2017-12-14 / Columns

LOOKING BACK

125 YEARS AGO

The St. Ignace News

Saturday, December 17, 1892

How many of the young people know that some forty years ago nine-tenths of the children in American had to enjoy Christmas with only such sums as they had saved up for months, often a penny at a time? Yet so it was. Not one father in ten thought of giving a boy “Christmas money,” the big family dinner and such fun as cost nothing was enough.

Indeed, save for candy and fire crackers, there was little to spend money for. “Robinson Crusoe” and “Parley’s Tales” were almost the only story books, though the people had some old standby on their shelves and the “Old English Reader” was like other poor, always with them. There were “Moral Lessons,” a few, and tracts enough; but no gorgeously lettered volumes of childish song, no fairy stories shining in covers of blue, green and gold.

The story that artists for the earliest juvenile books had to label their pictures “This is a horse,” “This is a cow,” etc., is no doubt an exaggeration, but the tots really needed it. Many a little girl made a doll by dressing up a crook necked squash. “Rag babies” were the rule. A doll such as any child of parents above the grade of paupers may now have for Christmas, would then have excited the amazement of the neighborhoods and a doll that would open and shut its eyes – well, language is lacking to set forth the furor such a wonderful creation would have excited.

Wood carving was an envied accomplishment in those days. The “hired man” who had some skill with a jackknife had a crowd of children after him on all possible occasions; the father who could carve a human looking figure out of walnut bark was a hero of his family.

•••

The str. Northerner was destroyed by fire at L’Anse Monday morning, together with her entire cargo. She was valued at $50,000 with no insurance.

•••

Conrad Orth has opened up a saloon at Hessel.

•••

Tuesday night a severe gale swooped down on us, the worst of the fall.

•••

A reporter of the News happened along the street Sunday evening last when his attention was drawn to a crowd of men standing on the sidewalk. Arriving upon the scene amid the loud laughter and curses which arose from the crowd, it proved to be nothing more than a dog fight. Such work of a few simple-minded men on Sunday night shows little Christianity in them, if any.

•••

Born: To Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Sayles, on Wednesday, December 14th, a son. Mother and child are doing well.

•••

Senator McMillan has presented to congress the memorial of Gen. Holabar’s Union of Fort Mackinac urging that enlisted men in the United States army may be placed on the retired list after twenty-five years continuous service.

•••

Geo. Oliver had a narrow escape from being drowned while skating near the mill Sunday. He was saved by the prompt action of his companion who was near by and went to his rescue.

•••

Joseph Therrien has been appointed deputy sheriff.

•••

St. Ignace young men are reminded that the custom of making New Year’s calls is to be revived this winter. Ladies who contemplate “receiving” will also do well to make a note of the fact that the serving of wine is to be totally barred, and that hot coffee is to be their fashionable beverage with which to “treat” New Year’s callers.

•••

Foreman Gleason, of the D., S. S. & A., put in a safety switch at Palms siding Wednesday.

•••

Persons wishing to obtain World’s Fair souvenir coins can do so by leaving their orders at the First National bank.

•••

From St. Ignace Township: Miss Mary Martineau is ill with mumps. She is now at Brevoort Lake cooking in a camp for her father.

Thomas Vallier has accepted a job as teamster at Brevoort Lake.

•••

A Monarch of the Forest: On Sunday a 15 foot log that scaled 2,400 feet was manufactured into lumber at the Michigamme mill, the value of which was about $100. It was a butt and one of eight logs of the same tree – three sixteen feet in length and five twelve feet in length, making 108 feet from the same trunk, which would be somewhat longer, but for the fact that the top was badly broken when falling. As it was, a trifle over 8,000 feet was cut from the tree, over two thirds of which went as first or second clear. The log was really above the capacity of any mill machinery made for this county. It was almost six feet in diameter and had to be hewed down in order to be taken into the mill. It was cut with the band saw, the widest board being 44 inches, the full width of the edger, but for which wider ones would have been made.

•••

Benoni Lachance and wife were over from the Island Sunday.

•••

An exchange says that there is a great deal of complaint of dishonest telegraph operators at railway stations everywhere; a man jumps from a train, leaves a message, pays for it hastily, the operator pockets the money and the message goes into the waste basket. This dishonorable method of doing business is more practiced on strangers than one would suppose; it well could be without detection and punishment. The practice is indulged in when parties telegraph ahead for berths in sleeping coaches, and the sleeping car companies, it is stated, are quietly looking into the matter.

•••

Every day sees scores of woodsmen clad in many colored suits of gray Mackinaws; with winter outfits on their backs, starting for their winter’s quarters in the pine woods. Very few people are aware of the number of men employed in this business and the amount of wages they draw. Expert woodsmen will tell you that it takes 20 men to every million feet cut, 100 men to every five million, and so on. The northern district produced 500,000,000 feet last season and it will be much more this year. The wages heretofore have been about $24 per month. This winter they will be from 26 to 28. These 6,000 men will actually earn about $270,000 each month.

•••

It is the editor’s duty to speak of his town as the loveliest place beneath heaven’s blue arch. Speak of the deceased citizen as a fallen oak when he dies of the jim-jams. Call a man a prominent and influential citizen when you know he is the best poker player in town. Speak of a little street Arab as a bright-eyed youth on the road to fame, and of a big-footed, curly-headed newly married woman as the beautiful and accomplished bride. Call a man who has a few dusty bolts of calico and a soldier blue coat a prosperous and experienced dry goods merchant. Call a lawyer a leading light, of whom the profession ought to be proud when you know him to be only an ordinary pettifogger.

•••

John McLane has opened another saloon at Gould City.

•••

The steamer Algomah has been chartered by the business men to run an excursion from Mackinac Island to this place next Wednesday.

•••

“Company D.,” Nineteenth infantry has arrived at its new station Fort Brady, from Fort Mackinac, after having been stationed at the latter place for a period of over three years. The boys were heartily glad to get away “from the island.” They at present occupy the old quarters, whilst companies B and F are comfortably ensconced in the new quarters. Only one company now remains at Mackinac, and it expects to move shortly to join the remaining three companies. “Old Fort Mackinac” will then be evacuated by “Uncle Sam” forever. – Detroit News.

•••

Many farmers are anxious to see a grist mill put up in the neighborhood of Epoufette. They say, “as soon as we see a mill going up we will start raising grain.” Raise your wheat, gentlemen, and you will soon find a miller.

•••

From Allenville: A large buck seemed to have lost his reckoning one day this week and sauntered leisurely through Allenville. What a law abiding people we are. No one even fired a shot at him.

100 YEARS AGO
The St. Ignace Enterprise
Thursday, December 13, 1917

Not for forty years has the country been in such a tight grip of King Winter at this season of the year as at the present time. The cold wave combined with fierce snow storms which set in last week and has since continued has been general and, as a result, scores of lives have been wiped out and much suffering. In many places the cold snap came on with a shortage of coal facing the inhabitants, which added to the suffering and distress.

While there have been no deaths here or in this vicinity the cold has been severely felt, but thanks to an abundance of coal the situation has never been serious.

The weather and ice conditions in the lake have caused a cessation of shipping until there is a moderation. The St. Marie is in the Soo river and will likely be called to Lake Superior. Chief Engineer Taylor of the Chief is in receipt of a letter from his son Harry, who is assistant engineer on the Townsend, stating that his boat is frozen in at Ashland and the Ste. Marie is expected to free her.

Yesterday the forward engine on the Chief was placed in commission, the earliest date for so doing in the history of the Mackinac Transportation Co., according to the records in possession of Purser Wenzel. This action was made necessary by trouble with the ice in the slip at Mackinaw City. Capt. Fred Ryerse is in command of the Chief during the absence of Capt. Robertson, and A. E. Bordeaux has resumed his positon as 2nd mate after an absence of seven months with illness.

A heavy snow and wind storm swept this section all day yesterday, starting in early the night before, and as a consequence there is more snow covering the city than during any December in several years.

•••

County School Commissioner E. J. Lachance has sent every teacher in Mackinac a circular urging them to assist drafted men in properly filling out and answering the questionnaires which will soon be sent them by the exemption board. This is a patriotic duty, he tells them…

A sixteen-page pamphlet called “Questionnaire” is sent to each registrant which he must fill out. Swear to, and return within seven days after receipt under penalty of a year’s imprisonment. No excuse will be taken for failing to comply, not even the non-receipt of a pamphlet or Questionnaire. Those who fail to get a Questionnaire by January 15th must ask for one of the local exemption board. In this county, address R. H. Benjamin or Geo. A. Rapin, St. Ignace.

•••

Jerusalem, the Holy City, has been surrendered by the Turks to British arms.

The capture of Jerusalem by the British forces marks the end, with two brief interludes, of more than 1,200 years possession of the seat of the Christian religion by the Mohammedans.

For 637 years the Holy City has been in undisputed ownership of the Turks, the last Christian ruler of Jerusalem being the German emperor, Frederick II, whose shortlived domination lasted from 1229 to 1244.

Apart from its connection with the campaign being waged against Turkey by the British in Mesopotamia, the fall of Jerusalem is the definite collapse of long-protracted efforts of the Turks to capture the Suez canal and invade Egypt.

Almost the first move made by Turkey after her entrance into the war was a campaign against Egypt across the Great Desert of the Sinai peninsula.

•••

Upper peninsula men are winning recognition on the rifle ranges in various training camps as expert marksmen. Army officers say that men who have hunted in the northern woods are able to score more bull’s eyes and understand firearms more thoroughly than soldiers from other parts of the country. At Fort MacArthur an officer says that he can spot a man from northern Michigan as soon as he picks up a gun. “He knows how to handle it, he expects the recoil and knows how to avoid accident to himself and how to hit the mark despite the influence of the recoil,” he remarks.

•••

The steamer Ste. Marie got away early Sunday morning, heading for the Soo river where she is in commission for the government in keeping the channel open for late navigators of the lakes.

Purser Joseph Wenzel of the Mackinac Transportation Co. saw to it that the men would be well fed during the time they serve on the steamer. Before leaving this port Mr. Wenzel stocked the boat with the choicest brand of groceries putting aboard five big loads of provisions.

•••

Clarence C. Eby left Saturday for the south, intending to motor from Mackinaw City to Florida, making frequent stops on the way. He will go by way of Washington, D. C. and will stop at the capitol in an effort to interest the government in a war invention of his own, which he believes will be of great value.

•••

Every unmarried resident, male or female, of Mackinac county, whose income is over $1,000 a year, $83.33 a month, and all married persons whose income is $2,000, or over, must report to E. J. Doyle, internal revenue collector, at Grand Rapids, with the least possible delay, so income tax blanks may be sent them. Formerly the minimum income on which a report was required was $3,000, and only the persons who heretofore have been making reports are on record at the collector’s office. Failure to make returns as required by the law is punishable by a fine or imprisonment.

•••

The snow has interfered with the running of the Michigan Central and G. R. & I. railroads during the past week, with the result that train service from the east has been worse than during the hunting season. Neither of these roads are equipped with the necessary plows for combatting the heavy snow storms and, until they are, train service to the straits will not improve.

•••

From Allenville: Robt. Gille started to handle logs at Greens. He will put in over one million feet of logs this year, besides his pulpwood and cedar. Joe Soultner will start up his saw-mill at Greens next week to saw Gille’s logs.

•••

From Gros Cap: Capt. Joseph Fountain closed the St. Helene light station on Monday, joining his family here the same day. His assistant, Wallace Hall, went to his home at Mackinac Island.

•••

From Soo Evening News: For three days the body of Floyd Baker, 16, lay in the baggage room of the Union depot without anyone coming to claim it or anyone knowing what disposition to make of it. The body came in as baggage, having been shipped from Bunnell, Florida, where young Mr. Baker died on December 4.

Today the father of the boy arrived in the city and immediately had the body taken to the Ryan & Newhouse morgue. The parents of the dead young man started from Florida with the body but on the way the mother took so violently ill from her sorrow that it was necessary to place her in a hospital in Chicago. She is in the hospital yet. The father stayed with her for three days and then came on to make arrangements for the funeral.

The home of the Bakers is in Cedarville. They intended to spend the winter in their Florida home. The son died of ileocolitis. Until the mother gets well enough to leave the hospital, the body will be held here. Burial will be at Cedarville.

80 YEARS AGO
The Republican-News
and St. Ignace Enterprise
Thursday, December 16, 1937

Michigan’s state highway department fleet of four state-owned boats have concluded the 1937 season at the Straits; however, the state-chartered ice-crusher Sainte Marie has assumed its winter schedule of hauling motor vehicle traffic across the Straits.

Two of the state boats, St. Ignace and Mackinaw City, have been laid up for the season at the mill slip and the state dock, respectively. The City of Cheboygan is idle at the state dock here while the Straits of Mackinac is moored at the coal dock. Whether these two will remain where now stationed has not been definitely determined.

The Sainte Marie commenced its winter schedule at 5:30 a.m. December 15 and will make daily trips this winter. The schedule maintained is as follows: Leave St. Ignace at 5:30 and 9 a.m., 12 o’- clock noon, 3:00 and 6:00 p.m.

Leave Mackinaw City at 7:00 and 10:30 a.m., 1:30, 4:30 and 7:30 p.m.

Ticket offices for this boat have been established at the D.S.S. & A. waiting room at St. Ignace and at the Michigan State Ferry Ticket office at entrance to the railroad dock at Mackinaw City.

While the state boats, which are not ice-crushers, were able to maintain schedules up until the time they laid up, weather conditions last week end became freezing. Ice formed around the ferry piers and landing during Monday was difficult. Ice packed in the Straits as well.

•••

The LaSalle high school alumni basketball team trimmed the Mackinaw City independents 28 to 25 on the Mackinaw City court last Friday night. It was the opening game of the season for the locals, who are planning a busy season of court play. Games have tentatively been scheduled with Newberry, the Soo, Brimley, Rudyard and Pickford. Players who auspiciously opened the season at Mackinaw City last week are Jack Ryerse, Joe Paquin, Ed. Krause, Herman Corp, Rundel Hunter, Melvin LaChapelle, and Willard McLeod. Stanley Deadman is their manager.

•••

Miss Ann LePage, talented organist at St. Ignatius church and accompanist for the St. Ignatius choirs, was guest of honor at a dinner party last Thursday evening given by members of the senior choir of the church. The affair was a tribute to Miss LePage, who plans to leave St. Ignace on Christmas day to go to Milwaukee for a visit with her sister and brother-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Charlton Moore. Miss LePage will resign from the local church group and from her position as teacher in the Third ward school upon leaving St. Ignace.

•••

The Republican-News has learned that Anson Hiser of St. Ignace received the annual cash award made by the Sullivan Steamship Co. to the best “oiler” in the line. Mr. Hiser is expected in St. Ignace this week, his boat having laid up at Chicago. He has completed a successful season oiling on the steamer Sullivan Brothers.

•••

Electrical thawing equipment operated by the Edison Sault Electric Co. was busy in the Third ward early Monday morning after the thermometer had neared the zero mark the previous night. Water pipes were frozen when the mercury dropped to two degrees above zero early Monday morning. There were several cold nights last week end and the ice in the Straits commenced gathering. Fish tugs had difficulty in raising nets in the vicinity of White Shoals Monday.

•••

A cantata entitled “The Music of Christmas” will be presented in the Methodist Episcopal church beginning at 7:30 Sunday evening, December 19. The combined choirs of the Methodist and Presbyterian churches will be featured in the musical. Carl W. Eggers, instructor of music in St. Ignace public schools, is director of the cantata, which was written by Ira B. Wilson. Mr. Clinton M. Fair is organist.

•••

An archway of leafy vine, full across the store, is utilized as a screen or living partition in the M. L. Ogle store. Two potted vines with their long trellis effect supply the verdant screen. Mrs. Ogle said the archway just simply grew. About 11 years ago she planted one of the vines and it extended rapidly. Entwining about a wire stretched across the room for their support, the tendrils commenced extending. A little later Mrs. Ogle planted one of the cuttings from the vine, and it, too, flourished. The plant remains healthy throughout the year in Mrs. Ogle’s neighborhood store where, with her youngest son, George, is maintained a business in meals and groceries.

•••

The vacancy made by the resignation of Miss Ann LePage from the Third ward school teaching staff will be filled by Miss Alta Houston, A. B. Miss Houston holds a life certificate from Kansas state college and a Bachelor of Arts at Central State college, Mt. Pleasant. She has also attended the Pestalozzi Froebel kindergarten school in Chicago. Miss Houston has taught in Alpena and Saginaw. For the past year she has been engaged in office work in Iowa, but prefers to resume her chosen profession.

•••

Michigan Bell Telephone Co. employees in St. Ignace held a dinner Tuesday evening at Moore’s roadhouse. The table was set for ten with a lighted Christmas tree as a centerpiece. Two candles decorated each end. Attending the dinner were Miss Ann LaGrill, chief operator; Misses Marion Manson, Vera Nordstrom, Madge Cronin, Lucile Goudreau, Beatrice Whiting and Barbara Winters. Miss Beulah Johnson was unable to attend. Guests were Mrs. Carl Halberg and Miss Margaret McLeod.

•••

From Mackinac Island: The Chief, mail boat operated by Cap- tain Ed. Couchois, is now on the following schedule: Leave Mackinac island daily at 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.; leave St. Ignace at 10:45 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. On Sundays the Chief will make just the morning trip. Charter trips to St. Ignace $15.00 round trip.

•••

From Hessel: Mr. Joseph Kramen, who has been serving as watchman at the sawmill of the Hessel Manufacturing Company (Messrs. Harry Fife and Henry Kramen), moved to his own home here during the last week. The aforesaid mill, on the northbound road near the Airport, has been unusually prosperous of late.

Mr. Henry Kramen has been running the machinery of the Kramen boat shop the last week, preparing material for smaller boats, which are very much needed at this summer resort village. The men here in general all seem to be busy day after day.

•••

From Cedarville: The Christmas pageant will be held on December 22 at the Union church.

•••

From Moran: One room of the school here was closed for several days last week because of the prevalence of scarlet fever. There are several homes quarantined here, but the patients are all getting along fine.

•••

From Gould City: A number of cases of Measles have developed this past week.

50 YEARS AGO
The Republican-News
and St. Ignace Enterprise
Thursday, December 4, 1967

Food stamp spending in Mackinac county is averaging about $5,500 a month since the program was instituted six months ago, Alicia Mackin told the St. Ignace Lions club Monday night.

Miss Mackin is officer in charge of the . S. Department of Agriculture consumer and marketing service office here. She said the program is designed to improve the market for domestic products and improve the diet of low income families.

Norman Greve presided at the meeting at which Allan Elenbass was installed as a new member by Lee A. Richlen, district deputy governor.

•••

The LaSalle music department will present its annual Christmas concert on Thursday, December 14, at 87:00 p.m. in the school gym.

The 65-piece LaSalle Senior band, under the direction of Wayne G. LeGreve, will again express its thanks to the community by reminding them that Christmas is once again near.

•••

In a room again crowded with concerned parents the St. Ignace city school board met in regular session Monday evening in an effort to find a solution to the overcrowded calassroom in the Bertrand school third grade.

Superintendent Lee Richlen has urge the use of a full-time aide in the room which he feels would be the best temporary solution to the problem. Several board members have urged that the multi-purpose room be remodeled and used as a class room as the elementary school system is growing rapidly with more expected when the pipe line people arrive and the coast guard station is in operation here.

•••

Sergeant Micah L. Clement, son of Mrs. Elton R. Clement of Crowville, La., is on duty at Da Nang AB, Vietnam.

Sergeant Clement, a vehicle operator, is a member of the Pacific Air Force.

Before his arrival in Vietnam, he was assigned to Kincheloe AFB, Mich.

The sergeant is a graduate of Cedarville high school.

•••

Nominating petitions for officials, aldermen and supervisors for the City of St. Ignace are now available…

Alderman George DeKeyser of the Fourth ward has announced that he definitely will not be a candidate for re-election. Other aldermen whose term of office expires next spring are Leonard France of the First ward, Alex Beaudoin of the Second, and Bowman Stebbins of the Third.

Incumbent supervisors are Sarah Tamlyn, First ward; Margaret Mc- Namara, Second ward; Harold Dettman, Third ward, and Rev. George Wood, who was appointed as Fourth ward supervisor this fall to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation fo John C. LaChapelle.

City officials are Roy Carlson, mayor; Virginia Olmstead, clerk, and Theresa Demmon, treasurer.

•••

Steven O. Huyck, 20, son of Mr. and Mrs. Orries F. Huyck, Pickford, was promoted to army specialist four Nov. 14 while serving as a warehouseman in the 629th Supply company near Qui Nhon, Vietnam.

•••

From Les Cheneaux: The initial step in the construction of additional public facilities at the $170,000 Clark Twp. Pier on the Hessel waterfront were revealed this week by Donald Cozzens, Clark Twp. supervisor.

The probable cost of the structure will be between $23,000 and $25,000 with the Michigan waterways Commission assuming half the cost of the construction.

…Another needed improvement at the Hessel Bay pier are finger piers. Mr. Cozzens said they would be built at a later date.

Mrs. Cleon Moss was hostess to 23 members of the Hessel Homemakers on Tuesday evening. Mrs. Robert Miller and Mrs. Gordon Goehring assisted.

Over three hundred youngsters converged on Hudson’s Hardware to greet the arrival of Santa Claus last Saturday.

•••

From Mackinac Island: Old Man Winter visited us Sunday. Gales of 50 miles an hour with snow came upon us. Our snow had almost gone and several bicycles are again in use, but Monday morning we had about 6 inches of wet snow and a heavy snow fall is predicted for our area, so I don’t think we will have to worry about a green Christmas.

Island shopper at Sault Ste. Marie Friday evening and Saturday were the James Francis family, Mr. and Mrs. Donald Francis, Mr. and Mrs. Vincent Francis, Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Pfeiffelman, Mrs. A. Spicer, Mrs. Archie Horn, Mr. and Mrs. George Wellington, Mr. and Mrs. Raymond O’Brien.

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