Archive for July 2012

Ives Lake: Memories from My Childhood

July 24, 2012

The following post is taken from my book My Marquette and is preceded by a short history of Ives Lake and the Longyear family:

1970s photo of the caretaker house and red guest house at Ives Lake

1970s photo of the caretaker house and red guest house at Ives Lake

From 1971-1976, my grandfather, Lester White, was the caretaker at Ives Lake. He and my grandmother would go up to the lake in the spring and stay through the summer, only coming home occasionally on a weekend. I can vividly remember riding in the car with my mom and brother when we would drive up to Ives Lake to visit my grandparents. We would sing “Here Comes Peter Cottontail” and any other songs my mother cared to teach us along the way. We would come to the gate where the gatekeeper would let us in because he knew us as part of my grandpa’s family.

My memories of Ives Lake are fragmented since I was only five when those years ended, but I can recall my cousins playing baseball on the large lawn, having big family picnics with all the cousins, great-aunts, and great-uncles there, swimming in the lake and my cousins collecting clams, and going fishing with my dad—I caught my first fish at Ives Lake. I remember my grandparents’ dog, Tramp, swimming in the river, and I remember going in the barn with my grandpa to see the barn swallows.

1970s photo of the Stone House

1970s photo of the Stone House

I distinctly remember my fifth birthday party was held here. I remember it mainly because I got a record player, an orange box that folded and locked up like a case. With the record player came several records made by the Peter Pan record company, including a book and record of “Little Red Riding Hood.” My cousin, Kenny White, who was born on July 4th, also had his birthday party here one year.

The clearest memory I have is of walking with my grandpa and Great-Aunt Vi behind the barn to the chicken coop, and my brother and I pretending to be Peter Pan as I described in Superior Heritage. While I don’t remember it myself, my cousins, Leanne and Jaylyn White, who are several years older than me, remember Grandpa feeding Chucky the Woodchuck, whom I also depicted in my novel.

One time, Grandpa took my brother and me into the Stone House where one of the rooms had a table with numerous rocks on it that the geologists must have been studying. Grandpa told us we could each have one of the rocks. I still have mine today, a curious two shaded brown rock like none I have ever seen since. Someday I will find a geologist who will tell me what it is.

My family has hundreds of photographs of summers spent at Ives Lake including fishing parties, picnics, and Grandpa and me on the riding lawn mower. The child’s mind is highly impressionable so perhaps that is why I remember this beautiful magical place so well.

My rock from the Stone House. I still have it but have never found out what kind of rock it is.

The visits to Ives Lake ended on a sad note when my mother received a phone call that her grandmother, Barbara McCombie White, had died. I remember I was coloring in a color-by-number book when the call arrived. I didn’t understand, but I remember my mother crying and her telling me to go back to my coloring while she got ready to go. We had to drive up to Ives Lake where my grandpa was—he had no phone there—so my mom could tell him his mother had died. The two events may not have been related, but my great-grandmother’s death seemed like the end of the Ives Lake summers to me. It was also the end of an era in another way—my great-grandmother would be the only person I would know who was born in the nineteenth century, 1885, to be exact, and being at Ives Lake was equally like being in another era.

Tyler with Grandpa on the riding lawnmower at Ives Lake about 1975.

 

My Latest Book Events and Buzz for “Spirit of the North”

July 14, 2012

Spirit of the North: a paranormal romance

My new novel Spirit of the North: a paranormal romance is receiving great reviews and publicity. Readers are telling me it is their favorite of all my books, and they love that many of the characters from my first book Iron Pioneers reappear in it. Here are some of the reviews and interviews I’ve done recently:

If you don’t have a copy of Spirit of the North yet, you can get one at my website Marquette Fiction (links are provided there to e-book versions), or you can find me this summer at:

Waterpalooza, a Lake Superior Day Celebration, Mattson Lower Harbor Park on Sun. July 15th from 11-8. I’ll be joined by U.P. authors Donna Winters of the Great Lakes Romances series and Gretchen Preston, author of the children’s Valley Cats series. (Both of them have been interviewed here on my blog in the past)

Outback Art Fair at Picnic Rocks in Marquette, Michigan on Sat. July 28th from 10-6 and Sun. July 29th from 11-4.

Negaunee Senior Center, Negaunee, MI – I’ll be giving a talk about local history on Wed. August 1st at Noon.

Art on the Lake in Curtis, Michigan at the Erickson Center on Sat., September 1st
from 10-5.

And if you feel lucky, you can also try to win a copy of Spirit of North by signing up for the July Reader Views Book Giveaway.

Thank you for reading and have a great summer filled with books!

Upcoming Marquette History Events

July 9, 2012

Meet at the Superior Dome for the North Marquette walking tour on July 12th at 6:30 p.m.

The Marquette Regional History Center continues to bring our past history to life this summer. Here are a couple of their upcoming events:

Marquette History Bus Tours:

July 11 @ 1pm, July 18 @ 6:30pm, July 25 @ 1pm, August 1 @ 1pm

These bus tours offer an innovative way of bringing Marquette’s history to people in a personal way. A bus tour is an entertaining, narrated journey filled with interest, history and beauty. Meet historic re-enactors and tour the lower and upper harbors, notable landmarks, Presque Isle and the city’s most distinct neighborhoods. Several well-known local people will be reenacting the roles of key personages from Marquette’s past, including Blaine Betts as J.M. Longyear, Vivian Lasich as Olive Harlow, Chet DeFonso as Captain Ripley, and Iris Katers and Fran Darling as friends of Mrs. Kaufman. Discover why Marquette is called the Queen City of the North as you ride in comfortable, climate controlled style on a Checker Bus.

All tours depart in front of the History Center. Allow 90 minutes for the tour. Tickets are $12 and are on sale now online at www.marquettehistory.org or at the museum store. Call 226-3571 for more information.

North Marquette Walking Tour: Back to the Swamp!

Thursday, July 12, 6:30pm
Meet at the Superior Dome
Explore one of Marquette’s most interesting and historic areas with Jim Koski. Includes the history of the Furnace Location, North Marquette School, Palestra and Cliffs Dow. $5 donation. I’ve been on several of Jim’s walking tours in the past of the downtown and South Marquette, so I know this will be a treat, and I always learn something new on the tours.

History on Two Wheels: A Biking Tour of Marquette’s Lake Superior Shore

Wednesday, August 8, 6-8pm
Meet at the MRHC
Hop on your bikes and pedal up and down Marquette’s lakeshore  bike path from Shiras Park to South Beach. Start the tour at any of the 6 stops and learn about how Lake Superior shaped the city’s history. $5 donation.

Dandelion Cottage at the Boathouse

Finally, although not sponsored by MRHC but rather the Lake Superior Theatre, don’t forget that Dandelion Cottage, the beloved classic children’s novel by Marquette’s own Carroll Watson Rankin, will be performed at the Boathouse July 18-22 and July 25-29. You can find out more at http://www.lakesuperiortheatre.com/

Marquette’s history is alive and well, always surrounding and influencing us. Become a part of celebrating it!