Archive for May 2012

“Paradise North” – a Great U.P. Book!

May 25, 2012

Lon and Lynn Emerick receive the 2012 Outstanding Writer Award at the Marquette County Arts Awards, May 18, 2012.

Last week Lynn and Lon Emerick were honored as the Outstanding Writer at the Marquette County Arts Awards. They are the authors of numerous books and have been very active in promoting writing and publishing in the Upper Peninsula, including through the U.P. Publishers and Authors Association.

So I thought it a good time to repost a book review I wrote for Lon’s book Paradise North, which originally appeared in the Marquette Monthly and is reprinted here with permission.

Congratulations again, Lynn and Lon!

Paradise North: Seasons in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan
by Lon L. Emerick

In his latest book, Lon Emerick, longtime contributor to MM and author of many favorite books, including The Superior Peninsula and You Wouldn’t Like It Here, has written the Walden for Upper Michigan. Emerick aptly names this book Paradise North, but while the book explores the magic of the U.P. through its diverse and beautiful seasons as well as the best activities and places to celebrate them, it also reflects environmental and nature preservation needs.

Nature obviously is important to Emerick, and so is experiencing it in the proper way, on its own terms, the only way we can truly come to appreciate and fully enjoy it.

Quite the twenty-first century Thoreau, Emerick frequently goes to the woods to find peace and reconnect with nature. He escapes to camp after long academic weeks. He avoids noise and gadgets, and he serves as a guide to others on nature adventures. He asks us to leave behind the modern world when we enter nature, quoting Thoreau as saying, “What business have I in the woods, if I am thinking of something out of the woods?”

As for modern gadgets, leave them at home when you venture forth. Emerick admits to becoming a bit “unglued” during one experience when a woman on a hike tried to tell him, pointing at a GPS, “We are right here!” Emerick exclaimed, “We are not ‘right there’ on the GPS, we are right here.” And then he informed his group to, “Look, listen, smell….See the mist rising near Ewing Point; smell the woods coming to life; listen to that thrush sing his wondrous melody. Be here, in this real place—not on the map.”

Paradise North by Lon Emerick

Readers will find themselves present with Emerick in each season. Each section covers a season and consists of eight essays, some of which appeared previously in MM. In addition, a letter to prospective U.P. immigrants lays out the “Code of the North.” Numerous illustrations and color photographs capture the northern beauty that even Emerick’s words cannot always describe fully. Emerick also reprints Mark Mitchell’s “Discovering” song, which many readers will agree is, as Emerick dubs it, the “U.P. Anthem.”

As I read, I left my armchair to venture with Emerick into the woods, or walk down a country road, or have pie at the Berry Patch Café in Paradise (Michigan)—while trying to ignore the opinionated troll at the next table—although Emerick finds he cannot ignore such ignorance. Minus the troll, the reading experience was enough to make me feel and see the shadows of the trees across the snow, to smell the crunching autumn leaves, to marvel over the million intricate details of nature as it renews itself each spring. Emerick is a worthy travel companion through nature.

Beyond capturing our U.P. paradise, Emerick reminds us that this paradise must be respected and preserved. He advocates fair hunting, he and wife Lynn have planted “Save the U.P.” flags on each of the U.P.’s corners to remind people to preserve the land for future generations, and he defends our rights to fresh water against mining companies that would threaten it for short-term profit.

Join Lon Emerick in Paradise and learn from the white pine, relax at camp, watch the chickadees, catch falling leaves for luck and experience the comfort of being bonded to a landscape. Emerick provides some wise-yet-humorous maxims to conclude the journey, including “Keep separate what you do for a living from who you are as a person” and “Don’t wear your raincoat in the shower.” In Paradise North, the sage of the U.P.’s woods and waters has spoken.

To learn more about Lon and Lynn Emerick’s works, visit www.northcountrypublishing.com.

 

A Visit with Valley Cats Author Gretchen Preston

May 17, 2012

Today, I am pleased to interview my good friend Gretchen Preston, a fellow U.P. author, who has written the Valley Cats series.

Gretchen is a native of Portland, Oregon. She grew up in a two-parent family with three brothers and one sister. After graduating from the University of Oregon, she went on to graduate school at Arizona State University where she earned a Master’s in Social Work. She worked in Denver, Colorado as a medical social worker on an organ transplant team for many years. Gretchen met her husband Tim, a local Marquette businessman, in April of 2000, when he was visiting a mutual friend in Denver. They married in 2001 and Gretchen relocated to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. After retiring from social work, her goal was to become a published author.

Gretchen Preston, author of the Valley Cats series

Gretchen Preston, author of the Valley Cats series

Tyler: Welcome, Gretchen. Let’s get started by your telling us a little about the Valley Cats series, beginning with the two main characters. What can you tell us about Boonie and River?

Gretchen: Boonie and River are two housecat adventurers. The stories are set in our U.P. backyard. Boonie is the older and wiser cat. He is an experienced outdoorsman. After all, Boonie was named after the human, frontiersman, Daniel Boone. River is more timid. His over-protective mistress doesn’t allow him to wander. The cats meet at the Valley pet parade one summer afternoon. After joining forces, the new friends proclaim themselves the “Valley Cats.” The short stories wind their way through the U.P. seasons. The cat-pals go on many adventures including; taking a walk in the winter woods, exploring a shoreline cave and stowing away on a fishing boat. The stories are spun with humor and a gentle style making the text entertaining to kids of all ages. Boonie and River learn about friendship, experience the death of a friend, and trip over life’s hazards.

Currently, there are two completed books in the Valley Cat series. “Valley Cats: The Adventures of Boonie and River is 103 pages. It is the first book in the series. The sequel, “More Valley Cats: Fun, Games and New Friends” is 143 pages. The hardcover books have 14 fun-filled chapters. Each short story is accompanied by a Karin Neumann full color illustration. The books do not need to be read in order. The second book picks up where the first book left off. The characters and setting are re-introduced for new readers.

Tyler: Rather than writing a full-length book, you’ve written several stories in one volume. What is the benefit of that in your opinion?

Gretchen: Full-length books are intimidating to new readers. Short stories are more accessible. Chapter books are more reader-friendly. We all remember when we advanced from reading primers to chapter books. The chapters stand alone and do not need to be read in order. The colorful illustrations rouse interest in the accompanying story. Children can browse through the books and choose a story which attracts them. The Valley Cat books are written at a fifth grade reading level. Although, accomplished second graders are enjoying the books. Written and punctuated to be read aloud, my books are perfect for lap-time with your favorite child as well as bedtime reading.

Tyler: How is the second book More Valley Cats different from the first one?

More Valley Cats

More Valley Cats: Fun, Games and New Friends

Gretchen: “More Valley Cats: Fun, Games and New Friends” is forty pages longer. The inside cover is decorated with a map of the Valley enabling readers to follow along with the action. Like the first book, it has a glossary in the back pages making it easy for young readers to look up unfamiliar terms. New characters join the Valley Cat fun when Buddy Boy is adopted from the animal shelter by Big Tim to rid his boat shop of mice. River struggles with accepting a new cat-sister into his family. A batch of orphaned kittens is found in the woods when the Valley Cats are searching for a lost softball. The introduction of these new cat characters expands the Valley Cat antics. The older cats teach the kittens about life in the Valley, the kittens explore their world and relationships become more complex. The cats learn about jealousy, and how to share. Boonie, River and Buddy learn the consequences of knowingly breaking the rules when they venture into the forbidden boat shop. New settings are introduced when Boonie and River tag along on a hike over the ridge where they have never gone before. Little did they realize their adventure would take place in a leaky boat! New friends come to the Valley. Two new human characters are introduced. When a blind professor moves into the vacant house, Boonie learns about blindness. Danny the prankster comes to visit and the cats learn about jokes from the teenage boys.

Tyler: I’m a big fan especially of how you’ve introduced U.P. natural history, places, and culture into your children’s books. Will you give us some examples of what you consider educational moments in your books?

Gretchen: I purposely weave “learning moments” into the text. For example, in the story “Out All Night,” the cats stay out all night during the Perseid meteor showers. Readers learn about shooting stars, the constellations in the August U.P. night sky and how a firefly makes its light. Local plants, animals and the terrain are described in detail in every story. Native birds and their calls ring through the pages. The Valley Cats spend a lot of time observing their world. The cats mistakenly identify the sound of spring peepers for baby birds in trouble, in “Baby Bird Lullaby.” The history of pasties, a local delicacy, is described in “High Meadow Hike.”

Tyler: How did you first get started writing the Valley Cats series?

Gretchen: I made up the first few stories when my five year old friend asked me to tell her a story. Boonie is her cat and River is a neighbor’s cat. I just started spinning a tale about two cats who were adventurers. I used activities that my young friend and I had done when we played in our Valley through the passing seasons. These became the first Boonie and River adventures. I use my life in the Valley as storylines. My characters are my real neighbors and animal friends. The stories write themselves, through me.

Tyler: So the Valley is a real place? Where is it? And how do your neighbors and friends feel about being included in your books?

Gretchen: The Valley lies in the hills which rise gently above the south shore of Lake Superior. Valley Road is a half mile dirt road with only a few family homes. It empties into the deep woods where several of the Valley Cat adventures take place. The actual location is in Chocolay Township, but my setting can be anywhere in the Upper Midwest…wherever your imagination takes you!

Valley Cats: The Adventures of Boonie and River

Valley Cats: The Adventures of Boonie and River

The Valley Cat series chronicles our life as neighbors. The Valley children do not age as fast in my books as they have done in real life. The stories stop time in a sense. The children of the Valley will always be kids amongst the pages. They are all looking forward to reading “their stories” to their own children someday in the future. It chronicles their childhood, a hardbound diary of our time together. The Valley neighbors are very much a part of my story creation. When I get a storyline idea, I consult all of the human characters. I meet with them and we chat about my idea for the story of which they are a part. I always use real life storylines. I am really not that creative; I just live in a cartoon and write about it! I ask questions to fill in my story ideas. Then, get their verbal permission to create the story. I balance the stories between the characters in hopes that each real life character has his or her “Moment” to be a main character. Of course, for the minor children, I discuss it with both the child and the parents.

Before the books go to print, all the human characters are given a final draft of the story for approval, and have the opportunity to view the accompanying illustration in which they are characterized. After they have read and approved the story, I have them each sign a legal release form giving me permission to use their name and character likeness. I am totally respectful of my characters’ privacy. There are two characters who did not feel comfortable with me using their true-life likeness, so, Karin used another person’s image for that character’s illustration. In only one case a character did not feel comfortable with me using his/her real name. We compromised on using that person’s middle name for the character’s handle. My neighbors think that it is fun to be in the books. It gives them a sense of local stardom. My readership is always thrilled to meet the “real” characters and have their book signed by them. I have some really funny stories about my Valley Cat characters being recognized in public. Honestly, I have more problems of not adding new characters. Everyone wants to be in the books. I am leery to add too many new characters. I think too many characters gets confusing. It is my intent to concentrate on developing the existing characters and limit new ones.

Tyler: Tell us about the illustrations. How do you and illustrator Karin Neumann work together?

Gretchen: I send Karin my story rough drafts as I complete each story. We discuss what would be the most appropriate illustration for each short story. Sometimes we have to compromise to accommodate printing requirements. Each story has one full color illustration. Black and white illustrations are placed on pages to fill empty space. We design the horizon covers together. It takes good communication between author and illustrator to be successful. Illustrators cannot read the author’s mind, so I must be very clear when I am describing my vision for her drawings. Karin and I are partners. We have great respect for each other and have developed a warm working relationship.

Tyler: Gretchen, I know you are visually impaired. Will you tell us about your low vision and how it affects your writing process?

Gretchen: I have a juvenile onset form of macular degeneration. I had normal vision until the fifth grade. I still have some useable sight, but I do not see well enough to have a driver’s license, read street signs or access printed materials. I do my writing on my laptop computer which is equipped with a low vision software product called, “JAWS.” This stands for “job access with speech.” It talks to me while I type. With special keystroke commands I can read my documents by letter, word or line. I have found these features very helpful when pacing my story. It is easy for me to hear when a sentence needs to be edited. Hearing the words helps my flow and makes my stories easy to read aloud.

I had the opportunity recently to be interviewed for a podcast regarding my low vision and how it affects my world. For those who are interested, visit http://www.freedomscientific.com/FSCast/episodes/fscast065-april2012.asp. It is podcast #65, April 2012 with Jonathan Mosen.

Tyler: You often visit schools and give presentations to children. What do you find fulfilling about those events?

Gretchen: I have hosted Young Authors programs in Marquette County the last two years. I have been a presenter at school career days and was awarded a “Home Town Hero” award at one local school. The students are thrilled to meet a “real” writer. It’s really fun to hear their reviews of my work. They make me feel like a super star. The Valley Cats are developing a fan base. Kids are already clambering for the next book. I donate a fair amount of books to school and public libraries. It is not always about selling books. My books are timeless and my fan base is being refreshed on an ongoing basis. I want kids to identify with my characters and the situations they encounter. Some of my stories are just for fun and others have life lessons or educational components. Too much learning and not enough just plain fun will not keep a young reader’s attention. So, I mix it up! The most fulfilling part of writing children’s books is the feedback I get from the kids, their parents and teachers. I had a mom buy a book for her disabled son at a book signing. She told me that her son had checked the first Valley Cats book out of the public library three times and was always reluctant to return it. She grinned when she told me how thrilled her son would be finally to get his very own copy. It is these moments that make me forget the endless hours of editing, production headaches and my financial outlay.

Tyler: Do the children give you many ideas for your books?

Gretchen: I have a “child editor.” Each story is proofread in early rough draft form. I get feedback from a kid’s perspective. My child editor has given me great ideas and feedback. I always ask young readers what is their favorite story and why. I am pleased that so far, each story has its fans. This leads me to think that my stories have something for everyone to enjoy. People often tell me stories about their own cats. Occasionally they will ask me to write them a story about their pet. I have a collection of “Cat Tales” which will be published in the future. I get my ideas for the Valley Cats stories from actual events that have occurred in our Valley. I do stretch the truth a tad.

Tyler: Gretchen, I know you’re busy working on the third book in the series. Can you give us a little preview of what it will be about?

Gretchen: “Valley of the Cats: Earth, Wind and Sky” is filled with Earth science. Old friends return to the Valley and the whole gang goes boat camping on Grand Island. Chapter One is “Snowflakes in the Mirror.” It is a story about the concept of infinity. In another story, “Hippie Hollow” the cats happen upon a music festival in the woods. Illustrations include the Northern Lights, cumulous clouds and the Lake Superior shoreline.

Tyler: Gretchen, will you tell us about your website and where else we can find copies of the Valley Cats books?

Gretchen: My publishing company is Preston Hill Press. Books and illustration prints can be purchased directly from my website, www.prestonhillpress.com. Book sellers are listed on my “Where to Buy” page. I prefer to have my books placed at independent bookstores and gift shops. I have placed books for sale at places where kids frequent, The U.P. Children’s Museum, the Marquette Maritime Museum and ice cream stores. I have also placed my books at non-traditional book selling locations, including veterinarian offices and pet stores. I have books offered as “thank you gifts” for our local National Public Radio station fundraising events. Valley Cats books are available throughout the U.P. and northern Michigan.

Gretchen Preston speaking at the U.P. Publishers and Authors Association Conference April 2012

Gretchen Preston speaking at the U.P. Publishers and Authors Association Conference April 2012, and wearing her cat jacket.

Tyler: What if people want to meet you in person? Do you have any events you’ll be attending this summer or Christmas season?

Gretchen: Both Karin Neumann and I will be at the Outback Festival in Marquette the last weekend in July. I am currently negotiating appearance dates in June at the Moosewood Nature Center on Presque Isle. There may be opportunities for UPPAA members to sell books in Michigamme at their summer farmer’s and artists markets. No dates for their markets have been announced, but I will let everyone know the upcoming dates and times. I will be in Curtis selling books with you, Tyler, at their Art Fair on September 1st. Karin and I both plan to be in attendance at the WLUC TV6 Holiday Crafts show the first weekend in December in the Superior Dome in Marquette. Consult our “Coming Events” page on the website where appearances are posted. The list is updated as appearances are confirmed. I am always willing to talk about or sell books. I donate to silent auctions and community fundraising events. I can be contacted via email at prestonhillpress@gmail.com or by telephone at 906.360.7608.

My summer goals include producing the Valley Cat series as a CD. It will be locally audio recorded. Additionally, the books will be produced in Braille for blind children. We are also discussing converting them into an e-book.

Tyler: Thank you, Gretchen, for the interview. It’s been a real pleasure. I’ll be looking forward to reading that third book.

Book Review: More Valley Cats by Gretchen Preston

May 16, 2012

The following book review first appeared in the Marquette Monthly, December 2011 and is reprinted with permission.

Watch for my interview with U.P. children’s author Gretchen Preston coming soon!

 

More Valley Cats: Fun, Games and New Friends

Written by Gretchen Preston; Illustrated by Karin Neumann

Boonie and River are back in More Valley Cats! And this new book has all the fun and adventures readers came to expect from the first book of this series Valley Cats: The Adventures of Boonie and River (see December 2010 MM review); this second book also introduces several new friends, both human and feline, and plenty of adventures, fun and games.

Author Gretchen Preston does a marvelous job of balancing her stories and characters with real-life issues children will relate to and learn from. For example, the book begins with a new cat, Buddy, coming to the Valley. Boonie and River instantly befriend him, but then one day when River sees Boonie playing alone with Buddy, he feels jealous, has a temper tantrum and tells Boonie and Buddy to get out of his yard; fortunately, River soon learns how to have more than one friend. Other educational stories include a new human neighbor, Winslow, who is blind; the cats learn about blindness, reading Braille, and also watch Winslow save the day by rescuing a lost kitten in the woods because his enhanced hearing allows him to hear the kitten’s cries.

All the stories are set in the Valley, a special neighborhood of families and friends in Upper Michigan; as a special bonus, the book’s end pages have been turned into a map of the Valley. The cats’ adventures introduce U.P. history and new words to children, ranging from the history of the pasty to the Perseid meteor showers. Many new words like “nocturnal” and “caboodle” are included in a glossary at the end.

Of course, humans and their antics are always interesting and educational to cats. Boonie, River and their friends learn a lot from their human companions, including how to play pranks on three boys, how to stay safe while beekeeping, and the rules to the strange game of baseball.

More Valley Cats brings to life the U.P.’s seasons, and full page colored illustrations throughout make readers pause and marvel over nighttime meteor showers, rainbows that highlight autumn leaves, and scenes of boating and enjoying a very green summer.

A couple of my favorite stories tell of how Boonie and Congo kindly escort a mouse out of their house, and an adventure in a leaking boat. But my favorite story has to be “Road Closed” when the power goes out in the Valley and everyone gathers to spend the night together, stay warm, and play games.

More Valley Cats is broken into fourteen fun stories, short enough to read aloud at bedtime, or for children ages eight to eleven to read on their own. In the back of the book, Preston thanks her readers and promises, “If you all keep reading…we will keep writing and drawing!” Preston and Neumann are currently at work on the third Valley Cats book.

For more information, visit www.PrestonHillPress.com

 

Valley Cats – a Great U.P. Children’s Book

May 15, 2012

I’ve asked U.P. children’s author Gretchen Preston to be a guest on my blog. An interview with her will be upcoming in the next few days. For those not familiar with Gretchen’s work, I have gotten permission from the Marquette Monthly to reprint the following book review I wrote that first appeared in its December 2010 issue:

Valley Cats: The Adventures of Boonie and River
by Gretchen Preston
Illustrated by Karin Neumann

Gretchen Preston’s Valley Cats: The Adventures of Boonie and River is the fun and adventurous story of two cats who first meet during a pet parade and quickly become best friends. Boonie is a bit more daring than River, who is not allowed to leave his yard, but soon Boonie convinces River he can get the trust of his mistress so they can have adventures together.
Those adventures happen in the Valley where Boonie and River live, as well as the surrounding areas of their Upper Michigan home. Preston based the story upon people and cats she knows, and the Valley is inspired by her Chocolay Township home in the woods just outside Marquette. Boonie and River are characters children will love—especially cat lovers. They are reminiscent of characters in earlier children’s books about friendship such as Arnold Lobel’s Frog and Toad series although Valley Cats has more in-depth stories with full length chapters, each one telling the story of a Valley Cats adventure.

The adventures include exploring the outdoors during the winter, visiting a bear cave at Broken Indian Rock along Lake Superior, a rainy day picnic, playing “Rodeo Cats” which includes jumping on dogs who act like bucking broncos, stowing away on a fishing boat so they can pretend to be pirates, and playing in the bathroom sink on a snowy day. Although the Valley Cats occasionally get in trouble on their adventures, they also strengthen their friendship and make new friends with other animals and humans along the way.

The stories are visual, so while the reader can follow the action without any trouble, the gorgeous full-color illustrations by Karin Neumann provide an added dimension to the stories. These watercolor pencil drawings are brightly colored to attract children, but adults will be stunned by how perfectly Neumann captures not just the charm of the cats and the story, but the shadows of trees on the snow, the evening sunset and the humor and sadness—all the emotions and tone—of the story.

The book instantly lulls the reader into a special atmosphere with the opening paragraph: “Far away from the hustle and bustle of the big cities, in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, there is a magical place. It lies in the foothills, which rise gently from the southern shore of Lake Superior. There, you will find a little valley where the woods are thick with pines and sugar maples. The lakes are filled with crystal-clear water, and the air is clean.”

Besides simply being a fun read, Valley Cats is an educational experience for children. One story encompasses the death of a family pet which may help children relate to and understand death. Other stories highlight the outdoors and read almost like educational field trips. Preston includes a glossary of terms at the book’s end for young readers as well as those less familiar with Upper Michigan culture. Words included in the glossary include “fire circle,” “Ojibwa” and “zucchini.” Children from third to fifth grade will most enjoy this book, but it also works well as a read-aloud book for younger children, and adult readers will appreciate the humor and the stories’ gentle tone.

Preston, a native of Portland, Oregon, fell in love with children’s stories while her parents read to her at bedtime. Although her career aspirations led her to obtaining a master of social work degree, she credits her writing prowess to learning to write in graduate school. Trained as a medical social worker, Preston frequently wrote newsletters, professional journals and composed educational handbooks. After retiring and moving to the Upper Peninsula, she had the opportunity to begin writing children’s books. Valley Cats is the first book in a series about Boonie and River that she has planned. Because the characters were largely inspired by her Valley neighbors, Preston dedicated this book to them.

Illustrator Karin Neumann was raised in Traverse City and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Northern Michigan University. While living in Marquette, Neumann met Preston and was commissioned to illustrate Valley Cats. Inspiration for each illustration came from the interaction of the characters of Boonie and River, as well as Neumann’s observation of her own cat and the barn cats she had growing up. She took photographs of the various locations in the book, from the woods to the Lake Superior shoreline. She then used the photographs as inspiration to draw the illustrations. Full-color prints of the illustrations are available for purchase at the book’s Web site.

Preston, who has fallen in love with her new Upper Michigan home, believes in supporting the local economy so she wanted the book produced within the state. Besides hiring a Michigan resident as her illustrator, she also has had the book printed in Michigan and has hired Michigan people to help promote it. She is proud to say that Valley Cats is a “Pure Michigan” product.

As an adult without children, I still found Valley Cats to be a true pleasure to read. It not only made me laugh and smile, but I marveled over the stunning illustrations, and many fond childhood memories came back to me of my own favorite illustrated children’s books such as Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are and James Marshall’s George and Martha books—the books that first made me fall in love with reading. I have no doubt that Valley Cats will have a similar magical effect upon many children.

For more information about Preston, Neumann and Valley Cats: The Adventures of Boonie and River or to purchase a copy of the book, visit www.prestonhillpress.com

D. Frederick Charlton – Early Marquette Architect

May 9, 2012

D. Fred Charlton, the architect who designed so many fine buildings in Marquette, resided at 438 E. Ohio St. in Marquette. Like Hampson Gregory, Charlton was born in England, in 1856. He migrated to Canada in 1884 and Detroit in 1886 where he joined the firm of architect John Scott. In 1887, Scott sent Charlton to Marquette to oversee the erection of the Marquette Branch Prison’s buildings. Charlton decided to stay and eventually began his own firm. Among the highlights of his career was in 1893 when he was chosen to design the Mining Building for the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago. The list of buildings he and his firm built across Upper Michigan is exhausting and a complete list may well be impossible, but among them were:

The Charlton Home – 438 E. Ohio St. Marquette

The Peter White Phelps Home 433 E. Ridge

Dr. O.D. Jones Home 418 E. Hewitt

The Vierling Home 114 W. Hewitt

Bishop Vertin’s home on Superior Street (Baraga Avenue)

The Longyear Mansion

The Waterworks building

The Marquette Opera House

The Guild Hall for St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

The Delft Theatre (three total, in Marquette, Escanaba, and Munising)

Marquette’s Delft Theatre, built by Charleton in 1915.

The Clubhouse at the Huron Mountain Club

The Butler Theatre in Ishpeming

The town hall and library in Republic, Michigan

The Masonic Block in Crystal Falls, Michigan

Four buildings and the original design for the Northern State Normal School (today’s Northern Michigan University)

Seven buildings for the Michigan College of Mines (today’s Michigan Technological University)

The Insane Asylum in Newberry, Michigan

Three buildings and two additions for the Marquette Prison

The Marquette, Alger, Ontonagon, and Gogebic County Courthouses

The Escanaba, Ishpeming, and Hancock City Halls

The Negaunee, Escanaba, and Ishpeming Fire Halls

A hotel in the village of Birch, Michigan

Three Carnegie libraries

Sixteen Upper Michigan banks

Nine Upper Michigan churches

Marquette’s Waterworks Building designed by Charlton – today it houses the Marquette Maritime Museum.

Three Upper Michigan YMCA’s

Approximately two hundred fifty different city blocks throughout Upper Michigan

Approximately twenty other public structures

Charlton closed his firm in 1918, citing the lack of building as a result of World War I as the reason. He then retired and passed away in 1941.

A photo of Charlton can be seen in my book My Marquette.

Hampson Gregory – “The Man who Made Marquette Beautiful”

May 2, 2012

The following post is taken from my book My Marquette:

The Hampson Gregory Home

The Hampson Gregory Home

This home (at 301 N. Fourth St. in Marquette) belonged to Hampson Gregory, a local architect and builder whom The Mining Journal said was the man more than any other who was responsible for building Marquette. Gregory was born in Devonshire, England in 1834. He and his family migrated to Canada and then arrived in Marquette in 1867. He frequently worked with sandstone, and many of his buildings reflect the style of English architecture common in his native Devonshire and neighboring Cornwall, England.

Among the buildings Gregory built were:

The Adams Home 200 E. Ridge

The Rankin Home 219 E. Ridge

The Merritt Home at 410 E. Ridge

The Call Home 450 E. Ridge

The Pickands Home 455 E. Ridge

The Hornbogen Home 212 E. Arch

The Read Home 425 E. Arch

The Powell Home 224 E. Michigan

The Ely Home at 135 W. Bluff

St. Mary’s Hospital (the original building, no longer there)

St. Peter’s Cathedral, prior to the 1935 fire

The first high school on Ridge Street, burnt in 1889

The Harlow Block on Washington Street

The Gregory Block on Washington Street (no longer there)

The Pickands Home - one of Hampson Gregory's masterpieces

The Pickands Home – one of Hampson Gregory’s masterpieces

Iron Bay Foundry on the corner of Lake and Washington, later to be the LS&I office

The First Methodist Church – (the foundation only)

The People’s State Bank in Munising, Michigan

One of his finest homes, the Merritt home, introduced Gregory to the Merritt family, and later his daughter, Clara would marry C.H. Merritt. The First Methodist Church has a memorial stained glass window to the Gregory family’s memory. Hampson Gregory died in 1922 and is buried in Park Cemetery. Today, nearly a century after his death, Gregory’s true memorial is the many homes and public buildings he built and which still stand today. The Mining Journal was correct—he remains one of the men most responsible for building Marquette.

Find out more about Hampson Gregory’s legacy in Marquette in My Marquette.