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Beacon Archive

August 2003
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PABI Launches a Revised Plan

PABI Sunset Picnic Update

AMVETS sponsor Lake Geneserath Fishing Tournament in September

Washington Islanders visit Beaver and suggest Exchange Trips

Chamber has Big Plans: 2nd Annual Bite of Beaver Island Expanded Fall Events

Weather or Not

On This Date

Studying Art in an Artist's Paradise

The Freedom Schooner Amistad Pays a Call

Nels Peter Sorensen, Jr.: 1938-2003

Aleta Doris Kenwabikise: 1955-2003

Proposed Downtown / Public Beach Parking Lot

Museum Week 2003

Wildlife Club News

Charlevoix County Commissioners Meeting Report

News From the Townships

A Challenge to the BIRHC Board

The Opposition Organizes

Letters to the Editor Regarding the BIRHC

From the Board: About the Current Controversy

Please Subscribe to the Beacon

Classified Ads

On This Date

Ten Years Ago The Beacon of August, 1993, opened with a story of the procurement of the Bradley lifeboat, which has hung in the Marine Museum ever since. The Carl D. Bradley went down in 1958 southwest of Gull Island–the largest ship to sink in the Great Lakes until the Edmund Fitzgerald–with a loss of all but two of the 35 on board. The lifeboat, known as Carl D Bradley No. 1, was one of the few things salvaged. It wound up as the property of the Great Lakes Historical Society, but they sold it at auction to “buyer unknown.”

At a meeting of the Great Lakes Ferry Boat Association Bill McDonough was chatting with Captain Duggan of the Put-in Bay Ferry Company. He mentioned that he'd picked up the Bradley lifeboat. Without hesitating, Bill replied, “Well you'll just have to pick up something else, because that belongs on Beaver Island.” Bill negotiated its acquisition, arranged to have it towed here on Vince Olach's trailer, and donated it to the BIHS. They in turn asked Phil Gregg to restore it, which he finished this past spring.
Pam O'Brien, the Chamber's Office Manager, reported that through August projections were that 810 phone calls had come in, and 843 visitors stopped by.

The Township minutes reported that a new assistant manager was hired at the Transfer Station: Charles Schmidt.

The Beacon published the results of a survey about Island attitudes conducted by a local high school student. To the question of what Beaver Island needs, these answers were given (arranged in order of priority): better road maintenance; better access to state lands; more recreational facilities; tighter environmental standards; a community center; more walking trails; more rental housing; and more cultural activities. Condos and more tourist-oriented business brought up the rear with 14% of the votes being positive; more shopping, a Seniors' Center, and a one-hour ferry were next with 18%. Questions that received a high percentage of affirmative answers were as follows: Is it important to become more economically self sufficient and less dependent on tourism? Is the Beaver Island Energy Project good for the Island? Is alcohol a problem here? Should there be stricter standards for loggers? Should the townships acquire more lakefront property? Should we restrict ATVs? Is litter a problem? and, Should the two townships combine? The percentage of “yes” replies in this list ran from 83% to 70%; receiving only 10% affirmation was: Do we need more law enforcement on the Island? Should we encourage more hunting? received a 20% yes vote. The student who conducted the survey? Jeff Cashman.

Twenty Years Ago The August '83 Beacon carried the story of the loss of a long-time landmark: the burning of the O'Donnell home at Barney's Lake. Although it stood empty for years and was in bad shape, with holes in the roof and floors, many people took a chance by climbing the rickety stairs to the second floor for the splendid view. By the time the Fire Department arrived it was too late to save the house, but at least the wind was such that the adjacent grove of lilacs was preserved. The fire seemed to start on the second floor, leading to suspicions of carelessness or arson. Francis LaFreniere remembered going there when she was young to make horse radish.

The Beacon announced that the Island was back on the cable, thanks to difficult work being done by divers, who found the fault and fixed it.

What might have been the first jet to land at the Township Airport arrived on July 9th, a Cessna Citation turbojet. The four men who climbed out stayed the night and did some fishing.

The Game Club said that the DNR, relying on data from its local officer, had agreed to issue 180 doe permits – half to Islanders – according to President Karl Heller. Opposition to a doe hunt was predicted, with a petition drive expected to try to stop it.

A reminiscence of Peter Johnson was printed: during a snowstorm in January of 1962 he came to town in a one horse sleigh, along with a young lady and her dog. The snow was so deep that vehicles could not move, prompting his strategy. Old-timers marveled, and tried to guess how long it had been since they'd seen anyone tying up a horse in front of the Shamrock.
The Island welcomed its first set of twins in forty years: Tim and Denise McDonough's Bradley and Drew.

Thirty Years Ago The Beacon opened with a glowing review of a presentation of the Neil Simon play, Plaza Suite, directed by Jack Webster and Diane Hetherington. Among the actors were Trudy Works, Walker Hill, Phyllis Townsend, and Ray Denny. Part of the gate was donated to the Medical Center.

Hugh Cole joined the Coast Guard and Jeff McGlocklin the Air Force.

Grand Rapids' Beaver Island Club announced its 8th annual party would be held in October. Requests for information were directed to Brian Gallagher.

Mary Greene, 76, and Philip O'Brien, 69, passed away. Mary Boyle was born in St. James in 1897, and married Anthony Greene in 1920. She lived almost all of her life on Beaver Island. Philip was the middle child of July 'Big Phil' Gallagher and Edward O'Brien. He was born and lived in Chicago, but never forgot his Island roots.

The Beacon contained a reminiscence from Elizabeth Green Gallagher, John Andy's mother, who had just turned 91. The Island's oldest resident has lived her entire life here after having been born on a farm in Peaine. “My parents raised sheep like they did in Donegal,” she recalled. “My mother would card the wool, and we'd spin it and knit mittens and gloves, which we'd trade to the schooner captains who docked. Sometimes we'd barter for a barrel of lard, molasses, or sugar.” She would trade knitted things they would then sell in Chicago.

As a girl she worked to help supply the packet freighters with fuel. “My father cut steamer wood and hauled it to the docks. Sometimes he'd get some cash. A lot of people would bury any extra money they'd happen to get. Not all was found and dug up.”
In her life she witnessed the transition from steam, sail, and horse-and-buggy to the moon-walk age. “I've seen it all,” she said. “Believe me, things are better nowadays.”

Forty Years Ago The Beacon reported that several of the boats in the Chicago to Mackinac race had come here afterwards and stayed for three or four days. The Yacht Dock had been full to capacity for four weeks, with over 300 boats checking in.
Belying the report above, Emma Belfy delivered twins: Mark and Susie.

The fishing at Garden Island was producing maximum catches. One party was so anxious to get over there that when launching his boat at the DNR dock he backed up too far and had to have Jewell Gillespie winch him out of the lake. And then, in his haste, he dropped an oar on his favorite rod, breaking it. Yet he still caught his limit.

The pike fishing at Lake Geneserath was equally good, but one fisherman made a sad discovery when putting his sixth fish on the stringer: a pike already caught had chewed through the stringer and the first five had escaped. He was so disgusted that he threw the last one after them.

Because of the clear water, diver Al Doebler had a banner season locating wrecks in French, Iron Ore, and Sand Bay.

The St. James Mission was nearing completion across from the St. James Cemetery, near the site of "the first protestant church on Beaver Island many years ago."

Father Wren announced at Mass that the lowest bid for building the rectory next to the church had come from Walter Wojan.
Seven Island girls who became nuns returned at the same time: Marie Gatliff, Lorraine Gibson, Lenore and Alex Gallagher, and Mary Clare, Brigetta, and Isabel Malloy.
The “sea-going goat” was captured and retu

ned. The notorious animal apparently wandered onto the Beaver Islander in Charlevoix, and wasn't noticed until the ferry was underway. It survived the crew’s innuendos about fresh kebab and was shipped back to its owner, Albin Dunance, who had been searching all over for it, COD.

The Beacon closed by noting the traffic problem around the boat dock when the ferry came in. It editorialized that it would be nice if people parked at some distance and walked to the dock to help relieve the congestion. The more things change, the more they remain the same.

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