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.

New Organization works to save Leelanau County Poor Farm Barn, and More from your Societies

Newly Formed Leelanau County Historic Preservation Society Granted 501(c)3 Status, Works to Save Leelanau Poor Farm Barn

From email correspondence:

“Our newly formed Leelanau County Historic Preservation Society (LCHPS) has been granted a nonprofit 501(c) (3) status. Board Officer/Directors are: Steve Stier, President; Barbara Siepker, Vice-President; Laurel Jeris, Secretary; Frank Siepker, Treasurer.

We are to now ready to accept donations and pledges. This effort will further assure the County Commissioners that we are able to take on and complete the barn rehabilitation project. We have attached a form you may download, for you to let us know what financial support we can count on.

We are ready to present a partnership proposal to the Leelanau County Board of Commissioners at their August 8th 9 am Executive Committee meeting. Steve Stier has gathered estimates for barn rehabilitation work and we will report on these numbers. The needed work on the barn can be done in planned stages as funding becomes available.

We look forward to hearing from you. We will report back to you soon on our progress. We are confident that a partnership with the County can be accomplished, thereby saving and rehabilitating the Poor Farm Barn. We appreciate your being a part of this partnership and will soon be notifying you of additional areas of volunteer assistance needed.”

Download a Donation form HERE

Read more about the rescue effort in the Detroit Free Press

Traverse Area Historical Society Continues Tours

Last call for last summer hurrahs! Traverse Area Historical Society is wrapping up their tour season in mid-October, but take advantage of the good weather (while you can!):

Downtown Walking Tours start at 10:30 am on each Saturday through October 14th. Participants should meet outside Horizon Books 15 minutes before the start time. Tours last approximately 1-1/2 hours. For additional information, call (231) 995-0313. Reservations not necessary, but please call for groups of over 5 people.

Walking tours of Oakwood Cemetery, starting on Sunday, June 18th, will be available at 6:00 PM every Sunday thru October 15. These tours focus on the unique history of the area and the early pioneers who founded the community we know today. Geared towards an adult audience, the tours will last about 1 ½ hours. Participants are encouraged to wear shoes suitable for hiking over uneven terrain. They should meet on the sidewalk outside the cemetery near the Eighth Street entrance, approximately 15 minutes prior to start time. For additional information, call (231) 941-8440. Reservations not necessary, but please call for groups of over 5 people.

Leelanau Historical Society Celebrates its 60th Year!

Traverse City, Leelanau & Manistique Railroad nearing Northport, 1880s.

From their website: “The Leelanau Historical Society was launched in 1957 by a group of residents dedicated to collecting and preserving Leelanau’s history. Leland, first established in 1853 and later the county seat, seemed the natural location for the Society. When the old county jail became available in 1959, the museum found its first home. Through generous donations and grants, a new museum was built in 1985 and expanded in 2005 and 2015.

Today, the collections and archives contain more than 14,000 items. Visitors to the museum learn about Leelanau life and maritime history from exhibits, educational programs and publications. Recipient of the 2014 State History Award for Outstanding Local Society, LHS continues to collect, document and preserve items relating to Leelanau history.”

Congrats to one of our favorite institutions! Check out their new website and awesome events (including a day trip to the Manitou Islands in early September), http://www.leelanauhistory.org/

Monthly Meeting of the Grand Traverse Genealogical Society on Using Court Records

Grand Traverse County Courthouse, undated. From the Grand Traverse County website.

The September Meeting will be held Thursday September 21st at 1:00pm at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 3746 Veterans Drive, Traverse City. The guest speakers will be  Jessica Harden from the State of Michigan Archives. She will speak on “Using Court Records in Genealogical Research” A number of records are kept in the county courthouse because this was the place of business. While the legalese is not the most pleasant reading, probate and court records document the lives of our ancestors. Court records include information about adoption, debt, divorce, naturalization, lawsuits, guardianships and appointments. Probate records are records related to the death of ancestor and the distribution of their estate. These records often include wills, inventories, accounts, bonds, etc.

Take a Walk on the History Side

Overview of the north Union Street bridge over the Boardman River taken from the tower of the Traverse City State bank. Steamer ”Puritan” on the bay, ca. 1910-20. Image courtesy of Traverse Area District Library, Local History Collection.

Walking Tours Ongoing from the Traverse Area Historical Society

You still have several opportunities to take in Traverse Area Historical Society’s now-famous tours! All tours are $10 per person, and all funds raised go to support local non-profit historical activities.

Downtown Walking Tours start at 10:30 am each Saturday through October 14th, with the exception of and July 29th (Film Festival). Participants should meet outside Horizon Books 15 minutes before the start time. Tours last approximately 1-1/2 hours. For additional information, call (231) 995-0313. Reservations not necessary, but please call for groups of over 5 people.

Walking tours of Oakwood Cemetery will be available at 6:00 PM every Sunday thru October 15. These tours focus on the unique history of the area and the early pioneers who founded the community we know today. Geared towards an adult audience, the tours will last about 1 ½ hours. Participants are encouraged to wear shoes suitable for hiking over uneven terrain. They should meet on the sidewalk outside the cemetery near the Eighth Street entrance, approximately 15 minutes prior to start time. For additional information, call (231) 941-8440. Reservations not necessary, but please call for groups of over 5 people.

Also, continue to enjoy the “virtual walking tour”of Downtown Traverse City by our own Richard Fidler, courtesy of the Society.

“Scene where Julia Curtis Was Killed, April 29th, 1895.” Image courtesy of the S.E. Wait Glass Plate Negative Collection, Traverse Area District Library.

Old Mission Gazette features story on Julia Curtis

Stephen Lewis, author of Murder on Old Mission and Murder Undone was recently featured in a wonderful digital magazine, the Old Mission Gazette, the brain-child of lifelong OM resident Jane Johnson Boursaw.  

Your editors enjoy the history found at Old Mission Gazette, and always look forward to the next edition. Boursaw has published a number of interviews with longtime residents, histories researched by herself and others, and she often reports on current events of a historic nature.

In regards to Julia Curtis (whom we’ve covered before, thanks to Lewis), hers is a harrowing true story that makes a compelling novel at Lewis’ deft pen. His works are for sale both at Amazon.com and Horizon Books locally.

The Rev. Charles E. Stebbins (pictured with his wife, Helen Stebbins, a Red Cross nurse) , was one of those men who put on a uniform to fight the Germans. He became Field Director of the American Red Cross, who was in charge of Camp Grant in Rockford, IL.

Benzie Area Historical Society & Museum continues World War I Exhibit, Events

The United States, after much debate,  entered WW1 in April 1917. The Benzie Area Historical Society has created a 2017 summer  exhibit at the museum, “Gone to the Colors,”  to mark the centennial of this event.   The exhibit focuses primarily on how Benzie County was affected,  on a number of the “local boys” who enlisted,  and  at “propaganda” in a variety of forms– popular music, posters, letters, etc. The exhibit runs through October 19; the Museum is open Tuesday – Sunday  1-5PM

In addition, BAHS is also sponsoring a number of WW1 commemorative  events honoring those who served in WW1:

  • (Tuesday, July 18) Crystal Lake East Cemetery, Frankfort
  • (Tuesday, July 25) Champion Hill Cemetery, Honor
  • (Thursday, August 10)  Lecture “It’s Not Our War”

A Polar Bear Returns to Russia: World War I and Michigan, presented by the Benzie Area Historical Museum

by Andrew Bolander, Benzie Area Historian, Museum Volunteer
The experiences of the American North Russia Expeditionary Force during World War I are often overlooked. The units arrived in Archangel, Russia on September 5, 1918. From its inauspicious start, in which 175 soldiers were unable to disembark their troop transports as they were quarantined with the Spanish Flu, to its cold, bitter end, the Expedition was largely seen as a waste of manpower.(1)
Benzie Area Historical Museum, World War I Exhibit, will be on display during the Summer 2017 season.

Why the Americans were involved in the North Russian theater of operations was a convoluted diplomatic mess.  Their military purpose was to maintain an Allied presence on the Eastern front of the European conflict. After the Bolshevik Revolution (November 7, 1917), the Allies were weakened by the loss of Tsarist Russia. The Bolsheviks signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Germany in March 1918,  and the line of battle on Germany’s eastern border disappeared. So the American North Russia Expeditionary Force appeared in Archangel, Russia, to keep the Bolsheviks south and the Germans out of Murmansk. This adventure later became commonly known as the Polar Bear Expedition.

Although the Americans were specified not to be an offensive force, on September 6th the British command ordered a push south along the Trans-Siberian Railroad to Vologda. It was hailed as a victory, but it had created a front of 450 miles in length that the Allied forces struggled to defend for the next nine months. The Americans, who comprised the majority of the boots on the ground covering the area outside of the city of Archangel, numbered 5500 men. In comparison, the front between France and Germany was roughly 500 miles long with millions of soldiers trenched in on either side.
Benzie Area Historical Museum, World War I Exhibit, will be on display during the Summer 2017 season.

The notorious Russian Winter battled the American troops. President Wilson determined that the American soldiers in Russia would not be equipped with standard Army kit. No American flags were to be officially brought to Archangel and the soldiers did not wear the uniform of the United States Army.  Cold weather gear provided by the British Army was criminally inadequate. Soldiers bartered for improvements in the markets or looted the dead for fur lined hats, gloves, boots, and coats, which were suitable for the environment they were commanded to occupy.

Gilbert T. Shilson was a Lieutenant in Company “K” of the 339th Infantry, and despite this small sample of the trials he and his companions experienced he would willingly return to the same frozen countryside a decade later. Mr. Shilson, who was widely known as “Duke”, grew up in Traverse City and lived there until he joined the Army for World War I. His parents ran the Hotel Shilson that was on the corner of Lake Avenue and Union Street. The Boardman River House was opened by his grandparents and his grandfather, William Shilson, was the first miller in Traverse City. Duke was employed at the Record-Eagle as a reporter and Sporting Editor and later left Traverse City to work at the Detroit News.
Mr. Shilson was recognized by the French Government for his courage during the battle of Kodish, which took place at the end of December 1918:
“Fine Conduct during the battle of Kodish on December 30th & 31st, 1918. Facing an enemy ten times superior in number and under violent fire, he constantly maintained the spirit of his men. Being constantly at the most dangerous places of the fight, he succeeded, after a battle of fifteen hours, in repulsing the enemy. There were five men killed among which were one officer and twenty-nine wounded, out of a total number of sixty-five men.”
Gilbert T. Shilson, Governor Fred W. Green, and the rest of the Commission. Image courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library.

In 1929, Michigan Governor Fred W. Green appointed a commission to locate and retrieve fallen American soldiers that remained in Russia when the troops were withdrawn. Shilson was appointed as its chairman. By July 1929 enough research and fundraising had been accomplished to send a team over to Russia and retrieve the fallen American soldiers. The Polar Bear Association dedicated the Polar Bear Monument on Memorial Day 1930.  Fifty-five bodies from Russian soil were interred at White Chapel Memorial Park in Troy, Michigan.

The Benzie Area Historical Museum will conduct a cemetery tour Tuesday, July 11th from 7 to 8 pm and will hold a remembrance ceremony at Mr. Walter Dundon’s grave. Currently the museum is maintaining a display on the Polar Bears as part of the World War I exhibit that will be open for the duration of this summer.
References:
(1) Harding, Warren G. (President) quoted in “American soldiers faced Red Army on Russian soil,” Army Times, September 16, 2002.

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

130110141377-4
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.