Posted tagged ‘North Marquette’

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 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

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

Marquette’s First Baptist Church

November 1, 2011

Marquette’s first Baptist Church was established in 1863. It was a small wooden church on Front Street where the Marquette County Historical Museum was later located beside the current library. My ancestors, the McCombies and the Zryds, first came to Marquette in the 1870s and this church would have been the one they attended. My great-great grandparents, William Forrest McCombie and Elizabeth May Zryd, were probably married inside it in 1882.

The First Baptist Church today - Marquette, Michigan

When the congregation outgrew this small church, in 1886, a new church was built across the street where today is the Landmark Inn’s parking lot. This church was well-known in the community especially for its fabulous organ, a Hook and Haster, for a long time one of the best organs in the state. My great-grandmother and her children would know this church intimately, and although a Catholic, my mother occasionally attended services here with her grandmother.

As with many downtown buildings, fire destroyed the Baptist Church in 1965. Rather than rebuild downtown, the congregation erected a new church in North Marquette on Kaye Street, behind the music and theatre buildings of Northern Michigan University.

In Superior Heritage, Margaret Dalrymple writes in her diary in 1962 about what it meant to her to be a member of the First Baptist Church. The passage is based on a similar one in the diary of my great-grandmother, Barbara McCombie White:

This Sunday the eldest Baptist members now attending church were honored. There were 9 of us but only 5 were there. Sadie Johnson, as church clerk, pinned corsages on all of us and then we had pictures taken for The Mining Journal. We all were requested to get up on the platform and give a little talk of days gone by. I was afraid I’d be stage struck, but this is what I said. “Many years ago when my parents came to Marquette they joined the Baptist church and I was raised in it. When I was 11 years old I went to a revival meeting & was converted. Shortly after I was baptized in this church. Since then, some of my happiest moments have been spent in Sabbath school and church. I had good Christian parents who taught me the right way to live and guided me through the years. I have tried to follow their example and am proud to say that I have good children, all of whom act like Christians even if they don’t go to church regularly. I think God loves everyone no matter who we are and we each have different tasks to do. I think this church has helped lots of people, and I am proud to have been a member all these years.”

My great-grandmother lived long enough to celebrate her 75th anniversary as a member of the Baptist church. After her death, her children Barbara, Roland, Kit, Frank, and Sadie (the real church clerk mentioned in the passage above) would continue attending. Barbara would become a deaconess of the church, and my great-aunt Sadie at age ninety-two remains very active in the church. My grandfather, Lester White, before marrying, taught Sunday school at the church as did his cousin, Marjorie Woodbridge Johnson. As for my Uncle Kit, as a boy he did his part by passing the collection basket and taking a chunk of the money home with him, which his parents immediately made him return.

My experiences with the Baptist Church have largely been limited to attending family funerals. I’m always struck during these occasions by the wonderful old Baptist hymns, including one of my great-grandmother’s favorites, “In The Garden.” The church ladies always outdo themselves with the funeral luncheons and their other church activities. I am sure my great-grandmother would be happy to know her church’s good work continues well into the twenty-first century.

Note: This entry is taken from my book My Marquette, available at local bookstores and