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Beacon Archive

June 2004
PDF Version

News from the Townships

Thanks from the Beaver Island Hospice

CMU Summer Field Trip Schedule

BICS to Graduate Seven

Tom Kelso 1940-2004

A Fine Mess

Strang Writers Enjoy Beaver Island

The Splendor of Crafts

On This Date

One Hundred Years Ago

Sock Hop Results

Broadway on Beaver: “An Evening with Stephen Sondheim” Premieres

Letters to the Editor: From the CCG

Letters to the Editor: BIRHC Meeting; Optometrist's Contract

Letters to the Editor: Karaoke

Sherry Burris 1956-2004

Henry Ricksgers Junior 1923-2004

BIRHC Truck Raffle

School Election June 14

Thanks to the Steinbachs: a New Fire Truck!

Wildlife Club News

Whiskey Point Light Reports Received

Baroque on Beaver

The Annual "Fashion Tea" July 8

Congradulations to Ryan Wojan

 

On This Date

Ten Years Ago The Beacon announced that the Wildlife Club had received walleye fry for its newly-established Rearing Pond, and was conducting a membership drive to pay for a much-needed shallow-well pump. The Club also contracted with John Works Jr. to plant two fields with clover and rye. And it purchased some Loon-nesting buoys as well.

This was a poetry issue, containing work from Denise Connor, Elizabeth LaFreniere, and the following from Dave Gladish:

When our days are freed of all struggle and strife
Through the help that computers are giving,
We'll work out a program to simulate life
And save us the trouble of living.

The front-page story concerned Peaine's Road Committee and its dream of 20 miles of asphalt. Chairman Paul Nelson had asked a professional engineer for an appraisal: Gary Voogt. He advised against straightening, flattening, or widening roads to be asphalted, and to remember that the high initial cost would be offset by eliminating the need for regraveling and dust control–although preparing an adequate base was estimated to require 90,000 tons of gravel. It was hoped some kind of grant might be found to help pay for this work.

The St. James Episcopal Mission became a Parochial Mission and announced that Father Joseph Howell and his wife Jeanne would be in residence all summer. An ambitious upgrade of the building included complete new bathroom facilities, a handicapped ramp, and new flooring.

BICS student Angela Thundercloud won a contest with her essay, “America and Me,” and was one of three runners-up in another contest. At the Science Fair, Amanda Steinglass’ “Car Seat Tray” took first place in the 7th/8th-grade group, Erin McDonough’s “Plant Cloning and Propagation” was first in the 9th/10th-grade group, and Jeff Cashman's “Sandwich-making Machine” was first in the 11th/12th-grade group. Eric Heline conducted a stone-carving class, working with soapstone and alabaster, and was pleased with the students’ ability to “find” the forms inside the rock. The school also staged a “Looney Lock-up,” raising over $400.

In Town Board news, Peaine voted to donate $5,000 to the tennis courts. In St. James, a millage request for the Historical Society was placed on the ballot. Bids were expected for a new Harbormaster building; the Chamber intended to move into the old Harbormaster building. The Chamber also asked for a noise ordinance for the Harbor, but was told the DNR would not approve it. Supervisor Neal Boyle read four years worth of angry letters written to the Road Commission.

The Deputy's report indicated that the first four months of 1994 saw 24 dog licenses issued, 12 animals impounded, and four animals euthanized.

Twenty Years Ago The Beacon reported that the State Legislature had passed an Appropriations Bill that excluded funding for our doctor. Funds from office visits pay for the operation of the Med Center, it was stated, but not the doctor. “The first doctor was hired by the State because Sophia LaFreniere died in childbirth.” All the friends of Beaver Island were urged to write letters and send them to the Med Center for proper routing to Lansing.

The school prepared to search for a new principal to replace Barb Rakowski. The fall curriculum included replacing sewing class with a course on computer education. Debbie LaFreniere won the contest for an essay on “Why America Needs Me.” Kathleen Green was the Valedictorian.

Peaine Township voted to pay half the cost of its Iron Ore Bay acquisition from the General Fund, and to pay the balance of $12,125 the following April. Joe Cunningham replaced Ed Davis on the Planning Commission, and Matt Hohn was put on the Road Committee. St. James voted to also pay half the cost now for the Iron Ore Bay property and the other half in a year. The Civic Association awarded a barrel planter to Doyle and Phyllis Fitzpatrick for having the best-looking residence in its Harbor Beautification contest.

With the Island firefighters graduating from the first part of their training, the First Annual Fireman's Ball was held on May 5th. Passings noted included long-time Island booster Elaine Smith, Joe Minogue, a grandson of Captain Owen McCauley (of the ‘Squaw Island tragedy’), and former Island doctor Harry Vail (1953-56.)

Thirty Years Ago The Beacon announced the publication of the 30-page Beaver Island Sketchbook, with charcoal sketches by Patricia Nelson (Sand Bay) and text by Elaine Smith (Isle Awhile.)

The Historical Society offered a reward for the return of the bronze plaque marking the site of engineer David Chase's death. The Print Shop porch was being built, and a picket fence on the side. A slab was being poured for the old jail. A program of special sunset cruises on the South Shore was begun.

It was a sad month for the Island, with the passings of summer visitor Elmer Smith, Rev. Chester Meengs, Norman Gallagher, Maria Gallagher, and Arthur Ryan. Rev. Meengs suffered a stroke while vacationing with his family at their cottage at Cable's Bay. The son of Willie John, Norman Gallagher was born on Beaver Island in 1917, and was married to the poet Eleanor Herington. Hannah Maria Malloy was born on Beaver in 1889 and married Hugh Gallagher in 1913. After trying Chicago for a short time, they moved back to the Island. Arthur Ryan was married to Islander Dorothy Malloy.

Forty Years Ago The Beacon welcomed the Michigan Outdoor Writers' Association, 60-strong, being housed at CMU, the Beaver Lodge, and elsewhere. The Charlevoix Chamber of Commerce hosted a cocktail party for the writers on June 12th. The next day they were feted by the Civic Association with a banquet.

Several graduations were announced: Donna Jean Ricksgers, granddaughter of Joe M'Fro, from the Detroit Business Institute; John Andy's daughter Mary Elizabeth from Western; Dr. N. Peter Sorenson from the U-M Dental School (his very first patient was Dick LaFreniere); and Sheila Brown, daughter of Stella and Francis Brown, from Chicago's Xavier.

Beaver Island's doctor, Doctor Haynes, was honored with 22 other surviving members of the Wayne State School of Medicine, class of 1914.

The North Shore pulled a barge into the Harbor containing two large storage tanks, which were unloaded and put in place at the downtown power station by Jewell Gillespie.

Ed Wojan was honored at a dinner in East Jordan for his essay on “My American Heritage.” The Christian Brothers arrived for a 30-day retreat.

Passings noted included Big Art Larsen, who was born on Garden Island in 1898; and Mrs Lloyd Howard, the former Rita May Burke, in a car crash in Ohio. “Into the Garden Island homestead of Egredius and Christina Larsen a healthy baby boy appeared on January 30, 1898. In those days Garden Island was a busy little community, with its own school, church, Post Office, and store to serve the homes and the commercial fishermen. The closest neighbor was Art's uncle, Pete Jenson, who had several sons. Art's father did very well, hauling in huge loads of trout and whitefish, but nevertheless they moved to Beaver in 1906, building a home on the north side of the harbor. Art began fishing with his father at an early age, learning a little more with each trip about how the boat handled in particular seas or what the clouds told about the coming weather. As the years rolled by Art did not stop growing, and soon towered over his friends, earning him the title Big Art.

“His mother died in 1913. He continued to work with his father until his death ten years later; both are still buried on Garden. In 1918 Big Art met and married Sybil Tilley, daughter of Beaver's foremost home-builder. Everything went along fine until the tragic Armistice Day storm of 1940, which took so many lives. Art lost over $7,000 worth of nets, and his big diesel tug, the Estonia, broke her moorings and wound up on the beach. He had no choice but to take a job as Diesel Engineer on boats plying the northern waters, such as the White Swan and the North Shore. An ingenious mechanic, people said he could make a diesel run on soft coal if he had to.

“After a year's illness this colorful life came to an end on June 3, 1964. He was buried in Holy Cross Cemetery.”


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