2005-09-03 / Looking Back

Looking Back

Compiled by Ryan Schlehuber

Michigan State Police Trooper Mike Powell on his steed, Sergeant, in front of Fort Mackinac while stationed on Mackinac Island from 1994 to 1996. Trooper Michael “Mic” Benjamin rode State Boy during that time. Mr. Powell is now a sergeant at St. Ignace, while Mr. Benjamin is a sergeant in the State Police Ordinance Division at Lansing.Michigan State Police Trooper Mike Powell on his steed, Sergeant, in front of Fort Mackinac while stationed on Mackinac Island from 1994 to 1996. Trooper Michael “Mic” Benjamin rode State Boy during that time. Mr. Powell is now a sergeant at St. Ignace, while Mr. Benjamin is a sergeant in the State Police Ordinance Division at Lansing. 115 Years Ago

Saturday, August 30, 1890

The cold weather drove over 200 resorters from Mackinac Island last Monday.

The 13-year-old daughter of John Cudahy of Chicago, who has been spending the summer at Mackinac Island, died on Monday evening last, after a brief illness.

Miss Anne Chambers, sister to W.P. Chambers of the steamer Algomah , died at the home of her parents, Mackinac Island, of consumption, last Sunday night, aged 23 years. Deceased has been a great sufferer for a long time, being confined to her bed since May last. She leaves a very large circle of mourning relatives and friends. The funeral took place from her late residence to the R.C. cemetery on Wednesday morning and was largely attended.

For sale –– Dray, sleigh, horse and harness. Price $60. Inquire of A.J. Gennell, at the courthouse.

90 Years Ago

Thursday, September 2, 1915

Within the walls of historic old Fort Mackinac, the memory of General Lewis Cass was signally honored last Saturday with the unveiling of a beautiful bronze tablet with appropriate exercises in which the chief executive of the state and a number of the eminent men of the nation participated. Speakers included Governor (Woodbridge) Ferris, State Park Commission Chairman Hon. Edwin O. Wood, Col. Wm. P. Preston, mayor of Mackinac Island, Hon. Edwin Henderson of Detroit, and Right Reverend Monsignor Frank A. O’Brien of Kalamazoo, president of the Michigan Historical commission.

50 Years Ago

Thursday, September 1, 1955

Births –– Joseph Dale Jr., August 24, to Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Gallagher of Mackinac Island; Suzann Marie, August 27, to Mr. and Mrs. Melvin St. Onge of St. Ignace.

Thousands of tourists and townspeople braved overcast skies and rain on Sunday to royally welcome former U.S. President Harry S. Truman to Mackinac Island.

The right side of Union Terminal Pier was roped off to allow the official welcoming party to greet Mr. Truman. The parade from the pier was led by a donkey, which had arrived at Mackinac on Saturday to be on hand for the occasion.

35 Years Ago

Thursday, September 3, 1970

Final preparations for the annual Bridge Walk are being completed this week as bridge officials speculate what effect the early school openings will have on the bridge walk crowd. Last year, rain on Labor Day morning kept the crowd down to 16,000. This year, the combination of a late Labor Day and many children back in school this week could have the same limiting effect, even if the weather is good.

Michigan motorists will drive an estimated 610 million vehicle miles over the Labor Day weekend. The anticipated total from Friday noon through Tuesday noon exceeds the 1969 Labor Day figure by nearly five million vehicle miles. By comparison, the 1970 Fourth of July total was estimated at 630 million vehicle miles.

Clarence “Clancy” Kalmer will swim from Mackinac Island to St. Ignace on Sunday, September 6, planning to come ashore at Kiwanis Beach just prior to the final performance of “The Black Gown Tree” scheduled to start at 2:30 p.m.

Kalmer, formerly of St. Ignace, will be marking the 12th anniversary of the swimming races once conducted between British Landing and St. Ignace, in which he participated.

Before the snow flies, Mackinac Islanders will know the fate of their snowmobiles.

On Thursday, August 20, at the State Park Visitors Center, the Mackinac Island State Park Commission met with townspeople and cottagers at a public hearing aimed at settling the question of whether snowmobiles should be allowed on Mackinac Island during the winter. The hearing was held in response to a letter written by the Mackinac Island Snowmobile Club’s secretary-treasurer Jay Parker, requesting the Commission promulgate a rule opening State Park roads to snowmobiles.

Another Island landmark razed –– the weather tower located near Windermere Point this past week was razed, which had been in use since 1907 and flew the storm signals for the U.S. Coast Guard. Islanders will especially miss the landmark, because most all of the entire Island could see the signal tower, and many decisions were made when the signals were up, indicating the winds. One more such tower is still erected on the site of the former Coast Guard Station, now used as an information center for the Mackinac Island State Park.

10 Years Ago

August 26 to Sept. 1, 1995

Mandating a post-Labor Day start for Michigan’s public schools would have a positive impact on tourism: families would have more travel time and college workers would be able to stay on staff over the summer’s last big weekend.

Opponents of the uniform starting date argue against the loss of local control of setting the school calendar. But northern Michigan tourism leaders and State Representative Pat Gagliardi (D-Drummond Island) see an opportunity to ensure growth in one of the state’s top industries.

The Mackinac Island Fire Department demonstrated their new fire truck, Tower I, Sunday, August 20, and gave Islanders and visitors an up-close view of the department’s equipment.

An ongoing archaeology dig of Colonial Michilimackinac in Mackinaw City has uncovered several rare finds, including a crucifix, clay religious medallion, and a ring with a glass setting. The layer which the archaeologists are excavating this summer is called the demolition layer.

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