups often were the proponents of building libraries. Marquette did have a literary society as early as 1856, and a lending library existed soon after on Baraga Avenue. This lending library was destroyed by the 1868 fire. In the 1870s the library, which belonged to the Marquette school system, was downtown in the Coles Block. At the time, Peter White also had his own personal library collection that he loaned out, so when he built the new First National Bank on Front and Spring Streets, he allowed the library to relocate there in 1878 and merge its collection with his own. Later, in need of more space, the library moved to a room in the City Hall. By 1891, the library’s collection had grown to the point of needing a new home, which it found on the Thurber Block, where Book World is currently located. Because Peter White donated this building, the library was named in his honor.

This new building was also soon found to be too small. Peter White then tried to convince Andrew Carnegie to fund a new library in Marquette—Carnegie would do so for nearby Ishpeming—but Carnegie replied that Marquette was Peter White’s city, so Peter White once again took up the challenge to play benefactor to Marquette and fundraising efforts began. John M. Longyear donated the land for the new building and Peter White and Samuel Kaufman donated most of the money.

In 1904, the new library was officially dedicated and opened on the same day as the new courthouse. The impressive limestone structure, with its large pillars and situated on top of Front Street’s hill, resembled a Greek Temple of Knowledge. Complete with a downstairs smoking room for men, the new library had three floors and seemed plenty spacious for the book collection.

But within fifty years, the collection again outgrew its space. Increased use by patrons and 70,000 volumes led to building an annex on the back of the library in 1957, which included the Children’s Room and storage for most of the adult fiction and the phonograph record collection as well as a large downstairs room for films, puppet shows, and book sales. This version of the library is the one I would know throughout my childhood.

But the people of Marquette soon wanted still more from the library. Far beyond just being a place to check out books, Peter White Public Library was becoming the cultural center of Marquette and a new library was needed to reflect this change. Residents’ affection for the original building was too great to destroy it, so instead, in the late 1990s, the annex was removed and a new addition created which would gracefully blend in with the architecture of the original building. The remodeling would result in the library building being closed for two years and its collection being housed in dormitories at Northern Michigan University where patrons could still access it.

Then in 2001, the new library was opened. The public could not have been happier. The original building was completely retained, and it includes two large reading rooms upstairs, two more reading rooms downstairs, and an art gallery. The new addition, besides containing a collection well surpassing 100,000 volumes, also houses an enormous children’s room, a café, a community room, a gift shop, and the Marquette Arts and Culture Center’s exhibits and space for its art and other cultural classes. In addition, the library’s film and music collection had ample room, and the Rachel Spear bell collection was given prominent display.

The Peter White Public Library is hands down my favorite place in Marquette. I began visiting it first with my preschool class—we would go on “field trips” there just across the street from the First Presbyterian Church to see movies and puppet shows.

After preschool, my library visits were rare because until about 1980, the library’s bookmobile would bring books to the outlying townships. The bookmobile arrived in my neighborhood of Stonegate at the Crossroads about 3:30pm every other week just as the school bus brought us home. We would quickly leave the bus and rush to the bookmobile where Ruth Lee, the driver-librarian, would patiently let us kids dig through the books while she chatted with our parents. I brought home many, many books from the bookmobile including Where the Wild Things Are and numerous of the Bible story rhyming Arch books. But my absolute favorite, which I checked out countless times, was George and Martha, about two hippopotamuses whose friendship usually results in Martha teaching George a lesson, such as just to tell her he doesn’t like split pea soup rather than hiding it in his loafers, or not to be a Peeping Tom by whacking him over the head with the bathtub. As an adult, I still find George and Martha hilarious as well as a wonderful way to teach children basic manners.

About the time I was in fourth grade, funding for the bookmobile was cut so my mom started taking my brother and me to the library. We were only allowed in the children’s room where we would get to visit with our cousin, Merrie Johnson, who worked there. Always a favorite with the kids, Merrie retired in 2005 after more than thirty years at the library; a huge retirement party was held for her in the community room.

As a child, my favorite books to check out included Andrew Lang’s colored fairy tale books and copies of the Wizard of Oz series. As I got older, I discovered the Rainbow Classics, published mostly in the 1940s and edited by May Lamberton Becker—I think I loved them mainly because they were old and they had wonderful colored illustrations, but they also infused a love of literature in me as I graduated from Andersen’s Fairy Tales to Little Men to Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. After reading one Rainbow Classic, I would scan the list on its back cover to pick out another until I had read them all, and then I sought out more classics. By the time I was fourteen and allowed into the library’s adult section, I was ready to gobble up Agatha Christie mysteries, and more classics—Charles Dickens, the Bronte sisters, Mark Twain, and Jane Austen.

Of course, it would have been impossible not to mention the library in my novels. In Iron Pioneers, Edna Whitman is an early librarian and mourns the library’s loss in the 1868 fire. In The Only Thing That Lasts, Robert O’Neill is enthusiastic about his first visit to the library and impressed by its classic architecture. In The Queen City, Kathy McCarey is at the library when she hears Peter White has died.

As for me, today at least once a week I can be found at the library, checking out a book, CD, or video, attending a film—the annual Bollywood film night is a highlight of the winter season—or just admiring the latest art exhibit. As an author, I’m pleased that my books are in the library’s collection, and I’ve gotten to know many of the librarians over the years as I’ve participated in different library events and helped to plan the Upper Peninsula Publisher and Authors Association’s conferences that have been held there. The library staff is wonderful, enthusiastic, and ever ready to support the arts and the community.

The building and people have made Peter White Public Library the true cultural center of Marquette. Every library patron knows how lucky Marquette is to have such a wonderful library that far outshines those in most metropolitan communities, and visitors to our city never cease to rave about it.

A large bust of Peter White sits across from the circulation desk. At Christmas, he dons a festive holiday hat or Santa’s cap. Knowing Peter White’s sense of humor, I’m sure he enjoys all the festivities and the people who pass him each day. His generosity in funding the library has truly been the gift that keeps on giving to the community.

– from My Marquette, available at www.MarquetteFiction.com

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Marquette’s Post Office – Up for Sale?

November 23, 2010

On November 12th the Mining Journal reported that Marquette’s Post Office may be up for sale. You can read that story at Marquette Post Office for Sale.

Marquette's Post Office

Just a few days later, the story about My Marquette ran on the front page of the Mining Journal and mentioned that my grandfather had helped to build the Marquette Post Office. The story included a photo of the post office being built that I provided. Those of you who read the story online didn’t get to see the photo so I am attaching it here along with the section from My Marquette about the post office. More pictures, including one of the first Post Office, the federal building, are in the paper copy of the book.

While times are changing, I trust the Post Office building will remain used for many years to come, and I always consider it a treat to go in there and think about my grandpa.

From My Marquette:

He crossed Washington Street, gazing up at the tall Post Office and Federal Building. He remembered seeing a photograph of his grandfather peering out of one of those upper windows. John’s novel had started out from an idea based on his grandfather’s life; he missed his grandpa so much he had wanted to immortalize his memory, but the story had gotten away from him, creating a character only loosely based on Henry Whitman; nevertheless, John knew it was the best piece he had ever written. He thought it might bring luck that he was mailing his novel at the post office his grandfather had helped to build.

            Inside, three people waited in line before him. John stared at the painting of Father Marquette standing up in a canoe while Indians paddled it; everyone in Upper Michigan knows you cannot stand in a canoe, and the Indians looked crabby, as if irritated that Father Marquette was not helping to paddle. But since John had set the novel in the city named for this Jesuit priest, he thought seeing the picture might bring him good luck. — Superior Heritage

            Marquette has had a post office since its very founding. Initially, Amos Harlow ran a post office out of his own home, and there was also a Carp River post office. Since the bulk of the mail was addressed to the Carp River post office, it eventually became predominant.

            Delivery of mail to Marquette was not easy in the first years, and especially once winter set in, residents could go for months without receiving letters. The mail route over land was from Green Bay, Wisconsin, about a 180-mile journey. In 1850, the city fathers decided something had to be done to get the mail delivered more regularly, so they sent Peter White to Green Bay to collect the mail, hauling it by sleigh back to Marquette.

            The situation did not improve, however, until in 1854, Peter White took matters into his own hands, as related in Iron Pioneers:

In January 1854, Marquette had received no mail for three months, so Peter had been elected to go to Green Bay to fetch it. With Indian companions and dog sleds, he set out on the one hundred eighty mile journey. Halfway, he met sleighs coming north with the village’s mail. Eight tons of Marquette’s mail had accumulated in Green Bay, and it took three months for the postmaster to find someone willing to carry it north. Peter sent his companions and the mail back to Marquette, but intent to resolve the situation, he continued on to Green Bay.

            Upon his arrival, he discovered Marquette’s mail was accumulating at the rate of six bushels a day. Frustrated, Peter traveled another fifty miles to Fond du Lac so he could telegraph Senator Cass about the situation. Determined to receive a response, he bombarded the senator with telegrams until a special agent came to Green Bay to investigate. The postmaster in Green Bay, as upset about the situation as Peter, agreed to act as accomplice. Together the two men filled all the post office’s empty sacks, claiming, when the agent arrived, that every bag contained mail for Marquette. Thirty bags of actual mail now appeared to be four times as much. The agent, overwhelmed by the sight, quickly authorized weekly mail delivery to Marquette from Green Bay. Marquette had not lacked for its mail since, and Peter had been hailed as a town hero.

             As Marquette grew, the mail soon surpassed even the fake amount Peter White had created to remedy the delivery issues. The need for a larger post office resulted in the 1886 construction of the Federal Building on the corner of Washington and Third Street where today the current post office stands. Construction of the building cost $100,000 but was several times delayed, among other reasons, because a stonemason who was fired from his job for being drunk decided to shoot the general contractor and then commit suicide (perhaps the earliest example of someone going “postal”). Despite the setbacks, when the Federal Building, the first U.S. Government building in Upper Michigan, was completed it was highly impressive and worthy of the beautiful city hall soon to stand beside it. The Federal Building’s high tower and its arched doorways and windows make one regret it was ever replaced.

Building the Post Office - my grandpa is in an upstairs window on the far right

           In the 1930s, the U.S. Government decided a new United States Post Office and Court House was needed, and the old Federal Building was soon no more. The new building would be built of Bedford limestone and completed in 1937. Its style is typical of 1930s Art Deco. My grandfather, Lester White, was among those employed in its construction, so I feel a fondness for it whenever I go inside. I have mailed many of my manuscripts to various publishers inside this building, hopeful, since my grandpa helped to construct it, that the post office would bring me some luck.

            Inside the main lobby is a mural that was commissioned by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) soon after the building was opened. Artist Dewey Albinson depicted Father Marquette with two French voyageurs and two Indians in a canoe. Most likely to lend significance to the Jesuit priest, Albinson depicted Father Marquette as standing up. When I was a student at Northern Michigan University, my American literature professor, David Mitchell, told the students to go down to the post office and write a description of what they thought this painting represented about America. After reading the papers, Professor Mitchell remarked that he could tell he was in Upper Michigan because every student had commented on how Father Marquette would have known that to stand up in a canoe would tip it over.

Post Office Mural

            Mail delivery in Marquette has vastly improved since Peter White’s days, but it remains difficult. The postal workers of Upper Michigan embody the saying “neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow” will stop the U.S. mail. In the worst of blizzards, I have come home to find my mailman has climbed over snowbanks to put my letters in my mailbox. The cost of stamps is small for such dedication.

 Read more Marquette history at www.MarquetteFiction.com

My Marquette

My Short Story “Flannel Shirt” is Nominated for the Pushcart Prize

November 19, 2010

My short story “Flannel Shirt,” which was published in the journal Recovering the Self (Vol II, no. 3) this summer has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize (www.pushcartprize.com). You can read an excerpt from the story in one of my earlier blog posts https://tylerrtichelaar.wordpress.com/2010/07/11/flannel-shirt-published-in-recovering-the-self/.

Loving Healing Press Announces Pushcart Nominees

Michigan, November 18, 2010 – Loving Healing Press is glad to announce the names of six writings that have been nominated by the press for the next Pushcart Prize. The list of the writings along with their writers and publications follows as: 

 1. “Tattooed Daisy” by Christine Bruness – Recovering the Self (Volume II, No 1)

2. “Doorway to My Heritage” by Margaret Placentra Johnston – Recovering the Self (Volume II, No 2) 

3. “Flannel Shirt” by Tyler R. Tichelaar – Recovering the Self (Volume II, No. 3)

4. “Whistle” by Telaina Eriksen – Recovering the Self (Volume II, No. 4)

5. “Being the Lost Woman” by Barbara Sinor – Tales of Addiction and Inspiration for Recovery

6. Kaleidoscope: An Asian Journey of Colors by Sweta Srivastava Virkram (for Best Poetry Chapbook)   

“We’re very proud to put forward these nominees to one of the oldest and most prestigious awards for small presses,” says Victor Volkman, Senior Editor at the Loving Healing Press.

Congrats to the nominees and thanks to everyone who made our work at Loving Healing Press so fulfilling and rewarding.

For queries and subscription information, write to info@lovinghealing.com

Loving Healing Press
5145 Pontiac Trail
Ann Arbor, MI 48105-9627
USA

Web: http://www.LovingHealing.com

“My Marquette” makes front page of Sunday’s “The Mining Journal”

November 15, 2010

I was recently interviewed by the Mining Journal. The story ran on Sunday, November 14, 2010. Here it is:

Then and now

New book examines Marquette’s history

November 14, 2010 – By CHRISTOPHER DIEM Journal Staff Writer
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MARQUETTE – How many people can walk through Marquette and see their ancestors in the architecture?

Tyler Tichelaar, a seventh-generation Marquette native, is one of those people. His grandfather helped build the U.S. Federal Building and his grandparents were engaged at the Marquette Opera House located where the Masonic Center is now.

Tichelaar can trace his ancestry back to Basil Bishop, who arrived in Marquette in 1850. That connection to Marquette inspired Tichelaar to write a series of historical novels about Marquette featuring both real and fictional people and events.

In his new book, “My Marquette,” Tichelaar sticks with the real stories of the people and places in the city.

“The book stores told me what they really needed was a history of Marquette. Nobody had written one for many years. I wasn’t really sure I wanted to do that at first but then I had several book clubs that read my books who wanted me to then give walking tours of Marquette,” he said.

The book is set up sort of like a walking tour. Marquette is broken up into geographic locations such as south Marquette, downtown, north Marquette and the Third Street area, among others. There are also sections on the city’s historical homes, Lakeshore Boulevard and Presque Isle and locations on the way to Big Bay.

Tichelaar did a lot of research while writing his novels so had most of the information for his new book already on hand. He gleaned facts from old Mining Journal clippings, the J.M. Longyear Research Library, the Peter White Public Library, various museums and old census records.

“A lot of it is family stories, information that older relatives gave me, especially my grandpa and my great-aunts and uncles. And a lot of it is more personal memories,” Tichelaar said. “For instance, I talk about the Bavarian Inn that used to be over by K-Mart. My grandparents were friends with the owner of the Bavarian Inn. So a lot of that is based on memories and family photographs.”

He said the section about the historical homes grew larger than he had anticipated and he didn’t even include all the homes he could have.

“I just wanted to know who the people were that lived in all of these houses. … I found lots of stories about people who I had never heard of,” he said. “We always hear about Peter White or the Longyears, but there were a lot of other families that lived in that historical district or other places in Marquette that were significant but have been forgotten over the years.”

Tichelaar is still finding interesting personal connections to the past. His ancestor Basil Bishop came to Marquette intending to build a forge but instead worked with Amos Harlow at Harlow’s forge. Last year, there was an estate sale at the Harlow House. Tichelaar went “mainly because I wanted to see what the house looked like.”

But what he found shocked him.

“I picked up a book and my fourth-great aunt’s name was in the book. It had been her hymnal from the 1840s and they had known the Harlow family, so somehow it got into the Harlow family’s hands,” he said.

Tichelaar’s book is available at area book stores, including Snowbound Books, Book World, Northern Michigan University Book Store as well as Peter White Public Library and Superior View. For more information and a list of places around the Upper Peninsula where the book is sold, go to www.marquettefiction.com.

Christopher Diem can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242. His e-mail address is cdiem@miningjournal.net

Remembering Marquette’s Veterans

November 10, 2010

In honor of Veteran’s day, I’m posting the section from My Marquette on Marquette’s Veterans Memorial. In addition, two great books about Veterans by U.P. authors are Milly Balzarini’s The Lost Road Home and Loraine Koski’s Elwood’s War, both available at local bookstores.

Marquette's Peace globe and Veterans Walk

From My Marquette         

The number of Marquette’s sons who went to the war are too numerous to mention in full. Each one gave Marquette reason to be proud of its steadfast residents. David McClintock became a submarine commander at the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Otto Hultgren would be wounded three times, yet live to be Marquette’s most decorated hero. Many families made multiple sacrifices: William White would serve with the air force in England, while his brother Roland served in France and Germany, and his brother Frank was stationed in the Pacific. The U.S. Naval Air Base in Illinois was flooded with soldiers from Northern State Teachers College who became known as the “U.P. Wildcats,” after the college’s team name; several accomplished pilots would spring from this group. Michigan’s long winters forged the talents of many in the 10th Mountain Infantry Division, a skiing combat unit sent to the Italian Alps where it would achieve victories at Riva Ridge and Mount Belvedere. So many heroic exploits, too many to tell, but each a reason for gratitude. — The Queen City

            Harlow Park, named for city founder Amos Harlow, is at the edge of what can be considered the downtown area. It has long been a popular playground for children, and for several years, in the 1980s and 1990s, it was the site of the city Christmas tree. In the early twenty-first century, a Veterans memorial was also placed in the park, including a giant lit up peace globe. Since the Veterans memorial only includes the names of people whose family members donated to it, many veterans’ names are missing, but included is a brick for my great-great-uncle Byron McCombie who served in World War I.

Veterans Remembered

            Members of my family have fought in almost every war in United States history, and most of them lived in Marquette. My five-greats-grandfather, Elijah Bishop—father of Marquette pioneer Basil Bishop, fought in the American Revolution as did his father, brothers, and father-in-law. Basil Bishop fought in the War of 1812—he is believed to be the only War of 1812 veteran buried in Marquette. My great-great-great-grandfather, Edmond Remington, his son-in-law, Jerome White, and Jerome’s cousin, Francis Marion Bishop, all served in the Civil War. Just shortly after the Spanish American War, my great-great-uncle, Clement White, served in the Philippines. Besides Byron McCombie, another relative Robert S. Zryd was enlisted in World War I, as were my Grandma White’s brothers William and Daniel Molby. My grandfather’s brothers—Roland, William, and Frank White all fought in World War II. Numerous cousins fought in the later twentieth century wars—Korea, Vietnam, and the Persian Gulf, as well as in Iraq in the twenty-first century.

Tyler's Civil War Ancestors - Sergeant Edmond Remington (top), his daughter Adda (left) and her husband Corporal Jerome White (left)

            Many veterans, my family members included, rest just above Harlow Park in Park Cemetery. Harlow Park is an appropriate place for a memorial to the veterans since it is in the center of Marquette where everyone who drives by can remember the sacrifice these brave souls made that Marquette might be free.

Marquette’s Hotel Superior

November 4, 2010

The following is an excerpt from My Marquette. The actual book includes a photo of the hotel. And if you haven’t done so already, check out the My Marquette video at YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EItghh5yKzU

My Marquette

HOTEL SUPERIOR

            “There’s the Hotel Superior!” shouted Clarence.

            “That’s a hotel?” asked Gerald as Will turned the wagon up its driveway.

            “Yes,” said Will. “It was built to be a fashionable health resort. Marquette is considered to have the healthiest climate in the world because of its fresh air and clean water, so people come from all over the country to spend summers here.”

            “I can see why,” said Gerald, straining his head to see the top of the Hotel Superior. “It looks like you could fit the entire population of Marquette into this hotel—probably all the livestock from the surrounding farms as well.”

            “Only the richest people can stay or eat here,” said Clarence.

            “Well,” said Gerald, raising his eyebrows, “I hope they’ll let us in then.”

— Iron Pioneers

            Today, all that remains of the Hotel Superior are a few foundation pieces at the terminal points of Blemhuber and Jackson Streets. There is little point in going to the site and trying to locate these—they are not easy to find. Better to look at a photograph of the grandest hotel Marquette has ever known.

            The Hotel Superior was built with the belief that Marquette could be celebrated as a health spa environment full of fresh air, clean water, and refreshing lake breezes that would invigorate people. It was the northern answer to the doctor’s urging a sick person to spend the summer at the seashore. A visit to Marquette was touted as able to relieve hay fever sufferers, and also as the perfect place to summer if you were wealthy and traveling on the Great Lakes. The intention was for the Hotel Superior to outrival all other hotels on the lakes, including the recently built Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.

            The Hotel Superior’s enormous tower rose up two hundred feet, while its pointed arches resembled a Bavarian castle. Inside, visitors were treated to the latest innovations in plumbing and electric lighting. Even Turkish baths were available. The spacious porch was sixteen feet wide, and the porch and rooms provided a view of scenic Lake Superior as well as South Marquette. Lush gardens filled the grounds. Nothing like the Hotel Superior had ever been seen, or ever again would be seen, in Marquette.

            But right from its opening in 1891, the Hotel Superior would have its troubles. When I wrote the original draft of Iron Pioneers, I set in 1894 the scene where Gerald Henning takes his grandsons to lunch at the Hotel Superior and they are pleasantly surprised to be joined by Peter White. Later, in double checking my facts, I discovered that as early as the summer of 1894, the hotel had closed because of financial troubles. Fortunately, it reopened in 1895, so I moved the scene to that year.

            Considering how few years the Hotel Superior actually operated, I set as many scenes as possible there—two. The second scene is in 1897, when a ball was held in the hotel following the unveiling of the Father Marquette Statue—at this grand ball, thirteen year old Margaret Dalrymple is annoyed that handsome seventeen year old Will Whitman is dancing with a “hussy” (Lorna Sheldon, who would eventually be the mother of Eliza Graham in The Only Thing That Lasts). By the time of The Queen City’s opening in 1902, the Hotel Superior was already closed. Neither the hay fever sufferers, nor the rich and famous came frequently enough to keep the magnificent summer resort in business.

            From 1902 onward, the Hotel Superior stood vacant. As long as it remained standing, Marquette residents dreamt of it someday reopening, of its two hundred rooms filled, of people once more strolling along its five hundred foot veranda. But as the years passed, twenty-seven acres of gardens became grown over and the orchestra music could no longer be heard.

            The Hotel Superior became the stuff of mystery in its last years. Boys would reputedly break in to roller skate in the hallways and have pillow fights which resulted in feathers flying out of the high windows and covering south Marquette. Then after it was torn down in 1929, a task Will and Henry Whitman assist with in The Queen City, it became the stuff of legend. Local English professor and author, James Cloyd Bowman, whose book Pecos Bill: The Greatest Cowboy of All Time was a Newberry Honor book in 1938, used the Hotel Superior as the subject of his 1940 children’s novel, Mystery Mountain.

            The glory of the Hotel Superior lingered long in the memories of Marquette’s residents. My great-aunts and uncles who remembered it from their youth frequently mentioned it to me, although it would have already been long closed by the time they were all born.

Anyone who sees a picture of the Hotel Superior today marvels that it ever stood in Marquette. We can only now imagine what it was like to stroll its veranda or to sit in its dining room and have lunch with Peter White.