2017-05-11 / Columns

Les Cheneaux

By Robert W. Smith

Saturday, April 22, was cloudy in the morning with very little wind and 40 degrees. It was a good day to work outside.

Meredith Fountain was kind enough to let me borrow a book called “Wanderings” (Sketches of Northern Michigan Yesterday and Today), written by John T. Nevill in 1955. The book contains a forward by Prentiss Brown, and Mr. Nevill dedicated it to his wife, Peggy. Most of the story relates to the earliest travelers to our Great Lakes area, which dates back more than three centuries. History and stories mostly involve people in the Eastern Upper Peninsula along the shores of Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, and Lake Huron, as well as along the rivers such as Black River, St. Marys River, and Tahquemenon. Part one, the North Country, seems to be more relative to DeTour Village and the scenic St. Marys River. In the future, I will be telling you about Pioneer Priest Finn Charlie, one of our local favorites, Barefoot Dave, and the ghost of Swede Road. Stay tuned!

David Stuhler called to inform me that there are eight white pelicans out in front of the Great Lakes Boat Building School. This is a fantastic and unusual sighting. The pelicans were just bobbing around in the water and just went floating by Waterlawn Cottages going quickly out toward Government Bay. They were moving so fast I couldn’t get a good view of them.

A final get-together of Cabin Fever Days for Women was held Thursday, April 27, at Hessel Presbyterian Church in Hessel. The women will meet again next winter.

Good news for the Cedarville Trojans girls track team, who scored the most points and won the Web Morrison Track Meet. This is a prestigious meet that is held annually in Pickford, where Mr. Morrison was the track coach for more than 25 years. An article about the meet was published in The St. Ignace News May 4.

Tuesday morning, May 2, was still chilly, but Wednesday, May 3, the sun was up shining brightly by 9:15 a.m. and was a beautiful 44 degrees with a forecast for the low 50s. Doesn’t that make us feel good, both physically and mentally? It was a great day for the flowerbeds to get cleaned up, as some flowers are a couple of inches above ground and a few are blooming.

Les Cheneaux Distillery will open soon, and it’s a beautiful building both inside and out. Both the Bohns and Bowlbys have been working diligently. What a great asset it will be for Les Cheneaux. More information will be available soon.

We’ve been enjoying some beautiful sunsets the past few evenings, over our lakes and forests. The vibrant colors of the sunsets seem to melt into the tops of the trees, and in Pickford the sunsets over the hay fields and barns were beautiful. They looked like a postcard.

Work is underway at the Les Cheneaux Maritime Historical Museum, where the Islington will be available for people to enjoy just as she chugged through the waters of Les Cheneaux for so many years. The Islington has been a favorite at the Les Cheneaux Islands Antique Boat Show. For several years, early in the morning and sometimes through the fog, you could see her going through the channels from Cedarville to Hessel. Her home was here in Cedarville Bay in the family boathouse. What a fantastic gift for the museum to receive.

The Islands Wildlife annual dinner and auction will be Saturday, June 10, at 6 p.m. at the Clark Township Community Center in Cedarville. Ang-Gio’s will cater the dinner. Tom Haske will be the auctioneer for this event. To buy your tickets or for more information, contact any Islands Wildlife member or call Mike Tassier at (906) 484-2289 or Tom Haske at (906) 484-2603. Guests must be at least 21 years old to attend.

I hope you were able to enjoy the Kentucky Derby. This is always a great time for friends and family to get together and share a fun and beautiful experience. I’m a fan of the race and all of the happenings of the day, with friends on Mackinac Island.

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