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Beacon Archive

June 2003
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McDonough’s Market - 70 Years serving Beaver Island

Don't bother trying to fix it … if it's not Baroque

Graduation Time

Beaver Island Chamber of Commerce Plans for the 4th of July

The Historical Society releases the schedule for Museum Week

BIPOA Nature Lecture: Painted Turtles of the Beaver Archipelago

CMU Summer Nature Walk series

BIRHC to Raffle Truck

Health Center Groundbreaking

The State of the Internet on Beaver Island

Honoring Bev and Mike

On This Date

One Hundred Years Ago

A Fine Spring Concert

An Environmental Protection section proposed for our Zoning Ordinance

Passings: Robert Smith; Gary Tepe; Margaret Way; Dan Green

Rural Arts & Culture Grant Update

Mary Gets a New Gallery

Roasting Jerry

The Sun Also Rises … over PABI's Community House: Summer Solstice Celebrations

The Class Play: A Class Act

Lighthouse School News

News from the Townships

Work at Beaver Head

BICS Students get Handhelds

Island Airways Hanger Party

Emerald Isle Security Exercise

Making a Walleye Pond

The Leadership Retreat suggests an approach for the Lansing Reception

A Report on The Lansing Reception

Peaine Township helps the Island move closer to a Master Plan

The AmVets in Action: yellow ribbons and posters

Weather or Not

Camp Quality Returns

Please Subscribe to the Beacon

Classified Ads

On This Date

Ten Years Ago: With the assistance of the Beaver Island Volunteer Fire Department, the house-numbering project got underway, according to the June, 1993 Beacon.

The Dockside Center project listed three goals:

  1. finish cleaning up the contamination, and find a bank loan to pay for the job;
  2. purchase, rehab, and find a tenant for the building; and
  3. solicit input to create a plan for the Community Center's purposes, activities, and programs.

The goal, which was not met, was to open the new Center 100 years after initial construction, in 1996.

Chuck Hooker announced the beginning of a study of the possible impact of generating renewable energy on Beaver Island, sponsored by the U. S. Department of Energy and conducted by students with energy majors from MSU, U-Wisconsin, and the Jordan Energy Institute. It began with a workshop designed to help gauge energy needs, options, and costs. The Beaver Island Energy Project began in 1991, and this study promised to help make its goal of increasing energy efficiency and developing an energy self-reliance more feasible.

Antje Price pointed out that this was the centennial of the arrival on Beaver Island of Feodor Protar, and was to be celebrated during Museum Week.

Dave Gladish provided this warning in his Beacon Lite:

Watch out for watching TV news,
It feeds on greed for stark disaster.
It's addictiver than booze
And maybe hooks you faster.
The forty-second bite, the poll,
The violence – we're talking heady!
The government out to control
The stuff. Or do they already?

Twenty Years Ago: The June, 1983 Beacon, which was printed in green, contained Part I of a history of the Civic Association, which was formed in 1954 to a) make Beaver Island a better place to live, and b) make Beaver Island an attractive vacation spot. Its first major project was to raise funds to buy land and build the Medical Center. Next it took up the project of creating the Island's first newspaper in almost a hundred years, the Beaver Beacon. The first issue went to 538 people. It played a role in getting the harbor dredged, a necessary project which, naturally, had its detractors; some claimed this was why the perch disappeared. It distributed brochures about the Island, and formed a committee that became the Game Club. It sponsored the annual Hunter's Dinner in the fall, as well as the Fourth of July events. It instigated a spring clean-up of the harbor area, which it expanded into the countryside. It installed direction signs around the Island, and started a winter sports program for kids. One year it planted trees along the edge of the streets – which did okay until the streets were widened and paved.

A Charter party was held for the Sweet Adelines, which wowed the audience with its sensational barbershop harmonies. The second annual 'Summer Serenade Dinner Dance' was announced for the coming August 27th, with music at a sit-down dinner provided by Rich Scripps and Richie Gillespie.

The graduating class of eight included current residents KK Belfy, Darrell Butler, and Robert Cole.

The Beacon carried an obituary for Catherin Connaghan, 91, who passed away that May. Born Catherine Malloy, she married Hugh Connaghan and they lived in the little white house next to Tim McDonough. She left 57 grandchildren and 35 great-grandchildren.

It was noted that the first two TV sets had arrived here in 1955, brought by Stanley Burns (for Pat Bonner) and Edgar O'Donnell (for Father Giles.)

Thirty Years Ago: The summer of 1973 was very promising; all the Island's accommodations were filled for Memorial Day.
The morel crop was unexpectedly bounteous, with a few apt hunters coming back with full bushel baskets. Bernie Whitcomb, who lived with her husband on High Island for three summers to study its wildlife, reported on a hunt spearheaded by Bea and Sheldon Parker. They drove to the center of the Island, where Bea and Sheldon quickly spotted several clumps – but Bernie couldn't spot any. Sheldon wandered off from morel to morel, and was soon out of sight. Bea and Bernie went back to the Parkers' jeep to move it a little forward, but morels were growing in the road and they kept driving further to pick just one cluster more. Finally they stopped, and Sheldon stepped out of the woods with a full basket. They all got in and started driving. Wind-blown trees blocked the trail, so every so often Sheldon had to climb out and fire up his chain saw; each time, Bea would go hunting for more mushrooms to try catching up to her husband. They started home at 8:00, but had a flat tire – which Bea changed. A card party at Bill and Betty Welke's had been arranged, and when they didn't show up, Bill went looking for them – from the air.

The Castaway Restaurant opened in the Lakesports building, filling the niche vacated by the closing of the Killarney Inn. Archie LaFreniere opened a gift shop where Powers' Ace Hardware now stands.

Russel Green, a crew member for 14 years as purser and assistant skipper, was named Captain of the Beaver Islander.

Phil Gregg's history of the Beaver, on the run during WW I, was illustrated by a drawing done by Dan Gillespie. Daniel Malloy's 1873 song Lost on Lake Michigan, was printed in full after being found by John Gannon in Escanaba and sent to Dick LaFreniere; it tells of seven Beaver Islanders who drowned while people helplessly watched the sinking ship from shore.

Several passings were noted: Dr. Russell Palmer, who had been our doctor until retiring in 1955; Bill Welke Sr, who had been coming to the Island since 1936; and 40-year Island resident Owen Chapman, who rode a little white motorbike with his dog in its basket. Also Mary (Gallagher) Sterling, born in 1885, who had married one of the train men for the Beaver Island Lumber Company and was preceded in death by 12 (of 17) children. And Ethel (Hamrock) Driggett, who lived at the Stone House Farm on Paid een Og's Road but moved to Charlevoix in 1915.

Forty Years Ago: With the temperature holding in the 80s for 1963's Decoration Day, 12 boats pulled into the harbor and tents popped up like mushrooms at the campground.

Mushrooms were reported to be ample, and the smelt run was a very modest success. Two fish tugs from Naubinway set gill nets around Garden and Hog and pulled into St. James to offer their catch for sale.

The Beaver Island Lodge hosted its first golf tournament.
The school had two graduates, Carol Ann O'Donnell and Evelyn Palmer.

Phil Gregg had an interesting story to tell: “On the evening of May 31st, three boats left Harbor Springs for Beaver Island. Twelve miles out, one began to fall behind unnoticed by the other two. When the two leaders reached the 2-mile buoy, they finally discovered they were alone. They waited there for 40 minutes and then sped in to notify the Coast Guard.

“The sea was quite choppy, and the third boat had opened a seam, letting in enough water to stall the engine. The lone occupant fired off all his flares, to no avail. Without the engine he had no means of pumping out the rising water. “After donning a life preserver, the operator decided to put himself in a frame of mind where he would not care what happened. This was accomplished by consuming all the bottled spirits he had aboard – a sufficient quantity to do a very thorough job.

“The Coast Guard crew came upon him some time later, sitting in his soggy boat and singing his troubles away. He was towed safely to the dock. Needless to say, this is not the recommended procedure to follow in such a case.”

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