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 controlalthough
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 McDonoughs 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
The Deputy's report indicated that the first four months of 1994
saw 24 dog licenses issued, 12 animals impounded, and four animals
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
Beaver Island's doctor, Doctor Haynes, was honored with 22 other
surviving members of the Wayne State School of Medicine, class
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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