Ten Years Ago The lead Beacon story was about new
County Commissioner Rich Gillespie going after a transit bus,
which Beaver Islanders had been paying for since 1984with
a 1/4 mil State-imposed levy. The plan was to obtain a bus for
Dial-a-ride, shopping, deliveries, seniors, and special
The Little Traverse Conservancy's hope to purchase the lower half
of Little Sand Bay from Peter and Delores Gallagher (in part to
protect the threatened monkey flower) had accrued $150,000 in
donations, including $30,000 from the Frey Foundation, $30,000
from the Michigan Nature Conservancy, and $5,000 from Ralph and
Jeanne Graham. The Cub Scouts ran a Pinewood Derby, won by Adam
The Beaver Island Astronomy Society (including Jaque LaFreniere,
Al Montague, and Bill Markey) alerted readers to what would be
up in the sky during the summer, and planned a Jupiter Watch
Party to observe a fragmented comet plunge into our largest
planet. A Star Party was also planned to view the
Perseid Meteor Shower.
Robert Neff stated that he had taken on the task of completing
the tennis courts, and would appreciate some help. The Chamber
announced the theme for its Fourth of July parade: Beaver
Island Wildlife Awarenessalong with the raffle of
a two-weel vacation in Ireland for two. The Peach Tree Sale placed
87 trees on the Island.
Betty Duckworth thanked the Fire Department and the community
for helping her get through the devastating fire; Sherm Kantzer
found her heirloom clock in the debris, took it to Bill Freese,
and Bill repaired it and had it back to her before she knew it
A Ladies Handgun Safety and Shooting class was offered,
cosponsored by the Sheriff and the Charlevoix Rod and Gun Club.
The Beaver Island Community Players prepared to present Terror
in the Suburbs in early August; the BICP was formed the previous
year to put on Doctor Death (in May) and A Christmas Carol (in
Dave Gladish included the following poem:
They call it computer. Fine,
for the dedicated user,
but when it comes to mine
a better word is confuser.
Eric Heline's Pileated Woodpecker sweatshirts went
The Bluebird opened as a smoke-free B & B. The former bank
building was for rent, and Buddhist meditation was offered
in the classifieds.
The Library introduced a Wednesday evening Travel Series.
Passings noted included Mary Ranger and Florence Ricksgers.
Twenty Years Ago The Civic Association was searching for
a professional clown for its July Fourth parade. It asked for
suggestions for a community wish list.
The Civic's Harbor Beautification program went well. Twenty-five
helpers showed up. Mary Scholl contributed landscape sketches
of Township property along the harbor, and Joe Cunningham and
Buz Anderson built eight cedar benches, which Jim McCafferty and
Gwen Marston helped dig into place. Two truck-loads of trash were
removed between the Post Office and the Ball Diamond.
An influx of alewives (and the flies they attracted) rendered
many beaches unusable. A road rally was planned to raise funds
to clean up the dead fish and bury them at Iron Ore Baywhich
took place on June 23rd; Jim Wojan dug a trench for the raked-up
The BIHS hosted a program at the Marine Museum, where 68 people
listened to Ramon Nelson talk about his youth as an Israelite
on High Island.
The Fire Department queried about using the Town Hall basement
for a resale shop, but was discouraged.
Much-needed Yacht Dock repairs were authorizedup to $800.
Peaine Township sued the Equalization Committee of Charlevoix
because it felt the true cash value for each class of its property
was overstated. Richard Reed was chosen to assist regular Township
attorney Michael Gibbons (a former Island resident.) The Charlevoix
County Equalization Department was fired as Peaine's assessor.
The Airport Homesites subdivision (east of the Township Airport)
was rezoned from AA to C-2, disregarding the Planning Commission's
recommendation against this because the Aeronautics Commission
had not placed any restrictions on the land. Peaine Township wrote
to Vic Shapley, owner of the Island Telephone Company, to complain
about the poor service.
The passing of Elaine Smith was noted by a sketch of her life.
Born in rural Wisconsin, she was working as editor of a small
newspaper in Chicago when she met and married Dr. Robert Smith.
When he went into the service she took a job as an ad agency copywriter,
and joined the Civil Air Patrol (becoming a pilot.) After the
war she returned to Grand Rapids, where she became involved in
cultural development. She was known for vigorously exploring Beaver
Island (her IsleAwhile home was built in the mid-50s) and boosting
it through many newspaper articles and speaking engagements around
the state. Before her most dangerous tromps she would check in
with John Andy Gallagher at the Beaver Head Light, just in case
she got lost. She frequently did an Island slide show, usually
sponsored by the Historical Society.
Thirty Years Ago The Med Center luncheons began at the
Circle M., and a White Elephant Sale took place at the old LaFreniere
store across from the Erin.
Dale Boyles commented on past complaints about high taxes, noting
that 82% stayed on the Island (27% for the Townships and 55% for
Beaver Haven announced it would have a mechanic on duty for the
summer: Harold Lounsberry.
A 1938 Plymouth, abandoned in 1954, was to be sold at public
Stanley Floyd opened the Castaways, with Grace Cole and Olive
Dillingham as cooks.
Bing McCafferty was thanked for taking on the upkeep of the Holy
Cross Cemetery; much grave-filling, stone-righting, grass seed
sowing, and other repairs were needed.
Father Herbert thanked the community for its generosity in supporting
many Parish projects.
Passings noted include Island-born Father Joseph Boyle in Indiana
and Island-born commercial fisherman Francis Donlevy in Muskegon.
Forty Years Ago The Civic Association held a July 4th
carnival at the Parish Hall, headed by Eileen Martin and featuring
games, a white elephant sale, a baked goods sale, and a drawing
for a $100 vacation (won by Thomas Nowak of Alpena.) The fireworks
led to some chatter when a few rockets didn't go off where
they were supposed to.
The Beaver Island Golf Course was upgraded with a new 7th Hole
designed and built by Matt Melville, the local pro, using a grass
developed on Prince Edward Island. Because of BIHS president A.
J. Roy's bad health the previous fall, the annual meeting was
postponed until June 29th. Three new board members were elected:
James Carpenter, Lin Rountree, and Walter Wojan. Mr. Roy reported
that he had visited Voree WI and been presented with several redwood
signs painted with Beaver Island historical captions, which he
had brought back and proposed erecting.
William Buck and his wife visited the Island, for the first time
since he'd left the Israelite community on High Island in 1926to
which he and his parents had come in 1920 aboard the Rosabelle.
He told how he'd ridden ice boats between High and
Beaver in the winter to send and get mail. He said money had been
so scarce that his family gathered acorns to sell as hog feed.
In school he was taught by Lucille Gillespie.
Dr. Sorensen pulled the eye teeth from J. M., a chimp
owned by Mrs. John Clark.
Former Islander Clementine McCauley, Principal of Kennedy Elementary
in Ecorse, was honored for having served there for 40 years. One
of those speaking at the ceremony was Edward O'Donnell, president
of Lincoln Products in Lincoln Park, who had been her classmate
on Beaver Island. (He procured the valuable Zoltan Sepeshy mural
that hangs in the Marine Museum.)
Sherry Smith, daughter of Robert and Elaine, received a scholarship
to Interlochen, and Rose Connaghan opened a Country Store.
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