2012-01-26 / Columns

Looking Back

120 YEARS AGO

The St. Ignace News

Saturday, January 23, 1892

The ferry North Star was put into winter quarters last Wednesday.

The owners of the ferry North Star intend to give her a new boiler this winter.

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R. D. Conway will bank 300,000 pieces of cedar in this vicinity this winter.

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J. H. Bradley, the veteran cigar man of Romeo, this state, was in town on Wednesday.

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It is rumored that Mrs. Dr. Bailey is ill at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. C. E. Wells.

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Mayor Chambers now spends a good deal of his time at Naubinway, looking after his interests at that place.

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The deal for the new ice crusher has been closed and next fall will see a new boat plying between here and Mackinaw.

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It is reported that a certain young man in the city has a china leg. At least it appears to be quite heavy on some occasions.

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Patrick Donnelly, of Mackinac Island, writes from California that he is so far improved in health that he expects to be home about the first of May.

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It is said that a newspaper is to be started at Mackinaw City. – Cheboygan News. You are way behind the times brother, the paper has already been issued.

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Wm. Gaynor, who is carrying on extensive lumber operations in the neighborhood of Epoufette, and John McLeod of that place, were in the city Thursday.

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The “Celtic” club of Mackinac Island consisting of five members – Wm. Donnelly, Chas. Holden, Frank Lasley and Jas. Murray – visited the city Thursday on an ice boat.

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There was a leap year party at St. Ignace last evening. The young ladies over there do not intend to die old maids if a little enterprise will win a husband. – Cheboygan News.

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Joe Vallier and Tommy Johnson was chopping cedar in the woods on Thursday last when the former’s axe glanced from a knot and cut an awful gash in Johnson’s leg below the knee. He will probably be laid up for some time.

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Thos. Vallier and Newell Snakell was carried away on the ice near St. Helena island last Saturday afternoon and remained on a cake all night. The cake they were on went ashore at Pt. Auchene, from which place they walked to their homes at Pt. La Barb.

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The steamer St. Ignace has found considerable difficulty of late in loading and unloading cars at her dock on account of low water, and it has been found necessary to lower the dock eighteen inches for two hundred back. The work was begun the first of the week.

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The average expectation of life on the principle of heredity may be found, according to a statistician, by adding the ages of a man’s parents and grandparents, if dead, and dividing the result by six.

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The New England supper at the Methodist church last evening was a success in every respect, the young ladies netting about $19.00. It would be appreciated by some if these meeting were of more frequent occurrence.

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The young man with the china leg spoken of in another column, is much talked of on certain occasions, at a certain place, by a certain young lady, about certain things, that will certainly bring her to grief if she does not take our advice and desist.

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One of the most enjoyable times of the season was had by those who attended the party given at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. M H. O’Brien, beyond the third ward school, last evening. Progressive pedro was indulged in until after midnight, at which time Mrs. John Flynn was awarded the first prize for losing the least number of games, while Harry Rurgess carried away the “booby” prize.

•••

The electric lights were not burning Monday night owing to the burning out of one of the bearings. While the light has met with general approval by our citizens, Mr. Cozadd, who is in charge of the plant, says that he has met with many turns of bad luck. We mention this because we are well aware of the fact that there are people who are always ready and willing to lay the blame on some one, not thinking for a moment that accidents are liable to happen at any time. Mr. C. would undoubtedly be the person to get all the blame, but from what we have heard, he is without any question whatever possessed of a thorough practical knowledge of electricity, having worked for all the leading electric light companies in the country, all of which will furnish him with the best of references if he so requests. The last accident – the burning out of the bearing – cannot be accounted for, as the damaged part was swimming in pure dynamo oil. The material used in the box was probably of an inferior grade, and the blame should be laid on the company that manufactured the metal, and not on Mr. Cozadd, where some people wish to place it, for he is a diligent, faithful worker, and instead of being “kicked” he should be congratulated on his success with the plant up to date.

•••

The leap year party which was given at the Sherwood last Tuesday evening will be an ever memorable event to the young people of St. Ignace. At about 9:30 o’clock young men under the protecting arm of their lady escorts could have been seen wending their way towards the dance hall, (some were fortunate enough to be furnished with a hack or cutter,) expecting to have the “nicest” time they ever experienced, and from all accounts they did. There was in the neighborhood of 40 couples in attendance, principally young folks, and their elegant costumes coupled with their artistic trimmings showed everything up in its most magnificent splendor. The verdict is that the party was a smooth, mellifluous rippling rill in the midst of a social desert. Prof. Sweet’s orchestra, of Cheboygan, which was to have been here for the occasion failed to put in its appearance, which is accounted for by their missing the train, which arrived at Cheboygan from below an hour earlier than was expected by them. The lunch served was in tone with everything else and was appreciated by all. Mr. Sherwood did himself proud on this occasion and is deserving of the highest praise. At about the hour of 3 many of the boys (?) expressed their desire to “go home,” and as the ladies were there to administer their wants, they acted accordingly which caused the breaking up of one of the most enjoyable parties ever held in St. Ignace.

•••

Some of our exchanges have stated that the steamer Atlantic will be made into a barge the coming summer because of another boat being added to the Grummond Line which ply between here and Detroit, but the letter below written to Chamber Bros. will show that they have been misinformed:

“Realizing that my patrons on the shore used more complete means of transportation, I have recently purchased the propeller “Depere,” a fine steamer especially adapted to shore business – elegant cabins, large freight capacity, and light draft – which will enable her to make all shore landings, both going and returning without trouble. This steamer together with the Flora and Atlantic will form a tri-weekly line from Cleveland, Toledo and Detroit for Mackinac and intermediate ports. Trusting that this arrangement will work to our mutual benefit, I remain Yours truly,

S. B. Grummond.

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“Miss LeRoy, a Mackinaw City school ma’am, has become famous by jumping a Grand Rapids & Indiana train that was running twenty miles an hour. She dislocated a shoulder and other wise injured herself in doing so, but she got her name in nearly every paper in the state.”

The above was found in one of our exchanges which was originally clipped from the columns of this paper, and it is really amusing to note the many different stories told in regard to it by the press throughout the state. In the first place the young ladies’ name was Ada Baum, and not Miss LeRoy as seen above – neither did she “dislocate a shoulder and other wise injure herself.” We are fortunate enough to be personally acquainted with the lady in question; have seen her several times since the event occurred and upon inquiry was informed that she performed the feat without receiving the slightest injury.

•••

Republicans want the methods of the billion-dollar Congress to prevail. They oppose the reduction of expenditures to legitimate bounds simply because such a course is bound to expose the iniquities of tariff taxation.

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Our plumbers are doing considerable work now days thawing out frozen water pipes.

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Lient. Frazer of Fort Mackinac paid the city a visit Thursday, having walked over on the ice.

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The mail was delayed nearly eight hours Tuesday, owing to a car running off the track near Gaylord.

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The first trip made with horse and cutter between here and the Island was made Thursday, by Will McCarty.

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When men of high degree have the grip it is called influenza, but like the wingless enemy of sleep it gets there just the same.

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Dan Kenter, who has been ill all week, received notice Thursday that a pension had been granted him, which had the effect of immediately putting him on his feet again.

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There was a larger attendance at the dance given at the Sherwood last Tuesday evening than was ever seen at a party in St. Ignace on any previous occasion.

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Traverse City was visited with a remarkable tidal wave Monday night. The water in the bay suddenly fell 6.5 feet, leaving the docks high and dry and shore entirely bare for 100 feet from the usual line. The fall shut off the power for the electric lights and left the place in darkness. It has also shut off the supply of water for the water works.

80 YEARS AGO

The Republican-News

Saturday, January 23, 1932

A special meeting of the St. Ignace common council and the owners of the various gasoline stations that are between McCann street and Marquette park will be held Monday night.

The point at issue is that the majority of the gasoline vendors in that district have erected their pumps and canopies on city property. The council is making an effort to have the owners, by voluntary action and agreement, move back their pumps, and, if need be, their buildings, sufficiently to clear city property.

The council feels that the resultant widening of State street will have the City of St. Ignace working in conjunction with the state highway department in its effort to beautify our waterfront. It is rumored that if the widening project goes through that the state will share the cost of putting through a wider thoroughfare.

•••

Governor Wilbur M. Brucker from Lansing is expected to arrive at St. Ignace on the morning train Thursday, January 28. The governor will be en route to Sault Ste. Marie where he is to address several meetings and spend the entire day.

St. Ignace has as yet made no preparation for Brucker’s arrival, as a Soo delegation composed of the Chamber of Commerce, headed by John R. Merrifield, is planning to meet the train here and conduct the governor to the Soo by automobile.

Governor Brucker is spending but one day at the Soo and intends to address business clubs, Grange gatherings and popular meetings on the subject “Taxation in Michigan.”

•••

The local Thomas F. Grand Post No. 62, of the American Legion, will hold its annual banquet on Sunday evening, January 31, at 5:00 p.m., at Alfred Thibault’s New Lunch restaurant. All ex-service men and their wives or friend are invited to attend. Tickets are 75c per plate.

•••

The Ford Motor company, who secured options on large blocks of land in the Les Cheneaux district last fall, is now taking up many of the options. At present, Register of Deeds Frank A. Wood, who also has the Whiteside abstract, is busy getting out abstracts for the Ford interests and Attorney P. M. Brown is busy examining titles to the land.

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John Routhier informed us this week that on Monday one of his hens presented an even dozen freshly hatched chicks. We don’t know whether it’s the weather that caused it or not, but the fact remains that John’s early-hatching hen is something unusual for this country.

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Monday morning at about 8 o’- clock, St. Ignace people along State street were startled by the appearance of a ramshackle motor car without windshield or body “put-put” along towards the railroad dock.

When the driver of the old car stopped at Ray McLachlan’s Best Garage for gas and oil, a goodly number of interested onlookers examined the relic which, according to the driver, Ed. Montcalm, of Munising, was on its way to the Detroit Automobile Show, which starts today.

The car, “Orient,” is propelled by a single-cylinder, air cooled engine. The car is entered in the “Hunting for the Oldest Car in Michigan” contest, but is assured of a one hundred dollar prize for being the farthest from Detroit entrant in the contest.

Originally the car did not have head lights nor tail lights, a lantern being used at night traveling, so Mr. Montcalm rigged up a spot light to guide him after dark. On account of the small quantity of gas carried and the comparatively large amount of oil used, he will have to make frequent stops. He has overhauled the car and it is in good running order, capable of making 20 miles an hour at its best. The car has two shifts, but no reverse. His license cost him $1.75. If he runs off the highway, a couple of men can pick up the “Orient” and lift it back on the road.

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Circulars were distributed this week announcing a Leap Year dancing party at Rogers Park Café tonight. Glenn Cummings and his orchestra will furnish the music. There will be balloons, confetti, etc., and the management says, “Remember, this is a Leap Year party and the ladies will do the honors.”

•••

After several attempts to provide adequately for the loading and unloading of the three state ferries at Mackinaw City, the state of Michigan has now a dock structure of which it should be justly proud.

The dock building at Mackinaw City has cost the state nearly $500,000; but now we have something.

The first dock at Mackinaw City was built in 1924 at a cost of $120,000. This provided a 20-foot roadway that extended 1,200 feet into the lake. This erection during the years following proved inadequate to care for the rapidly increasing traffic across the straits.

In June, 1930, the Lyons Construction Co. was awarded a contract for the extension of the dock. The improvements to the dock, extension, ramps, waiting rooms, and lighting, cost $370,000, bringing the cost of the structure to $490,000 complete.

It has been seven years since the first state dock was built. Now there are three faces to the dock to provide landing facilities. Each face is fitted with two ramps designed to unload the top deck of the ferry landed there.

The dock presents a pleasing appearance with its extent out into the water. Rubble masonry bordering concrete sidewalks and roadway; a well-lighted way that terminates at the spacious dock faces and handsome office quarters.

The facilities offered by this improved dock speeds up the service of the three state ferry boats materially. Especially since the boats are to carry a loaded top deck.

The St. Ignace end of the straits transportation problem has a strong, well-harbored dock, enhanced by a new $50,000 elevator that was just completed. A year ago this winter the state was purported to spend $30,000 in re-planking and re-piling the dock. This winter about three weeks’ work with gravel trucks made a fill-in from the dock to State street. our dock cannot handle traffic with the ease of the Mackinaw pier, nor is it so beautiful to the eye. But as safe, all-weather landing place, it is excellent. And likely now that the fill is completed, we may have a dock designed as well as our neighboring city. The condition at Mackinaw was acute, so had to be immediately remedied. Here, we could get by, and progress has been more slow. It is reported that work will begin on the extensive improvements planned for the dock in St. Ignace within the next three weeks, or as soon as the building material gets here.

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Despite the appeals from U. S. forest rangers, one of Chippewa county’s outstanding natural landmarks, the Sentinel Pine on M-28 has been cut down by workmen of the state highway department...

Abut a week ago word of the highway department’s intention to hew the tree reached H. Phill “Brandner, federal forest ranger in charge of the Marquette national forest. Mr. Brandner said he appealed to highway men to postpone the cutting for a week, which they promised to do. However, Wednesday the pine was cut down.

Mr. Brandner said that he believes the cutting of the pine will be felt keenly by citizens of the county. “True, decay has attacked the butt, where uncontrolled and unrecorded fires have scarred it,” the ranger said. “However, the disease was not serious as the flow of sap has not been impaired, and the tree has not been stunted in its growth.”

He pointed out that the Sentinel Pine was the first lookout tower for ranges in the upper peninsula. It stood guard for many years before M-28 was built. “And since M-28 was built,” Mr. Brandner went on, “this lonesome sentinel has stood, as interesting landmark to visitors as well as residents of Chippewa county and the upper peninsula.”

He said that after all these years, instead of being condemned, it should have been “pensioned” with a reinforced base or supporting guy wires.

For years, the Sentinel Pine has been a tree from which distances were reckoned – “It’s so many miles form the lonesome pine,” was a common phrase. - Mining Journal.

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In a recent address, United States Senator Felix Herbert of Rhode Island pointed out that a few years ago a tremendous hue and cry was heard because the cost of the federal government had reached $1,000,000,000 a year. Yet, at the last session of Congress, appropriations made totaled more than four billion dollars. In the 31 years between 1900 and the present, the per capita cost of the federal government increased from $6.84 to $31.96 – about 500 per cent.

•••

The Boyne Citizen lost three subscribers who became angry because of something the Citizen said about an oil company with whom they were associated. The trio did not pay up their subscription, but just marked their paper refused and sent it back to the editor. Now Editor Haire proposes not to allow his subscription to slip by the loss of three subscribers but has offered three prizes, a year’s subscription each to the persons that will guess nearest how much each of the three subscribers who stopped their paper owe on subscriptions. The names and the amounts they owe will be announced in the Citizen next week.

One of our exchanges carried the above notice in the last issue. We also are in sympathy with the affair. The editor is always wrong to some group at some time. It seems that never can all the public be pleased.

Rather than put the entire blame on the paper – which is, we admit, often wrong – we favor distributing the harsh reprimands. It is altogether probable, you know, that every news man really tries to be sincere in his comments. His failure to please all is not uncommon.

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The Seniors of LaSalle high school are to have a bake sale in Hoban’s Hardware beginning at 2 o’clock this (Saturday) afternoon.

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The LaSalle 4-H club, under the direction of Mrs. V. J. Carr, held a candy sale at the basketball game on Friday night.

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Michigan continued to benefit during 1931 from its anti-tuberculosis campaign as the death rate from tuberculosis declined to a new low point of 56.2 deaths per 100,000 population for the first nine months of the year.

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License laws for cats, similar to those now in force for dogs, have been announced as the 1932 objective of the International Cat Society as its first active move toward abolishing all stray cats in the cities and country.

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Farmers of Iron county have protested in mass meeting against high taxes and administration of public affairs.

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Organized railway labor, asked by the management to accept 10 per cent wage reductions for one year, inquired if the carriers would be willing to increase employment by approximately the same percentage.

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The Japs would a lot rather stay in Manchuria and hunt bandits than to go home and hunt prosperity.

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St. Ignace public schools attendance and enrollment for December:

December, 1926: 91.2% for 378 pupils

December, 1927: 93.8% for 377 pupils

December 1928: 93.7% for 368 pupils

December, 1929: 90.6% for 382 pupils

December, 1930: 96.0% for 423 pupils

December, 1931: 96.6% for 439 pupils

•••

The signature of Governor Phillip LaFollette only was wanted this week to initiate unemployment insurance in Wisconsin – the first state to take such action.

The employers are required by the act to contribute an amount equal to two per cent of their weekly payroll to establish a fund totaling $75 for each employee eligible for the benefit. The employees give nothing.

The maximum benefit would be $100 a year, paid at a rate of $10 a week and not more than 50 per cent of the average weekly wage for not more than 10 weeks a year.

Those exempt from the insurance plan include farm labor, teachers, domestics and workers guaranteed a fixed salary 11 months a year or an annual income of $1,500. – Petoskey Evening News.

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From Naubinway: Albert E. Turner turned out his new airsled, “Miss Liberty,” Saturday. Look out for speed now, as soon as the snow is deep enough for a try out. Al has the nerve and is not afraid to try anything once.

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From Rexton: Orrilla Bonnie spent a few days last week visiting with his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Jack Mc- Carty, at Fiborn Quarry.

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From Huntspur: Mr. Ed. Lupton, shop foreman at Inland Quarry, had the misfortune of getting his finger smashed, but at this writing it is getting along nicely. He is under the care of Dr. Shaw at Manistique.

50 YEARS AGO

The Republican-News and St. Ignace Enterprise

Thursday, January 25, 1962

Ice fishermen have been experiencing good success for northern pike on South Manistique lake, reports the department of conservation in it weekly fishing conditions report.

“Cisco fishing has been slow,” says the report. “A few walleyes are being taken.

On East Lake in Mackinac county, good results for northern pike are reported and there has been some activity on Epoufette bay and Carp and Frenchman’s lakes with fair catches reported.

“A recent air survey indicated about 80 shanties on St. Mary’s river near Brush Point and nearly 50 shacks on Munuscong lake. River ice is not too safe at this time.

“Fair catches of perch have been made from Government bay and at the northwest corner of Coryell island at the Snows and pike spearing has been good in Muskellunge bay. There’s about 8 inches of ice.”

There’s about five inches of ice on Moran bay in St. Ignace and less than a dozen shanties.

•••

St. Ignace church dinners, which enjoy a fine reputation in this area, apparently have not attained this distinction below the Straits, or shall we say, downstate. This was brought to light during the mid-winter American Legion conference held here last week end.

When one of the male visitors learned the noon luncheon was to be held at the Methodist church he rebelled to his wife on the premise that he attended one church dinner some place and he was short changed on the size of the servings. He didn’t know St. Ignace churches or he would not have felt that way.

•••

Construction of a new channel 10 TV station near the Soo will begin as soon as spring weather permits, it was announced last Wednesday by Fetzer Television, Inc.

The new outlet will be the first television station in the eastern upper peninsula and will also serve the northern most counties of the lower peninsula and a large section of Ontario.

Programming on the new station will follow the pattern of that on Fetzer’s WWTV, Channel 13, Cadillac- Traverse City.

•••

According to the twentieth annual report of the Michigan Department of Revenue, Mackinac county pays more than a half million dollars in sales tax into state coffers.

Mackinac’s population is listed at 10,853 in the 1960 census. Number of returns from this county reached 464 for a total collection of $504,742.59 in sales tax.

The per capita sales tax in the county reached $46.51 as against a state average of $44.95, largely the result of this being a resort section of the state.

•••

Close races excited spectators at the ski runs on Bryce’s hill last Sunday afternoon.

Grand weather, perfect snow conditions and more than 100 skiers provided an afternoon of sport.

•••

With Mrs. P. M. Brown, Jr., as installing officer, Mrs. L. M. Hollingworth was seated as president; Mrs. L. C. Shaftoe as vice-president, Mrs. O. Vecellio as recording secretary, Mrs. Everett Nordstrom as executive secretary, and Mrs. Merle Utter as treasurer of the Hospital Auxiliary at the January meeting held on Thursday.

•••

An exchange of land between Fern W. Barrett and the U.S. Forest Service has been consummated in Mackinac county.

A deed for nine acres in the community of Moran was sent to the district ranger, St. Ignace, on January 16 for delivery to Mr. Barrett. A sawmill will be operated on his property in Moran.

The Forest Service received 40 acres of Timber land on the St. Ignace ranger district in this exchange.

•••

The newly organized city band had its second organizational meeting Tuesday night at LaSalle band room.

The band is rapidly growing in size and the majority of members are adults of “haven’t played an instrument for years.”

Wayne LeGreve, band instructor says no try-outs are needed and you do not have to be an expert or “in practice.”

“If you play an instrument, mark off Tuesday for band on our calendar,” says LeGreve.

•••

Convening here last week Tuesday morning, Mackinac county’s board of supervisors adjourned on Friday after four days of deliberation comprising their January session.

The board...declined to release the old Mackinac journal records to the Michilimackinac Historical society. These old records had been copied by Photostat so that repeated handling of the originals would not damage them and the board felt that the original records should remain in the office of the register of deeds.

•••

Three young Mackinac island men made the first crossing on the ice bridge to St. Ignace last Saturday morning.

A week of sub-zero temperature locked the ice in place despite high winds and as a result Island folk this week are utilizing the seasonal expanse of snow-covered ice as a means of reaching the mainland.

First to cross the ice bridge this season were Jerry Horn, Kenny and Edward Cadotte of Mackinac Island. They encountered little difficulty in making the crossing which at times is considered hazardous.

•••

From Mackinac Island: Our below zero weather of the past week has formed the ice in the harbor. On Saturday James Francis made the first plane take off from the ice. This week the airport no doubt will operate from the ice in town.

•••

Jerry Arnold, who has completed naval boot training at Great Lakes, Ill., has been assigned to a training school as an apprentice airman at Trenton, N. J.

•••

Mrs. Everett Nordstrom and Mrs. George Malnar leave today for Lansing and Kalamazoo where Mrs. Nordstrom will be joined by her daughter, Lynda, and bring her home at the conclusion of the semester at Western Michigan university.

•••

During the year 1961 an average of 17 men were assigned to the St. Ignace state police post with an average of 12.9 on duty per day. The hours worked by the men averaged 9.43 per day, according to the annual activity report released by the local state police.

•••

From Les Cheneaux: Civic and professional leaders here have united to meet the needs of civil defense on three fronts, fire fighting, auxiliary police, community health and disaster nursing. Fire Chief Lyle Hudson directs the fireman training classes; George Markey, deputy sheriff, conducts a 10-week course for auxiliary police; Dr. Leonard J. DeLooff and Phyllis Tuck, R. N., have called for a start of adult First Aid on Feb. 1. Mrs. Tuck will offer a course in home nursing and emergency nursing procedures.

The Clark township board by resolution has expressed its appreciation to the Michigan Limestone Co., for generosity in helping the township fire department secure much needed communications equipment. The board drew attention to the company’s and its employees’ constant community interest and assistance.

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