2017-07-13 / Columns

Les Cheneaux

By Robert W. Smith

I had planned to attend the breakfast the Ambulance Corps sponsored Tuesday, July 4. Nearly 100 cars were parked there, and the line for food was very long, so I decided to send them a donation, instead. I then drove down Hodeck Street, where baked goods were being sold in front of First Union Church, so I enjoyed a delicious and sweet breakfast. Rob Preston is a good salesman for the youth group.

It was 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 4, and many people were lined up with their chairs around the block waiting for the parade to start.

The Fourth of July was certainly a very busy time here in Les Cheneaux, both in the towns of Cedarville and Hessel and on Lake Huron with many boats of all sizes enjoying boating in our beautiful Islands.

Many activities took place over the days before and after the Fourth of July. The fireworks were very much enjoyed. They are sponsored basically by donations from local folks and visitors here in the Islands and because of people’s generosity, it was a great show of fireworks.

On July 4, several floats were already lined up for the parade on Grove Street nearly an hour before the start at 11 a.m. The parade was fantastic and the first people ahead of the floats was the Les Cheneaux Community Beautification Committee presenting the large American flag that was donated to us from Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, as it was previously flown at the hotel. It was followed by a vehicle driven by Margie Denoyer with Bob Smith as the rider. The beautification committee handed out nearly 1,500 American flags to adults and children. As they walked around the block, they were followed by both the Clark Township Ambulance and fire department. They were wonderful and everyone enjoyed the horns and sirens as they went by. The parade was a huge success, as it always is. That is the reason summer friends and local friends from towns nearby make it to Cedarville for the Fourth of July to see both the parade and the fireworks. I understand that the fireworks get more expensive nearly every year. If you care to help with a donation, contact the Les Cheneaux Chamber of Commerce in Cedarville. We appreciate everyone who donated money for the fireworks this year.

I was sorry to hear of the passing of a friend of mine, James “Jim” Miller of Pickford, who died Wednesday, June 28, in Sault Ste. Marie. Jim was always active and helped many people in many different ways. I send my sincere regards and best wishes to his wife, Marion, and to their family. An obituary was published in the July 6 issue of The St. Ignace News.

I just heard that Roger Wahl passed away Saturday, July 1, at his home in Stalwart. Roger was known by many people he worked with and those he played golf with, and for many years he was the “head starter” for the track meets. He had a great and outgoing personality and he loved telling funny stories. He loved Stalwart and lived there, I believe, most of his life. An obituary appears in this issue of The St. Ignace News.

Fishing has been quite good the past couple of weeks, with people catching herring, perch, pike, and even an ugly dog fish or two.

Gospel singer Lillie Knauls arrived from California and sang two concerts at First Union Church in Cedarville. The first night she sang to a full church, and the second night, Wednesday, July 5, to a good crowd. She also sang at Grand Hotel and at a concert for the workers from Jamaica at Ste. Anne’s Catholic Church. Everyone was thrilled and blessed to be able to enjoy such fantastic talent. She was the first singer to make “Oh, Happy Day” a number one song. She has since returned to California. We were thrilled to have her here in our Islands.

Jeff Rogers and his wife, Megan, and boys are enjoying a few days up north at their cottage. The first couple of days they saw two deer close to their cottage, which was great for them to enjoy. The family lives in Grand Rapids.

The flowers around Cedarville and Hessel are so beautiful. The beautiful white daisies along the roadsides are attractive.

Sally (nee Smith) St. Onge, along with her aunt, were here to enjoy a few days over the Fourth of July. Sally was graduated from Cedarville High School in 1962. She married a classmate, Gary St. Onge. Sally is the daughter of Clifford and Betty Smith, who lived in Hessel for years.

The news from Clark Township is that the new bridge over to Hill Island will be completed this fall.

Sadie Nye is expected to return home from her stay in Texas with her daughter and son-in-law, Debbie and Scott Showers, in the next few days. We’ve missed not seeing Sadie for several months and it will be good to see her again.

Many students have registered to attend the Great Lakes Boat Building School in the fall.

The meeting of the board and friends and donors of the Les Cheneaux Culinary School in Hessel was well attended Monday, July 3.

Roger Kilponen held an open house at his art studio recently. Roger built the beautiful and unique studio just a bit north of Hessel.

It sure has been great to see Randy Dunn, who has returned to his home on Dunn’s Hill, after a long hospital stay in Grand Rapids.

We do miss the Katydid’s beautiful store in Hessel. The building is now for sale.

Alan Griffin has purchased one of the launches that was a part of Patrick’s Lodge Resort for years. It is a Truscott launch, which I believe was built in approximately 1900. He has been busy restoring the unique and historical boat.

Shirley Jewell enjoyed visiting her family in Ohio recently.

The Jaroche family enjoyed a family get-together at Ang-Gio’s Restaurant recently. The newest Jaroche family member is Kinsley Kathryn, who was born June 11, 2017. Her parents are Andrew and Brittany Jaroche.

Kelly Markey and his family have arrived to spend a few weeks at their lovely waterfront home on Grove Street. The home was previously owned by Marshall and Betty Patrick, pioneers in Les Cheneaux for many years. The home was built by R.P. White, Betty Patrick’s father. Mr. White also built the home that was owned by George and Blanche Markey and is now owned by Jake Markey. The house has recently undergone some updating and looks beautiful. Mr. White also connected the property known as Waterlawn Cottages for his daughter, Eleanor. It was in about 1945, when the island was connected to Grove Street. R.P. White developed these three properties for his three daughters on the beautiful waterfront on Lake Huron and next to each other.

R.P. White was also a real estate salesperson, developer, and builder. The developed lots of property on Beavertail Pointe, east of Cedarville, as well as Hills Pointe Resort on Hills Island and various other parcels of land in and around Cedarvlle.

Becky Meyers, wife of Pastor Jeff Meyers, drove to Detroit recently to pick up their son, Clayton, who flew in from New York City to spend a few days at home in Cedarville to enjoy his family and friends.

It was great to see Mary Groty and her daughters when they were visiting over the Fourth of July holiday. Mary lives with her husband on beautiful Beavertail Point and has done so for many years.

The golden sunset over the Les Cheneaux Islands and Lake Huron have been beautiful the past few nights. I hope that everyone has taken time to appreciate the sun’s beauty, and the reflections stretching long from the sky over our waters.

Jackie (nee Slater) Wassom and her husband, Ron, along with their grandchildren, visited Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island recently. Jackie worked at Grand Hotel a few years ago. She originally lived in Pickford, where she was graduated from Pickford High School. Her parents were Jack and Evelyn Slater.

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