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Beacon Archive

March 2003
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The Way it was: The Arranmore Connection

Rural Arts and Culture Grant Update

Beaver Island Transportation Authority News

Beaver Island Boat Company Response

News from the Beaver Island Wildlife Club

Thank You from the Bellamy Family

Landscape Options Improve

New Scholarship Fund will Aid Nursing Students

Students on the Slopes

Across the Ice

Jeanie Johnston Underway

New Ferries Crossing the Lake

Bellamy Memorial Service

Charlevoix County Community Foundation News

Beaver Island High!

Chili Cook-off

One Hundred Years Ago

Arranmore Twinning / A Beautiful Watercolor by Cindy Gillespie

News from the Townships

Road Rally Planned

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! (and a run-down of the planned events)

On This Date

The Grand Rapids Party

Charlevoix County Commission Meetings

Letters to the Editor: The New Medical Center

Classified Ads

On This Date

Ten Years Ago:

The March '93 Beacon opened with a report of a victory in the Townships’ battle with the Charlevoix County Road Commission. The Townships had brought four charges: 1) the CCRC failed to carry out its duties to rebuild and keep up King's Highway; 2) the CCRC was negligent in performing these duties; 3) this failure led to environmental problems; and 4) the CCRC broke its contract to repave the highway. The CCRC asked for summary dismissal of all four charges. Judge Pajtas dismissed #4 because no written contract could be found, but upheld the others, so that the case was headed for trial–unless a settlement can be arranged.

The Chamber of Commerce, which asked both townships for $2,500, announced its plan to obtain and restore the Dockside Market to make it into a Community Center. It foresaw that such a facility could be self-supporting because it could be leased for parties and community functions. It said no tax dollars would be involved; instead, donations would be sought to cover the expenses.

The Wildlife Club announced its plans: pruning apple trees, planting clover and winter wheat, distributing vitamins and minerals for the deer, and, in conjunction with CMU, rearing 30,000 walleye fry in a pond and then distributing them to the inland lakes. They offered free birdseed, and asked for suggestions on bringing the perch back to the Harbor to restore the legendary Golden Age of Island fishing.

The three finalists in the design of a Beaver Island flag were depicted.

The Glendons announced that Kitty McNamara no longer had the time to act as editor of the Beacon, and consequently they were seeking a replacement for her.

The winners of the limerick contest were announced, including this one from Ellen Welke:

There's an island off Ireland called Arran
Where the landscape is rugged and barren.
Well, the Greens said, enough,
This life here's too rough,
And found their own Emerald Isle in Lake Michigan.

The St. Patrick's Day events were reported: the parade; the “new and improved” shopping cart race; the tug-of-war between the Hayseeders and the Fishchokers; the pitch-a-pike contest; and the Fish Stomp. Radio station WLTO was on hand all day to cover the festivities.

Twenty Years Ago:

The Beacon reported on the Civic Association’s Winter Games, held February 12th at Barney's Lake: ice-skating (obstacle course; backward speed; and relay), muzzle-loading, ice spudding, and cross-country skiing (distance, tandem, and 100-yard dash.) There were also snowmobile races: blindfolded, relay, and slalom. At a party at the Shamrock that evening, Roy Ellsworth's walnut clock was raffled off, with music provided by Joe Moore, Rick Delamater, Amy Green, Jacque LaFreniere, Keach, and Dave Gladish.

Dana Gillespie won the regional essay contest sponsored by Farm Bureau Insurance. The topic for all contestants was, “Why I am important to America's future.” Dana's essay stressed the value of technology and education (she thought each of us owe our children at least as good of an education as we received, and hopefully better), freedom and peace. She wanted to help provide better housing in America, and keep unemployment down. In other nominated essays Chris Speck talked about the importance of doing one's job; Jane Petrak said “I am going to live here all my life”; Ernest Martin declared that one day he would become Michigan's governor; and Jesse Kenwabikise hoped to help clean up our nation by reducing crime on the street: “With the help of other people, we can clean it up. Our nation would be the best nation in the world. To me, that’s all I want.”

In other school news, Joe Moore gave a demonstration of the new Atari computer, and Jeremy Barrett received a gold medal for reading the most books.

There was a mention of a trip taken 27 years earlier: Charley Martin and some friends drove their car to Hog Island. When they returned, James Gallagher said, “That's nothing. One winter I drove the ice all the way to Chicago. And back!”

The passing of A. J. Roy was noted. He and Mabel built a cottage in St. James in 1951, paying Walter Wojan the unheard-of amount of $1 per hour. In 1956 he bought the Mormon Print Shop and founded the Beaver Island Historical Society.

Thirty Years Ago:

Sheldon Parker related several facts about the Island's wildlife: thanks to the mild winter, the deer have moved up from their feeding yards at the south end earlier than usual. Tracks were seen on Font Lake. Turkeys were seen at the airport, and the raccoons were out in numbers as well. DNR officer Bill Wagner built some geese nesting platforms on poles above the water to encourage the formation of a native colony. Perry Gatliff has been trying to find some perch in the harbor, but so far has only taken 3 menominee and a sucker.

Sue Montague reported on the Med Center Auxiliary’s fund-raising efforts. A rummage sale was planned for the summer, and books of trading stamps were asked to be donated.

Ron Wojan made the Dean’s List at WMU.

Passings noted included Elston Pischner, who had been working as a jail guard for the Phoenix police department after having been a county road commissioner here; Harvey Cornstalk, born on Beaver but living in Detroit with his brother Frank for the past five years and survived by, among others, his grandfather, George Washagesik; and Sister Mary Clare Malloy. Sister Mary Clare was born as Susan Gertrude Malloy on Beaver Island in 1891, one of 13 children of Buffalo Malloy, and was Frank

ackerman's cousin. Three of her sisters also became nuns. Frank offered this memory: “When she heard about my mother's illness, she came across the ice in a sleigh to see if she could help. Due to the rough ice, even though they left early in the morning they didn't arrive until dark. Another woman came with her, Mary Harlem Gallagher, whose mother was also sick. When a Chicago paper heard about what Mary Harlem went through to get home, they sent a reporter up here in a plane and printed the story of these two brave and determined women. She told the reporter that when the sleigh driver suggested turning back, she told him that if he did to just let her out and she'd walk the rest of the way if she had to.”

Forty Years Ago:

The 1963 Beacon had more news about the two Whitley brothers who walked here from Charlevoix (according to their niece Joanne, Don wore only a light jacket, khaki pants, and no hat, and Ivan wore sunglasses, at least.) Joe McPhillips kept tabs on them during his flights of that day, and alerted the Islanders when they bogged down off Sand Bay. Walter Wojan took his snow scooter out onto the ice and found them five miles from shore. When he brought them to town and got them thawed out, they became the guests of honor at a smorgasbord staged by the Civic Association, held at the Shamrock.

Last year (1962) Archie LaFreniere decided to get an early start on the season and found a little open water in which to launch his boat. After screwing down the outboard, he pulled on the cord, anticipating that it would take several yanks to get it going. But for some reason it started on the first pull, for which he was unprepared. It was as though he'd yanked the tale of a tiger: the motor roared, the bow went up and the stern down, and Archie wound up waist deep in the freezing water. So this year Archie played it safe, heading out onto the ice in his truck instead of in a boat, but it was the same result: just past an ice ridge off Sand Bay, his front wheels broke through. Remembering the previous year's escapade, he got out to survey his predicament. Luckily so: the truck began to settle, and bottomed out five feet down. He and Karl Kuebler, who was with him, hiked to town to look for a winch truck.

The coyote population decreased by one when Frank O'Donnell and Lawrence McDonough spotted one from Frank's house and got Archie to put his dogs on the trail. Archie and Perry Gatliff set off after the manic dogs, but the coyote fooled them by doubling back–unfortunately right into the waiting sights of Rogers Carlisle, who was rabbit hunting nearby and dispensed it with a single shot. Ed Wojan set traps for coyote, but came up empty–except for 3 fox, one of which had been killed in the trap by a coyote. This didn't count against him: he still was the only 10th grader on the spring honor roll.

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