2018-02-01 / Columns

Looking Back

125 YEARS AGO

The St. Ignace News

Saturday, February 4, 1893

LaSalle school was closed on Tuesday last, on account of stormy weather and smoking stoves.

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A new postoffice was established at Groscap on Monday last. J. B. Blanchard is the postmaster.

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John Beveridge, agent for Brown Bros. nurseries, has secured an order for 860 fruit trees from E. B. Chamberlain.

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Mrs. Felix Paquin died on Tuesday last, after a long illness. The funeral took place on Wednesday.

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N. G. McMillan, the harness maker, went to Mackinaw City Monday morning, to assist C. A. Merian for a couple of weeks.

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John Dodd went to Muskegon the first of the week, to do a job for that city – its water works system being useless on account of an ice jam.

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As the sun did not shine on Thursday last, Candlemass day, so that the bear could see its shadow, we may look for an early opening of Spring.

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Deputy U. S. Marshal Mc- Naughton, of the Soo, on his way home from California, where he had taken two Chinamen, was the guest of his brother-in-law, Angus Rankin, last Saturday.

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20 below zero this morning.

Very severe weather all this week.

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Napoleon Pond caught a trout this week, which weighed 26 pounds.

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Master George Dunn shot a wildcat in the 4th ward this week. It measured three feet and weighed 42 pounds.

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All the old inhabitants say that this is the coldest winter they ever experienced, but they have seen much more snow at this season of the year.

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Felix Paquin sold a horse to Joe. Kewandeway for $75. Felix says he is going outside shortly to buy a large horse, which he will use on a hack next summer.

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Wednesday last, Frank Moscosh walked on snow shoes from Prentiss Bay to this city, a distance of 32 miles, in about five hours. He was nearly done out on his arrival.

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Through the failure of the Erie Car Works, at Erie, Pa., the Martel Furnace Co. of this city is financially embarrassed. We hope to see matters adjusted and the furnace running again at no distant day.

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Charley Chun, of Chicago, succeeds his cousin, Sam Chum, as proprietor of the Chinese family laundry, and solicits a continuance of the liberal patronage heretofore given the place. Charles is a skilled workman and promises satisfaction to all.

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There has been sixteen dances in “Veepush” [Ed. - Vide Poche] this week and there are to be 23 more before next Wednesday.

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E. R. Herrington is over from Les Cheneaux to spend a few days with his family. He is employed in Todd & Bennett’s store at that place.

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The main and only cause of the Martel Furnace Co’s embarrassment is on account of their having to carry a large stock of iron for several years for want of a suitable market.

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A resident of this city, a steamboat man of extensive experience and very popular, will handle the steamer North Star the coming season. She will be refitted with new boiler and otherwise improved and will ply between the Snows and St. Ignace, leaving Haynes’ at 6 a.m., touching at Hessel, arriving at Mackinac Island at 8. She will make another round trip to the Island between 10 and 1 o’clock, leaving St. Ignace at 3:30 for the Snows, via Mackinac Island, until about July 4, returning to Haynes’ at 6 p.m.

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From Naubinway: F. E. Lamphere has started a saloon at Gilchrist station. No need to take bottles from town now, boys.

Hy. Hyman, fisherman, is putting in 50 cords of ice at his fishery, 5 miles from town.

Squire McIntyre has quit smoking and chewing tobacco for a month past.

No potatoes in town and our homesteaders are smiling and holding for higher prices – over a dollar a bushel.

Cedar men are grumbling – too much snow.

Frank Codare has received from Quebec, Canada, some herrings, codfish and eels.

Our gill net fishermen are shipping most of their catch outside and get good prices.

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D. C. Hulett entered the employ of LeClare, the jeweler, on Tuesday last, as traveling salesman. Mr. Hulett will visit all the camps in this vicinity at regular intervals and will carry a fine stock of goods, which he will sell at honest prices.

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Some young men of the third ward have a new fashion of courting. If they suspect that their intended mother-in-law has a bull-dog ready and the broomstick behind the parlor door, they inform the girls and invite them to a neighbor’s house to finish their sparking.

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Sam Chum, the Chinese laundryman who showed signs of insanity and was taken in charge by Sheriff Dolan last week for safe keeping, was liberated and turned over to two relatives from Marquette on Saturday last. The trio left for Marquette Monday morning, where Sam will remain until entirely recovered. It is said that the cause of his trouble was brought on from inhaling steam while at work. The report that it was from the effects of opium or liquor is without foundation. The man’s conduct during his stay in this city was irreproachable and made himself very popular with his large list of customers.

100 YEARS AGO
The St. Ignace Enterprise
Thursday, January 31, 1918

If you want to learn exactly how cold it was early Sunday morning ask John Walloch – he knows. John answered an early morning knock at his front door attired only in his pajamas. When he opened the door there was no one in sight and stepping out on the porch for a further look the door closed, and the spring lock kept him out. He pounded with all his might, but his wife, snug among the “kivers,” thought he was shoveling snow and for a time failed to heed his calls of distress. Finally she understood the situation and let him in. John looked more like an icecycle than a human being when he entered the house but at last reports was being rapidly thawed into shape again.

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A western office with a “live wire” in charge is the latest move of the Upper Peninsula Development Bureau in its attempt to interest grazers in the opportunities Cloverland offers for their activities.

During the recent livestock convention at Salt Lake City at which the Upper Peninsula of Michigan had ten representatives, established conspicuous headquarters, gave a motion picture show and had speakers on the big programs, it was evident that the grazers were willing to consider other than Western fields for grazing. An immense shortage of summer grazing as well as winter food has compelled the Westerners to look elsewhere and as a result, Cloverland got a great amount of interest…

In order to follow up the prospects and spread the propaganda, the Bureau has established headquarters in 405 Continental National Bank Building, Salt Lake City, with Charles R. Hutcheson as Western Manager. He will visit the rangers and remain in the West until his work is accomplished.

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The government has decided on draft registration of all young men as fast as they become twenty-one years old, as the means of keeping filled the ranks of the war army. It has decided against raising the draft age limit above thirty-one years. A bill provides for registering for draft, all men who have reached twenty-one since June 5th, 1917, when the draft law became effective. Other administration bills introduced will supplement the draft law to make it workable under conditions that have developed. One would permit furloughing of National Army units for harvest work, or other civilian duty; another would eliminate enemy alien population from basis of calculations for draft quotas, by making the basis for each state the number of men available in class one. Another bill introduced would provide a distinctive badge or button for exempted men.

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Every city in America is going to celebrate father-and-son week, Feb. 11th to 17th. Mayors in every city are being asked to make a public proclamation for this occasion. The boys in all cantonments will be asked to write a letter to their fathers during that week and a speaker will be in every camp to talk on the relationship of father and son. President Wilson, Secretary of war Baker, Secretary of the Interior Franklin K. Lane, Herbert Hoover, United States food administrator, and other prominent men will support this national father and-son week and have emphasized the importance and value of such a celebration.

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As a result of the reward of $100 offered by the officers of Schoolcraft county for the arrest of Joseph Ferick, the Manistique murderer, Sheriff Benjamin on Friday of last week received a check for the above amount. The sheriff, who made the capture at the Snyder House, was assisted by Marshal Therrien after information as to the murderer’s identity had been made known by an old acquaintance of Ferick. Upon receipt of the money the Sheriff at once split it three ways, retaining one-third for himself and dividing the remainder equally between the informant and Therrien. $30 of the sheriff’s share was given to the Mackinac County Chapter of the American Red Cross, a gift that was surely appreciated at this time when the efforts of the Chapter to secure necessary funds for carrying on the large amount of work that is being prosecuted by the ladies for our soldier boys and the relief of suffering humanity in general.

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The South Shore railway on Monday inaugurated the following changes in its passenger schedule:

Commencing Sunday January 27th, trains 217 and 218 were annulled, also Nos. 1 and 2 between Soo Junction and Calumet. The crew that goes into Mackinaw City on No. 2 Saturday comes out on No. 1 Sunday to Soo Junction and runs No. 18 to the Soo, handling Detroit sleeper, but cafĂ© car will remain at Mackinaw City and comes out on No. 1 Monday. This crew leaves Soo first section No. 107 with Detroit sleeper and No. 107’s regular dining car, and at Soo Junction they head through the wye and back up to station, and No. 107 will get their diner from them at Soo Junction, second section 107 will leave the Soo at 5:45 p.m.

The crew that goes into Calumet on No. 1 Saturday now comes out on No. 4 Sunday.

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This is the season of the year when people should be careful of their chimneys as a fire just at the present time would be very inconvenient. The season to date has been very cold and everyone has been compelled to keep the fires burning in full force which naturally piles up the soot in the chimneys which if possible should be cleaned at least once a week. If this is done there will be little danger of fires.

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As a result of the president’s proclamation November 16th, an alien enemy shall not approach or be found within one hundred yards of any canal; nor within one hundred yards of any wharf, pier, or dock used directly by or by means of lighters by any vessel or vessels of over five hundred tons gross engaged in foreign or domestic trade other than fishing…

The above-mentioned regulation relates solely to German alien enemies. Astro-Hungarian aliens are not subject to its provisions.

The railroad and Mackinac Transportation Co.’s docks and piers come under this order and the companies have been ordered by the attorney general to enforce them. This will necessitate the employment of watchmen both day and night to guard the properties, and while the companies pay these officers they will be under the jurisdiction of the United States marshal.

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The weather during the past week has been as disagreeable as any experienced during the winter. Zero weather has prevailed nearly every day accompanied by wind and snow. Sunday a gale prevailed all day, causing the roads to be drifted full and it was also the coldest day of the season, the thermometer going to 26 below during the night. And at that, this section is much better off than some portions of the south and east where there has been a large amount of suffering.

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Alex Belonga, an old resident of Carp River, died Sunday.

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Ed Gustafson is “somewhere in France,” so he writes his father, Ed. Gustafson.

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An amendment to the state constitution legalizing the sale of beer and light wines has been prepared by Fred A. Baker, constitutional lawyer of Detroit.

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Are you wearing a Gossard front lace corset? They are recommended by leading physicians for both stout and slender figures. The best styles at $2.50 and up. Highstone.

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Joseph Thibault is home from Ashtapula, Ohio, where he has been since the laying up of his boat, steamer J. C. Morse, on which he was cook during the season.

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John Captain was frozen to death while crossing the Soo river Friday afternoon. He was enroute from his home to the Soo. He was found on a small sled with his dog sitting on his master’s body with the evident purpose of keeping him warm.

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From Gros Cap: Norman, the 12-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Louis St. Andre, had the misfortune to break a leg while coasting one day last week. Dr. Darby of St. Ignace attended him.

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From Curtis: A common drunk was recently seen running up and down the road with a gun trying to see who would be scared of his actions.

The dance at the Town Hall Friday night pretty nearly fizzled out. The chilling blasts and bad roads kept the merry-makers at home.

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From Mackinac Island: Mr. John W. Davis rounded out another milestone on January 25 and began his 93rd year in an unusually fine state of health. He spent the day receiving calls from friends and relatives here and the mail brought many messages of good cheer from far and near.

Lieut. Clifford Couchois, who received his commission as a veterinarian last September and assigned to Camp Custer, has been ordered to New York. Friends here think that means a trip “Over There” as a large consignment of horses is being sent from that port.

Maurice Hamel, the three-yearold daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ewin Hamel, died last Saturday at their home in the Soo. Mr. Hamel is the fourth son of Ida Truscott Hamel of Cedarville. The family left Cedarville last fall to take up their residence in the Soo. The body was brought to Cedarville for burial.

Among those applying for exemption and asking to be put in Class 4 of the draft was Mr. Joseph Dooley of St. Louis, his claim being he had a wife to support. The wife was formerly Miss Edme Anheuser, heiress to millions of the Anheuser estate and often a visitor to the Island. Needless to say the exemption was not allowed and Mr. Dooley’s name appears in Class 1.

80 YEARS AGO
The Republican-News
and St. Ignace Enterprise
Thursday, February 3, 1938

Fire which for a time was feared to be threatening the village of Rudyard, was brought under control Tuesday after it had destroyed the D. E. Turner hardware store and the Ducap restaurant at a loss estimated by firemen at about $30,000. The loss is partially covered by insurance.

The fire started at 7:30 o’clock Monday night in the basement of the hardware store, probably from an overheated furnace. It spread to the restaurant. The Olmstead drug store, the next building in the path of the flames, was saved by Soo firemen who made a 25-mile run with equipment, and a heavy brick wall between the buildings.

Several minor fires, caused by sparks, were extinguished by townspeople.

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A serious situation developed during the depression years and Mackinac Island, the nation’s foremost summer resort, was not exempt. It seems that since July 1932, the money collected by the county treasurer on delinquent taxes was more than offset by the amount charged back to the City of Mackinac Island on account of indefinite descriptions. This situation became worse as taxes on more and more properties were let go delinquent.

However, during the past few years, through co-operative effort between the city and the county treasurer, a large portion of Mackinac Island was re-platted and properly placed on the tax rolls. In fact, six new assessor’s plats were provided by the city government. This did away with a large share of the “charge backs” due to faulty descriptions of taxable property.

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While upper Michigan continued to dig out of the big storm of last week. St. Ignace trailed along and experienced some heavy snows with sub-zero temperatures following. Associated Press, Pathe News and official state highway department photographers flocked into the north last week end, but all went on to Munising and farther west to do most of their shooting of snow scenes. On their return trip, however, St. Ignace had a winter scene or two that intrigued professional pictorial artists, because in the meantime had come a blizzard and cold wave. Ed. Couchois’ mail sled and dog team was taken by a news reel man Saturday. On the same day, Mr. Murphy, highway photographer, worked the icecrusher Sainte Marie, picturing interior scenes mostly, but getting a good shot of the channel.

The first train service since the previous Monday arrived in St. Ignace from the north last Friday morning when the big plow came in from the west. That day there was a north-bound train. The previous day had been cold, 12 below zero in the morning.

During the afternoon of Friday a big snow storm blocked roads which had been barely opened…

George Gaspar, who has a railway run out of Superior, wrote home something of the snow conditions out there. He remarked that he had a passenger train snowbound near Ewen for 35 hours last week. After being released from that, he took a big snowplow train out to open the roads around Houghton.

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In spite of inclement weather, over 150 folks from St. Ignace and vicinity enjoyed the annual President’s Birthday Ball at LaSalle gymnasium Saturday evening. According to reports, the party was the most successful held here yet and indications are that the net proceeds will amount to over $100.

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The icecrushing state ferry Sainte Marie is now operating on a radio short wave beam at the Straits of Mackinac, the state highway department announced last week.

Radio direction finders have been installed not only on the Sainte Marie, the only boat in service at this time, but the other four ferries owned by the state.

The control beacon is located at Mackinaw City. The short wave radio connection aids ships in steering a correct navigation course between that point and St. Ignace, particularly during foggy weather. Radio contact is expected to be especially beneficial in navigating the Graham Shoals area where the railroad ferry Chief Wawatam grounded last year and was out of operation for a month.

Cost of the radio direction finders, including installation, approximated $500.

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Approximately 14,000,000 pounds of clear Lake Huron ice will be harvested here by the L. R. Litchard Sales company for consumption by St. Ignace people during the coming summer and fall.

Operations for the annual midwinter harvest were to have started yesterday, in fact, workmen had been busy since the first of the week testing ice and scraping fields in preparation for the actual cutting. Stormy weather yesterday slowed up operations, though nearly 20 men reported for work at 7:00 a.m.

L. R. Litchard informed us yesterday that the condition fo the ice in this vicinity is the worst in years. Ice in the bay is not only cracked badly where it is best, but in other portions is knitted with slush ice. Mr. Litchard hopes to get considerable good ice in the bay here. He also plans to cut out of Lake Huron off the shore in the Third ward, reaching the lake via the road near the school house. If both these places do not yield sufficient good ice he will cut at Pte. LaBarbe.

With ice conditions as they are, Mr. Litchard estimates about two weeks’ work in store, considering the possibility of losing several days on account of bad weather.

The entire ice harvesting equipment operated by Litchard is motorized. Twenty men are necessary to start the harvest, working both on the ice and at the storage houses. Lifting of the ice is done by motor power and hauling is done by three large trucks.

Seven thousand tons of ice will be stored this year. One Litchard icehouse has a capacity of six thousand tons. Besides harvesting the ice for the city delivery route, Litchard usually supplies several big users of ice with a sufficient number of cakes to serve their needs. The fishing industry is one of the bug users of natural ice here.

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According to our friend, the Groundhog, the worst of the winter is behind us in St. Ignace. Mr. Groundhog was not frightened by his shadow and was able to scamper happily in anticipation of an early spring – this in spite of an eight-above-zero southeaster whipping snow in off the lake.

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The first trip between Mackinac Island and St. Ignace by horsedrawn sled was made last Thursday. Since that time, horse-drawn sleds have made regular trips, as the continued cold weather added to the safety of the ice.

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On Wednesday morning of last week, following the big blizzard, Dr. L. C. Shaftoe followed the snowplow into Moran to bring a son to Mr. and Mrs. Ed. Wartella. The newcomer arrived at 8:00 a.m. and has been named LeRoy Edward.

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From Gros Cap: The mail carrier was able to get through the Cheeseman road for the first time in a week on Saturday.

A Kansas philosopher says that every man, when he gets up in the morning, should keep repeating to himself that he is a fool. Evidently this fellow isn’t married, or he wouldn’t have to talk to himself like that.

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From Allenville: Con Becker worked day and night for the past eight days to keep the roads open. He and his men are nearly all played out. Con drove 300 miles and back at night to get a shaft for one of the snowplows.

50 YEARS AGO
The Republican-News
and St. Ignace Enterprise
Thursday, February 1, 1968

A meeting of the original Mackinac County Overall Economic Development

Plan committee will be held in the courthouse here at 1:00 p.m. on Feb. 8, says committee chairman, Harold L. Dettman.

Purpose of the meeting will be to re-activate the committee and hear George Rusch, coordinator of economic development districts for UPCAP, explain the purpose and planning for the new Tri-County district to be set up for Chippewa, Mackinac and Luce counties.

Purpose of the new district will be to set priorities for public works projects and act as liaison with federal agencies in obtaining grants. The district will be autonomous but will receive technical assistance from UPCAP.

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Erstwhile leaders of the Straits- Huron basketball conference, Rogers City, became the victim of the St. Ignace Saints here Friday night by a 105 to 70 count, placing the Saints tied with Rogers City at the top of the league.

Coach Gene Shank’s cagers are now 6-1 in conference play, identical with that of the Hurons.

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Soo Coin of Sault Ste. Marie, well established appliance dealers, have purchased the Taylor Appliance Center business from T. A. Taylor and leased the Taylor store in St. Ignace for three years.

Mr. Taylor said he will move his office to his furniture building on Stockbridge street and conduct furniture sales from that point.

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An enthusiastic group of local service club members representing fourteen different organizations attended the community improvement meeting sponsored by the Business and Professional Women’s club on Monday evening. The meeting was held in the city council chambers and a number of ideas were discussed for improving the community.

Alice Warren, president of the B P. W., presided and explained to the group that the purpose of the meeting was an exchange of ideas on how to improve our community. All the local service clubs have been interested and have attempted in various ways to better the area. The B. P. W. is interested in getting all the organizations working together on one or two good ideas rather than have each club work on one small project.

The meeting was thrown open to the floor and Norman Greve, president of the Lions club, was the first to speak on the subject of redesigning the city. He stated that the Sherwin Williams paint company would come in and redesign the city without cost on any motif desired.

Another suggestion came from Bill LaRocque, representing the Chamber of Commerce, who said that as long as the gas line was going to go down the main street and as the early American design was being favored, perhaps the gas company could at that time install gas lights on the main street.

Another idea for a community project came from James Smith of the forestry department. He discussed ways of a non-profit organization sponsoring a government loan to build a swimming pool with the pool being run on a fee basis to liquidate the debt.

It was proposed to form an organization of officers from all service clubs to form a nucleus to sponsor the project and have the whole community with an interest in its success.

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Mrs. George Hedrick of Pte. LaBarbe Road will be filling the positon of secretary-manager of the St. Ignace Area Chamber of Commerce. Mrs. Hedrick has been secretary and “girl Friday” at the Mighty Mac Broadcasting company, W. I. D. G. radio since the station went on the air in June of 1966.

Her family, consisting of husband, George, who is with the Michigan Bell Telephone company, daughter, Wendy, age 14, and son, Gregory, age 12, both students at LaSalle high school, moved to Cedarville from Ann Arbor in 1961. While residing there Mrs. Hedrick taught at the Drummond Island school for four years.

The Hedricks moved to St. Ignace in 1967 where they now reside in the Walker home on Pte. LaBarbe.

The personable new secretarymanager states that she has always been interested in the community and general area and is looking forward to working in closer contact with the people of St. Ignace towards revitalizing the area. Mrs. Hedrick hopes to promote more interest in and by the community in its own potential and feels that much can be done if the approach is right.

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From Les Cheneaux: History making event of the newly organized Les Cheneaux Snowmobile club was the Saturday evening safari which attracted more than 50 participants.

The snowmobilers stopped at Jane’s Lake near the Taylor gravel pits north of Cedarville for an outdoor cookout.

The group plans to invite neighboring snowmobile clubs to a dinner at an early date, said a club spokesman.

Heading the club as president is George Cunningham. Other officers include: Mrs. Don (Winnie) McConkey, secretary, Mrs. Jack (Marilyn) Bickham, treasurer, and Mrs. Gene (Connie) Waybrant, activities chairman.

The safari committee is made up of Gene Waybrant, Junior Dutcher, and Ellsworth Lordson, Sr.

Jack Bickham heads the racing committee directing the snowmobile races on Cedarville Bay, a major event of the coming Winter Carnival, Feb. 24-25.

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Army Private George R. Rickley, 19, whose parents, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Louzon, live on Bay Shore Rd., St. Ignace, was promoted Jan. 5 to army private first class in Vietnam, where he is assigned as a mechanic in the 572nd Engineer Co., near Tuy Hoa.

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