Tag Archives: newspapers

50 YEARS AGO: January 1968

In response to several readers’ desires, all of whom greatly admire the 110 Years Ago column written for the Traverse City Record-Eagle by Cathy Griffin, volunteer for the Traverse Area Historical Society, Grand Traverse Journal has solicited the assistance of regular contributor Bensie Benghauser, to produce 50 Years Ago. The readers who requested this column asked that we cover years more recent than 100, as they hoped to encounter the names of people they once knew. Please enjoy, and if you would like to assist Bensie with a bit of news from the past, you are welcome to join her! Email your editors at gtjeditor@tadl.org.

So, what was Traverse City talking about in January 1968?

A second heart transplant was performed by Dr. Christian Barnard in Cape Town, South Africa. This was his second operation, and the third such operation to be performed.  The gentleman receiving the heart was a retired dentist, Dr. Philip Blaiberg, 58.  His donor was a 24 year-old man who died from a brain hemorrhage while playing touch football with friends at a beach resort. The operation took 5 hours.  Dr. Barnard’s first operation was on December 3 of the previous year and took 7 hours.

The polls are split when it comes to guessing who will be the best Republican candidate against incumbent Lyndon Johnson.  One poll has Richard Nixon as the most likely to get the GOP nomination, but another poll feels the Governor Nelson Rockefeller would be a stronger candidate.  Newsweek shows that Nixon has a commanding lead while the New York Times says that Johnson would carry the states with 378 electoral votes.

1899 Traverse City High School football team. George Raff, quarterback, is sitting on the far right of the front row.

Graveside funeral services for George W. Raff, 88, of 306 W. 7th Street, were held this afternoon at Oakwood Cemetery, with Rev. George A. Belknap of the Evangelical United Brethren Church officiating.  Arrangements were made by the Reynolds Funeral Home. Mr. Raff was born October 29, 1879 in Napoleon, Ohio.  He moved to Traverse City in 1880 and had operated a fishing camp at Northport for 20 years, and one at Grand Marais for 15 years.  He is survived by his wife Nellie Mae Chaney whom he married November 8, 1927.

The Grand Traverse Bay YMCA will sponsor a cake decorating course beginning Wednesdays at the YMCA.  Mrs. Richard (Jean) Kluzak will be the instructor.  Participants are to bring an eight-inch cake pan.  All other materials will be furnished.  The fee for the course is $6 for members and $8 for non-members and covers the cost of the cake decorating kit.

Miss Suanne Stouten and Jack R. Keyes were married Friday evening, December 22 at the Mayfair Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids.  Mr. and Mrs. Robert Keyes of 13910 West Bay Shore Road are the parents of the groom.  Mr. and Mrs. Niel Stouten for Grand Rapids are the parents of the bride. They honeymooned in Northern Michigan following a church reception.  Jack Keyes  is serving with the U.S. Navy stationed at Great Lakes Naval Training Station.

Movies showing on this day were “More Than a Miracle” starring Sophia Loren and Omar Shariff, and “Reflections in a Golden Eye” starring Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando.

Original prints by master artists of the 15-20th centuries are currently on display at the Mark Osterlin Library at Northwestern Michigan College.  The exhibits of 36 woodcuts, engravings, etchings and lithographs is circulated by the Michigan State University Art Collection at Kresge Art Center and is sponsored by the Michigan State Council for the Arts.

Traverse City area’s “Fabulous Four” ski resorts and related businesses all report the best start in many years for a winter sports season.  Thousands of skiers a day enjoyed the slopes at Traverse City Holiday Hills, Crystal Mountain, Shanty Creek, and Sugar Loaf Mountain on several Christmas week days.  In addition,  restaurants, hotels, and motels reported excellent volumes of business.

Young people of the Mesick Free Methodist Church will host the Cherryland youth rally which is held each month at a different community within the area.  The event will take place at the Mesick High School Saturday evening, January 13, in the old gymnasium at 7:00p.m.  A drama, “Dream of Heaven”, will be presented by the Pisgah Heights Wesleyan Methodist Church group.

Classified ad:  To all the nice people in the Grand Travese Area…Thank your for making 1967 another fine year for Vita-Bay Potato Chips, “The Outstanding Potato Chip”. And for Snacktime Nuts & Snacks.  Your Friendly Vita-Boy Man.

South elevation (back entrance) of U & I Lounge. The interior of the lounge has caught fire, and smoke billows from the open doors and windows. Traverse City Fire Department truck in foreground, ca. 1950s.

Traverse City firemen went to the Mary E. Lawton residence, 809 Thirs, at 1 a.m. today after a furnace humidifier’s plastic pipe broke and spilled about an inch of water on the basement floor.  A water vacuum was used to remove the water and no extensive damage was reported.

First Straub & Amiotte factory on west Front Street, where Hattie likely spent many hours.

Funeral services for Mrs. George (Hattie) Amiotte, 100, of 319 Sixth Street, Traverse City, will be held at 11 a.m Saturday at Reynolds funeral home.  Mrs. Amiotte was born May 1, 1867 at Muskegon, an in 1899 came to Traverse City with her husband, the late George E. Amiotte, who entered into the partnership of Straub Bros. and Amiotte Candy Manufacturers.  Mr. Amiotte died in 1939.  Mrs. Amiotte was a life member of Traverse City Woman’s Club, a member of the First Congregational Church, a charter member of the Ladies Library Association, and was very active in civic affairs until her health no longer permitted her to be so.  On her 100th birthday anniversary, she was honored with a celebration at which she received messages form the president of the United States, Governor George Romne, and many others.

Park Place Hotel parking lot construction, Washington Street entrance. The First Baptist Church appears in the background of the image, ca. 1991.

The First Baptist Church announces the arrival of its new pastor, Rev. Elmer Katterjohn, a graduate of Moody Bible Institute, as is his wife. He will commence his pastorate Sunday during the 11:00 a.m worship service.  Eugene Pelizzari, moderator for the church, has stated that the call to Rev. Katterjohn was voted unanimously by the church members.  For several months the church has been under the leadership of interim Pastor Gilbert Miles.

Comstock Park school officials today had under advisement a complaint charging that one of its instructors is teaching religion.  The complaint was made to the board of education at a meeting Wednesday night by Mrs. Lorraine Dykehouse.  She said that James Gole, a sixth grade teacher, has been teaching Bible stories in his classroom. She claimed it was a violation of Supreme Court opinions banning prayers and Bible teaching in public shcools during regular school hours.  Mrs.  Dykehouse said unless the Comstock Park board instructs Gole to refrain from teaching Bible stories, she will transfer the complaints to the American Civil Liberties Union.

“The Tribune”: A New Newspaper to Illuminate Our Past

By Richard Fidler, Co-Editor of Grand Traverse Journal

An archives can reveal hidden treasures to investigators with the patience to wade through boxes of records often as uninspiring as ledgers of collapsed businesses and minutes of fraternal organizations.  Marlas Hanson uncovered one of them recently: a stack of newspapers never before recognized by historians as a resource for local news.  There were about twenty copies of them, all dated in the year 1881.  What could they tell us about the area that our other paper of the time, the Grand Traverse Herald, did not?  This is a question that sets a historian’s heart racing—a new source of information.

Image by Amy Barritt, January 2017.

Alas, upon examining issue after issue, it became apparent to us that the Tribune had precious little in the way of stories about the Grand Traverse region.  It was a political paper favoring the Democrats, perhaps a counterbalance to the Herald, a  thoroughly Republican outlet.  Most newspapers of the time were explicitly Republican or Democrat: neutrality was not common.  The later merging of the Evening Record, a paper with links to Republicans, with the Morning Eagle, a Democratic organ, formed the Traverse City Record-Eagle, a newspaper less partisan than most others. 

Unlike the Herald, the Tribune dwelled mostly upon party conventions held elsewhere and descriptions of the nasty things Republicans were doing to the country at the time.  It carried no long, detailed accounts of fires, weather events, and happenings about town, and little in the way of editorial reflections on local issues of the day.  In short, it was a disappointment.

Still, one can find gold among the dross.  Editors at the time had a gift for story-telling, a gift seldom displayed by present-day editors who use the dry, formal language of today’s news rooms.  They frequently wrote about their feelings and things that happened to them, spinning complex sentences that astound us today with their style and expressiveness.  By contrast, when editors raise their voices these days, it is only about their views on issues, local, state, or national.  They do not let us know about their lives, unlike newspapermen of the 1880’s.  One personal story captured from the Tribune’s editorials moves us to tears even now, more than a hundred and twenty years later.  Though unsigned, it was probably written by Albert H. Johnson, editor and founder of the Tribune.

For background, Johnson previously had started the Leelanau Enterprise, but moved on to tackle the Traverse City market after that venture.  We do not know how long the Tribune, lasted in the city—perhaps not long, given the preponderance of Republicans in the area at this time.  Since the area has voted quite consistently for Republicans, a Democratic newspaper would not do well in such an environment.  However long it lasted, the paper did leave us this story about Johnson’s grief at the death of his young son.  It speaks to us across time about the universality of human suffering.

“In the Bottom Drawer

H. Johnson, editor

I saw my wife pull out the bottom drawer of the old family bureau this evening, and went softly out, and wandered up and down, until I knew that she had shut it up and gone to her sewing.  We have some things laid away in that drawer which the gold of kings could not buy, and yet they are relics which grieve us until both our hearts are sore.  I haven’t dared look at them for a year, but I remember every article.

There are two worn shoes, a little chip hat, with part of it gone, some stockings, pants, a coat, two or three spools, bits of broken crockery, a whip, and several toys.  Wife, poor thing, goes to this drawer every day of her life and prays over it, and lets her tears fall upon the precious articles, but I dare not go.

This is not an image of Jack, but of an unknown boy holding a fish, at the northeast corner of Wellington & State Streets. Did little Jack like to fish? We suspect so, as it was a popular pastime. Image from the Historical Society Collection at Traverse Area District Library.

Sometimes we speak of little Jack, but not often.  It has been a long time, but somehow we can’t get over grieving .  He was such a burst of sunshine into our lives that his going away has been like covering our every day existence with a pall.  Sometimes, when we sit alone of an evening, I writing and she sewing, a child on the street will call out as our boy used to, and we will both start up with beating hearts and a wild hope, only to find this darkness more of a burden than ever.

It is so still and quiet now.  I look up at the window, where his blue eyes used to sparkle at my coming, but he is not there.  I listen for his prattling feet, his merry shout and his ringing laugh, but there is no sound.  There is no one to climb over my knees, no one to search my pockets and tease for presents, and I never find the chairs turned over, the broom down, or ropes tied to door knobs.

I want someone to tease me for my knife; to ride on my shoulder; to lose my ax; to follow me to the gate when I go, and be there to meet me when I come; to call “good night” from the little bed now empty.  And wife she misses him still more; there are no little feet to wash, no prayers to say, no voice teasing for lumps of sugar or sobbing with the pain of a hurt; and she would give her own life almost, to wake at midnight and look across to the crib at midnight and see the our boy there as he used to be.

So, we preserve our relics, and when we are dead we hope that strangers will handle them tenderly, even if they shed no tears over them.”

VOTE to Digitize Our History

In this month’s issue, your Editors invite you to make history, not just read about it! Find out more in the article below:
The Traverse Area District Library (TADL) along with local grant partners, the History Center of Traverse City and Osterlin Library, Northwestern Michigan College (NMC) are asking for community support to vote Traverse City newspapers to win the Michigan Digital Newspaper Grant.
The community is encouraged to vote via twitter using #DigTraverse in posts from January 19-25. Each tweet equals one vote. Voting can also be done by sending a picture postcard to the Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, Mich., 48859. Postcards will be available at all TADL locations, the Osterlin Library at NMC, and the History Center.
digtraverseflyerTADL and partners were selected as one of five finalists to receive a Michigan Digital Newspaper Grant administered through the Clarke Historical Library. The $2,500 grant award will help improve access to a winning Michigan newspaper. If Traverse City wins, the funds will be used for scanning and placing online nearly 10,000 combined pages of the Grand Traverse Herald, The Morning Record, The Evening Record, and the Traverse City Record­ Eagle.
The grant would also cover microfilming and digitizing of fragile, one of a kind newspapers of the Traverse City Record-Eagle from May 1, 1915 to December 31, 1916.
“The Record Eagle from 1915-1916 was never filmed as the originals were destroyed in a fire,” said Amy Barritt, TADL Special Collections Librarian. “However, and thankfully, the History Center has collected a number of print copies from that span of time and would like to get them filmed and digitized for preservation purposes, which is a huge resource for our community.”
The newspapers being nominated were published pre­-1923, and are therefore in the public domain and cover a large geographic area including Northwestern Lower Peninsula of Michigan, with an emphasis on Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Benzie and Kalkaska Counties.
Barritt said she and her grant partners are beyond excited to have made it this far and hope the community gets involved to digitize and preserve the region’s local history.
“Our purpose in asking the public to determine the final outcome is so that, from five very good applications, the newspaper selected will serve the needs of the community that demonstrates the greatest interest in using the resource,” said Frank Boles Director, Clarke Historical Library.
This project is made possible by funds from the Robert and Susan Clarke endowment, housed in the Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University.

Welcome from the Editors


We greet you!  After a long vacation, we resume the composing stick and quill, a calling in which we have spent the happiest and best portion of a life now past its meridian.  We present you to-day the first number of the GRAND TRAVERSE HERALD.  It is modest and unpretending in size,–perhaps some may think too much so,–but remember it is only one day old!  It will have time enough to grow, and will expand its dimensions just in proportion to the nourishment it receives.  In typographical appearance, we think it will compare favorably with any paper in the State.  At all events, we have consulted our own taste in that matter, and are satisfied with the result.

So begins Morgan Bates’ first editorial for the Traverse area’s first newspaper.  Not holding composing stick and quill, we struggle with hardware and software, though perhaps not as Bates would have imagined those things in 1858.  Whatever the differences in composition and production, we do share his enthusiasm and his high expectations that something interesting and new is in the offing—for us, THE GRAND TRAVERSE JOURNAL (GTJ).

GTJ tells of Nature and History, always with an emphasis on the Grand Traverse region.   Every month we will support that focus through regular department features, photographs, and articles written not just by us, but by you–our readers–who will share your experiences, articles, and photographs with hundreds of your fellow citizens.  Alas, we cannot pay you for your trouble—after all, we are supported by two nonprofits, the Traverse Area District Library and the History Center of Traverse City—but we can inform an entire community about who you are, what you are interested in, and what projects you are involved in.  Please look at the Submissions Guidelines, which spells out what we are looking for.  As Morgan Bates said, our magazine will expand (and improve!) just in proportion to the nourishment it receives.  You, the readers and soon-to-be writers, will supply the nourishment required for the Grand Traverse Journal to grow.

The Grand Traverse Journal may be viewed at gtjournal.tadl.org.  In addition, paper copies may be obtained at the Reference Desk of the Traverse Area District Library and at the Archives of the History Center of Traverse City.  Readers may make copies of articles for the cost of reproduction.

Enjoy this first issue of the Grand Traverse Journal.  Spread the word among your friends about our new magazine and send us your thoughts about how we can make it better.  Our email address is gtjeditor@tadl.org

Amy Barritt and Richard Fidler, editors