Archive for the ‘Upper Michigan Sites to Visit’ category

Visiting Sault Sainte Marie

July 4, 2017

Few cities are more closely connected to Marquette’s history than Sault Sainte Marie. Just as Negaunee and Ishpeming play a key role in Marquette’s history because they are the source of the iron ore shipped out of Marquette’s harbor, so the Sault is where the ore has to pass through the locks to reach its destination in the major cities on the lower Great Lakes. As a result, in 1855, the Sault locks began construction under the guidance of Charles Harvey, who would also found Marquette’s neighboring city, Harvey, Michigan.

Sault Sainte Marie’s history is long and fascinating. Marquette is not even half as old since it was founded in 1849, while the Sault dates to 1688 when Father Jacques Marquette established a mission there, making it the first permanent European settlement in Michigan. The Sault remained a significant gathering place for the Chippewa (Ojibwa) whom Father Marquette came to convert to Christianity throughout the eighteenth century, but its real history begins in the nineteenth.

I recently visited Sault Sainte Marie for a book fair at Island Books and Crafts where I got to spend time with ten of my fellow Michigan authors. I also used this trip as an opportunity to see the sites and do some research for an upcoming book I plan to write.

China from Ireland owned by the Johnstons.

One of the places I visited were the historic homes on the waterfront. The first of these homes belonged to John Johnston, an Irishman who settled in the Sault in 1796 as a fur trader. Johnston married Oshahguscodaywayquay, the daughter of a local Chippewa chief. She took the English name Susan and went to live in Johnston’s home but all her life she retained her Native clothing and she would only speak her native tongue, although she understood French and English. She and Johnston would raise a family of four sons and four daughters.

Johnston, being British, sided with the British in the War of 1812, leading a group of men from the Sault to Mackinac Island to aid the British. In retaliation, the Americans went to the Sault and burned down his home as well as the Northwest Fur Company offices. After the war, Johnston tried to receive compensation, but since the Sault became American territory and he had fought against them, he never received compensation. Not surprisingly, he also never applied for American citizenship.

Dining room of the Johnston home.

The Chippewa were not pleased by the Americans moving into the Sault and were planning to attack General Cass who was sent to Fort Brady to claim it for the Americans. He took down the last British flag to fly on American soil there. Fortunately, Susan Johnston was wiser than the Chippewa men and she persuaded them not to attack the Americans, thus saving many lives on both sides. Cass, who would later become Governor of Michigan, always afterwards said he owed her his life.

Spinning wheel in the Johnston home.

The Johnston’s daughter, Jane, was highly educated and made trips to Europe with her father. When Henry Schoolcraft came to the Sault as the Indian agent, he became familiar with the Johnston family and eventually married Jane. Schoolcraft had a job to do in treating with the Chippewa, but Susan Johnston took him under her wing, making him sympathetic and interested in the Chippewa and their culture. Schoolcraft would eventually write down many of the stories he heard from his wife Jane about the legends of Hiawatha, a book that would influence Longfellow’s famous poem of the same name.

Henry Schoolcraft’s Office

Of course, Bishop Baraga also resided in the Sault and would have known the Johnstons and Schoolcrafts. Baraga had come to Upper Michigan as a missionary to the Native Americans from his native Slovenia. He became known as the snowshoe priest because he would travel across the Upper Peninsula and even into Wisconsin and Minnesota by snowshoe to preach the gospel. After many years of missionary work, he was appointed the first Bishop of the Marquette diocese. The diocese’s see was Sault Sainte Marie, and there a house was built for Baraga which he called his palace since he had long slept in rude little huts or lived with fellow priests, but now he had his own house. He resided there for only two years, 1864-1866, before it was decided to move the see to Marquette as a more central location for the diocese. Baraga would die in Marquette in 1868 and be buried there in St. Peter’s Cathedral.

The Bishop Baraga Home as viewed from the Tower of History.

Overall, Sault Sainte Marie is full of history. There are many other museums to visit including the Valley Ship Museum, the Tower of History, the River History Museum, the Chippewa Historical Society, and the campus of Lake Superior State University, built where once Fort Brady stood.

I’m sure I’ll be making many more trips to this place where three Great Lakes meet and history is very much part of the present.

St. Mary’s Church as viewed from the Tower of History. This church is on the same property where the proto-cathedral stood – the first cathedral of the Diocese of Marquette before the see was moved to Marquette and St. Peter’s Cathedral there.

View of the Saint Mary’s River taken from the Tower of History

Interior of the Baraga Home

Interior of the Baraga Home

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U.P. Authors Participate in First Annual Authors & Artists Day in Caspian, Michigan

July 14, 2014

July 10, 2014—Members of the Upper Peninsula Publishers and Authors Association will be appearing at the Iron County Historical Museum’s Authors and Artists Day Event in Caspian on Saturday, July 19th. The historical museum’s first ever Authors and Artists Day Event will feature a wide variety of locally written books and other artisan crafts for sale, and artwork highlighting the LeBlanc & Giovanelli Galleries.

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UP Authors, Deborah Frontiera (left), Gretchen Preston (right) and Karin Neumann, illustrator of the Valley Cats book series (center) at the Outback Art Fair, summer 2012.

U.P. native Tyler Tichelaar of Marquette will have available his many local history books including The Marquette Trilogy and My Marquette as well as his new historical fantasy novel, Arthur’s Legacy: The Children of Arthur, Book One.

Children’s author, Gretchen Preston, of Harvey, will showcase her Valley Cats series of beautifully illustrated local chapter books and their accompanying artwork. She will also have audio CDs to purchase of her first book.

Donna Winters, of Garden, and author of the Great Lakes Romances series, will autograph copies of her historical romances set in various locations around the U.P. and Lower Michigan. Donna will also be available to autograph her non-fiction titles: Adventures With Vinnie, the story of the U.P. shelter dog who taught her to expect the unexpected, and Picturing Fayette, a photo book of stunning views taken at the Fayette Historic Town site on the Garden Peninsula.

Bessemer’s Allen Wright will be on hand to sign copies of his new book, titled The Book, which explores the writing of the Old Testament, offering commentary, as well as pondering the reasons why the Bible was really written.

The Copper Country is represented by Deborah K. Frontiera. Deborah will bring a variety of books including: a children’s picture book set on Isle Royale; historical fiction for middle grade readers (and up) set in the Copper Country; a collection of historical photos by J. W. Nara; and a little “outside the box” young adult fantasy trilogy.

Join these U.P. authors in Caspian, Michigan at the Iron County Historical Museum from 1-4 p.m. Central time on July 19th. They will be happy to autograph and personalize purchased books for you. A portion of their proceeds will be donated back to the Iron County Historical Museum for its programming and other expenses.

Come find the next book on your summer reading list, the perfect holiday gift for a loved one, or your new favorite book! Rain or shine, you will find the authors and their books inside the museum waiting for you!

For more information about Authors and Artists Day, contact the Iron County Historical Museum at www.ironcountyhistoricalmuseum.org or (906) 265-2617. For more information about the U.P. Publishers and Authors Association, visit http://www.uppaa.org

July 15 2012 B

UP Authors Gretchen Preston (left), Donna Winters (center), and Tyler Tichelaar (right)

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.

 

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!

Happy 100th Birthday to Presque Isle’s LS&I Ore Dock

June 24, 2012

2012 marks the 100th birthday of the Lake Superior & Ishpeming Railroad Ore Dock in Marquette’s Upper Harbor at Presque Isle Park. Cleveland-Cliffs has been airing a commercial commemorating its significant history, and on July 15th the tall ship the Niagara will be arriving to celebrate its birthday.

In honor of the ore dock’s birthday, I am posting the passage about it from my book My Marquette:

LS& I Ore Dock in winter – photo credit – Sonny Longtine

Then John took Wendy on a walking tour around Presque Isle. Luckily, an ore boat was in the harbor, so they walked out on the breakwall to watch the boat load its cargo from the pocket dock. — Superior Heritage, The Marquette Trilogy: Book Three

By the late nineteenth century, three ore docks operated in the Lower Harbor. Then in 1912, an ore dock was built in the Upper Harbor. Nearly a century later, it is Marquette’s only operating dock and nineteen years older than its Lower Harbor sister which sits silently.

The Upper Harbor’s LS&I Dock, belonging to the Lake Superior and Ishpeming Railroad, unloads ore from the mines onto ships bound for Canada and various ports in the Great Lakes. The dock stands seventy-five feet high and projects 1,200 feet into Lake Superior. Nearly 10,000 timber piles are driven twenty feet deep to support the dock’s size and weight. Workers must climb 103 steps to the dock’s top to help load the ore. Lucky tourists will see a ship along either side of the ore dock with the dock’s chutes open to load the ore, a process that can take several hours.

Marquette’s last remaining operating pocket dock is considered so important that following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the government was concerned it would be a target by terrorists to disrupt shipping on the Great Lakes.

The LS&I dock remains a testament to Marquette’s raison d’etre—to carry ore to industrial centers like Buffalo and Cleveland so it can be made into steel. Upper Michigan’s iron ore has played an integral part in the United States’ modernization from its use to build cannons and ships in the Civil War to over a century of constructing automobiles. As long as the mines operate and ore boats pull up to the LS&I dock, Marquette will remain connected to its past.

The LS&I Ore Dock in summer – Photo credit – Tyler Tichelaar

“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.

 

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.