On This Date.
Ten Years Ago
The raging issue in October of 1992 was whether or not to repeal the Zoning Ordinance Amendment that raised the requirements for R-1 property. It mandated a 200' width with 25' side yard setbacks and a minimum size of 100,000 ft2. Those who opposed this restriction claimed that it was unnecessary because there was no danger of overdevelopment. After all, the Island had once supported a population of 2,000 people. Plus, it was unfair to those who had purchased property under the former rules, which would have allowed them to divide a 200' lot in half. Those who favored the new ordinance argued that continuing proliferation of smaller lots would hinder our appreciation of the Island's natural beauty, and put a strain on our infrastructure. The Beacon published a long letter from then-resident Marc Conner, wannabe North Fox developer who argued for a compromise of 150', and letters supporting the 200' width from Ed Wojan and Bill McDonough.
In other news, Red Mary retired after 19 years as our stern-fisted Postmaster, and was roasted at Stoney Acres. Jim Stambaugh chided her for the time she took a day off for Washington's Birthday--a week early. Phil Lange applauded her ability to get a letter addressed simply to "Grandma" into the right box, and Rich Gillespie read a poem he had written, which ended, "Remember, Mary, it was just as hard on us/ as it was on you."
Twenty Years Ago
For a change this Beacon contained much good news. Jim Gillingham made a presentation to the local school kids, showing them a frog, toad, lizard, turtle, alligator, and three snakes.. Dick Burris was awarded a commendation by Sheriff Lasater for his efforts in searching for the drowned Kenwabikise boys. The Sweet Adelines journeyed to Flint to receive their official certification. Joe Timsak and Sherri Mooney were married. Phyllis Moore gave birth to a future academic all-star. The CMU Closing Party honored retiring director Matt Hohn. A chimney fire at Coleen Martin's house, with Buddy off the Island, was quickly put out by the Volunteer Firemen. The school's Halloween Spookhouse was promised to be the best yet.
Thirty Years Ago
The Beacon, which served to cover the events of two months, reported that Herb Lees of Perry, Michigan caught a steelhead trouth weighing almost 7 pounds in Lake Geneserath. The editor theorized that the heavy rain throughout the summer kept Cable's Creek flowing, allowing the fish to enter the lake. The Game Club announced that woodcock and partridge were plentiful, but the Canadian Geese rode the high north winds well above the Island and never set down. The Club elected Sheldon Parker president to replace Alvin LaFreniere, who moved to Chicago. It made a large clear-cut behind Doty's Camp, pruned scores of apple trees, and sowed clover and rye over the Island.
Obituaries were plentiful in this issue. Frank Schnaudigal, who was the supervisor of Peaine Township for ten years, passed away after a long illness; he had been a steam-fitter, and outfitted the Sunnyside School, where he and his wife Gladys lived, with state-of-the-art plumbing. Art Brown's widow Sadie stepped in front of a car in Hart, Michigan and was killed; Art was the last owner and operator of Carpenter's Mill from 1958 until 1968. Leo McDonough, a cousin to the Island McDonoughs who lived in Los Angeles, was lost, as well as Richard Stromberg, who moved here from Chicago and was the architect for the Holy Cross Rectory and Convent.
Forty Years Ago
The Beacon had good news and bad news about game: the perch weren't running, but the partridge population was very good, particularly on Garden Island. Roy Chambers, coyote hunter extraordinaire, arrived with his dogs for a bit of sport.
Patrol #1, the Conservation Department's boat that was at one time staffed by all Beaver Islanders, came into the harbor. Owned by a skin-diving club, she spent a few days scanning the bottom of various bays for dive sites. Another visit of interest: Edward Chase of Grand Rapids, the nephew of the engineer who was killed in a train wreck. "Mr. Chase told many stories of the days when he lived on the Island himself, during the time of the Beaver Island Lumber Company. His grandfather, who owned a small home on Lake Geneserath, had been one of the settlers driven off by the Strang regime."
Clare Brown, the County "Home Demonstration Agent," spent four days teaching upholstery to Islanders in the Medical Center's basement. The School Board purchased some sports equipment (a volleyball net; softballs and bats), and arranged for a movie to be shown each month at the school.
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