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Beacon Archive

July 2004
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News from the Townships

AmVets Retire Worn Flags

Long-EZ's return - Burt Rutan-designed experimental aircraft

PABI GroundBreaking

Island Airways Hangar Party

Wildlife Club News

School Election Results

Letters: To the Beaver Island Community

Walleye Pond a Success this Year

The yearbooks are in. The yearbooks are in. The yearbooks are in!

Thanks to Ed Wojan who orchestrated the event, Islanders get to Skydive from 11,000 ft. at Township Airport

On This Date

Museum Week 2004 Schedule of Events

A Sturdy New Home - Ben Fogg's new Tug Spartacus.

Lighthouse School Graduation

Silent Auction added to Fashion Tea

Phyllis Townsend 1911-2004

Preservationists named Honorary Architects

The Dig Continues - Suttons Bay Anthropology Club

Rich Gillespie will run for Charlevoix County Commissioner

Will there be a New Boat?

BIRHC Grand Opening - A Fine Celebration

One Hundred Years Ago

Art found in Nature - the Wood Sculpture of Bruce Struik

Mary Gallagher 1909-2004

Cecelia Kinney 1911-2004

Emergency Lights Available

New First Responders

Blood Drive; Hospice Needs Summer Caregivers

New Map of Beaver Island


On This Date

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 1984–with a 1/4 mil State-imposed levy. The plan was to obtain a bus for “Dial-a-ride,” shopping, deliveries, seniors, and special events.
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 Martin.

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 Awareness”–along 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 was gone.

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 December.)

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 on sale.
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 Bay–which took place on June 23rd; Jim Wojan dug a trench for the raked-up fish.
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 authorized–up 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 the School.)

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 auction.

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 1926–to 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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