2016-10-13 / Columns

Looking Back


The St. Ignace News

Saturday, October 17, 1891

A house down on the water’s edge in the third ward was discovered on fire last Friday night by Robert Burroughs and Fred Shafer, who gave the alarm and through difficult work aroused the occupants. There being plenty of water at hand, Robert managed to subdue the flames while Fred hastened for assistance. He returned in a short time and the fire was extinguished.


Mrs. S. Fell, of Moran, is visiting the friends in Detroit and other points. She reports having a most delightful trip down by the D. & C. steamer. Not a wave nor ripple disturbed the glassy like bosom of the lake, save that made by the noble and palace-like boat she sailed in – the steamer City of Mackinac.


Victor Hugo’s celebrated bit of description founded on a cannon becoming loose on the deck of a ship in a heavy sea was in some degree paralleled at the straits of Mackinac last week. A freight car got loose on the transfer boat St. Ignace as she was crossing with a portion of a train. The waves were high and the car was thrown about the boat in a lively manner for some time, striking terror to the hearts of the crew. Several hundred dollars worth of damage was inflicted on the vessel before the steel monster was secured. – Detroit Evening News.


Our well known townsman, Charley Wood, had a close call one day last week and for the first time in 57 years a physician was summoned to attend him. He was suddenly attacked with cholera morbus and another hour’s suffering as Dr. Smith found him, would have carried him off. He has quite recovered, however, and hopes, by continuing to give big bargains to his numerous customers, to live for many years yet.


A pleasant evening and a splendid supper was enjoyed by a large number of citizens at this Baptist chapel last Tuesday evening, being the occasion of a treat given by the ladies of that society known as the “Conundrum social.” Several of the gentlemen present found out that they were not as good on conundrums as they might be. The ladies appeared to be posted and fared better. The proceeds were good.


L. Pauly always leads in ordering Christmas goods, and this year is no exception to former years. He has placed his orders and made selections to eclipse all previous efforts – which means that his stock this year will be something very elaborate. The public should make a note of this.


Mrs. Jas. Vallier, of the Warehouse, who has been ill for some time was brought to the city on Tuesday last for treatment and died Thursday evening. Deceased was about twenty-five years of age. Her remains were interred in the R. C. cemetery yesterday afternoon.


C. S. Carr presented us with a basket of fine grapes yesterday.


Typhoid fever is epidemic at Marquette, and the cause is not known. An investigation has shown that the water is pure.


The contract for moving the bodies in that part of the old cemetery that has been sold to the city for street purposes will be let to the lowest bidder on Wednesday, 21st at 2 p.m. Bidding to take place on the grounds.

By order of Street Com.


From Mackinaw City: Mr. O. W. Adams, former cashier of The Wentworth, has accepted a position as travelling agent for Starnes Drug house, Detroit. We wish him success.

The St. Ignace Enterprise
Thursday, October 12, 1916

The annual meeting of the board of supervisors convened Monday and will likely continue until the latter portion of next week. It is the most important meeting of the year and much business is to be transacted. While the law allows the supervisors to continue in session but two weeks, The Enterprise has noted many instances during recent years where boards in other counties have been obliged to continue in session for three weeks and even longer. An instance of this occurred in Chippewa last fall. The Mackinac members as a rule work in harmony and as a result are enabled to finish their duties within the specified time.


The South Shore has arranged to run a special train from St. Ignace for the accommodation of those who desire to take in the Allenville fair in the afternoon early. The train will leave the union depot at 1 o’clock and returning leaves Allenville at 5 o’clock. Fare for the round trip, 40 cents.


The Densmores have sold their registered Holstein bull, Mackinac Beets Segis, to a Chippewa county stock raiser and purchased a sixmonths’ old bull of the same breed. The sire of the calf is Enblagaard Prince, one of the most famous bulls of the Holstein breeding in the country. His dam is Nineta Pontiac, out of the Pontiac Butterboy, one of the greatest of the Holstein milk producers. Mackinac county stock has been much improved through the enterprise of the Densmores and other breeders of pure bred stock and it is pleasing to note that new blood is being brought in to continue the good work.


The business interests of the upper peninsula have suffered the loss of thousands of dollars during the past few months by reason of the shortage of freight cars to move their products. The congestion of freight reached such proportions as to become alarming and cause the calling of a meeting of the officials of the car departments of the South Shore, Soo Line and Michigan Central, which was held in this city last week. ..

Every phase of the problem was discussed and the action taken by the officials has met with beneficial results. Last Sunday there arrived at Mackinaw City over the Michigan central 98 empties for the U.P. and on Monday the empties arriving numbered 103, and every effort is being made to secure the necessary cars to take care of the business from above the straits.

The shortage of freight cars is not alone felt in this section and the whole country appears to be clamoring for more cars. Last week the Michigan Central received an order for 3,000 grain cars to be delivered in Chicago for the movement of grain from the west to the Atlantic coast. On the main line of the M. C. running through Jackson, 100 freight trains of from 70 to 125 cars each run through Jackson every day.

Purser Joseph Wenzel of the Mackinac Transportation Co. says the shortage has become so acute that the company has found it difficult to secure a supply of coal with which to operate the ferries and that it has been found necessary to confiscate coal consigned to points in the peninsula in order to accomplish this.


Louis Siebold, political expert of the New York World, and one of the oldest writers on political topics in the country, dropped into Detroit long enough Monday afternoon to attend to some personal affairs and remark that Woodrow Wilson will be re-elected, and that no amount of oratorical competition can alter the result of the presidential race, for the simple reason that it’s already settled…

“You will find, first, that the people of the United States are thankful that they are out of war. They no doubt have heard Republican speakers say that the president is not to be credited for this fact. Still, my idea is that these masses of citizens know that Woodrow Wilson was at the helm during the critical times when other nations were plunging into hostilities, and they are not inquiring any further into the conflicting statements made by opposing speakers.

“Go among the crowds, and you sense another strong undercurrent which must have its effect in the balloting. It is the spirit of snug satisfaction among the workingmen. They shake their heads, after they hear a long Republican argument. They say to themselves, ‘Well, were getting the wages, aren’t we, so why should we kick?’ I believe they are content to let the situation rest as it is.”


For the past several weeks St. Ignatius’ church, the largest, most pretentious and most beautiful house of worship in the city, has been in the hands of decorators with the result that the interior presents an appearance more inviting and more beautiful than ever.

It has been arranged to celebrate the completion of these improvements by a grand opening to take place next Sunday evening, October 15th, at 7:30 o’clock, Rev. Father Sommers of Mackinac Island preaching for the occasion. Other priests in attendance will be Rev. Fr. Gagnieur, S. J., Indian missionary; Rev. Fr. Nye, Mackinaw City; Rev. Fr. Kerfs, chaplain of the Ursuline academy and the pastor, Rev. Fr. Mockler.

The interior decoration of the church cost $2,100.00, which will include the stations of the cross to be erected in a few weeks. The ceilings are all done in fresco and the walls in oil colors, the color design being the celestial olive green. The tapestry, while rich in colors, is very soft, presenting to the eye a rich array of harmonious and delicate effects.

The sanctuary is of special design, being executed in the most artistic marble effect. Two artistic oil paintings on the ceiling panels at each side of the altar represent our Lord’s agony in the Garden and His resurrection from the dead Easter morning.

The altars are done in silver white with gold leaf trimmings; the pillars in marble effect.

The statues are beautifully painted in cream and gold, the sweet expressions showing the skill of the artist, B. Bellerio of Chicago.

The old historic painting has received its share of attention. It has been treated to two coats of wax preparation prepared by the artist, stretched out and placed in its old frame on a solid background on the north side wall of the vestibule, where it is easily accessible to visitors desiring to see it. Near the painting is the Saint motto: “All Things for the Greater Glory of God.”

The electric fixtures were supplied by Fred Walker of Detroit and are of a most tasteful and artistic design, in harmony with the decorations. They light up the edifice with a soft, rich light.


From Brevort: The Crow family, a large body of dark complected sky beasts, are preparing to vamoose southward.


From Bryan: Saturday evening a “hard time” party will be given in the hall here. The music for the dancing will be furnished by the town orchestra and a real hard time luncheon will be served.

St. Ignace was well represented in our town last Saturday. Milton H. Baxter and John Daly were here canvassing votes. Daly came by auto, with Leo LaRocque as chauffeur. In the afternoon Eustache and Jimmy LaRocque reached town by car, and remained until Sunday afternoon.


From Gros Cap: Henry Rath of St. Ignace finished decorating the interior of the town hall on Saturday, returning home the following day. The hall is now ready for the opening.


From Moran: Our town booster, Conrad Becker, has suggested that a bunch of men and teams get together and level out the railroad ground south of the new depot. This would be a splendid improvement to the town and deserves the whole hearted support of every property owner. Much credit is due our loyal agent for promoting the plan.


Manager Albrecht of The Grand theatre has a big attraction billed for tonight which should fill the house. It is from the Mutual Master Picture’s de luxe edition and presents Arthur Maude in “Lord Loveland Discovers America,” a captivating comedy drama in five acts. The evening’s bill also provides for another fine comedy entitled “Jerry to the Rescue.”

Another feature that will appeal to the public is the orchestral numbers. Mr. Collier has returned after a short absence and will again lead the orchestra in the latest music hits. Popular prices will prevail – 10 and 15 cents.


From Mackinac Island: Miss Susan Breuckman left Wednesday of last week for Detroit where she will attend school.

John Lapine and daughters Katherine and Helen left on the D. & C. steamer Wednesday for Detroit where they will spend the winter.

Mrs. E. J. Lachance left for Milwaukee Wednesday morning going by way of Trout Lake. Mrs. Lachance will take a course of treatment at Sacred Heart Sanitarium for neuritis.


From The Snows: There has been no lumber going out this fall and there is a large amount piling up on the Hossack docks.

H. G. Nye, one of the summer people who comes early and stays later, left for his home in Toledo last week Friday.

Mr. and Mrs. S. B. Poole, of the Iroquois Hotel, Mackinac island, with their daughter, have been guests of the Tanner Brothers, on Coryell Island for a few days.

If the people who come to the Snows in the summer could see the region now they would see a place of beauty such as they had not known existed in the summer months. The shores of the channels are a riot of color.

As stated last week the Hossack mill has been cutting shingles for some time and at such times shingle weavers are brought in from outside points. These men earn much larger wages than the average man and when they get too much ahead have to stop and spend it. Last week three of these men got “stake bound” and stopped work, one on Friday and two on Saturday, and the mill was shut down Friday afternoon and Saturday. A man was sent to the Soo to secure more help which arrived in time to work Monday, when the carriage broke down, causing another delay.


The Walker-Brown cottage at Point LaBarbe is completed and is being occupied. It is large, airy, and pleasantly located, in fact is one of the most pretentious of the summer homes in this vicinity.


Never in the history of navigation through the Straits has so much tonnage passed as in the past 30 days. There is a steady stream of large steamers passing through bound from Lake Superior to South Chicago and Gary, Ind., with ore for the large steel plants located at the named cities.

The Republican-News
and St. Ignace Enterprise
Thursday, October 15, 1936

Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Edward Gallagher, of over half a century residents of St. Ignace, marked their fiftieth wedding anniversary on last Saturday, October 10, 1936. A solemn high mass in St. Ignatius church at 9:00 a.m., with Rev. Father Holland as celebrant, opened the golden jubilee.

At the close of the church service, forty guests accompanied the venerable couple to Moore’s Roadhouse where the anniversary breakfast was enjoyed.

Both Mr. and Mrs. Gallagher were born in Arranmore, County Donegal, Ireland. At the age of 22 years, Mr. Gallagher came to the United States, arriving in 1881, and entered the coal fields of Pennsylvania. There he worked for a year, until he had the misfortune of breaking his right leg. At that time he migrated to Michigan, coming to the Beaver Islands, where for five years he worked as a fisherman during the summers and in the lumber woods during the winters. His wife-to-be came from Ireland shortly after he located at the Beavers.

The Gallaghers first came to St. Ignace in the spring of 1886 and they were married in the fall of that year. The ceremony was performed in the Mission church, which stood where the present Old Mission hall is now. Father Becker read the vows in the presence of Dan and Molly Gallagher, cousins of P. E. Gallagher, as witnesses. Both witnesses are now dead.

At the time of his coming to St. Ignace, Mr. Gallagher was first employed here in the market and store of the late Pat Mulcrone, in which employment he learned the meat business which was to be his work during the ensuing years. For five years he worked with P. Mulcrone while [they] were taking up their residence here.

Mr. Gallagher’s initial business venture on his own was launched in 1891 when he opened a shop on the site now occupied by the Travelers Hotel. Later he moved to the site now used by the Bay View restaurant and in 1904 moved to the location now occupied by A. McNamee, where he conducted his butcher shop and grocery store until the time of his retirement in January, 1930. Thus for nearly 40 years Mr. Gallagher was a business man in this community.

After a career of nearly forty years in business, during which time he contributed his share to the development and progress of the community, Mr. Gallagher retired, but used to activity, he and Mr.s Gallagher occupied their farm on the Portage road for several years. Just a year ago last May they sold this property, consisting of farm and cattle, to Charles Huyck of the St. Ignace Dairy, and retired to their present home.

Gravel and perhaps a certain quantity of good Irish sand brought Mr. Gallagher into politics, during which period he served his city for five years as Fourth ward alderman and held a term as city treasurer. The gravel figured in the move because at the time the court house, located directly across the street from the Gallagher home, was situated on a bed of fine gravel. This property was not landscaped or fenced and builders had the habit of taking gravel from the court house lot. This made the site of the county edifice most unsightly and Mr. Gallagher entered politics as supervisor to correct this condition, which was apparent daily. He succeeded in securing the landscaping of the site with trees and procured an appropriation to fence in the property.


From Mackinac Island: The community this week mourns the passing of a beloved resident, William Kilroy Chambers, whose death occurred on Monday afternoon following an illness of six weeks. The cause of death was the result of a heart ailment.

Surviving to mourn their loss are his wife, a son, Arthur Thomas; three sisters, Mrs. Patrick Doud, of Mackinac Island; Mrs. Alfred LaChance, Chicago Mrs. Eugene LaChance, Winter Park, Florida; a brother, Patrick Chambers, Detroit; three grandchildren, Sally B, Buddy and Bill Chambers.

William K. Chambers was born at Mackinac Island June 10, 1871, a son of Thomas and Mary Chambers, pioneer settlers of the Island. His entire life was spent here. In January, 1899, he was united in marriage to Miss Jessie LaChance, daughter of Judge and Mrs. Benoni LaChance, who were also early residents of the Island. One son, Arthur Thomas, was born to this union. Mr. Chambers was engaged in the livery business throughout his active life.


Word was received here this week of the death of Capt. W. S. Gilbreath, pioneer in the good roads movement in Michigan. He was known as a long-time executive of the Automobile Club of Michigan and as the father of the Dixie highway. Mr. Gilbreath was a leader and was wellknown in this vicinity, where he addressed a group of Mackinac county folks at a meeting at the Islington Hotel, Les Cheneaux, some years ago. It was the occasion when the road between Feltus Cut and Cedarville was begun.


One of the most severe fall wind storms struck St. Ignace Sunday evening and brought along a bit of hail and the air full of snow. The temperature dropped to freezing and a good many autos steamed during the night and morning. The wind was greater than brisk – it picked the roof off A. McNamee’s tailor shop and threw it over on the roof of Wood & McCuen’s barber shop, punching a hole in the roof there and knocking off a brick chimney. At the ball park the newly-enclosed wooden bleachers were upset and blown to pieces. The electric system at Evergreen Shores was badly disabled by the high wind.


From Ozark: The science class at school cooked and served a dinner for the entire school at noon Wednesday. Consideration was given to the serving of a balanced meal, the proper setting of a table and etiquette at the table. The menu consisted of boiled beef and potatoes, cabbage salad, celery, carrots and peas, cocoa, cake and canned peaches.


Members of the National Re-employment Service office in St. Ignace began a program of re-registration for all on the WPA rolls in the county late last week. The entire county will be covered in this registration which is to be completed by December 1.

At present there are about 525 names on the WPA rolls in the county, of which number approximately 350 are now employed on WPA projects. Last winter the total number on the rolls were employed on projects and it is expected that seasonal decline of private work will again swell the number on the WPA projects this winter.


Retention of the Tahquamenon Falls area in its natural wilderness state will dominate the policy of the department of conservation in administering the tract as a state park, P. J Hoffmaster, director of conservation, announced recently.

Hoffmaster’s announcement followed decision of the national forest reservation board to purchase the falls area for exchange for state owned lands within national forest boundaries in Michigan.

The area to be acquired by the state includes more than 2,000 acres on either side of the Tahquamenon river in Chippewa and Luce counties and incudes both the “upper” and “lower” falls. All of the site is within the Lake Superior state forest.

“We have studied the Tahquamenon falls area for several years with the hope that some day it might be acquired and developed into a state park,” Director Hoffmaster said. “However, we have not made definite plans so far. A detailed survey will be made as soon as possible with a view of immediate development.

“We are decided on but one thing definitely,” he stated. “There will be no automobile road directly to the falls and camping will not be permitted at the falls. We do not want to spoil the natural beauty of the place by unwarranted extensive development.”

Acquisition of the falls, Director Hoffmaster said, rounds out plans of the conservation department for a huge wilderness recreational area in the upper peninsula. The Lake Superior state forest, in which the falls are located, is rapidly becoming popular with the type of tourists who want an unspoiled wilderness.


Lloyd Backie, who has been sailing as chief engineer of the Seminole, running between Houghton and Isle Royale, returned Saturday after finishing up the season.


Over 150 residents of Engadine and surrounding districts attended the rally sponsored by the Young Republican clubs at the town hall Tuesday night. Thirty-five Young Republicans in the west end of the county joined an active organization for the district.

Joseph L. Burnett was selected as acting president of the organization and Miss Laura Kell was named as secretary. Officers of the St Ignace club who attended were Glenn Arnold, president, and Miss Dorothy Langdon, secretary.


With LaSalle high school’s grid squad fully rested and recovered after two weeks’ rest, Principal V. J. Carr and Coach T. H. Reque are pushing the Straitsmen hard in practice this week in expectancy of the hardest game of the season, that with Boyne City here next Saturday afternoon. The LaSalle boys took a terrific pounding from an experienced, hard, and particularly heavy Cheboygan team a week ago last Friday, and showed their caliber by scoring two touchdowns off their powerful lower Michigan opponents, though they lost the game by a score of 14-13.

The game scheduled for Saturday afternoon, of which there is no admission charge, will be the last home game of the Straitsmen’s season and a large crowd is expected to be present.

The Republican-News
and St. Ignace Enterprise
Thursday, October 13, 1966

Two local men, Ray Walker, Jr., and Calvin Tamlyn, have made some interesting discoveries when skin diving during the month of August off St. Helena Island. They discovered the wreck of the ship Fred McBrier, which sank in a collision in the foggy straits in 1890. Also diving were Robert Hamilton of the Soo and Dick LeClair of Soo, Canada.

The ship is sunk in about 100 feet of water which necessitates spending a rather short time under water diving on the wreck. According to Tamlyn, diving with one tank on the diver’s back allowed them only about twenty minutes of actual diving time on the wreck.

One of the interesting finds made by the men was a bronze engine plate which was hand-tooled and commemorated the one hundredth engine made by the Samuel F. Hodge company in 1881. The engine was built in Detroit, although the Fred McBrier was constructed at Bay City by the F. W. Wheeler & Company in the year 1881. It was constructed of wood and was a steam barge freighter with gross tonnage of 442. The ship was 161 feet long and 31 feet wide by 12 feet deep. She was loaded with iron ore and according to an old timer that Tamlyn and Walker talked to in Mackinaw City, claims to remember when the ship collided in the Straits and sunk, she went down in about five minutes in a heavy fog.

Tamlyn is making plaster casts of the bronze plate and later plans to donate the original to some museum. Other finds on the ship consisted of some dishes and a bottle of sarsaparilla that was just sitting on the deck as if someone had just set it there. The men sampled the contents and claim it tastes “just like Squirt.” There are two big sea anchors still on the ship that the divers decided not to try to bring up at the present time.

According to Tamlyn, some of the things one would like to find on such a ship were apparently all scattered in the collision when the cabin was knocked off.


The Children’s Dental Care Foundation of Cincinnati, Ohio, is holding its eleventh anniversary meeting on October 19 in honor of Dr. Robert Holle of St. Ignace, who was one of the founders of the organization and was executive director for nine years.

The foundation was formed in 1955 in Cincinnati to care for children’s teeth, train children’s dentists and do research in pediatric dentistry.


Fire caused an estimated $100,000 damage to two new motels in Mackinaw City last Friday night and Saturday morning in a spectacular wind-swept blaze fought by four fire departments.

Fire started about 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Sands Motel at the “Y,” jumping to the adjoining Thunderbird, and threatened the Bellaire to the east and the Starlight to the west, all on US- 131.

Lew Conant, Mackinaw City police chief, called other departments to assist the 15 man Mackinaw City volunteer department as high winds fanned the flames. Within 25 minutes Cheboygan and Inverness firemen were on the scene, closely followed by the St. Ignace firemen. The Straits Bridge Authority sent its giant tanker and shuttled water as the fire was beyond the mains. Two swimming pools were pumped nearly dry.

Chief Conant said about 28 units were destroyed at the Sands and four more had extensive water damage. The Thunderbird had four units burned out and two with water damage.


Mr. and Mrs. Stanley St. Louis have sold their Towne House restaurant to Mr. and Mrs. Donald Goudreau who took over operations last Saturday.

The Town House was purchased by the St. Louises three years ago from the Kostys, who bought it as the Coffee Shop from Mr. and Mrs. James Massaway. For years the restaurant has enjoyed a fine clientele which Mr. and Mrs. Goudreau will continue to serve as in the past.


Agatha St. Germaine, 73, lifelong resident of Mackinac Island, died Sunday morning at a Cheboygan county rest home. She was born here Nov. 22, 1892.

Survivors include one daughter, Mrs. James (Bertha) Green of Mackinac Island, 13 grandchildren, 31 great-grandchildren, and a sister, Mrs. Margaret Hager of Saginaw.


From Mackinac Island: Supr. Ozro Smith recently returned home with his new German Shepherd, a graduate Leader Dog. Ozzie was at the Leader Dog School for four weeks, during which time he learned to travel with confidence with the assistance of “Dolly,” a 19-month-old German Shepherd.

Our unseasonable weather for October has brought daily tourists to see Mackinac color. It is estimated that we have had six to seven hundred over the week end daily. Ty’s and the Chuck Wagon have kept their doors open for eating facilities. The Mackinac Island Carriage Tours at this time have had tourists on stand-by for the sightseeing tours.


An effort is being made to establish a thrift shop in St. Ignace under the sponsorship of the Community Action program.

Co-operation and assistance is being solicited from local churches and organizations in the hope of an adequate response by Oct. 20. The project is designed to be non-profit and self-sustaining after initial expenses have been met. A $10 contribution from each participating organization is being requested.

Anyone interested may contact Mrs. Eleanor Siren at her office in LaSalle high school, phone 835.

All clothing, furniture, household supplies and such will be renovated by volunteer workers and sold at a minimum price to anyone. Any profit realized will be used to purchase shoes and overshoes for children needing them.

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