Dorothy (Dottie) M. Lanham, 1924-2014

We mark the passing of community elder Dorothy (Dottie) M. Lanham, who died on December 30, 2014, five days after her 90th birthday.
15-year-old Dottie Lanham, her companion Jerry, and the view from their Burdickville home: Glen Lake and Alligator Hill (now part of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore) 1939
15-year-old Dottie Lanham, her companion Jerry, and the view from their Burdickville home: Glen Lake and Alligator Hill (now part of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore), 1939.

Dottie was born on Christmas Day, 1924—a fourth-generation citizen of Burdickville, the small village along the southeast shore of Glen Lake. She grew up in Burdickville, married a man from Burdickville, and lived the rest of her life in and around Burdickville. She raised two children there, helped run a business there, and continued til the end to help care for and preserve Burdickville’s historic Old Settlers Picnic Ground. Plainly, Dottie knew and loved Burdickville and the surrounding area.

In 1997 Dottie was named Leelanau County Woman of the Year, based on her years of community service. During recent times she spent many hours preserving the history of Burdickville and surrounding areas. She made her large collection of family photographs available for digital preservation, and spent many hours providing related information.
A book based largely on Dottie’s photos and oral history interviews (but also including pages about others from the surrounding community) can be viewed HERE. Excerpts from her oral history interviews and those of others are available HERE.
Thanks to Tom Van Zoeren for this month’s “Celebrate the People,” honoring a true crusader for local history and nature conservation. Van Zoeren is a retired Sleeping Bear Dunes Park Ranger, who now works to preserve Port Oneida history. All of the oral history interviews, their transcripts, and related photos that have been collected have been donated to the public domain and are available in digital form at the Glen Lake Library (Empire) or from Tom. He welcomes your questions, comments, and further Port Oneida information (via email atVZOralHistory.com).

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