Letters

Letters 05-23-2016

Examine The Priorities Are you disgusted about closing schools, crumbling roads and bridges, and cuts everywhere? Investigate funding priorities of legislators. In 1985 at the request of President Reagan, Grover Norquist founded Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). For 30 years Norquist asked every federal and state candidate and incumbent to sign the pledge to vote against any increase in taxes. The cost of living has risen significantly since 1985; think houses, cars, health care, college, etc...

Make TC A Community For Children Let’s be that town that invests in children actively getting themselves to school in all of our neighborhoods. Let’s be that town that supports active, healthy, ready-to-learn children in all of our neighborhoods...

Where Are Real Christian Politicians? As a practicing Christian, I was very disappointed with the Rev. Dr. William C. Myers statements concerning the current presidential primaries (May 8). Instead of using the opportunity to share the message of Christ, he focused on Old Testament prophecies. Christ gave us a new commandment: to love one another...

Not A Great Plant Pick As outreach specialist for the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network and a citizen concerned about the health of our region’s natural areas, I was disappointed by the recent “Listen to the Local Experts” feature. When asked for their “best native plant pick,” three of the four garden centers referenced non-native plants including myrtle, which is incredibly invasive...

Truth About Plants Your feature, “listen to the local experts” contains an error that is not helpful for the birds and butterflies that try to live in northwest Michigan. Myrtle is not a native plant. The plant is also known as vinca and periwinkle...

Ask the Real Plant Experts This letter is written to express my serious concern about a recent “Listen To Your Local Experts” article where local nurseries suggested their favorite native plant. Three of the four suggested non-native plants and one suggested is an invasive and cause of serious damage to Michigan native plants in the woods. The article is both sad and alarming...

My Plant Picks In last week’s featured article “Listen to the Local Experts,” I was shocked at the responses from the local “experts” to the question about best native plant pick. Of the four “experts” two were completely wrong and one acknowledged that their pick, gingko tree, was from East Asia, only one responded with an excellent native plant, the serviceberry tree...

NOTE: Thank you to TC-based Eagle Eye Drone Service for the cover photo, taken high over Sixth Street in Traverse City.

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History Jumps Off the Page in Emmet County

Dry history facts have been reimagined in glossy magazine form.

Kristi Kates - May 5th, 2014  

The four-part Essence of Emmet magazine series covers everything from the geographic changes that carved the top of Michigan’s mitten to the battles of Fort Michilimackinac and beyond.

The free, collectible series is a collaborative, historical project that’s bringing Emmet County’s history to vivid life.

CURATING CHALLENGES

The series was a project that began two years ago, said Beth Ann Eckerle, Emmet County’s director of communications.

“[The magazine’s authors] include representatives from numerous historical organizations from throughout the county, because of a common interest in preserving and promoting our area’s unique history,” she said.

At one of the group’s meetings, Eckerle suggested that they put together an historical series of publications – not just a timeline or dry “history lesson,” but a bright, glossy magazine that would really tell the stories of those who shaped the Emmet County area.

Her colleagues – among them, Mackinaw City historian Sandy Planisek, Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians archives director Eric Hemenway, and Dark Sky Park director Mary Stewart Adams – volunteered to write articles from their respective time periods of expertise.

“So that’s what we did over the past year,” Eckerle said, “and what emerged is our first issue.”

Designed and edited by Eckerle, the magazine will be released once a year for four years.

This year’s issue, “Part I: Pre-Contact Through 1812,” will be followed by 2015’s “Wars 1812-1917,” 2016’s “The 20th Century 1918-1960,” and the final issue, “Modern Times 1961-Present.”

SELECTING STORIES

The first issue features a thoughtfully curated series of articles, images, and design.

“Emmet County’s history is one of the richest and most intriguing in the state of Michigan,” Eckerle said. “Here, cultures and countries gathered to change the face of Michigan.”

“Pre-Contact Through 1812” showcases the Native Americans that were the primary residents here, then the French, and ultimately the British.

Also featured is the geography of the region and where the remains of distant geological events can be found today.

There’s a piece on native place names, another on celestial phenomena, an article on “Warrior Poet” Arent DePeyster, and background on Fort Michilimackinac, which was an important and pivotal setting in those early days.

“Some pretty cool and unique perspectives are provided,” Eckerle said.

EXPLORING ERAS

The next issue will highlight a century of the greatest change in Emmet County, with land rights and treaties taking center stage, transportation changing the face of the landscape, homesteaders and tourists arriving, and the Civil War making an impact that connected the locals to that time period’s national scene.

“That era sees the early origins of marketing Northern Michigan as a tourism destination, when resorts like Bay View and Harbor Point were forming,” Eckerle said. “There are some little-known stories going in the next edition, too, including insights into the lifestyle of the era. The topics cover a very wide range during this century of contrasts.”

The final two editions will highlight how transportation became more established and the economy grew, as well as the places and people who have left lasting legacies here.

DEFINING DESIGN

Eckerle said she wanted to move away from how history is typically presented.

“I did not want to create a ‘flat’ history piece,” she said. “My goal was to use a lot of design elements that would make history engaging. The magazine is intentionally heavily focused on the people behind the stories, not just dates and locations – and it’s very colorful.”

Some of the design elements even help readers who may not be quite as into local history as others. A timeline helps place the stories on a continuum, and a section called “Points to Ponder” gives people real places they can go today to experience the historical locations that are featured in the articles.

“It’s a chance to connect with our history,” Eckerle said, “to sit in the same spot as our forebears and think, ‘What must it have been like to be here, at that time?’” Since announcing the publication, the Essence of Emmet team has distributed more than 3,000 copies of the first issue, which is available free of charge.

“The feedback on the magazine has been tremendous,” Eckerle said. “People love learning about the events that shaped this area that they love. We are so grateful that this leap-of-faith project has hit the mark, as we hoped it would.”

The Essence of Emmet magazines can be picked up at Suite 178 in the County Building at 200 Division Street in downtown Petoskey, or can be mailed upon request. They are available free of charge thanks to funding support from the Local Revenue Sharing Board. To request a copy, contact Beth Anne Eckerle at beckerle@emmetcounty.org, or call (231) 348- 1704. Online visit emmetcounty.org.

 
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