2017-12-07 / Columns

Looking Back

125 YEARS AGO

The St. Ignace News

Saturday, December 10, 1892

A large number of business men and citizens of the city gathered together at the club rooms Monday evening, to consider the matter of pushing along the new hotel project. After talking the matter over, the work of electing a chairman to preside over the meeting was next in order, and P. W. Hombach was duly elected to that important position, with P. D. Bissell as secretary.

The following committees were then appointed on location and subscription:

Location – James McNamara, M. Chambers, W. B. Brooks, S. Highstone and W. B. Vance.

Subscription – M. F. Mulcrone, P. W. Hombach, Henry Hoffman and John Brooks.

…The committees will report in a few days and The News columns will note the progress of the scheme as it advances.

•••

Dr. Young has purchased the horse formerly owned by W. J. Ross. Consideration, $125.

•••

The doleful sound of the fog whistle has been pealing forth its caution signals for the past few days.

•••

Frank Chambers and his brother brought the Island mail through the gale that swept across the straits Wednesday. The boys encountered a rough voyage but arrived safely.

•••

We learn that Mr. Bissell, formerly with Geo. T. Arnold, of Mackinac Island, has accepted the position of traveling passenger agent on this end of the D., S. S. & A. railroad, which was in charge of R. P. Wilbur, who now travels west and northwest of the road.

•••

The St. Igance Gym Club gave a hop at their hall in the Mulcrone block last evening.

•••

Dame Rumor has it that W. O. Strong, who owns a large tract of land in this vicinity, will give $5,000 bonus toward our new hotel.

•••

The last of the “liner” boats has come and gone, the Depere being here last Saturday night. A transient vessel is occasionally seen in port, but navigation has practically closed.

•••

The steamer Columbia was in port yesterday morning for a few hours. She left for Charlevoix where she will go into winter quarters.

•••

The Soo canal is closed for the season. The freight tonnage shows an increase of 2,325,574, a gain of 26 per cent. The total tonnage reached the mammoth amount of 11,214,000 tons. The canal was open 233 days.

•••

Owing to the storm Thursday night, the St. Ignace did not transfer the evening train, but instead transferred the passengers only.

•••

The gymnasium has taken up its new abode in the Mulcrone block. The rooms present a neat and tidy appearance, and to make it a place to pass away many wintery hours in enjoyment, the members of the club have not failed in the attempt.

•••

The rails of the D. S. S. & A. extension are laid into Duluth.

•••

The youngsters have had several days of good skating on Crain’s Lake.

•••

Clean off your sidewalks after a snow storm. It not only looks slovenly, but causes much inconvenience to the traveler, especially the ladies who are obliged to be out on such days as have been those of the latter part of this week.

•••

Something strange was noticed in the appearance of Sheriff-elect Thomas Dolan, Tuesday morning. His smiling countenance and elevated head caused many comments, but when questioned as to his joy, he simply said, “it’s a boy,” and passed the cigars.

•••

President Harrison has sent his last message to Congress. It contains some 15,000 words.

•••

One of the handsomest Xmas window displays is that of the People’s store. It is the work of Sam Benda, Winkelman’s crack salesman and advertising manager. Sam is a hustler and is well liked by the boys and is one of them.

•••

We are sorry to learn, says an exchange, that a German chemist has succeeded in making a first-rate brandy out of sawdust. We are a friend of the temperance movement and we want it to succeed, but what chance will it have when a man can take up a rip-saw and go out and get drunk with a fence rail? What is the use of a prohibitory liquor law if a man is able to make brandy smashes out of the shingles of his roof, or if he can get delirium tremens by drinking the legs of kitchen chairs? You may shut an inebriate out of a gin shop and keep him away from taverns, but if he can become uproarious on boiled sawdust and desiccated window sills, any effort must necessarily be a failure.

•••

From Moran and Allenville: The kilns have been closed down for some time, and the company is leaving in its stock of wood.

You talk of counter-irritants or of veritable magic but the most mysterious thing we have ever heard of in the scientific or neoromantic world came to our notice the other day. Three young men from Allenville – discretion forbids the mention of their names – spent a day hunting this week. Seeing a woodcock on the side of a tree a few yards away, Unerringshot No. 1, whose bullet can hit a nickel at a hundred yards, covered his game. Bang, whiz, and the woodcock was dead, although it still clung to the tree. Unerringshot No. 2 leveled his rifle to bring down the game. He fired, and to the amazement of the third party the woodcock flew off leisurely into the depths of the woods unhurt. If physicians could apply the “Allenville Powder Remedy” as effectively, what a blessing it would be to humanity.

•••

From The Chicago News Record: The Rev. W. H. Law, of Hessel, Mackinac county, is in Grand Rapids soliciting funds to furnish the combined school, chapel and parsonage, which has just been completed at a cost of $6,000. Hessel is a little hamlet in the wilderness, fifty miles from St. Ignace, and at the entrance of Les Cheneaux islands. It is on the main land and nearly all the 100 islands in the group which fills the northern part of the straits of Mackinac can be seen from any commanding point along the shore. There are about one hundred islands in the group, some containing not more than an acre or two of land and others extensive enough for summer resort purposes, with hotels and cottages mingling with the native trees. The stationary population of the district in and around Hessel is about 3,000, mostly pioneers, woodsmen and Indians, and but for the work that Missionary Law is doing among them they would be totally without educational advantages or spiritual guidance.

The Rev. Law located at Hessel eight years ago. At the time, the lumbermen had commenced to operate and Indians and a few farmers were the chief inhabitants. He lived in a log cabin and made the rounds of his parishioners on foot or by canoe when navigation was possible. When the forests began to attract the lumbermen, the population increased and his labors became more arduous. In the summer of ’89 the late Chancellor M. B. Goff of Pittsburg was among the tourists who visited the northern resorts and on a fishing excursion he called at Hessel. He was struck by the earnest zeal of the missionary and determined to assist him. The following winter the Rev. Law visited Pittsburg and, through the efforts of the chancellor, sufficient funds were raised to purchase a naphtha launch to assist the missionary in cruising among the islands where in the summer his parishioners spent their time. Then the missionary started out to raise funds to build a school and parsonage with a chapel attachment. In two years he has raised $5,500 in cash and necessary materials and the building is now complete, with a debt of $500. He is at present making a tour among those he knows are friendly and willing to raise funds to pay the small debt remaining and to buy the furniture.

The building is designed as a Bethel home and will accommodate the children of the sailors, fishermen, farmers and lumbermen scattered among the islands. During the long winter months instead of going home at night those who live too far away will remain at the parsonage. The Rev. Law has a wife, a noble, brave-hearted woman, who has done much to assist him in his work, and his fireside is surrounded by eight little ones of his own, the oldest about 14 years old. In the winter the naphtha launch is hauled upon shore out of the reach of the ice and the people pass from island to island and across the straits on the ice. This is sometimes a hazardous undertaking because of the fissures and cracks, but accidents are comparatively rare. The ice often in winter reaches a thickness of three and four feet and teams cross over in safety.

100 YEARS AGO
The St. Ignace Enterprise
Thursday, December 6, 1917

A telegram was received here yesterday afternoon announcing that the steamer Ste. Marie of the Mackinac Transportation Co.’s fleet had been requisitioned by the government for the purpose of aiding navigation in the Soo river and to maintain navigation as long as possible during the winter months. The telegram further advised that the steamer be gotten ready to go into commission this (Thursday) morning. Capt. Robinson will be in command of the steamer during the time she is in government service with Capt. Louis Goudreau as first mate.

While the matter of taking over the Ste. Marie had been talked of for some time, the management of the company was in hopes that the boat could be retained here as it was deemed unsafe to have to depend on one boat during the winter in maintaining navigation across the straits.

The fact that the steamer will be within easy call should anything happen to the Chief is probably responsible for the government’s decision to take the risk at the straits.

•••

The government has already requisitioned a number of harbor tugs of the Great Lakes Towing and Wrecking association, including the Schenck, the Favorite and two others. They will be placed in commission in Atlantic harbors to replace ocean-going tugs which will be sent abroad…Some of the local harbor tugs using high pressure cannot be used in salt water and will be left on the lakes.

Two of the tugs of the Great Lakes Towing company have been kept busy the past two months towing the divided freighters through the Welland canal to Montreal, where the big boats are reassembled and then placed in commission for ocean service. The big boats are sawed through the center, acetylene being used for this purpose, and the process requiring about four hours. Placing bulk-heads in each end of the divided center requires much more time. After the boats are received at Montreal steel bands one yard in width, with rivet holes already drilled, are placed to join the two halves together. The vessel is drilled to meet the rivet holes and workmen are at hand to drive the rivets down to the water line. The freighter is then listed in order to further complete the riveting and divers finish the job with bolts. All this is done without taking the boat into dry dock. After being towed to one of the dry-docks on the Atlantic coast, the bolts are replaced with rivets. Nineteen of the big steel freighters have now been towed to Montreal from upper lake ports. This is all the lake freighters which will be sawed in two this season. Many of the smaller vessels requisitioned by the government passed through the Welland canal without being cut down. Before leaving Montreal the lake boats undergo a great change in their upper works.

•••

Mrs. Frank Millett was the only Mackinac county woman, so far as The Enterprise can learn, who filled her deer license this fall. She got a fine spikehorn buck, bringing it down with the first shot. Although Mrs. Millett is a good marksman and has brought down all kinds of partridge and other small game, this was her first deer, and she is proud of the fact that she was not afflicted with buck fever. He husband, who never before failed of getting a deer in past seasons, was “skunked” this year, and is not just a little bit jealous over his wife’s exploits.

•••

And now comes the season of the year when the bounty on sparrows apply and the small boy is expected to make more trouble for the county clerk until the end of the season, March 31. The state pays one cent and the county one cent on each sparrow that is killed and presented at the office of the clerk.

•••

The Associated Press statistics show that football this fall has caused twelve deaths, up to and including Thanksgiving games. This is six less than last season. Two deaths reported in Michigan, none in Ohio. Nearly all the deaths occurred among young players.

•••

The directors of the Great Lakes Towing Co. at a meeting yesterday decided to build a wrecking steamer to replace the Favorite, which was taken over by the United States navy last week for salt water service. The general dimensions of the new boat will be the same as the Favorite, with some improvements in equipment.

The new boat will be built at the company’s Cleveland yard. The work will be rushed and the wrecker will be placed in commission as soon as possible. It is figured that the steamer will cost more than $400,000.

•••

A meeting of the directors of the Jones & Kerry Co. was held Monday, at which time it was decided to go into the market for logs this winter so that the plant could operate as usual next season. This is good news to the people of the city, as it has been rumored that this was the last year for the mill. Mr. Kerry of Mackinaw was present at the meeting but Mr. Hansen was unable to attend.

•••

From the lumbering camps throughout the district a persistent call is coming for men to carry on the work that has been planned for the winter. The greater portion of the camps are running with half crews in the hope that it will be possible to acquire more men later.

•••

The first shipment of Christmas trees this season across the straits for eastern points was made Sunday – two car loads.

•••

Portable mills are to take the place of the big mill of the Stafford Mfg. Co. recently destroyed by fire on Bois Blanc Island. Of the winter operations of the company the Cheboygan Tribune says:

E. H. Stafford of the Stafford Mfg. Co., returned to Chicago Saturday after completing arrangements for the winter’s lumbering operations at Sand Bay, Bois Blanc, where they will get out at least 2,000,000 feet of hardwood logs. They already have thirty men at work in the woods. They have let the contract for the sawing of the logs to parties who will erect two portable mills, each with a capacity of 10,000 feet a day. One will soon be placed out on the line of their logging railroad and the other near the site of the mill recently destroyed by fire.

•••

From Curtis: Moving picture show in town hall next Thursday night.

A pro-German blew into town Saturday night and began to tell of Germany’s power and what she could do and have. His talk got on the nerves of Uncle Sam’s boys and before he was aware of it Germany was knocked into the discard. No expressions of regret were heard, but it is a warning that this community will not stand for any pro-German sentiment.

•••

From Rexton: What might have been a serious fire took place in one of the Hanson tenement houses on the hill last Wednesday. As it was there was a lot of damage done before the blaze was extinguished. The house was next to the school house and Miss Mc- Cracken gave the alarm and teacher and pupils turned out in force and succeeded in putting out the fire. This should be a warning to see that all fires in the house are safe before leaving the building.

•••

From Brevort: Brevort may have good reason to feel proud of its girls – boys too. Out of the small population of girls, three school teachers, a private secretary, and three expert housekeepers have evolved. Then there are Florence Helberg and Esther Gustafson, both preparing to enter advanced schools; and Hilda Gustafson yet to hear from.

And Brevort is only an isolated settlement.

•••

From Moran: It is with profound regret that we chronicle this week the sad news of the drowning fatality which occurred at Newberry Thursday afternoon, resulting in the death of the two participants and robbing Moran of one of its foremost young men, Willie Daly.

Willie Daly, although a resident of Moran, was employed in Newberry with his father and brother at the flooring factory. Thursday being a holiday Willie and a friend, Lewis Whitby, went out to Spider Creek to look at traps which they had set. Going up the river they used a boat but when the ice seemed solid they left the boat and walked. They had crossed the river and in returning broke through. Willie Daly was an excellent swimmer and it is thought that in trying to save Whitby he was seized with cramps and sank.

When neither returned at supper time a search was made and by aid of lights, tracks were discerned on the ice. The Whitby boy carried apples in his pocket for trap bait. These were found floating on the surface, also the last letter which Mrs. Daly had written to Willie was lying on the ice near where the bodies were recovered.

•••

E. E. Paully of Cheboygan, agent for the Delco-Light system, was in town yesterday. Mr. Paully says that owing to the increased cost of labor and materials, the company has been obliged to increase the cost of the plants – the $350 being raised to $395 and the $420 plants increased to $465, effective after January 1st. Notwithstanding the increase, he is still receiving many orders, Peter Johnson of Mackinac Island being the latest to order a pumping and lighting system for his farm. Mr. Johnson was much impressed by the system now in operation in the J. W. Davis & Sons store on the Island, which works perfectly and which the proprietors always take pains to highly recommend.

80 YEARS AGO
The Republican-News
and St. Ignace Enterprise
Thursday, December 98, 1937

Santa Claus has set up a busy headquarters here to assure needy St. Ignace children of their share of Christmas joy. A toy and doll hospital and general gift exchange have been busy this week at Old Mission hall, where arrangements are made to distribute contributions from all organizations, business houses and citizens to the needy families in St. Ignace…

At present, the headquarters at Old Mission hall is busy night and day repairing used toys, clothing and household goods. The work is being done by NYA youths under the direction of contributors. Needed at once are toys and dolls, so that they will be at hand for sorting and preparing the donations. The organization calls for donations of this sort – if you can contribute, telephone at once to Nicolet Hotel, phone 19.

•••

Mr. E. S. Horn of Mackinac Island has purchased another farm near Rudyard, increasing his holdings there to three. Mr. Horn is also a dealer in livestock and poultry. He has engaged James Hill as his business manager.

•••

Catch of fish in Michigan waters – the Great Lakes and Saginaw

Bay – by 1,084 licensed commercial fishermen during the first six months of 1937 totaled nearly 300,000 pounds more than were taken during the same period last year. Value of all fish taken from the same waters in 1936 was $2,468,000.

Commercial fishermen report the catch of herring, lake trout and perch, among the more important varieties, was heavier during the first six months this year than prior to July, 1936. The 1936 sixmonth whitefish catch was larger, however, whitefish, in fifth place in total poundage for the whole of 1936, dropped to sixth place in the first six-month period of this year.

•••

Though St. Ignace folks have long thought of the value of a safe “dry-land” ice rink here for the promotion of healthy winter sports, the thoughts rarely developed beyond haphazard attempts to entice children off the dangerous lake during ice-skating time. However, there are indications that this year may be different.

Tragedies that occurred directly from use of unsafe ice on the deep waters of surrounding lakes last year have given impetus to plans to provide a safe and proper ice rink for youngsters.

Three St. Ignace youths were drowned in deep lake waters within a week last year. During the last of January, Anthony Martineau and William Rabideau drowned when they broke through ice while skating. Within a week Leonard Nelson suffered a similar fate.

Other tragedies within the past twelve months which occurred on the lakes in this vicinity were the drowning of Lloyd St. Louis, Island mail carrier, and the six deaths connected with the gasoline rush to the steamer Boyd. Last week two St. Ignace fishermen were lost.

Rink construction and maintenance are being studied by city officials and a site of the rink will be selected this week, if the project is considered not too expensive to finance.

•••

The fishing fleet of the Victor Halberg & Sons fisheries has been enlarged to four boats by the acquisition this week of a fine new Diesel-powered craft.

The new boat was brought in here from Sturgeon Bay on Monday afternoon. Carl Halberg and Floyd Avery had gone to Sturgeon Bay last week after her. The boat was launched last week Tuesday from the Surgeon Bay Boat Works, and was named the Victor H.

Forty-two feet in length with a 12-foot beam, the craft presents a fine picture in white. A 45 horsepower Kahlenberg Diesel motor powers the boat which will provide the fisheries with a modern fishing craft to add to its three older boars.

The four boats now included in the Halberg fleet are the Victor H. and Dorothy K., both diesel powered; the Straits and Carl, gasoline engine tugs.

•••

Mrs. P. M. Brown, assisted by her young son, Prentiss, entertained a group of young folks last Saturday afternoon, the occasion being a birthday.

•••

Radio direction finders as an aid to navigation at the Straits of Mackinac will be installed on all of the state-owned ferries, it has been announced. The direction finders are short wave receiving sets that obtain signals from a radio beacon indicating that a boat is on or off the correct line of navigation.

•••

From Hessel: The work on the new, attractive and splendidly located school house here has been progressing steadily and some of the work is going on even at night time.

•••

From Allenville: Some of the Republicans here think President Roosevelt just goes down to Florida to fish for suckers. They may be right at that.

•••

James Earley, 70, pioneer citizen of Mackinac Island, died Friday morning, December 3, following an illness of many years. Funeral services were held at St. Ann’s church with Rev. Father Joseph Ling in charge…

James Earley was born at Mackinac island July 30, 1867, and spent his entire life here. He was the son of Mary and Michael Earley, pioneer family. Surviving are two sisters, Miss Emma Earley and Mrs. William Sullivan, both of Mackinac Island.

Thursday evening the buoy boat, the Marigold of Detroit, docked at the Arnold pier after picking up the three remaining buoys from the channel, thereby closing navigation in the Straits for the coming winter.

Last Thursday evening Miss Jeanette Chambers was in charge of the card party held in the Community House for the benefit of the children’s hot lunch fund. There were 17 tables in play.

Sunday the Elva was called to make a special trip from St. Ignace to the Island to accommodate persons attending the funeral services for James Earley. Those making the trip were Louis Sharbineau, Irene and Eva Murray, Anna and Lauretta Madden, Leonard Murray, Mrs. O’Neil, and Blanche Murray of St. Ignace, and Margaret Murray of the Soo.

•••

From Gros Cap: The brilliant spectacle of a large meteor plung- ing into the earth’s atmosphere and disintegrating in a blinding flash was witnessed by Ralph and Elwin Cheeseman and Millard Smith late one night while driving along the scenic highway at Pte. aux Chenes recently. The meteor exploded just above the woods with a dull report and a bluishwhite light illuminated the whole surrounding sky. There was a long red tail behind it, and it came down in the vicinity of the Beattle cabin.

Another, but similar display of this sort was seen a few years ago when a large meteor came down on the other side of the Straits, and was seen here.

We never cared for venison like they do at Allenville, not enough to brag about eating it, anyway.

•••

Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Halberg are the parents of a nine and onehalf pound son, born December 1.

50 YEARS AGO
The Republican-News
and St. Ignace Enterprise
Thursday, December 7, 1967

William Deadman, 96, died in the Traverse City osteopathic hospital last Saturday.

Mr. Deadman, who celebrated his 60th wedding anniversary last June, was born on April 2, 1881, in Canada. He married Bertha Mc- Dermid at the Soo in 1907.

The Deadmans came to St. Ignace about 1927 where they operated a bakery and were in the restaurant business for years. All their children were graduated at LaSalle high school. From St. Ignace the family moved to Bay City and later to Traverse City.

•••

From Les Cheneaux: The National Education association film, “Make a Mighty Reach,” revealing the upcoming materials, methods and philosophy of education, centered specifically on the needs of the student, highlighted the Parent Teacher association meeting Thursday evening.

The business meeting was conducted by Gerald Hill, president. Mrs. Conrad Shoberg, projects chairman, reported on the recent bake sale and stated that the SPEBSQSA, or barber shoppers, would stage a concert to the association in January.

Beautiful evergreen and pinecone wreaths, fresh from the forest, are being sold as a fundraiser by the 32-member senior class. Funds will be used to finance the senior educational field trip.

•••

From Mackinac Island: The volunteer fire department announce that their annual children’s Christmas party will be held at the Mackinac Island public school Sun., December 17.

•••

Peter J. Della-Moretta, chairman of the board of the Mackinac Straits Hospital Authority, has announced that plans for the proposed addition of 10 beds to the present hospital are in the final stages of completion.

The addition consists of an east wing containing eight beds and a storeroom so equipped that it can be converted in a short time to a sunny room containing two additional beds should the need arise.

There will also be a day room which patients and visitors can use, eliminating the necessity of using the present lobby, which is not convenient.

Although the present hospital was completed as recently as 1954 and considered modern for that period, there has been during the past few years many changes in the state fire marshal regulations which did not exist at the time our hospital was designed. The fire marshal insists that these changes be incorporated in our present building before approval of the addition is given.

•••

Correction: Reader Patricia Brooks of Scottsdale, Arizona, points out that an item in the November 16 Looking Back from 50 years ago has Acapulco exchange student Hortencia Martinez incorrectly listed in the class of 1966. She was in the class of 1968.

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