Posted tagged ‘NMU’

My Newest Book: Haunted Marquette-Ghost Stories from the Queen City

October 2, 2017

October 2, 2017—Local author Tyler Tichelaar will be giving his readers a treat this Halloween season. On Wednesday, October 11 at 6:00 p.m. at the Marquette Regional History Center he will be releasing his newest book, Haunted Marquette: Ghost Stories from the Queen City. The book contains more than forty stories of ghosts and paranormal activity within the city of Marquette.

Tyler Tichelaar, 7th generation Marquette resident, has spent years collecting stories of Marquette’s hauntings.

“For years I’ve heard stories of various hauntings and collected them,” says Tichelaar. “I never thought I’d have enough for a book, but as I interviewed people, one story led to another. I’ve found sufficient evidence to make me believe several buildings in Marquette may be haunted or have experienced hauntings in the past.”

Haunted Marquette is divided into several sections on hauntings in Marquette’s churches and cemeteries, the downtown businesses, the lakeshore, various houses, and Northern Michigan University. Tichelaar researched each location to determine the likelihood of a haunting there and whether any historical evidence existed to make the haunting plausible. He also interviewed numerous people about their personal experiences with ghosts.

“I was afraid I would end up talking to a bunch of crazy people when I set out to write this book,” said Tichelaar, “but everyone I talked to was very sincere. Not one of them was seeking attention; most had not believed in ghosts before until they had a strange experience they could not explain logically.”

Numerous city landmarks are highlighted in the book as locations where ghosts have been sighted, including the former Holy Family Orphanage, Park Cemetery, the Marquette lighthouse, the Landmark Inn, the Peter White Public Library, and the Thomas Fine Arts building at NMU.

“Haunted Marquette” highlights more than forty places in Marquette that may be haunted.

“Only a couple of the hauntings can really be described as frightening,” says Tichelaar. “Most of these stories are about unexplainable phenomena; a few are heart-wrenching when you realize the tragedies some of the alleged ghosts experienced while still human, which has caused them to linger on this earth.”

Tichelaar will release Haunted Marquette at the Marquette Regional History Center on Wednesday, October 11. A presentation will begin at 6:00 p.m. and last about an hour, followed by a book signing. Partial proceeds from the book signing will be donated to the history center.

Tyler R. Tichelaar is a seventh generation Marquette resident. He is the author of The Marquette Trilogy, My Marquette, and numerous other books. In 2011, he received the Outstanding Writer Award in the Marquette County Arts Awards, and the Barb H. Kelly Historic Preservation Award. His novel Narrow Lives won the 2008 Reader Views Historical Fiction Award. In 2014, his play Willpower was produced by the Marquette Regional History Center at Kaufman Auditorium. You can learn more at Tichelaar’s website www.MarquetteFiction.com and at the MRHC’s website www.marquettehistory.org.

###

Advertisements

Remembering T.A. Alley – NMU’s English Department

August 23, 2011

Eighteen years ago today–August 23, 1993–I attended Teaching Assistant orientation at NMU and was hired to teach freshman composition in the English department while I worked on my Master’s Degree. So I thought it appropriate to post my memories of those years (1993-1995) at NMU from My Marquette:

The English Department
Below the library in the academic mall were the offices for many of the professors, including most of the English Department until early 1995 when the department moved to Gries Hall. In 1993, as I completed my bachelor’s degree in English, I did not know what to do. My plan had been to write novels while earning my bachelor’s degree and end up published and famous by the time I graduated so I could begin my career as an author. While I did write and send my manuscripts out for publication, I was not successful finding a publisher. During these years, I completed writing the first draft of The Only Thing That Lasts which I had begun in high school as well as the original version of Narrow Lives and another long-winded novel that remains in a drawer.

Upon graduation, and still not a famous author, I decided I would get a Master’s Degree, and when I learned that being a teaching assistant paid $4,500, I was thrilled since I had spent most of my undergraduate years working at McDonalds and NMU’s Writing Center for minimum wage which over a year had averaged about the same as the teaching assistant wage. And better yet, the teaching assistants got a gigantic raise that semester, so I felt quite prosperous making $6,000 a year and living at home while I earned a Master’s Degree. After a few weeks of teaching, I found I liked it and decided I would get a Ph.D. and become an English professor—again, until I became a famous author.

As a teaching assistant, I was given my own little office down a hallway off the academic mall along with about a dozen other new teaching assistants (T.A.’s) who were working on their M.A. degrees. We dubbed our new office space T.A. Alley and set about becoming great friends. Some of my best and longest friendships began during those two years.

I have nothing but good things to say about the education I received at Northern Michigan University, and especially in the English Department. And beyond the stellar professors I had, what I most appreciated and failed to find later at other universities was a real camaraderie among the students and professors. I’ve been in other English departments where you walk down the hall and all the doors are closed, but at Northern, the professors’ doors were always open. Most of them spent several hours a day in their offices and were always available to their students. Professors and students passed each other in the halls, we all knew each other, and we always talked to one another. Even if I did not have a class with a professor, I never felt I couldn’t talk to him or her. While I was just a graduate student, nevertheless, I felt accepted as part of the department and encouraged in my teaching and academic goals. I saw none of the snobbery or competitiveness among graduate students or professors I unfortunately witnessed elsewhere in academia. I don’t think I could have had a more fulfilling start to my career than being part of that supportive, learning environment, and while I have long since left academia, those years remain frequent and pleasant memories.

I did not party a lot in college. Yes, I did occasionally hang out at the Shamrock with my friends, and we had parties at friends’ apartments, and the camaraderie added a great deal to the general happiness of those years, but part of what made me so happy was the learning environment. My classes at Northern fulfilled my intellectual needs without making me feel stressed about competing with others. Sitting in Dr. Maureen Andrews’ Survey of British Literature class, where I was first introduced to the poetry of William Wordsworth, was like having rockets go off in my brain. Dr. Peter Goodrich was the insightful director for my master’s thesis King Arthur’s Children in Fiction and Tradition. I enjoyed working under Dr. Mark Smith at the Writing Center and also being a teaching assistant under Dr. Bill Knox. Although I eventually left teaching in an official way, today as an author and editor, I continue to teach people as well as entertain them, and I feel highly fulfilled as a result; without the education I received at NMU along with a little creative entrepreneurship, I wouldn’t have been able to start my own business Superior Book Promotions (www.SuperiorBookPromotions.com), writing, editing, reviewing books, and basically, doing what I most love to do.

TA. Alley

Photos from my TA years, including the Alexander Family, Becky Shusta and Stephanie Hill at Presque Isle; Jill Nelson, Larry Alexander, and Chris Rencontre in TA Alley; Tyler, Larry, and Jill on graduation day April 29, 1995; Max Alexander

Many of my college friends remain my friends today—Stephanie, Becky, Tom, Chris, Paul, Dana, Greg, Jill, and Larry. Hopefully I have not forgotten any. Larry Alexander ended up sharing an office with me when the English Department moved to Gries Hall. In those days, he and his wife, Ann, had a newborn son, Max, whom Larry would bring to school with him. I ended up volunteering to babysit Max while Larry went to teach his class. The paternal instinct unexpectedly blossomed in me at that time. I changed many diapers, but it was all worth it whenever Max fell asleep with his head propped on my shoulder. Time goes by too fast—Max is sixteen today—but time’s passing shows that friendships last a long time. And little did I know then that someday Larry would design my websites as well as the layout for this book.

I cannot discuss every professor and student I knew at Northern, nor all my friends I had in college. I hope it is sufficient to say that whether I was teaching a class, hanging out in T.A. Alley, having lunch at Bookbinders, attending a play at Forest Roberts Theatre, sitting in a class at Jamrich Hall, studying in the library, or walking across campus, I was happy at NMU, and everyone I knew there contributed to that beneficial experience for me. It’s been said before a million times, but for me, the college years truly were the best years of my life.

When I finished my Master’s Degree, I moved to Kalamazoo where for five years I worked on my Ph.D. at Western Michigan University. While I found a couple of good friends there and I appreciate the excellent education I received, the atmosphere was not as friendly as what it was at NMU. Partly I’m sure the experience was different because doctoral students have more stress than undergraduate and M.A. students, partly because I didn’t know anyone in Kalamazoo when I moved there, and partly I felt displaced from my native environment, but I think the truth is ultimately that Northern Michigan University, like all the U.P., is a superior place.

The Superior Dome Gets a New Look

July 11, 2011

Those of my readers who are expatriate Yoopers may not yet have seen that the Superior Dome is getting a new look. Originally built of wood, its wooden look disappeared when the gray rubber was placed over it, but now a new layer in a beige color looks like it will restore a semblance of the wooden look to the building. Here are a couple of photos I took about three weeks ago when the change was beginning. As of today, about half of the Dome’s roof is now the new color. In addition, I’m posting the section from My Marquette about the Superior Dome.

From My Marquette:

The Superior Dome

Superior Dome

The Superior Dome's new color

 

            “Your mother’s right,” said Eleanor. “We can’t take our safety for granted anymore. Marquette isn’t like when I was young and everyone knew everyone else. Why there’s something like twenty-five thousand people living here now and that big sports building they’re putting up—the world’s largest wooden dome or whatever they claim it is, it’s only going to attract more people here.”

            “I doubt it,” said Tom. “No one’s going to come all the way up here to see that dome.”

            “They’re only building the dome,” said Ellen, “because NMU is going to be an Olympic training center, and they want to impress the governor so he’ll give the school more money.”

            “It just makes me sick to think what that dome and the Olympics will attract to this area,” said Eleanor. “All those kids training for Olympic boxing will be coming up from Detroit, nothing but a bunch of undesirables from the ghettos. They’ll only bring trouble with them.” — Superior Heritage

 

SuperiorDome

Superior Dome

The Superior Dome was controversial from its start when it was first proposed in the late 1980s. People claimed it was built to impress the governor so the university would receive more money, including to fund the new Olympic training program. Many people felt the nearly $3,000,000 price tag was a waste of money, and people mocked the project and wanted to name it “The Yooper Dome.” Nevertheless, it was built and opened in the fall of 1991. While impressive from a distance, up close one wonders about the rather messy looking grey roof. The building was supposed to have a wooden appearance, but from early on, the Dome leaked and the rubber material had to be placed over it. Despite the leak, on May 1, 1993, commencement services were held in the Dome for the first time. I was part of that first graduating class.

The Superior Dome replaced the old football field, a huge advantage since half of Northern’s football season is played when snow is likely to fall, so games could now be played inside. The Dome, and later the Berry Events Center, built for hockey, also shifted community activities away from the Lakeview Arena. Today, numerous recreation and other shows are held in the Dome. Every year, I can be found there the first weekend of December at the TV6 Christmas Craft Show, the largest craft show in Upper Michigan, where I sign and sell my books as thousands of visitors stream through the Dome.

After twenty years, it’s fair to say the Dome has become one of the most recognizable sites in Marquette and part of its history. Despite how people felt about it when it was first proposed, I doubt anyone would part with it now.

Middle Island Point – One of Marquette’s Best Kept Secrets

June 15, 2011
Indian Head Rock

Indian Head Rock at Middle Island Point

I recently had the good fortune and privilege of getting to visit Middle Island Point, a visit arranged by a friend and with one of the Point’s longtime residents as our tour guide. Because Middle Island Point is private property, you can only access it by invitation and so I will respect the privacy of the residents and not display pictures of their cottages and homes, but the scenery at Middle Island Point is breathtaking enough in itself.

I had long heard of Middle Island Point but never visited it, and when I mentioned it to others, I was surprised that many people didn’t even know where it is. It is actually only a couple of miles from Marquette with access along the Big Bay Road. We have all seen it. When you are at Presque Isle Park and look across the bay from Sunset Point, you are looking straight at it. It is called Middle Island Point because a point of the mainland juts out right across from Middle Island (the Middle Island between Presque Isle and Partridge Island).

Several books have been written about Middle Island Point, including A History of Middle Island Point(1963) by Robert J. Pearce. The book has an odd cover without any words on it and only an aerial view of the point. Inside it is the history of much of Middle Island Point, including lists of every cottage there.

Middle Island Point by Robert Pearce

Aerial View of Middle Island Point - the cover of Pearce's book

The point itself is quite a rocky precipice jutting into the lake with fairly high cliffs in various places while other parts of the shore are close to the lake. The winter storms can be quite fierce as the waves dash against the rocks, but the geological beauty of the landscape is rivaled by few other parts of the Marquette area’s Lake Superior shoreline.

As for its history, Middle Island Point began as a sort of camping getaway for Marquette residents, and its former inhabitants read like a “Who’s Who” of Marquette history. The first cabin was built about 1890 by Mrs. Alice Adams, a milliner in the Harlow Block of Marquette. By the early 1900s, the Point would be filled with cottages on its rocky hill and on the beachside property as well.

Among the locally famous residents who had cottages on Middle Island Point are:

View of Partridge Island from Middle Island Point

The Harlow Clark family. They are descendants of Amos and Olive Harlow, Marquette’s founding family. Mr. Harlow Clark, their grandson, reputedly would walk from the streetcar at Presque Isle to Middle Island Point.

Forest and Esther Roberts – The Forest Roberts theater was named for Forest, head of NMU’s theatre department, and they were long time owners of a cottage at the point which remains in the family today.

Dorothy Bird – Dorothy Maywood Bird, local author of Granite Harbor and a couple of other books had a cottage along the beach at Middle Island Point.

James Cloyd Bowman – the winner of the Newberry Medal for his book Pecos Bill, Bowman was head of NMU’s English Department and had a cottage called Skytop at Middle Island Point. In Ruth Alden Clark Lill’s book Twenties That Didn’t Roar, she recalls being at the cabin when a fire broke out on Middle Island Point. Fortunately, none of the cottages burnt.

John Lautner Jr. – the famous architect was a boy who helped to build his family cottage Midgaard here. Lautner would go on to study under Frank Lloyd Wright and build homes for such notables as Bob Hope (watch for the special exhibit on Lautner coming soon to NMU and the Marquette Regional History Center).

Middle Island Point

Landscape of Middle Island Point with Bridge

Famous visitors to the Point include Cole Porter who reputedly had help from a party of guests at the Point in writing the lyrics for one of his songs.

The rugged landscape is quite a challenge for the residents, who often have to climb up one or two hills on winding paths from one cabin to another in roundabout ways to get to their own cabins. Cars cannot access the steep hills so groceries, furniture, and anything else needed must be carried up by hand, and often through steps that have been carved by hand into the rocks as well as over wooden bridges.

I could go on and on about the history of Middle Island Point, but I hope I’ve whetted your interest enough to explore it further. Pearce’s book is out of print but copies are available at Peter White Public Library.

Tyler Tichelaar at Middle Island Point

Tyler on one of many winding hillside paths at Middle Island Point.