Letters

Letters 12-14-2014

Come Together There is a time-honored war strategy known as “divide and conquer,” and never has it been more effective than now. The enemy is using it against us through television, internet and other social media. I opened a Facebook account a couple of years back to gain more entries in local contests. Since then I had fallen under its spell; I rushed into judgment on several social issues based on information found on those pages

Quiet The Phones! This weekend we attended two beautiful Christmas musical events and the enjoyment of both were significantly diminished by self-absorbed boors holding their stupid iPhones high overhead to capture extremely crucial and highly needed photos. We too own iPhones, but during a public concert we possess the decency and manners to leave them turned off and/or at home. Today’s performance, the annual Messiah Sing at Traverse City’s Central Methodist Church, was a new low: we watched as Mr. Self-Absorbed not only took several photos but then afterwards immediately posted them to his Facebook page. We were dumbfounded.

A Torturous Defense In defense of the C.I.A.’s use of torture in a mostly fruitless search for vital information, some suggest that the dire situation facing us after 9-11, justified the use of torture even at the expense of the potential loss of much of our nation’s moral authority.

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Marking history in Emmet County

Sandy Bradshaw - September 27th, 2007
A perfect side outing while driving through beautiful Northern Michigan during a fall color tour is to watch for historical markers. It’s interesting to note that Michigan has more than 2,000 historical markers located throughout the state, and they prove to be just as educational for the adults as for any children you might have in tow. The program was started in 1955 and is one of the largest privately funded programs in the nation; the markers contribute to communities by offering information about notable sites of importance.
Markers can be a structure, a natural geographic area, or any other unusual or significant site. Before a marker can be placed on any given site, the site must be approved to be listed on the State Register of Historic Sites. After approval, a sponsor or committee must submit a plan and contact the Bureau of History. Once approval is granted, the sponsor must submit proposed text for the marker, plus, of course, a check to pay for it, although the final text is determined by the Bureau. Once everything is in place, a dedication ceremony is planned. There are five types of markers permitted, but any free-standing marker must have text on both sides, either the same or continuing text. It’s an interesting way to make any travels of the area an impromptu history lesson, as well.
Some of Emmet County’s most interesting Historic Marker Sites include the following:

Stafford’s Bay View Inn
Located on U.S. 31 north in historic Bay View and constructed by J.W. Howard, this inn was first known as the Woodland Avenue House in 1887, and later the Howard House. In 1923 it was renamed the Roselawn in honor of Hiram Rose, local pioneer and entrepreneur. He renamed it the Bay View Inn, and later it became Stafford’s Bay View Inn. Its continuous operation in Bay View fits in nicely with that cultural and educational center founded in 1875 as a tent community.
Bliss Pioneer Memorial Church
Organized in 1880, the East Bliss United Brethren Church was dedicated in 1903. It was disbanded in 1949, purchased by former members, and renamed as Bliss Pioneer Memorial Church. Located on Sturgeon Bay, west of Pleasantview Road, the church still holds regular Memorial Day services.

Pioneer Picnic Park
Located on Round Lake, also known as Lark’s Lake, it was created in 1915 as a memorial to the settlers of Northern Emmet County, and was deeded over to the County in 1950.

The Ephraim Shay House
Located at Main and Judd Streets in Harbor Springs, this hexagonal building is made of metal, and is an easy standout among the more traditional homes in the town. Ephraim Shay invented the Shay locomotive, a prominent feature in logging and mining operations.

Andrew J. Blackbird Museum
Andrew J. Blackbird’s former house, located on Main Street in Harbor Springs, is now a museum. It was constructed around 1868 and was the home of Chief Blackbird, who served as the town’s first postmaster. Blackbird wrote two books on Indian language and legends, one of which is a continuous best seller at the History Museum. Located next to the Shay house (see above), the museum has its own intriguing marker, which is in English on one side and is translated into the Native American Odawa language on the other.

Passenger Pigeons marker
Passenger pigeons are now extinct, yet they once flocked in the millions in Northern Michigan. A marker in their honor is located one mile west of Oden on U.S. 31 North, at the State of Michigan fish hatchery. The Little Traverse Historical Society also has an in-depth wing dedicated to the passenger pigeon, explaining how such a populous bird came to be extinct.

Fort Michilimackinac at Mackinaw City
Built by the French in 1715. British troops entered the Fort in 1761, but were routed by the Chippewa Indians in 1763. The British, however, moved to Mackinac Island in 1781. The Fort is located in Mackinaw City.

Little Traverse Bay
Yes, the bay has its very own marker – and offers incredibly panoramic views of the bay from Sunset Park, located on Petoskey’s U.S. 31.

St. Francis Solanus Mission
Located on West Lake Street in Petoskey, is believed to be the oldest building in Petoskey; it was built during the term of Bishop Baraga, who founded the area’s Indian mission.

Legs Inn
Located in Cross Village, Legs Inn is one of the most recent Northern Michigan locations to receive its own historical marker. This unusual restaurant was created by Stanley Smolak, a Polish immigrant, who combined European and American Indian cultures to great effect, and decorated the outside edge of his building’s roof with an assortment of inverted stove legs, hence the inn’s name. The specialty of the house, of course, is authentic Polish cuisine. The inn’s interior features unique driftwood carvings, tree root sculptures, and thick timber beams, and the lakeside vantage point - complete with garden in the back - provides clear views of the neighboring islands.




 
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