Category Archives: News from the Societies

Articles in this feature concern coming events, people and future plans of historical societies and museums from around the region.

Summer Tour(ist) Season is Near!

A couple of our area historical societies are offering tours this summer, and here’s the inside scoop!

The annual Adams Fly Festival at Kingsley Branch Library promises to be a hoot, as usual! Two tours to Mayfield Pond Park are highlights of this annual event. Come learn about the history of the Adams Fly, its creator Len Halladay, and about Mayfield, a “little piece of paradise” in southern Grand Traverse County. See you out there on June 3rd!

From the Traverse Area Historical Society, they will be bringing back their now-famous Oakwood Cemetery Tours, as well as tours of Downtown Traverse City, and (with perhaps a little help from our readers), possibly a tour of the Sixth Street Historic District. Stay tuned for dates, and in the meantime, enjoy a “virtual walking tour” of Downtown Traverse City by our own Richard Fidler, courtesy of the Society.

 

The Benzie Area Historical Museum has been marching toward the summer, with special displays going up about World War I. They have also reminded us that it is National Doughnut Day on June 2nd… what a yummy way to honor our veterans! In regards to tours,  the Museum is offering two, both in cooperation with Benzie Bus:

“Consider getting away from the beach and experience  an historical bus tour of Benzie County with knowledgeable local guides.  The tours last approximately 2 hours and are  available every Thursday and Friday from June 2 through September 1.  Plan to visit the Benzie Area Historical Museum too– either before or after your tour!

​There are two tours, each departing  from the Benzie Area Historical Museum.  One tour travels to Beulah, Legacy Art Park,  Thompsonville, Benzonia Cemetery  and the other explores the  Elberta and Frankfort areas.  Tickets are $15 per person; children eight and younger are free.  For more information about tour content, contact the BAHS museum 231 882-5538  or info@benziemuseum.org.

​For tour reservations contact Benzie Bus at 231 325-3000. “

Discover Something New at May Events for History

Betty Driscoll to address Grand Traverse Genealogical Society on Discovering Records Related to Traverse City State Hospital

The May Meeting will be held Thursday May 18th at 1:00pm at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 3746 Veterans Drive, Traverse City.

The guest speaker is Betty Driscoll, who will be speaking on “Voices from the asylum.” Her current project is compiling the records from the Traverse City State Hospital.

The event is free of charge, and open to the public, no reservations are required.

For more information contact: Melanie Olsen 231-275-6671 or olsen@lakenpineslodge.com

Maddie Lundy on “Les Biederman and the History of Radio in Traverse City”, Traverse Area Historical Society

TAHS has one more spring program to be presented on Sunday, May 21st in the McGuire Room at the Traverse Area District Library. It will start at 1:00 p.m., with light refreshments being served following the program.

May 21st: “Les Biederman and the History of Radio in Traverse City,” given by local historian Maddie Lundy!

Also, check out our latest newsletter for a letter from the President, an update on the Archives, and a sneak peek of our Summer Tour line-up!

Civil War Nurses  by Pam Toler, Benzie Area Historical Museum

Pam Toler will address the Benzie Area Historical Museum on Thursday, May 11th at 7PM at  Mills Community House, on the lives of women Civil War Nurses. Toler is the author of Heroines of Mercy Street: The Real Nurses of the Civil War, written to accompany the PBS series of the same name.

Event is free and open to the public, and co-sponsored by the Benzie Women’s History Project.

 

April Events Sure to Inspire and Inform

TAHS presents Norton Bretz on “A Murder in Eastport, 1870,” April 9th

A Murder in Eastport: An 1870 Family Story of Racial Profiling
By Norton Bretz, President of Eastport Historical Society
Sunday, April 9th, 1pm

This talk will examine a fascinating 1870 murder that echoes issues our country still deals with today.

On June 12, 1870, a black man named William Swan was walking along what is now US31 near near Eastport. William and his family had been living in the Charlevoix area for over five years, the only black residents of the county. He was was shot and killed by two Civil War veterans, for no apparent reason. The shooters would be acquitted.

Come hear Mr. Bretz, a descendant of these veterans, give a lively recounting of this event and its aftermath.

Norton Bretz is President of the Eastport Historical Society. He spent his career as a nuclear physicist at Princeton University. He is a Michigan native who grew up spending summers in Eastport.

Program is free and open to the public. Program will take place Sunday, April 9th, from 1-3pm, at the Traverse Area District Library, Children’s Story Room, 610 Woodmere Ave.

Boardman River Nature Center hosts Drinking Water Screening and Program on the Boardman River

Image courtesy of Gabe Popa, available on his Flickr page.

Stop by to discover what the Boardman River Nature Center (BRNC) has to offer! From 10:00-12:00pm, GTCD and the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assistance Program (MAEAP) are holding a FREE domestic drinking water well screening. For more information, click here.

Visit us from 1:00pm-2:30pm to join our educator as we learn all about the Boardman River. We will work with our indoor stream table, hike along the Boardman, and create a fun craft to take home. Ideal for ages 4+. These Saturday events are free and open to the public.

Annual Parklands Spring Clean-up in Grand Traverse County

When: Multiple Wednesdays – April 5th, April 12th, and April 19th, from 9:30am-12:00pm
Where: Various parklands throughout Grand Traverse County

Shortly after snowmelt is a great time of year to remove unwanted debris and miscellaneous items from our local parklands. In addition to cleaning up the parks, small scale park enhancement projects will take place. Contact us today to learn more about which parklands will be of focus this year, and what you can do to help!

Registration: RSVPs are required; contact Reb Ratliff at rratliff@gtcd.org or 231.941.0960×27, or Tom Vitale at tvitale@gtcd.org or 231.941.0960×19.

March Events for History and Culture

Kathy Firestone on “The History of Power Island,” March 19th

On the 3rd Sunday of every month, the Traverse Area Historical Society presents a program on local history. This month, we welcome author Kathy Firestone, who will speak on the History of Power Island, that famed plot of land in West Grand Traverse Bay that was the playground of the likes of Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, Thomas Edison and Babe Ruth.

Program is free and open to the public. Program will take place Sunday, March 19th, from 1-3pm, at the Traverse Area District Library, McGuire Room, 610 Woodmere Ave.

OAC’s 2017 Class Schedule is Online and Registration is Open!

The Oliver Art Center is pleased to announce its 2017 Summer Class Line-up! Registration can be done on our website, under the ‘Classes’ tab on the top menu or by calling the office at (231) 352-4151. Students will find classes in painting, drawing, collage, furniture, writing, ceramics, quilting, cooking, and special classes just for youth.

Returning favorites such as Peggy Hawley, Edee Joppich, Cedar Kindy, Beth Bynum and Tony Couch are joined by new instructors Julie Keck (copper enamel jewelry making), Jenni Bateman (silk painting), Heidi Finley (marbeling on paper and silk) and Karen West (iPhone and abstract photography). Douglas David returns this year with still life painting and David Abeel is back with Windsor woodworking.

The culinary arts program welcomes back Joe Muer with four classes on seafood and fish as well as Jim Voltz with classes on brunch and soups. Oliver Art Center is pleased to welcome Sara Hartley from Cherry Republic with four baking/pastry classes.

Youth classes are back in drawing, painting, ceramics, sculpture and felting. Register early for these popular summer activities.  The ceramics program is growing as well! Every Thursday is Open Studio and no experience is required. Keep an eye on the website for more beginner adult and kid ceramics classes.

“This year’s line-up is one of our best yet. We conducted a community survey late last year and asked what our community was looking for in classes. We took all the comments into consideration when booking this year’s classes and we hope that the community responds well to what we are offering. We are also looking to attract more youth to our center with many different classes for all ages” says Mercedes Michalowski, Executive Director.

Oliverartcenterfrankfort.org
Facebook.com/oliverartcenter

132 Coast Guard Road
PO Box 1513
Frankfort, MI 49635
Tel: 231.352.4151
Fax: 231.352.8017

History Talks in the Month of February

“The Dennos Museum Center – 25 Years and Growing,” talk delivered by Eugene Jenneman to the OMPHS

The Old Mission Peninsula Historical Society will meet at 7:00 p.m.February 2, 2017, at the Old Mission Township Hall, 13235 Center Road, Traverse City.

A short business meeting will begin at 7:00 p.m., followed by a
presentation by Dennos Museum Executive Director, Eugene Jenneman, on “The Dennos Museum Center – 25 Years and Growing.”

The meeting is open to the public, and visitors are welcome. Donations are encouraged, as the Historical Society maintains many spots of interest on the Old Mission Peninsula.

For further information, please e-mail President Barbara Berthelson at bbrthlsn@gmail.com , or telephone Judith Weaver at 231-947-0947.

“Steamers of the Grand Traverse Bay Line,” Steve Kelsch to address TAHS

“The Missouri,” at a dock in Traverse City, undated.
On the 3rd Sunday of every month, the Traverse Area Historical Society presents a program on local history. This month, we welcome Society favorite Steve Kelsch, who will speak on Steamers of the Grand Traverse Bay Line.
Program is free and open to the public. Program will take place Sunday, February 19th, from 1-3pm, at the Traverse Area District Library, McGuire Room, 610 Woodmere Ave.

Women’s History Project hosts program on “Reliving the Women’s March”

All are welcome to participate in an informal discussion  hosted by the Women’s History Project of Northwest Michigan on the Women’s March on Washington, which took place on January 21 in Washington, D.C.  Several attendees, including local organizer Becky Beauchamp, will answer questions about their experience.

Attendance is encouraged for all those who participated and those who wished they could, and anyone who has ideas about the March, women, and our place in history.  The WHP Souper Sunday is an annual event for the public, featuring camaraderie, a casual and delicious soup luncheon, and a thought-provoking program.

Program will be Sunday, February 5th, from 12:30-2:30pm, in the McGuire Room of the Traverse Area District Library, 610 Woodmere Avenue. Your $5 donation gets you entrance, as well as a hearty lunch catered by Centre Street Café. To reserve your place, contact Sandy at 231-421-3343 or at sansep19@earthlink.net.

History New and Old in January 2017

“Reliving the Women’s March” by Becky Beauchamp and March Attendees

Women’s History Project’s Souper Sunday is Sunday, February 5th
All are welcome to participate in a non-formal discussion of the Women’s March on Washington, January 2017, at the Women’s History Project’s annual Souper Sunday. Several attendees, including Becky Beauchamp, a local organizer, will be present to answer questions about their experience. Attendance is encouraged for all  those who participated and those who wished they could, and anyone who has ideas about the March, women and our place in history.


The WHP Souper Sunday is an annual event for the public, featuring camaraderie, a casual and delicious soup luncheon, and a thought-provoking program, all for a $5 donation. The event will take place on Sunday, February 5th, from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the McGuire Room of the Traverse Area District Library, 610 Woodmere Avenue, and will feature our traditional hearty lunch of soup, bread and desert – catered by Centre Street Café. Reservations are requested by February 1st. Call 231 421-3343 or email sansep19@earthlink.net.

Benzie Area Historical Museum presents program on “The House of David”

Thursday, January 12, 2017, “The House of David”  by Al Bryant. The House of David, a religious commune founded by Benjamin and Mary Purnett in Benton Harbor, MI, in March 1903, had a branch in Aral, MI, a ghost town which is now part of Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore in Benzie County  They were nationally know for their baseball teams, music bands and for the fact that men and women lived separately.

Al Bryant graduated from Olivet College and Western Michigan University, and gives programs for libraries, museums, schools, clubs, churches and libraries.

Cook to address Traverse Area Historical Society on Odawa Anishinabek History

Image courtesy of the Band.

JoAnne Cook will speak about the History of the Odawa Anishinabek people from the Grand Traverse Region in the McGuire Room at Traverse Area District Library, 610 Woodmere, on Sunday, January 15th, from 1-2:30pm.

JoAnne Cook is from Peshawbestown, Michigan. In 2012 she was elected to the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa/Chippewa Tribal Council. JoAnne’s professional experience has been with Tribal Courts. She was involved in the organization of Peacemaking and Healing to Wellness Court (Drug Court) – alternative courts utilizing tradition and culture to promote healing and restorative balance for those involved. She believes tradition and culture is vital to the Anishinabe way of life and has continued with her learning of the 3 Fires people. She presents to various communities on the way of life and culture of the Odawa. In addition, she has taught a course titled Native Law and Culture.

December Events for History Lovers

Benzie Audubon Club Leads Waterfowl Search, Christmas Bird Count

Join our friends at the Benzie Audubon Club and get outside! On Saturday, December 10, at 9:30 a.m., Carl Freeman will be leading the group in search of  waterfowl on Lower Herring Lake. Meet at the Lower Herring Lake public access. Contact Carl Freeman (231-352-4739) with questions.

Red-necked Grebe with chicks. By Lukasz Lukasik (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons. [Editor's note: Grebes are not found in Michigan. We just loved this photo.]
Red-necked Grebe with chicks.
By Lukasz Lukasik (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons. [Editor’s note: Grebes are not found in Michigan. We just loved this photo.]
Then on Sunday, December 18 at 8:00 a.m., the annual Christmas Bird Count is on! Readers will recall that one of our regular contributors covered this event last year. For Benzie County Residents: Contact Carl Freeman (231-352-4739) to sign up with a group to count birds in a defined territory or John Ester (231-325-2445) to count birds at your feeder (and yard) at home. At the end of the birding day come together for a potluck supper at the Benzonia Township Hall to share birding stories and tally our results.

For Antrim County Christmas Bird Count on December 14, contact Coordinator John Kreag (231) 264-8969 or cell (231) 360-0943

For Grand Traverse County Christmas Bird Count on December 17, contact Coordinator Ed Moehle (231) 947-8821

Traverse Area Historical Society Recalls Christmases of Traverse City’s Past

401“Christmas from the Archives: Vignettes of Christmas from Traverse City’s Past,” presented by past Historical Society Archivist, Peg Siciliano.

Images of Northern Michigan winter holidays will accompany stories of Christmas happenings from Traverse City’s past. Christmas items from the historical archives will be displayed.

Join us for the program on Sunday, December 18th at 2pm., in the McGuire Room of the Traverse Area District Library on Woodmere Ave.

Old Fashioned Potluck Christmas Party & Caroling

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Unknown family at Christmas. From the Al Barnes Photograph Collection, Traverse Area District Library.

Old Mission Historical Society will host an “Old Fashioned Potluck Christmas Party & Caroling” at the American Legion Post, 4007 Swaney Rd., Old Mission. Doors, 5:30pm; dinner, 6pm. 231-223-7746.

Regional Events in November for History Folk

Twentieth Century Farm Life

pieSunday, November 20th at 1pm, Susan Odom of Hillside Homestead, nationally known expert on early twentieth century cooking, kitchens and small-scale farming, will address the Traverse Area Historical Society and all attendees on the art of running an early twentieth century farms. Come pick up some tips for holiday cooking! Event will be held at the Traverse Area District Library, 610 Woodmere Ave. in the McGuire Room.

Shoes! Glorious Shoes!

pair_of_womans_oxford_shoes_wedding_lacma_m-83-156-1a-bThursday, November 10th at 4:00pm.  Join the Benzie Area Historical Society to “walk a mile” in the shoes of our ancestors with Nancy Bordine.  We’ll explore what they wore on their feet, and why they wore them. We’ll ponder the world’s most extreme shoes in terms of age, price, comfort and significance.  This entertaining experience may change the way you think about footwear.

Vintage aficionado Nancy Bordine has been playing “dress up” with historical clothing for five decades.  At last count, she owned more than 550 pairs of vintage shoes. Combine Nancy’s collection with her wide knowledge and contagious enthusiasm, and have yourself a most entertaining history lesson. Held at the Benzie Area Historical Museum, Benzonia.

Genealogists Meet to Share

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Family History Month: Annual Meetings, Women, and Arts

Artist Ann Loveless to address Women’s History Project of Northwest Michigan, October 15th

“Landscape Art Quilt Journey” is the theme of a talk by Ann Loveless at the next Women’s History Project of Northwest Michigan Annual Meeting on Saturday, October 15. Loveless will share her ideas and experiences as a quilt artist and tell how she discovered this unique art form.  Her work has received wide recognition, including several Grand Rapids ArtPrize awards.
Location:  Parish Hall of the Grace Episcopal Church (341 Washington St).  Parking is in back.
Time: 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.   Lunch will be catered by Centre Street Café
***RESERVATIONS REQUIRED by October 10th! ***
Cost is $15 for WHPNM members and $20 for non-members.  Please mail check to WHP at P.O. Box 4463, Traverse City 49685.  For more information, call 947-5178

Exhibit, The Leelanau Woman, at Leelanau County Historical Society

The exhibit, The Leelanau Woman, opened September 10th, but there is still time to see it! This worthy exhibit, a collaboration between Meg Simpson of Meg Ashley Photography and Kim Kelderhouse, the museum’s Curator of Collections, focuses on women’s vintage fashion and places of historical significance around Leelanau County. Bring the family along, as there is something here for everyone! Standing exhibits include the Traditional Anishnabek Arts Room and Shipwrecks of the Manitou Passage.

Plan your visit, starting at the Leelanau County Historical Society website: http://www.leelanauhistory.org/

Educator Rachel Wicksall to address Traverse Area Historical Society at the Annual Meeting, October 16th

Educator Rachel Wicksall will address the TAHS membership, speaking on “Bringing Traverse City Area History Back to our School-Age Children.” Also, Board Chair Stephen Siciliano will address the membership on news from the Society, with a look back in the year’s accomplishments, and a look forward at what is to come. Meeting will be held in the McGuire Room in the Traverse Area District Library at 610 Woodmere Ave., Traverse City, MI, on Sunday, October 16, 2016, at 1:00pm.

More information, as well as the agenda and ballot for Board Elections (members only), available at https://traversehistory.wordpress.com/

New Exhibits, Hands-on Fun and Walking Tours in September

Downtown Traverse City Historic Walking Tours Every Saturday

Don’t miss the Traverse Area Historical Society’s Downtown Historic Walking Tours! The tour will be offered every Saturday in September, starting at 10:30am.  The tour will last approximately 90 minutes.  Please meet  in front of Horizon Bookstore, 243 East Front Street, 20 minutes before the start time. The cost is $10 cash or check; with all proceeds benefiting the Historical Society.  Reservations (at 995-0313) are appreciated but are not necessary.

Oakwood Cemetery Tours Every Sunday

The Traverse Area Historical Society will conduct walking tours of Oakwood Cemetery at 4:00 PM on all Sundays in September and on October 2 and 9. The tours will focus on the unique history of the area and the early pioneers who began the process that led to the community we know today. The tours are geared towards an adult audience and last 1 ½ hours. The cost is $10 per person and all funds raised will benefit the programs of the Historical Society. Participants are encouraged to wear shoes suitable for hiking over uneven terrain. They should meet with docents on the sidewalk outside the cemetery at the corner of Eighth Street and Steele approximately 15 minutes prior to start time. For additional information call (231)941-8440.

Specific Dates: September 4, 11, 18, and 25; October 2 and 9

National Parks Continue Celebrating their History

Sleeping Bear Dunes, August 2011. Image courtesy of Rodney Campbell, https://flic.kr/p/aa2nva
Sleeping Bear Dunes, August 2011. Image courtesy of Rodney Campbell, https://flic.kr/p/aa2nva

Would you like to attend a star party, witness a shipwreck rescue reenactment, hear some excellent live music, and volunteer to help restore biodiveristy in our region? Then get involved with the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and the National Park Service as the celebrate 50 (for the Dunes) and 100 years of service to us! Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock (like some residents of the Dunes), you’ve probably heard about the celebration, but with the winter months coming on, the last few days to enjoy our collective conservation history is upon us. Don’t wait!

Click here to see the calendar of events for September 2016

New Exhibits on TC Paralympian and Traveling at TADL, Woodmere

Join us on the 2nd Floor of the Woodmere Main Library, Traverse Area District Library, for two fantastic exhibits, never before seen in Traverse City:

Tommy Kelderhouse was a Paralympic athlete from Traverse City. Archery was just one sport he medaled in.
Tommy Kelderhouse was a Paralympic athlete from Traverse City. Archery was just one sport he medaled in.

Tommy Kelderhouse, 1970s Paralympic athlete and Traverse City son, is featured on several interpretive panels courtesy of Port Oneida Community Alliance and the Kelderhouse Family.  Tommy Kelderhouse was the great great grandson of Thomas Kelderhouse, founder of Port Oneida. Enjoy this piece of history, just in time for the Paralympic Games, beginning on September 7th in Rio, Brazil. This exhibit is in the primary display space to the right of the 2nd Floor Reference Desk.

Profuse thanks to the Port Oneida Community Alliance for the privilege of displaying Tommy’s work and achievements. Port Oneida Community Alliance is a nonprofit organization providing hands on opportunities for education, recreation, and celebration of historical knowledge, environmental stewardship, and sustainable agriculture that honor and perpetuate the legacy and community spirit of the resilient subsistence farmers who called Port Oneida their home.
Also, a brief exhibit on how passengers in Grand Traverse County fared on various modes of transport, from the 1850s to the 1920s. Learn more about Traverse City’s own auto manufacturer and more! This exhibit is immediately at the top of the stairs on the 2nd Floor.