Posted tagged ‘fred rydholm’

Marquette’s Centennial Year 4th of July – 1949

July 4, 2015

In honor of Independence Day, here is the passage from the end of my novel The Queen City: The Marquette Trilogy, Book Two, depicting the 100th anniversary of Marquette and Fourth of July Fireworks. Happy 4th to all!

The Queen City: The Marquette Trilogy, Book 2 covers Marquette's history from 1902 until the 1949 centennial celebrations.

The Queen City: The Marquette Trilogy, Book 2 covers Marquette’s history from 1902 until the 1949 centennial celebrations.

In small towns, people depend on each other. In Upper Michigan, through long, harsh winters and economic woes, people form bonds even without blood ties. On this day of civic pride, an entire city became one family, a city filled with people descended from a handful of brave pioneers who came to Iron Bay a century before to build a community which still prospered. Even Jimmy Whitman, who today would rather be in California, and as an adult would live miles from Marquette, would in later years look back on this day with fondness.

The picnic broke up all too soon as everyone looked at their watches and realized it would soon be time for the fireworks. People went their separate ways. Bill wanted to be alone with Sally. Thelma was tired so Jessie brought her home. Harry Jr. had promised to take his children over to a friend’s house. Some decided to go home rather than attend the fireworks, but Sylvia insisted on seeing the finale of the city’s celebrations, and Eleanor, finding her daughters’ enthusiasm matched that of her aunt, agreed to take them all. Margaret told Roy he had no choice but to drive her to Memorial Field for the fireworks. “It won’t hurt you to take me and then stay at your mother’s house another night before going back to that old cabin of yours,” she insisted. Roy knew better than to argue. Henry and Beth talked Michael into piling into their car with the children. Then they followed Roy’s vehicle while Eleanor and company brought up the rear. Once the three automobiles reached Memorial Field, the Whitman clan found thousands of people crowded together, eagerly awaiting the finale to the centennial celebrations.

The Boy Scouts of Racine, Wisconsin entertained the crowd with their drum and bugle corps. Then a Vaudeville show made the crowd laugh and join in singing.

Gazing at the crowd, Sylvia felt overwhelmed. “I never saw so many people in my life. Everyone in Marquette must be here.”

“Yes, this city sure has grown,” said Margaret, remembering as a girl how she had thought Marquette much too small. Now amid a sea of jubilant faces, she scarcely recognized anyone. Proudly, she said to Sylvia, “Unlike us, most of these people don’t have their names in The Mining Journal as Marquette residents for over fifty years.”

“No, I guess not,” said Sylvia. “I’ve lived here my whole life, that’s seventy-seven years. I was born in Marquette’s twenty-third year, so I feel as if I belong more to the little village of a hundred years ago than to this big modern city.”

As they found a place to set up chairs and lay a blanket for the children to sit on, Margaret asked her sister-in-law, “Do you remember the day they unveiled the statue of Father Marquette? There was a big crowd that day, but nothing like this.”

“Yes,” said Sylvia, “I remember that, and I remember when the streetcars were put in; we were all so excited to have them, and now they’ve been ripped out for I don’t know how many years. I can even remember when we first got electricity.”

“I can remember the days before electricity,” said Margaret. “I’m sure glad those days are over.”

“Life was harder then,” said Sylvia. “But back then, since we had no idea there would one day be electricity, and automobiles, and movie theatres, we didn’t miss them. I don’t think people are as polite and courteous as before the wars either. I do miss that.”

“People don’t have the class they had back then,” Margaret agreed. “All these young girls running around with skirts above their knees.”

Eleanor and Beth chuckled, knowing this comment was pointed toward Bill’s girl Sally, who had come to the picnic with her knobby knees on full display.

“And this modern architecture,” sighed Sylvia. “Houses look like boxes now, and each one is painted a dull white. Houses had more color when I was a girl. I remember my grandparents’ house on Ridge Street—my grandparents moved away when I was only four, so maybe my memories aren’t exact, but my parents often told me what a beautiful house it was. Inside there was ornate woodwork and elaborate colored wallpaper and stenciling on the walls and borders along the ceiling. It was so beautiful you never wanted to leave it. Now we have these puffy sofas and metallic kitchen tables with pop-up leafs and—”

Sylvia could not finish her sentence but just shook her head.

“Which grandparents’ house are you talking about?” asked Henry. “Your Grandpa and Grandma Whitman?”

“No, they had a boarding house when I was a girl,” said Sylvia. “Not that their house wasn’t nice, but the house I’m talking about was my Grandpa and Grandma Henning’s house. They built one of the first and finest homes on Ridge Street, but they only lived there a few years before they moved away. I wonder what happened to all their money. I never saw any of it. I bet Grandma Henning left it all to Aunt Edna.”

“You mean that big sandstone house, don’t you?” said Margaret. “I remember Will pointed it out to me one time.”

“Is the house still there?” asked Henry, his carpenter instincts awakening.

“Oh, yes.” Sylvia described it until Henry suspected it was the same as Robert O’Neill’s house, where he had fixed the porches during the war.

“Aunt Sylvia, why did your grandparents move away?” Lucy asked.

“Well, their daughter, my Aunt Madeleine, drowned in the lake. I can’t really remember how; I was just a little girl then, but my grandparents were so upset they sold their house and moved back East. I never saw them again except once when my grandpa came to visit just after I was married. I don’t remember much about him either. I wish now I knew more, but my mother died when I was just a girl and my father died when I was in my twenties, so I guess I was too young to think about asking them many questions then.”

“I know what you mean,” said Margaret. “My grandfather always said the Dalrymples were related to the royal family of Scotland, but I was too lazy to ask exactly how and write it down. Just think, I might’ve been a Scottish princess.”

“I do remember,” said Sylvia, ignoring Margaret’s pretentious claim to the Scottish throne, “that my father said my mother’s family came to Marquette the year the city was founded.”

“You know,” said Michael, “my Grandma Bergmann used to tell me she came to Marquette during its first year. How odd. I bet our families have known each other a long time.”

“They have,” said Sylvia, taking his hand. “I remember being at your parents’ wedding when St. Peter’s Cathedral was just being built. I must have been about twelve then.”

“Someone,” said Roy, “should write all this down. Marquette is the finest city ever, and since our family is part of its history, neither should be forgotten.”

Everyone nodded in agreement, but writing Marquette’s history seemed too daunting a task for any of them. Not one felt confident with pen and paper.

“Hello, Roy,” said a young man passing by. “How are you?”

“Hi, Fred. Everyone, this here is Fred Rydholm,” Roy introduced. “He works with me up at the Club. He drove the Club’s car in the parade today.”

Everyone greeted Fred. Introductions were made and remarks exchanged about how impressive the parade had been. Then Fred said goodbye and walked away. One day, Fred Rydholm would pen two mammoth volumes detailing the history of the iron ore industry, the founding of Marquette and the Huron Mountain Club, and the Upper Peninsula’s important role in American history.

“How long before the fireworks start?” asked Ellen.

“Can’t we go home?” Jimmy complained. “It’s cold out here, and fireworks are boring anyway.”

“Don’t be a creampuff,” his grandmother teased. “The fireworks will be marvelous. This has been the best Fourth in the North.”

At that moment, the first loud cracking thunder broke. Memorial Field was packed with thousands of city residents and visitors who lifted their eyes to the glorious explosions in the night sky. Pink blazing sparks spread in every direction. Then a burst of blue, an explosion of green, a shot of white, a spray of orange, then yellow, then blue again, and red, and green, and blue, and orange, and yellow, and pink, and white. Burst after burst, straight firing white lines, kaleidoscopic green, pink, purple, all at once. One separate firework to mark each year of Marquette’s history. Up into the sky they shot in shimmering streaks like a hundred candles blazing on a bombastic birthday cake. Ellen covered her ears; the fireworks were so delightfully loud.

Henry leaned over to kiss his wife’s cheek.

“Ouch, that tickles,” Beth giggled. “When will you shave off that silly beard?”

“First thing tomorrow morning,” he promised, “but you have to admit it looks pretty good for having been grown so quickly.”

“Shh, Daddy, you’re missing the fireworks,” Ellen scolded.

Henry and Beth both chuckled, glad to see their daughter happy. They were happy themselves. They were back where they belonged, in their hometown for its centennial, which they would not have missed for anything. Henry thought back on all of Marquette’s remarkable history, the raising of the courthouse, the library, the banks, the houses, the bravery of its people, the struggles through fires and blizzards, economic woes and wars. He thought of the ore docks, those formidable giants of the iron industry, stretching out into the world’s greatest lake as emissaries to distant lands. For a hundred years, from Iron Bay, the Upper Peninsula’s riches had been shipped out to bolster a nation, yet Marquette had scarcely received mention in a history book. Many people could not even pronounce its name, much less find it on a map. But its Northern sons and daughters knew the great privilege they shared in living here. They knew Nature had blessed them by giving them this land of pristine beauty, mighty forests, fresh air, and remarkable weather. Henry and Beth were grateful to have been born here, and thankful they had been wise enough to return. Thousands that night felt in their hearts what Henry spoke as he turned to Beth.

“We truly do live in THE QUEEN CITY OF THE NORTH.”

———-

Tyler R. Tichelaar, seventh generation Marquette native, is the author of The Marquette Trilogy, My Marquette, and numerous other books about Marquette and its past. For more information, visit his website www.MarquetteFiction.com

Advertisements

August 5, 2014

The following article about my new play Willpower was first published in the August 2014 issue of the Marquette Monthly and online at: http://www.mmnow.com/z_current_a/b/c/arts.html#wilbri

‘Willpower’ Brings Marquette’s Ossified Man to Stage

by Tyler Tichelaar

When Kaye Hiebel and Jessica Red Bays asked me to write a play as a fundraiser for the Marquette Regional History Center, I was hesitant, considering myself a novelist, not a playwright. But when they shared with me their vision of bringing Will Adams’ story to the stage, I instantly saw its dramatic possibilities and how it would speak to modern audiences as a true tale of overcoming adversity.

Poster for Willpower, an original play by Tyler Tichelaar. Poster art by Cory Sustarich.

Poster for Willpower, an original play by Tyler Tichelaar. Poster art by Cory Sustarich.

I already knew the basics of Will Adams’ story. He was born in 1878 and adopted as a young child by prominent Marquette businessman Sidney Adams and his wife Harriet. Will was a talented singer in the boys choir at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, played baseball, and by the time he was a teenager, was considered a literary expert by Marquette residents.

But in his late boyhood, Will developed a life-changing disability. The tissues in his legs began to harden until they became immoveable—a disease the Victorians termed ossification. Numerous doctors were consulted, but none could explain the disease’s cause.

For most active boys, the diagnosis would have been earth-shattering. But Will took it as a challenge to accomplish all he could before the ossification took over his entire body. For as long as possible, he employed his hands, drawing countless cartoons of notable locals such as Nathan Kaufman and Peter White. He wrote poetry and essays and began the magazine CHIPS, illustrating it himself. Unable to sell magazine ads in person, he did it over the telephone, eventually having an attendant hold the receiver for him.

One of Will’s frequent visitors was his good friend Norma Ross, a music teacher in the Marquette Public Schools. In 1905, Will and Norma wrote an operetta titled Miss D.Q. Pons. Will composed the music in his head and hummed the tunes for Norma, who wrote down the notes. Later, Norma starred in the production, which toured the Upper Peninsula. Will attended the performances, traveling by railroad in a portable bed.

Will’s positive attitude and creative abilities made him not only popular with locals, but he won the respect of famous people such as actress Lillian Russell, who visited him when she came to perform at the Marquette Opera House. Russell was impressed by Will’s cheerfulness, despite his being blind by then, and he sang one of his songs for her. Not long before his death in 1909, Will told a Detroit Free Press reporter who interviewed him, “Don’t call me a cripple when you write your story, and don’t say I am bedridden. I don’t like those expressions. They put a fellow off, you know…. Had it been otherwise, I might have become the subject of a trust investigation committee or a bank president. And I’d rather be literary than sordid any day.”

And then there was Norma Ross. With the help of MRHC research librarians Rosemary Michelin and Beth Gruber, I learned Norma’s father had owned one of the first theatres in Marquette, Mather Hall, so at an early age, Norma was exposed to music and the theatre, and she developed her musical gift by singing in the First Baptist Church’s choir. Frank B. Spear, Sr. of Marquette offered to finance sending her to New York to be in the theatre there, but her father opposed his daughter having a “life upon the wicked stage.” Instead, she went to Northwestern University to become a music teacher. She returned to Marquette to teach in the public schools and also be very active in community theatre and music productions for decades.

In Willpower, I wanted to bring Will and Norma and their family members and friends to life. Artistic license was taken to fill in some gaps in their stories, but I tried my best to represent them truthfully. I worked in as many of Will’s actual words and expressions into the play as possible. Music was so important to Will and Norma that I knew it had to be an integral part of the production. While no copy of Miss D.Q. Pons could be found, the playbill, advertisements, and reviews all helped me to recreate a scene from the operetta to give the audience a taste of what it might have been like.

Beyond entertaining audiences, I wanted the play to offer an educational step back in time. For that reason, period music was used. An article written by Norma’s sister Grace recalled musical events at their father’s theatre, including performances of the well-known 1890s hit song, “After the Ball,” so I incorporated it into the play. Another period song, “Turn Off Your Light, Mr. Moon Man,” filled in for a similarly themed but lost song in Miss D.Q. Pons. An original song, “You Will Not Love Me,” was composed for the play by Jeff Bruning. My own tongue-in-cheek lyrics for the song are hopefully in keeping with Will’s sense of humor. Director Moiré Embley’s vision for the play also focuses on the time travel historic experience for audiences with historical costumes and furniture, and I believe audiences will be impressed with the historic-themed sets.

Writing a play is one thing. Bringing it to the stage is another. Various drafts of Willpower were shared with Embley, Marquette Regional History Center staff, and a few close friends, all of whom offered feedback and suggestions. In the process, I learned not only to consider plot and character development, but how to work in set and costume changes between scenes, and what was possible within our budget limitations. Fortunately, our budget, initially provided by the Marquette Regional History Center, was enhanced through a generous grant from the Michigan Humanities Council and matching grants from the Marquette Community Foundation and Upper Peninsula Health Plan.

Will Adams with his parents, sister Bertha, and close friend Norma Ross (seated), with whom he wrote an operetta.

Will Adams with his parents, sister Bertha, and close friend Norma Ross (seated), with whom he wrote an operetta.

Writing Willpower has been a wonderful experience for me, and I hope audiences will find it nostalgic, entertaining, and inspiring. Please join me at Kaufman Auditorium on September 18 and 19 at 7:00 p.m. for a trip back to Old Marquette at the turn of the last century. The superb cast is led by Andy Vanwelsenaers, playing the adult Will Adams, and Jessica Red Bays, playing the mature Norma Ross. Even Fred Rydholm will make a cameo appearance.

Tickets are $15 and on sale through www.nmu.edu/tickets. For more information, visit http://www.marquettefiction.com/Willpower.html and www.marquettehistory.org.

Marquette’s Centennial Fourth of July

July 3, 2011

Happy Independence Day, everyone! I hope you have a wonderful time filled with family, friends, fun, fireworks, picnics and parades. Last year I posted a passage from my novel Iron Pioneers depicting Marquette’s first Fourth of July celebrations in 1855, which you can read here.

This year, I am posting one of my favorite passages from The Queen City describing the celebration of the Fourth of July and specifically the centennial celebrations in 1949. This scene takes place at Memorial Field (where today the Berry Events Center is) where the fireworks used to be shot off before being moved to the Lower Harbor Park. The characters in the novel have been reminiscing about Marquette’s past just prior to the passage, which is why Roy comments, “Someone should write this down.”

I hope this passage inspires you to appreciate our wonderful small-town America and the gift of independence that our Founding Fathers gave to us. Happy Fourth!

From The Queen City, the Marquette Trilogy: Book Three:

“Someone,” said Roy, “should write all this down. Marquette is the finest city ever, and since our family is part of its history, neither should be forgotten.”

Everyone nodded in agreement, but writing Marquette’s history seemed too daunting a task for any of them. Not one felt confident with pen and paper.

“Hello, Roy,” said a young man passing by. “How are you?”

“Hi, Fred. Everyone, this here is Fred Rydholm,” Roy introduced. “He works with me up at the Club. He drove the Club’s car in the parade today.”

Everyone greeted Fred. Introductions were made and remarks exchanged about how impressive the parade had been. Then Fred said goodbye and walked away. One day, Fred Rydholm would pen two mammoth volumes detailing the history of the iron ore industry, the founding of Marquette and the Huron Mountain Club, and the Upper Peninsula’s important role in American history.

“How long before the fireworks start?” asked Ellen.

“Can’t we go home?” Jimmy complained. “It’s cold out here, and fireworks are boring anyway.”

“Don’t be a creampuff,” his grandmother teased. “The fireworks will be marvelous. This has been the best Fourth in the North.”

At that moment, the first loud cracking thunder broke. Memorial Field was packed with thousands of city residents and visitors who lifted their eyes to the glorious explosions in the night sky. Pink blazing sparks spread in every direction. Then a burst of blue, an explosion of green, a shot of white, a spray of orange, then yellow, then blue again, and red, and green, and blue, and orange, and yellow, and pink, and white. Burst after burst, straight firing white lines, kaleidoscopic green, pink, purple, all at once. One separate firework to mark each year of Marquette’s history. Up into the sky they shot in shimmering streaks like a hundred candles blazing on a bombastic birthday cake. Ellen covered her ears; the fireworks were so delightfully loud.

Henry leaned over to kiss his wife’s cheek.

“Ouch, that tickles,” Beth giggled. “When will you shave off that silly beard?”

“First thing tomorrow morning,” he promised, “but you have to admit it looks pretty good for having been grown so quickly.”

“Shh, Daddy, you’re missing the fireworks,” Ellen scolded.

Henry and Beth both chuckled, glad to see their daughter happy. They were happy themselves. They were back where they belonged, in their hometown for its centennial, which they would not have missed for anything. Henry thought back on all of Marquette’s remarkable history, the raising of the courthouse, the library, the banks, the houses, the bravery of its people, the struggles through fires and blizzards, economic woes and wars. He thought of the ore docks, those formidable giants of the iron industry, stretching out into the world’s greatest lake as emissaries to distant lands. For a hundred years, from Iron Bay, the Upper Peninsula’s riches had been shipped out to bolster a nation, yet Marquette had scarcely received mention in a history book. Many people could not even pronounce its name, much less find it on a map. But its Northern sons and daughters knew the great privilege they shared in living here. They knew Nature had blessed them by giving them this land of pristine beauty, mighty forests, fresh air, and remarkable weather. Henry and Beth were grateful to have been born here, and thankful they had been wise enough to return. Thousands that night felt in their hearts what Henry spoke as he turned to Beth.

“We truly do live in THE QUEEN CITY OF THE NORTH.”

My First Visit to the New Marquette Regional History Museum

March 12, 2011

Yesterday I visited for the first time the exhibits at the new Marquette Regional History Museum. My first reaction was simply, WOW! And then as I walked through the exhibits, I felt more overcome with emotion than anything to think such a stunningly beautiful museum should exist in Marquette.

Just how “beautiful” was to me the biggest surprise. I knew that in the new museum the space would be larger, I knew more of the museum’s collection would be displayed, and more history told, but I was not at all prepared for the aesthetic effect. There are gorgeous murals painted by local artist Liz Yelland, there are numerous different subjects, all arranged beautifully, there are interactive parts of the museum, and so many pieces of history I had no idea the museum even had. More than anything I marvelled at the overall layout and all the work and planning that must have gone into the entire building and especially the exhibits.

Somewhere I hope Helen Longyear Paul, Olive Pendill, Ernest Rankin, Fred Rydholm, and the many, many other departed souls who were pioneers and early supporters of the museum could see what all their hard work, devotion, and vision for a Marquette County Historical Society that became a museum and now a regional history center has expanded and grown into.

And of course, most of the success is due to director Kaye Hiebel and all the staff, the museum board, all the generous donors in the community, and all the people who support the museum by visiting it. It is a job well done in every way possible, and I feel personally grateful to everyone who contributed in any way.

I would have loved to provide some photographs of the exhibits but photography is not allowed in the exhibits, so you will just have to visit the museum yourself to see everything, and for $7 per adult, you can see what is worthy of a much larger metropolitan area than Marquette. Plan ahead for spending about two hours. I spent nearly two and a half and I still didn’t get to read everything posted, although I read well more than half the signs and skimmed the others.

Everything I could imagine being relevant to the Marquette region was depicted – displays on wildlife include beaver and wolf and deer. There are extensive collections of artifacts from prehistoric people. A large display of various rocks, minerals, and Lake Superior sandstone are exhibited with enough detail to please the most active rockhound. The Native American imprint on the area is given extensive attention aside displays about the coming of the white men through the discovery of iron ore by William Austin Burt.

The founding of Marquette is told in letters and artifacts from Peter White, Amos and Olive Harlow, and Mehitable Everett. Replicas of Native American lodgehouses are beside early Marquette homes and voyageur fur trading posts. The history of shipping on the Great Lakes is displayed, along with that of farming, logging, and mining.

The area’s brave men and women who fought in the Civil War, Spanish American War, both World Wars and the Vietnam War receive recognition for their sacrifices.

Transportation changes are reflected in automobiles, streetcars, railroads, and snowmobiles. Descriptions of Marquette County’s major communities are provided. And the entertainment, the fun, of living in the U.P. also is provided in a movie projector from the Delft, the story of a pageant on Teal Lake, the creation of quill work and other crafts, the history of hockey, a basketball jersey from J.D. Pierce High School, and early restaurants like Hamburger Heaven.

That’s a small taste of all the history provided at the Marquette Regional History Center. Several fun, interactive aspects of the museum will also provide entertainment for children.

Go visit our wonderful new museum. Marquette, the Queen City of the North, now has a new jewel in her crown, and anyone who loves Marquette and its surrounding communities will be thrilled to see it shine.

For more information, visit the Marquette Regional History Center’s website at www.marquettecohistory.org

Brookridge

January 19, 2011

Today I had the privilege of being invited to talk to the residents at Brookridge Heights Assisted Living whose reading group has been reading My Marquette. I had a wonderful time getting to meet everyone and hearing many stories of Old Marquette. Many of them could have written their own books. In their honor, here is the section from My Marquette about Brookridge.

            Because of my memory, I can always be back in the past again—like when I drive along County Road 553, and I come around the curve into Marquette, still expecting to see the old Brookridge Estate standing there, momentarily forgetting it’s been torn down. As long as I remember, the past is still part of the present for me, and I’ll always be able to live in Old Marquette. As I get older, I imagine I’ll live even more in the past, but maybe that’s what it means to get older.” — Superior Heritage

I grew up by the Crossroads south of town, so whenever I came into Marquette with my parents on County Road 553, I would pass by the old Brookridge estate. I was always a bookworm, always reading in the backseat of the car, but when we approached the curve where the road came into Marquette, I would reverently look up from my book and turn my head to the right where the Brookridge estate stood proudly like some old English estate, the home of a country squire, a carriage house in the back, an apple orchard to the side, and with a lane lined with Lombardy Poplars that led up to the front door. In those days, I felt if I could have lived in any house in Marquette, the Brookridge estate would have been the one. The entire property spoke of a time past, a simpler time that created within me a sort of “Good Old Days” nostalgia. Although it was by then abandoned and a couple of its windows broken, the house’s stately presence could still be felt. I dreamed of the day when I would purchase it and rename it Plumfield after the boys’ school in Louisa May Alcott’s Little Men, one of my favorite books at the time—the ideal place for a boy to grow up.

Even when I found out that the Brookridge Estate had originally been the Marquette County Poor Farm, I thought no less of it. If anything, I probably thought that made it all the better—it had been a charitable place, and a farm, and so had Plumfield been as the Bhaers took in boys to their school and turned their lives around.

            The first poor farm in Marquette began on this site in 1873. In 1900, Marquette residents decided an improved structure was necessary and the new facility, the one I would so grow to love, was built at a cost of $15,000 in 1901. The staunch new building of red brick, sandstone, and yellow trim looked like a giant, solid home, a safe haven. Twenty-seven rooms sat on forty-seven acres of pastures, orchards, and woods surrounded by a brook. The farm produced vegetables and potatoes and even had some cows to produce dairy products.

Brookridge Estate - early 1900s - Courtesy Jack Deo at Superior View

            While officially named the Marquette County Citizens’ Home, everyone in Marquette commonly knew it as “the Poor Farm.” Its residents were self-sustaining, taking care of the house and property. Fred Rydholm, local Marquette historian, noted in a 1986 Mining Journal article that his mother worked there as a nurse about 1912 at which time it also served as Marquette’s earliest nursing home, primarily for older people including lumberjacks in their sunset years. At its peak, as many as thirty-five people lived in the house, but by the mid-twentieth century, the population declined. When the building finally closed its doors in 1965, it had only a dozen residents remaining.

After a vacancy of four years, the house became a teaching facility, operated by the Marquette Alger Intermediate School District, for emotionally impaired children, at which time it was renamed Brookridge. Funds to sustain the property were so scarce that after a dozen years, the house was closed up. It was during the years it was closed that I remember it.

Various attempts were made to save the property as a historical landmark and it was even listed on the National and State Registers of Historic Places for its distinctive early twentieth century architecture. Talk of turning the property into a country inn or a holistic healthcare center fell through in the 1980s. Then in 1994, the property was sold to Marquette General Hospital and the grand old house razed.

I was devastated by the tearing down of my dream home. I still have all the articles from The Mining Journal about the debate over what to do with the property and its eventual demolition. I am no poet, but I was moved enough at the time to write a mournful poem over the loss of my imaginary home, which I’ll spare the reader from perusing.

Like John Vandelaare in the quotation above, every once in a while I still catch myself in a time warp, turning my head as I drive by to look at the old Brookridge Estate. Since 1998, the modern Brookridge Heights assisted living facility has stood in its place, but in my mind’s eye, the grand old house is still there, waiting for me to ride up to it on my horse and announce I am home like any good English country squire would do.

No Book is Written Alone – Thank You to Everyone Who Helped with My Marquette

December 6, 2010

I am so very pleased and a bit overwhelmed by the positive responses My Marquette has been receiving, most recently through fabulous sales at the TV 6 Christmas Show and my appearance on the Doug Garrison show which you can view on YouTube. So it seems appropriate that I again thank the many people who helped to make the book possible. Following is the Acknowledgments from My Marquette, but with links to websites included.

Writing a book like this one is far from a solitary experience and more difficult in its own way than a novel that does not require all the additional layout, photographs,and even research. I have many people to thank for their words of encouragement and support who said, “I’d like to read that book” when I discussed my ideas with them. They are too numerous to thank individually, but I appreciate all their ideas.

The many past writers and historians of Marquette, most notably, Fred Rydholm, whose Superior Heartland kept me up late at night reading with fascination as I researched my novels, and Sonny Longtine, not only the co-author of the marvelous Marquette Then & Now but also my neighbor who generously shared his photographs, many of which are included in this book and on the cover, as well as his suggestions with me.

  Larry Alexander, the designer and layout person for this book. We have been friends since graduate school at Northern Michigan University. Not only has he put up with me all this time, but he has designed my websites and come to my aid in computer crises. I appreciate his patience as I continually asked to change where a picture was located or the way a page looked. If you need a book laid out or a website designed, he’s the one to talk to. Visit him at www.StorytellersFriend.com 

Jack Deo of Superior View also provided me with numerous photographs of Marquette, past and present, as well as the cover photos for most of my previous novels. 

Debbie Glade, author of The Travel Adventures of Lilly P. Badilly, for reading drafts of different sections of this book and offering encouraging words.
My second cousin, Nanette Rushton, who provided her memories of life on RidgeS treet and of the Rankin family and read early drafts of the residential section.

Lynn and Lon Emerick, fellow writers who have become like family over the years. I so appreciate their sharing their memories of Dorothy Maywood Bird with me, and all their advice over the years on publishing books.

Fred Stonehouse, the expert on all things maritime, who helped me sort out the Frink family’s roles as lighthouse keepers along Lake Superior.

 

Holly Barra and Jim Mansfield, descendants of Marquette architect Hampson Gregory, for sharing information about their ancestor.
Emily Bettinis, for sharing information about the Reverend Bates Burt family.

Many thanks to everyone over the years who has made me more aware of my family’s history, including my late cousins, Jerry McCombie, Jean Martel, and Robert Bishop. Thank you to my great-aunt, Sadie White Johnson Merchant, who was always willing to share family stories, and saved the day by having a photo of the Bavarian Inn when no others could be found. A special thanks to my late grandfather, Lester White, whose stories of his childhood first made me interested in Marquette’s past. Thank you to my cousin, Lynn Hiti, who has sent me numerous files and documents and shared genealogy discoveries with me for many, many years, especially about the Bishop family, and to my cousins, Shirley Herbert and her son Paul who provided me with our Civil War ancestors’ military records. Thank you to cousins Ben and Pat Hassenger for their information on our Zryd ancestors. Also to my distant cousin Kori Carothers, who sent me information about her ancestor Francis Marion Bishop. And thank you, especially, to my mother who allowed me to raid the family photograph albums for memorable moments captured on film. I have been in touch with so many relatives over the years who have given me information that if I forget any of their names here, know that your contributions have been greatly appreciated.Finally, thank you to all of my readers who have been integral to my fulfilling my dream since childhood to write books people would love to read and which would help make their lives happier.

Anne Outhwaite Maurer and James Pickands Cass for their information about their Outhwaite and Pickands ancestors.

John Frederickson, great-grandson of Carroll Watson Rankin, for his memories of the family.

Pat Ryan O’Day, publisher of Marquette Monthly, for her many stories of Marquette’s past and for putting me in touch with people who would have information I needed.

Babette Welch and her husband Gregg Seiple, who own the Swineford Home at 424 Cedar Street, for allowing me to see the inside of that Marquette landmark.

Dennis McCowen, owner of the Merritt Home, for giving me a tour inside, including allowing me to go up in its tower on a blizzardy spring day.

Lorana Jinkerson for sharing information on her underground home.

Rachel Goldsmith for information and a photo of her father, David Goldsmith.

Ann Gonyea for the cover photography and getting the right angle for a picture.

Joyce L. Mayer, director of the Moss Mansion in Montana, for sharing the history of that Lake Superior Sandstone home.

John and Nancy Grossman at Back Channel Press have managed the printing and layout of all my previous books, and they were more than understanding and willing to answer my many questions as I embarked on writing a new kind of book.

Victor Volkman (owner of Loving Healing Press) did a superb job in designing the cover for me and offering additional advice on layout to make the pages more easily readable.

Rosemary Michelin, librarian of the John M. Longyear Research Library at the Marquette County History Museum, not only tirelessly pulled files for me but led me to some new directions I would not otherwise have considered. Thanks also to assistance from Meridith Ruppert and Jennifer Lammi at the Museum. Thank you to Jim Koski for information about South Marquette during an informative walking tour. The Marquette County History Museum is also thanked for its permission to use many of the photographs in this book.In addition, thank you to everyone now who has purchased a copy of My Marquette and for all your compliments upon it.

Thank you especially to TV6 News, Christopher Diem of The Mining Journal, and The Doug Garrison Show for the interviews and helping to spread the word about My Marquette.

This book truly is about Our Marquette!

I equally thank all the readers of my previous novels whose constant questions about the true stories behind my novels made me think such a book would be enjoyable.