2009-08-08 / Looking Back

Looking Back

125 YEARS AGO

August 8, 1884

St. Ignace News

Co. "D" 10th Infantry, which left Fort Mackinac for Fort Union, New Mexico, on the first of last June, has changed stations again, and is now stationed at Fort Bliss, El Paso, Texas. Company's "C" and "D" 10th Infantry were stationed together at the Island for five years, and both companys were together at Fort Union, New Mexico, for the past few months. When Co "D" left Fort Union on the 27th ult, the men of both companys bid each other good bye for ever, as it is more than probable that the companys may never meet again. However, we hope that both companys will enjoy the same relations in their respective posts as they did when stationed at Fort Mackinac.

•••

Two coaches, filled with Mackinaw City, Mackinac Island and St. Ignace Presbyterians were attached to the morning train from here on Wednesday, bound for Newberry to attend the dedicatory services of the new Presbyterian church in that place. . . . It was regretted by all that the donor, J.S. Newberry, of Detroit, was unable to be present as expected. The visitors returned to St. Ignace by the evening train.

•••

During the past few months 17 families have taken up government land on Bois Blanc Island, near Mackinac island. Next year 9,000 acres are to be sold by the government to the highest bidder. The Island will then have been all taken up. The purchase money is to be used to improve Mackinac Island.

•••

The Secretary of War has informed the Indian Bureau that orders have been issued to the commanding officer of the division of the Missouri to expel all intruders from Indian Territory.

90 YEARS AGO

August 7, 1919

The St. Ignace Enterprise

Rev. J. A. Keul, for the past fifteen years pastor of St. John's church at Ishpeming, has been assigned to the church at Mackinac Island by Rt. Rev. Bishop Eis, and will leave for there some day next week.

Father Keul is now one of the very oldest priests in the diocese in point of years of service. He was ordained in Philadelphia, his native city, in 1876, and he came to the Marquette Diocese thirtyfive years ago, and has been in this section ever since.

Father Keul's first parish thirty five years ago was in St. Ignace, where he served at two different periods. He also served the church at two different times in Marquette, Ishpeming and Mackinac Island.

Father Keul now feels that he should be at a smaller parish and if he had his choice of any place in the diocese he would have selected Mackinac island, as he always liked it there. There is a very nice church on the island, and Father Keul will not return as a stranger, as a great many of the parishioners who were there when he served the church some years ago are still living there.

•••

Miss Frances McCann of St. Ignace has accepted a position as bookkeeper of the Doud Mercantile Company.

•••

Dr. J. Keough and Mrs. Keough (Sara McCrickett) and children are spending a few days at the Island, guests at the Hoban cottage. They motored from Bay City to Cheboygan where they left their car until their return home.

•••

Sergt. Allen Rqcquet, who for years was in the employ of the Central Drug company's store, is visiting friends on the island, having recently arrived from overseas where he spent 14 months in Paris at Camp Hospital No. 4, and is now discharged from military service.

•••

The tourist rush still continues and although it has been hard at times to find room for all the pleasure seekers, none have been turned away for lack of accommodation and a special effort will be made to take care of all comers. The Chippewa, New Mackinac, Grand, New Murray, lake View, Iroquois, Island House, the Mission, Windsor, and the numerous other resorts are in a position to cope with the crowds, and those who are anticipating an outing at the island should not remain away fearing that they cannot be taken care of. The island was never more beautiful, never more attractive, never so many ways provided for pleasure and entertainment. It is the "Queen Bee" pleasure resort of the lakes and its ever increasing popularity is attested by the hundreds of new additions to its summer population.

•••

George Packard and family of Chicago have arrived to occupy their pretty cottage for the balance of the season.

70 YEARS AGO

August 5, 1939

Mackinac Island News

Mr. and Mrs. James Bond of Detroit are spending a week at Cloghaun Cottage, visiting Mrs. Bond's aunts.

•••

Mr. and Mrs. E. M. Tellefson announce the birth of a daughter, Lynne Marie, Sunday, July 23rd, at their Silver Birch Lodge home here. Mr. Tellefson is a lieutenant in the Naval Reserve.

•••

Miss Susan Sweeney of Detroit is a guest of Miss Mary Motter at the Motter cottage on the West Bluff.

•••

Continued gains in automobile traffic across the Straits of Mackinac are revealed by State ferry officials who announce that more than 8,100 cars were carried for July 1939 than in the same month last year.

Annually thousands more are discovering the beauty and vacation appeal of the North country and each year the ferries are taxed to meet the growing demand for transportation across the Straits.

Advocates of a bridge across the Straits of Mackinac point to the growing number of autos as a strong point in the need for the proposed span.

•••

Mr. and Mrs. Joseph H. Thompson and family of Ypsilanti, have returned to the Island are in residence at the Commissioner's cottage at Fort Mackinac. Mr. Thompson is chairman of the Mackinac Island State Park Commission.

•••

Harry Stamas as a most attractive window display at his Astor cafe, which is famous for its good food. Mr. Stamas is an active member of the American Legion, having served overseas in both the 32nd and the 77th division of the A.E.F. For many years he has been an Island summer caterer.

•••

With the launching of the "City of Munising" last summer, the State Highway Department now has six ships operating in the fleet at the Straits of Mackinac to meet the ever increasing flow of traffic between Michigan's two peninsulas.

The combined capacity of the fleet during a 24-hour period, it is estimated now, exceeds 5,000 vehicles.

With the increase of traffic and the number of boats, expansion and improvement in docking facilities became necessary.

In 1930 and 1931 the Mackinaw City dock was extended outward some 300 feet in the form of a triangular pier head with docking space for three boats. Improvements were also made at the old Chambers dock property on the St. Ignace side in 1932.

Improvements completed on the State Ferry dock in Mackinaw City and at the coal dock in St. Ignace have greatly increased the facilities for rapid loading and unloading the boats. The work was finished last fall.

50 YEARS AGO

August 9, 1959

Mackinac Island Town Crier

New this summer is the Avenue of Flags at Fort Mackinac and the Bark Chapel in Marquette Park.

•••

The opening date for Mackinac island's public schools is less than a month away, but classroom space for many of the 160 children enrolled is still unavailable.

The present school building can adequately handle only 100- 110 students, said John Bloswick, president of the Mackinac Island School Board. . . .

The Department of Public Instruction, however, won't allow the school board to build on to the present building because its old, wooden structure does not warrant the expense.

The community Hall and the basement of St. Ann's Church, which were both used for classrooms for a while last year, cannot be used for a school again until better fire escapes are built.

The main issue remains, however, the construction of a new public school, which has been a controversial subject for over a year.

The controversy revolves around the location of the proposed new school.

The site selected by the Mackinac Island School Board is in the middle of Bourough Lot, the open field on the west side of Grand Boulevard between Mary's Pantry and the Grand Hotel.

The lease for this tract of land, however, is held by the Grand Hotel. W. Steward Woodfill, owner of the Grand Hotel, objects to a school being built in the middle of this tract because he said it would ruin the magnificent sweep from Fort Mackinac and the governor's mansion down over the golf course and across Borough Lot to the lake. . . .

Woodfill has offered to give the southeast corner of Borough Lot to the school board for a school if the architecture of the building would not clash with the rest of the architecture on the Island.

•••

A medallion of the type frequently given to Indians by missionaries in 1700-1750 was found last week at Fort Michilimackinac at Mackinaw City.

An inscription on the medallion said "St. Ignatious Society of Jesus."

Dr. Moreau Marwell, director of the Fort Michilimackinac project, is identifying the medallion.

•••

Dr. and Mrs. George May and daughter, Sally, will be guests of Dr. and Mrs. Eugene Petersen this week. Dr. May is employed by the Michigan Historical Commission and is the author of the texts appearing on Michigan's historical markers.

•••

Dr. Rex Orr's daughter lost a pair of eye glasses with blue frames.

25 YEARS AGO

August 6, 1994 Mackinac Island Town Crier

Advertisements showing "Back to School" sales bring woe to many business owners on Mackinac Island as they prepare to say goodbye to employees returning to high school and college.

The first weeks of August take on an air of Spring with a new outcropping of "Help Wanted" signs around the Island. Because tourism remains heavy until mid-October, Island business owners will have to find replacements for the hundreds of students who want time to go home, pack their bags, and get ready for the school year to begin.

•••

The way long-distance telephone calls are dialed in the Upper Peninsula underwent a change Monday, August 1, and caught many on Mackinac island by surprise.

As part of a nation-wide effort to create more phone numbers, the area code now has to be dialed even for long-distance calls within that area code. The new system will allow for 640 new area codes and 6 billion new telephone numbers.

•••

Melinda Porter, a Mackinac island Recreational Development (MIRD) official, looks forward to the day that she can slip on her bathing suit and take a dive into Mackinac Island's first indoor public pool - a project she and other MIRD members hope to see completed within five years.

Porter said MIRD already has about $80,000 saved toward the pool's construction, the result of 14 years of fund raisers and private donations.

•••

After noting questionable areas of City ordinances pertaining to motor vehicles and business licenses, the Mackinac Island City Council directed its Ordinance Committee to propose clarification and possible tightening to the laws' language at its Wednesday, August 3, meeting.

Mayor Margaret Doud said that the motor vehicles ordinance needs immediate attention with the fast-approaching Fall construction season.

Council member Barbara Fisher added that motor vehicle permits should not be viewed as a right, but as a privilege.

•••

The quick actions of Mackinac Island Carriage Tours taxi driver Angie Blackwell and local resident Glen St. Onge saved a young boy from serious injury after the lad had fallen underneath a team of horses in the downtown area Monday, August 1.

•••

With a radio strapped to each hip, Ada Chambers looks something like a gunfighter. Her radios shoot messages as she coordinates taxis for tour groups, baggage for the Island House and Grand Hotel, and anything else that comes her way.

"It get hectic sometimes, but it's a fun job," said Chambers, an employee for Mackinac Island Carriage Tours. "I don't know how we ever did it without radios."

Chambers is not alone in thanking technology for making her job easier. Employees from around the Island use radios, walkie-talkies, and portable phones to maintain constant communication with one another, keeping the Island in motion.

•••

Janey Hart has sailed all of her life. Early this summer she had the sail of her lifetime when she crewed with three friends to bring a 53-foot ketch across the Atlantic, from La Coruna, Spain to the Virgin Islands.

During this adventure, Janey encountered the worst gale she had ever sailed in, she saw some spectacular marlin acrobatics, she noted her own fiftieth wedding anniversary, she recorded bright, beautiful days of perfect sailing when it seemed, however, theirs was the only craft on the high seas. She encountered maddening periods with only trifling winds (and diminishing fuel supply) and the kind of isolation that comes from being out of touch with the people you love and who are concerned about you. She read a good book and heard in a 30-day trip enough blues music to last a lifetime. (By Summer Thoughts columnists Lorabeth Fitzgerald)

•••

There are 142 days until Christmas and the Mackinac Island Chamber of Commerce already is making holiday and Winter plans for a season of fun-filled sleigh rides, crosscountry skiing tours, and cozy gatherings.

Chamber of Commerce Director Len Trankina said he expects this season to be even better than last year. The demand, Trankina feels, has barely been tapped.

Return to top

Click here for digital edition
2009-08-08 digital edition