The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is a unique region in the United States. Its folklore and folklife has developed over the years through the interaction of the Native Americans, immigrants, and Americans within this unique environment. The names of counties also reflect this rich heritage. Other bits of folklore can be found in the lighthouses which dot the coastline. As a result  a rich and varied cuisine developed which thrives to the present day. The Cornish pasty is one of one of the products of this tradition.  The folklife and history of the region are important ingredients in understanding the Upper Peninsula.


We are frequently amused with the various ways in which the name of our town [Sault Ste. Marie] is orthographied on papers and letters. By the last mail we received an exchange directed to the "Journal, Susan Mary," and it is often "Sue," without "Cynthia," — in fact every change from "Susannah," "Suky," "Susan," "Sue," is rung on this word, merely, as we suppose, for our amusement; but we will never forgive the person who lately profaned out place's Sainted name, by writing in large plain letters, "Sue, Sal. Mary"!!

Source: Lake Superior Journal June 19, 1850.

A Chronology of Great Lakes Navigation




Jacques Cartier sails up the St. Lawrence River.


Champlain discovers the Great Lakes.


Nicolet discovers Lake Michigan.


Father Marquette founds mission at Sault Ste. Marie.


Lake Erie discovered.


Sieur Du Lhut lands at present day Duluth. La Salle sails in Griffon. Griffon lost on return trip.


Cadillac at Detroit.


British dominate the lake trade after defeating French in Canada until 1796, when they begin the withdrawal of their troops from American shores of Lake Ontario.


Revenue-Marine formed.


Americans launch their first lake schooner, the Washington,on Lake Erie near Presque Isle.


Northwest Fur Company build lock at Sault Ste. Marie, Canada. Lock is 38 ft x 8 3/4 ft with 30 inch depth over sills.


Lake trade expands until by 1817 there are some 20 merchant vessels on Lake Erie.


Fulton sails Hudson River in first steamboat.


Perry’s victory on Lake Erie gives US rights to all Great Lakes.


Lock and canal at Sault Ste. Marie destroyed by US troops.


Work on Erie Canal starts.


Sault Ste. Marie canal rebuilt.


First two lake steamers, Frontenac and Ontario, are launched on Lake Ontario.


American launch their first steamer, Walk-in-the-Water, on Lake Erie. First American lighthouse on the lakes completed at Erie, Pennsylvania.


Local citizens begin one of the first harbor improvements on the lakes at the mouth of the Grand River, later Fairport, Ohio.


Citizens of Buffalo, New York, commence improvement of their harbor at the mouth of Buffalo Creek. Fifth Auditor of Treasure Department assumes responsibility for light operation.


Arrivals and departures of vessels at Buffalo Harbor total


First federal harbor improvement on the lakes begins at Erie, Pennsylvania. Federal appropriations continue almost every year until 1839.


Erie Canal completed by the State of New York providing waterway between Buffalo on Lake Erie and Albany on the Hudson River, the greatest single transportation factor in early settlement of the like region and growth of lake navigation Work on Welland Canal starts. Fort Gratiot Light, first on Lake Huron.


President John Quincy Adams pursues active policy favoring federal internal improvements. As a result numerous harbors on Lake Erie and Lake Ontario are improved


Arrivals and departures of vessels at Buffalo Harbor total 240.


Oswego Canal completed by the State of New York provides water connection between Lakes Ontario and the Erie Canal.


Welland Canal completed by Canadian interests provides navigable route between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.


During administrations of President Andrew Jackson, federal work on lake harbors continues and is expanded to sites on Lake Michigan.


State of Ohio completes Ohio Canal connecting Cleveland Harbor on Lake Erie with Portsmouth on the Ohio River thereby opening up a vast agricultural hinterland and stimulating an extraordinary expansion of lake commerce. Chicago Harbor and St. Joseph River lights, first on Lake Michigan.


Arrivals and departures of vessels at Buffalo Harbor total 3,280.


45 steam vessels on Great Lakes and 217 sail craft.


Sixteen lake harbors are now equipped with federally constructed beacons or lighthouses. Michigan Legislature passes act authorizing canal to be built at Sault Ste. Marie


Combined value of Cleveland's imports and exports is $20 million. Arrivals at Cleveland Harbor include 1,095 sail and 1,318 steam vessels. Screw propeller patented.


After 2 years of the administration of President Martin Van Buren (1837-1839) regular annual appropriations for lake harbors cease until after the Civil War because of opposition of the Democratic party to internal improvements. Thus far, federal efforts have improved seven harbors on Lake Ontario, 15 on Lake Erie, and three on Lake Michigan. 43 lights on lakes, 17 Lake Erie, 11 Lake Michigan, 9 Lake Ontario, 4 Lake Huron, 1 each St. Clair and Detroit Rivers


Congress provides first funds to begin survey of the northwestern lakes. First screw-propeller steamer on the lakes, the Vandalia, built at Oswego. Steamer Erie burns off Silver Creek, NY, Lake Erie with loss of 100-175 lives.


Whig President John Tyler (1841-1845) approves bill for improving harbors at Milwaukee, Chicago, and St. Joseph on Lake Michigan.


President Tyler approves bill appropriating si,mg ranging from $40,000 to $5,000 for federal work on 20 Great Lakes harbors, the first general rivers and.harbors bill in 6 years, and the last until 1852. Michigan and Surveyor, first iron-hulled steamers on lakes.


Marquette iron range discovered.


When the federal government fails to take action, a steamboat association unsuccessfully attempts to deepen the channel at the St. Clair Flats, a troublesome shallow area on the connecting channel between Lake Huron and Lake Erie.


A River and Harbor convention at Chicago calls for federal improvement at the St. Clair Flats. Steamer Phoenix burns on Lake Michigan with loss of 190-250 lives. St. Lawrence River canal system is finished, allowing ocean to lakes connection.


The Illinois River-Lake Michigan Canal completed by the State of Michigan provides water route between Chicago Harbor on the lake and the'Mississippi River.


First Lake Superior lights (US) at Copper Harbor and Whitefish Point.


Second Welland Canal completed by the government of Upper Canada has 9 feet of water on lock sills but soon thereafter is deepened to 10 feet. Transportation boom starts on lakes.

Steamer G.P. Griffith burns on Lake Erie with loss of 250-295 lives.


Whig President: Millard Fillmore signs largest river and harbor bill in antebellum history appropriating $2.25 million for some 100 works including a number of new harbors and $20,000 to initiate a project at the St. Clair Flats. The latter sum barely covers the cost of a dredge to begin the work. First iron ore from Lake Superior arrives at Cleveland Harbor on Lake Erie. Steamer Atlantic sunk by collision on Lake Erie with loss of 150-250 lives. Lighthouse Board assumes responsibility for light operation.


President Franklin Pierce (1853-1857), a Democrat, vetoes a comprehensive Rivers and Harbors Bill which includes funds for work on the St. Clair Flats. Chicago has first railroad connection with Mississippi River, at Galena, Illinois.Congress funds life-saving equitment for 25 locations on lakes


Fresnel lens replaces Lewis devices on Great Lakes


The State of Michigan completes a canal at Sault Ste. Marie, thereby opening traffic to lake vessels moving between Lake Huron and Lake Superior. The improvement includes two tandem locks each 350 feet long, 70 feet wide, and with about 11 1/2 feet of water over their sills. Railroad extensions completed westward to the Mississippi River, expanding the hinterland tributary to such Lake Michigan harbors at Chicago and Milwaukee increase the eastward shipment of grain and westward shipment of manufactured items. Steamer Illinois is first vessel through. Canal cost state $100,000. Schooner Columbia brings first Marquette Range ore through locks.


In May, President Pierce vetoes bills for federal work at the Flats and for improvement of Lake George in the St. Marys River; in July, both bills are passed over the presidential veto. As a result the first federal work on the Great Lakes' connecting channels begins in October.


All federal funds for lake harbor work are exhausted and remnants of movable federal property at harbor sites are sold to make needed repairs. Steamer Montreal burns on St. Lawrence River with loss of 250 lives.


Federal project at St. Clair Flats stops when funds are exhausted.


Federal project is completed at Lake George, a shallow area in the lower St. Marys River. Republican dominated State legislature of Michigan adopts a resolution in favor of further federal work at St. Clair Flats. Later in the year Congress passes a bill appropriating additional funds for the improvement


In February, President James Buchanan (1857-1861), a Democrat, vetoes the Flats appropriation saying such improvements are State, not federal responsibilities. In May the Republican Party at its second national convention adopts a platform which speaks out in favor of federal river and harbor improvements. Great Lakes fleet, 369 steamers and 1,207 sail, less than one tenth of all registered shipping in US. Steamer Lady Elgin sinks after collision with schooner Augusta in Lake Michigan, 300 lives lost.


The 1860 Republican platform promises federal river and harbor improvement but the Civil War delays implementation. Lake commerce flourishes throughout the war and many new harbors, particularly for shipping lumber are improved on private initiative.


Era of sailing vessels on lakes.


Steamer Pewabic sunk by collision on Lake Erie with loss of 125 lives.


Federal improvement of Great Lakes connecting channels and harbors is resumed on a regular basis. Michigan lumber shipping era begins.


First Canadian light on Lake Superior at St. Ignace Island (Talbot Isld).


Peak of sailing ship era on Great Lakes. Steamer Seabird burns on Lake Michigan with loss of 68-100 lives.


First appropriations for federal harbor improvement on Lake Superior


Completion of federal project providing a 15-foot-deep, 300-foot-wide channel over the St. Clair Flats. Construction begins on a federal lock beside the now overtaxed State lock at Sault Ste. Marie and improvement of channels in the St. Marys River. Over 2,000 sailing ships in use on the upper lakes.US Weather Bureau established. During winter of 1870-1871, 214 sailors die on lakes in shipwreck.


Iron ore development at Menominee Range.


Federal project is completed for deepening the St. Clair Flats to 16 feet.


First US Life-Saving Service stations operational on lake, 4 each on Lakes

Ontario, Huron and Superior, 5 on Lake Erie and 10 on Lake Michigan.


Federal lock, the Weitzel, opened at Sault Ste. Marie is 515 feet long, 80 feet wide, and has 17 feet of water over its sills. Ownership.of the old State lock passes to the federal government. Weitzel cost federal government $2,200.000.


The Welland Canal is deepened to 12 feet. Steam tonnage on lakes equal to sailing tonnage. Steamer Asia sunk on Georgian Bay with loss of 123 people. Stannard’s Rock Light built.


Some 4,000 vessels carrying 1.8 million tons of freight pass through the canal at Sault Ste. Marie. Second federal channel is completed at the St. Clair Flats and the first 600-foot lake vessels appear.


First steel vessel, the Spokane, is put to use on lakes.


The Welland Canal is deepened to 14 feet.


Port of Chicago has 20,000 vessel arrivals and departures over 8 month season vs New York’s 23,000 over 12 months. 8,832 vessels pass through Soo Canal


First whaleback ships appear on the lakes.


Federal project is completed for deepening the St. Clair Flats to 20 feet. Work begins in December to deepen eight additional sections of the connecting channels between Lake Superior and Lake Huron and between Lake Huron and Lake Erie to 20 feet. First lake shipments of Mesabi iron ore. Steel Steamer Western Reserve sinks on Lake Superior with all hands as result of believed brittle steel fracture. 219 lights on lakes.


12,000 vessels pass through the locks at Sault Ste. Marie carrying over 10 million tons of coal, copper, flour, grain, lumber, and salt; nearly half of the freight, 4.6 million tons, is iron ore.


Hay Lake channel 300 feet wide and 17 feet deep is completed on the St. Marys River below the falls


At Sault Ste. Marie, Weitzel Lock is overtaxed by the increased trade. Vessels wait an average of 5 hours to lock through; in all, 83,000 hours lost to vessels. Conditions improve in September when Canadians complete a canal with a lock 900 feet long, 60 feet wide, and with 22 feet of water over its sills. The Victory, first 400-foot bulk carrier, appears on lakes.


Second federal lock, the Poe, is completed at Sault Ste. Marie. The Poe Lock is 800 feet long, 100 feet wide, and has 21 feet of water over its sills.


Federal projects to deepen connecting channels to 20 feet based on depths at mean level of Lake Erie in 1877 are completed; because of low lake levels, actual depths range between 17 and 19 feet.


First 500-foot vessels on the lakes are launched.


Work continues in connecting channels to achieve actual minim= navigational depths of 20 feet. Second federal channel is completed at the St. Clair Flats and the first 600-foot lake vessels appear.


November storm wrecks 11 steel vessels.


Congress authorizes a 12-mile-long second channel 300 feet wide and 22 feet deep, later called the Livingston Channel,on the lower reaches of the Detroit River; also authorizes construction of a third lock, later called the Davis Lock, at Sault Ste. Marie.


Carferry Marquette and Bessemer No. 2 disappears on Lake Michigan with all hands.


Carferry Pere Marquette No. 18 founders on Lake Michigan with all hands Great Lakes fleet equals one third of all American vessel tonnage. 88% of Great Lakes fleet is steel vs wood. Bureau of Lighthouse replaces Lighthouse Board.


Congress authorizes funds for the fourth or Sabin Lock at Sault Ste. Marie, as the Davis Lock is being completed. Both locks are 1,350 feet long, 80 feet wide, and are 24.5 feet deep at the miter sills.


November storm sinks a 11 steel steames with loss of over 250 sailors.


Federal work completed to provide a depth of 22 to 23 feet throughout the Detroit River portion of the Lake Erie-Lake Huron connecting channels. US Coast Guard formed from US Life-Saving Service and US Revenue-Marine Service. Steamer Eastland capsizes at Chicago pier with loss of 835 people.


92 million tons of freight traffic pass through the locks at Sault Ste. Marie; 34 vessels are of the 600-foot class. Duluth-Superior Harbor is first in lake tonnage handled, with iron ore, coal, and grain making up 97 percent of 52 million tons shipped and received. Buffalo is the second busiest harbor on the lakes, Ashtabula third, Cleveland fourth. There are 1,837 steam and 162 sailing vessels operating on the lakes.


Inkerman and Cerisoles, French Navy minesweepers, disappear on Lake Superior with all hands (72).


Sabin Lock is completed.


Years of low lake levels.


Relatively few new federal projects authorized; emphasis is on maintenance and upgrading existing projects.


Lakes system has 433 major lights, including 10 lightships.


Lake commerce reaches a record 92.6 million tons; largely iron ore, coal, grain, and limestone. Lake Erie leads the lakes in tonnage handled. Carferry Milwaukee sinks on Lake Michigan with loss of 46-52 lives.


Depression-inspired legislation authorizes deepening downbound sections of connecting channels to 24 feet. Schooner Our Son, last commercial sailing vessel on lakes, sinks in storm on Lake Michigan.


Under depressed economic conditions bulk lake freight falls to 41.6 million tons. Canadians open fourth Welland Canal which can accommodate vessels 600 feet long with 22-foot drafts.


Legislation establishing Public Works Administration also provides funds for further connecting channel improvement and deepening of major lake harbors.


Most depression-inspired federal lake improvements completed.


US Coast Guard absorbs duties of Lighthouse Service.


Bulk freight lake traffic sets new record of 145.2 million tons of iron ore, coal, grain, and limestone; 213 lake vessels now have full load drafts,of 23 feet or more; some of them fully loaded cannot pass the locks at Sault Ste. Marie. November storm causes three steel freighters to founder on Lake Michigan, two disappear with all hands


Congress authorizes new lock, the MacArthur, to replace the Weitzel Lock at Sault Ste. Marie.


MacArthur Lock, 800 feet long, 80 feet wide, 30 feet deep, is opened to traffic.


Another new federal lock authorized at Sault Ste. Marie but construction is delayed.


Freight tonnage moved on the lakes reaches record 217 million tons, 86 percent of which is iron ore, coal, limestone, and grain.


Bulk freighter Wilfred Sykes is launched at Lorain, Ohio; it is 678 feet lo g, and the first lake ship to burn oil.Canadian passenger steamer Noronic burns at Toronto with loss of 118 lives.


First oil-fired turbine lake vessels are built.


Record lake shipments of iron ore reach 95.8 million tons. Steamer Henry Steinbrenner sinks on Lake Superior with loss of 17 men.


President Eisenhower signs St. Lawrence Seaway Act allowing United States to participate with Canada in seaway construction; the first 710-foot-long freighter appears; first shipments of iron ore mined in Quebec-Labrador are sent westward through Welland Canal to Lake Erie and Lake Michigan points.


United States legislation provides authorization and funds to improve connecting channels and harbors above Niagara Falls to allow for vessels of 27-foot draft. First shipment of taconite pellets comes down the lakes.


Vessels are beginning to exceed maximum dimensions of MacArthur Lock. Special locking procedures are developed so that vessels up to 730 feet long can be locked through.


Edmund Fitzgerald is launched, first lake freighter 729 feet long. Steamer Carl D. Bradley founders in Lake Michigan with loss of 33 men


St. Lawrence Seaway is put into operation.


Work is completed on Great Lakes connecting channels above Niagara.


So far, 15 Great Lakes harbors deepened to handle larger vessels now plying lakes due to St. Lawrence Seaway and connecting channel improvements.


Steamer Daniel J. Morrell founders in Lake Huron with loss of 28 of 29 men.


New Poe Lock, 1,200 feet long, 100 feet wide, and 32 feet deep, is opened to traffic at Sault Ste. Marie.


First 1,000-foot lake vessel, the Stewart J. Cort, passes through Poe Lock carrying a record load of 51,000 tons of taconite. Duluth-Superior Harbor receives record low of coal for the century, only 447,000 tons.


First lake shipments eastward of low sulphur western coal begin at Duluth-Superior Harbor.


Edmund Fitzgerald sinks with loss of 29 men.


92 million tons of iron ore shipped on the lakes this year exceeds all previous years except 1953.


Great Lakes shipments of grain reach a record 1 billion, 149 million bushels.


Thirteen 1,000-foot bulk cargo vessels are now operating on the lakes.


Last manned lighthouse on lakes automated.


Italian  vegetable and tuna mix


Italian dried cod fish

Bagna cauda 

Piedmontese garlic cream dip


German sausage

Cinnamon toast



Italian: biscotti, pizelle, cialde


Italian rolls


Italian sausage


Italian brandy


Italian bread sticks


Finnish squeaky cheese


Polish sausage


Polish blood sausage


Finnish ring bologna


Free-standing Cornish pie


Pork roast from Abruzzi

Potato rings

Swedish sausage

Saffron buns





Piedmontese sausage


Italian cured meat


Swedish head cheese


Piedmontese cookies


French-Canadian pork pie

Drinks: Anaconda and Peter White Punch

There are a number of works which deal with the foods of the Upper Peninsula.

Thomas A. Naegele's Edible and Medicinal Plants of the Great Lakes Region (Davisburg, MI: Wilderness Adventure Books, 1996) consists of a drawing of the plant and a page-long description including information on the plant's food value. Unfortunately there are no recipes connected with this work.

Sally Eustice has produced an excellent work entitled, History from the Hearth: A Colonial Michilimackinac Cookbook (Mackinac Island, MI: Mackinac Island State Parks, 1997). It includes both historical background and recipes of Native American, French and English origin. It includes quotes from past travelers to the area which enhances the quality of the book. It is highly recommended and would make an fine gift.

National recipes which appeared in Upper Peninsula newspapers during World War II are also available. They can be found at the end of Russell M. Magnaghi's World War II Comes to the Upper Peninsula, 1941-1945. Publications of the Center for Upper Peninsula Studies, Northern Michigan University, vol. 1, no. 1. Marquette, 1997.

For the more recent period there are two articles by Magnaghi, "Foodways of the Upper Peninsula" and "The Cornish Pasty: Its History and Lore" which are found in Magnaghi and Michael Marsden, eds. A Sense of Place, Michigan's Upper Peninsula (Marquette: Northern Michigan University Press, 1997. The first article provides information on ethnic foods that are available for purchase in the Upper Peninsula.

The lighthouses gracing the Pictured Rocks are an integral part of the story of the area's maritime past. To gain a full understanding of this record, the reader must have some comprehension of the history of the lights, as well as a general appreciation of the lighthouses on the Great Lakes.

Government's involvement in safe navigation began early in American history. The first lighthouse was established on the east coast in 1716 at Little Brewster Island at the entrance to Boston Harbor. By 1789, there were a dozen active beacons.

On the Great Lakes, the first light reportedly was established in 1815 at Fort Niagara on Lake Ontario, although there is some debate about this in historical circles. It is possible the Presque Isle light on Lake Erie may have preceded it.

As commerce grew on the lakes, the number of lighthouses increased. By 1865 there were seven on Lake Ontario, a dozen on Lake Huron, 26 on Lake Michigan and 15 on Lake Superior. Each new light improved safety by warning mariners of dangerous shores and reefs as well as guiding them to sheltered harbors.

Lake Superior received its first light in 1849, although there is some confusion whether it was at Copper Harbor or at Whitefish Point since records indicate both were established at the same time. Other Lake Superior lights quickly followed; Eagle Harbor in 1851, Raspberry Island in 1852, Marquette in 1855, Grand Island North in 1856, Keweenaw Bay in 1856, Gull Rock in 1867, Grand Island East Channel in 1869 and Au Sable Point in 1874.

Originally all lights were under the auspices of the fifth auditor of the Treasury Department. While significant growth occurred during this period, overall management was poor. The attempt was generally to spend the least possible amount of money without regard to securing acceptable equipment or results. The outcome was a rising chorus of complaints from sailors, ship owners and insurers. In 1851 Congress directed the Secretary of the Treasury to convene a special board to investigate the situation. The board's report was thorough and inclusive, and concluded that the lighthouse establishment was poorly managed in both economy and efficiency, keepers were ill-trained and in many cases incompetent, and the lamps and reflectors were obsolete and inferior in design.

Responding to the investigation, Congress in 1852 established a nine member Lighthouse Board with the Secretary of the Treasury as ex-officio president. Other members included scientists, U.S. Army engineers, U.S. Navy officers and members of the U.S. Coast Survey. The new Board organized the lights into districts. The Great Lakes were initially divided into the Tenth and Eleventh Districts. A reorganization in 1886 resulted in the Tenth District consisting of Lakes Erie and Ontario; the Ninth District, Lake Michigan; and the Eleventh, Lakes Superior and Huron.

The Board also appointed an inspector for each district, giving him the responsibility of building and maintaining the lights and equipment as well as buying supplies. The inspector was required to inspect each station in the district every three months. As the number of lights increased, additional help was provided for the inspector. An Army engineer officer assisted with construction and maintenance duties. Local collectors of customs were kept on as lighthouse superintendents. They had the responsibility of appointing and paying keepers and handling routine fund disbursements. Eventually their role was phased out completely.

Central depots for forwarding supplies and performing repairs to the apparatus were also established. On the lakes they were at one time or another located at Detroit, St. Joseph and Milwaukee.

Improvements under the Board's leadership were significant. They established lights where needed and made certain they were well kept and reliable. Inefficient men were fired. The Board also experimented with new technology, trying whatever new equipment or fuels they thought might offer improvement. Prior to the advent of the Board, the U.S. provided the worst lights in the civilized world. Afterwards, we had the best. In 1903, the Board was transferred to the Commerce Department.

Early lightkeepers often were selected based on political loyalties. Trustworthiness, reliability or competence were not requirements; political affiliation was. Congressmen and senators with a light in their district didn't hesitate to use the appointment of a keeper as a real plum for a deserving bootlicker. Although the actual appointment of a keeper was the responsibility of the local collector of customs, these worthies were relatively far down the political food chain. Depending on the results of an election, wholesale dismissals and appointments were made. This happened so frequently that in the interest of efficiency and economy, the Lighthouse Board had blank forms printed to notify keepers that they had been replaced!

The Lighthouse Board was well aware of the problem and tried its best to minimize the deleterious effect of politics and achieved some limited success. It did establish standards for the keepers to meet, which included a three month probationary period. After being tested on his duties by the district inspector or engineer, he could be dismissed for failure.

It wasn't until 1884 that uniforms were prescribed for keepers. Until then, they dressed to suit their own tastes.

The public outcry against the evils of the spoils system finally resulted in the passage by Congress in 1883 of the Pendleton Civil Service Act. Under it, appointments to key government positions would be based on ability, and special examinations were required of all applicants. Although initially only a few agencies were covered by the act, later presidents gradually increased the number. In 1896 President Cleveland added the U.S. Lighthouse Service and from then on appointments were based on merit. Following World War I however, special consideration was often given to wounded veterans, a most laudable effort on behalf of those who so bravely served.

As times change, so do methods of management and administration, and in 1910 Congress abolished the Lighthouse Board and established in its stead the Bureau of Lighthouses. The new organization remained under the Commerce Department. Instead of the nine member board, there was now only one man, the Commissioner of Lighthouses.

The new commissioner had the authority to organize not more than 19 districts, each to be headed by a civilian inspector. An Army Engineer officer assigned to each district continued the role of providing professional expertise to lighthouse design, construction and maintenance. The entire organization was firmly under civilian control and leadership.

Growth was phenomenal. Nation wide, in 1910 there were 11,713 aids of all types. Within three years there were 12,824 including 1,462 lights and 51 light ships.

As in the old U.S. Life-Saving Service, a viable retirement system was slow in coming. The life-savers finally got theirs in 1915 when they merged with the U.S. Revenue-Marine to form the Coast Guard. Three years later the lighthouse men got theirs.

On July 7, 1939, in another move for greater governmental efficiency, the president abolished the old Bureau of Lighthouses and transferred its duties to the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard operated under the Treasury Department, so lighthouses which had started under the Treasury Department had now returned.

As part of the process of integrating into the Coast Guard, lighthouse personnel were given the option of either retaining their civilian status or converting to a military position. About half chose to convert.

Most Great Lakes lighthouses were built during a relatively short period and are generally similar in construction. To withstand the ravages of storms, the lights were well constructed of brick or stone. Wood may have been used for mere range lights, but never for "real" lights. They tended to be square in shape and plain in design with no emphasis placed on anything "frivolous." The lights were not usually "one of a kind," but built from standard plans and designs. For example the Au Sable light, eight miles east of Grand Marais and the Outer Island Light in the Apostles were both built in 1874 from the same plans. In many instances, however, the basic design was modified to meet a particular site requirement.

Usually the light station would consist of a compound of several buildings: the lighthouse proper, a combination tower and dwelling, an oil house and a fog signal house. A pier or dock was also built to facilitate the landing of personnel and supplies.

Lamps, Lenses and Lights
The earliest lights on the Great Lakes used Argand lamps with parabolic reflectors. These lamps were complicated, inefficient and difficult to maintain.

Between 1852-59, nearly all of the Great Lakes lights were given the new Fresnel lens. This lens has a powerful central lamp surrounded by refracting prisms and glass rings. The rings and prisms bend and guide the light, aiming it outward in powerful beams. Invented in 1820, the lens was named for Augustin Fresnel, a French scientist.

Fresnel lenses were classified into seven sizes or orders, relating to their power. A sixth order lens was less than a foot in diameter, while the largest lens, a first order was six feet in diameter and nearly 12 feet high. The lenses were also very expensive, a factor which discouraged their early adoption by the United States. Eventually, the United States shifted to the Fresnel system and realized that as a result of their efficiency in reducing fuel costs, using only a quarter of previous requirements, they soon paid for themselves.

Up until about 1864, the Great Lakes lights, as well as all others, burned sperm whale oil. When its price increased to a level the government thought too high, the fuel was switched initially to a lard oil and later to kerosene or as it was then called, mineral oil. The ultimate improvement was made in 1904 when the service changed to the use of incandescent oil vapor lamps. Operating much like a Coleman lantern, fuel is forced into a vaporizer chamber and then into a mantle. This arrangement increased brilliance manyfold over the old-fashioned wicks. Today all lights are electric powered.

Fog Signals
Fog signals were also maintained at many lights. At first they were only hand rung bells, but by 1851 mechanically operated systems were in use. Later steam whistles and sirens were used. By 1900 nearly all fog signals were of the steam powered variety. One problem with the steam whistle, however, was the long time needed to raise the necessary steam pressure before the signal could sound. Often the process of starting a boiler fire and waiting patiently for the steam pressure to rise to a sufficient level could take as long as 45 minutes. In a busy channel this was a very long time indeed. Eventually steam signals were replaced with ones using compressed air which greatly decreased response time. The compressed air was provided by gasoline or diesel engines driving special air compressors and was stored in large tanks for instant use.

Daily Routine
Running a light took a special kind of person. The daily routine was difficult and demanding. It also was tedious and boring, depending on one's outlook. The light had to be maintained in a constant state of readiness. The lens had to be cleaned and polished, the lamp filled and wicks trimmed and all associated apparatus kept in functioning order. It is from the work of trimming the wick that the old keepers received the nick-name "wickies." Regulations called for the light to be ready for the night's use not later than 10 a.m. The grounds also had to be kept clean and orderly as well as all buildings and facilities.

The exact details of the keeper's responsibilities could be found in the publication Instructions to Light-Keepers provided by the Lighthouse Board. Literally everything he needed to know was spelled out in laborious precision.

To help pass the time and also provide fresh vegetables, keepers often kept small gardens. Often they were not very successful since the lights were usually located in areas that did not have good soil. In some instances keepers brought boxes of their own garden soil with them. For many years this was the practice of the keeper at Stannard Rock Light. Located 44 miles out in Lake Superior, almost directly north of Marquette, the light is often lashed by terrific storms. As a result the keeper constantly "lost" his gardens to the grasping waves.

To help fight the boredom the Lighthouse Service also provided special portable libraries. Packed into sets of roughly 50 books, each library box could easily be exchanged between stations. As an added bonus, the boxes were designed to stack into neat book shelves, thus helping to minimize furniture requirements.

The lights were resupplied by special vessels called lighthouse tenders. These tough little vessels carried not only all the operating stores needed by the lights but also the dreaded inspector. These men were infamous for their "white glove" examinations of stations. A poor inspection could spell the end of a keeper's career.

Some keepers handled the deadly daily routine well. Others however, after a careful reading of their daily logs, appeared to "lose their marbles." More than one keeper was driven over the edge of sanity by the terrible grinding isolation and lack of human contact.

A lighthouse was often a family enterprise where the husband and wife teamed up to make the light a success. The husband as keeper assumed full responsibility for the light proper, while the wife took charge of the dwelling.

Lighthouse inspectors often used this team effort to their advantage. After carefully examining the husband's light, he would pull the man aside and say something to the effect that he was doing a fine job but that his wife was letting him down. She just wasn't keeping the quarters up to standard. Perhaps the keeper could encourage her to do a better job. When he finished checking the quarters, the inspector would pull the wife aside and tell her the same thing about the husband's performance. Au Sable Light

The most famous of the Pictured Rocks lights is that at Au Sable Point. The point was recognized as a hazard to navigation at least as early as the 1660's when Pierre Esprit Radisson called it ". . . most dangerous when there are any storms." As lake traffic boomed in the middle of the nineteenth century with the discovery of iron ore and the opening of the Soo canal, Au Sable Point reef, reaching out into presumably safe waters, was especially dangerous. Unless warned off, vessels could fall prey to this ship trap, breaking their hulls on the unforgiving Jacobsville sandstone.

The region was also infamous for the thick fogs caused by the interaction of cool lake air with warmer currents rising from the Grand Sable dunes. Long recognizing the dangers of the area, shipping companies, as well as others, began to lobby for a light. For example, The Marquette Mining Journal , said on July 29, 1871 that, ". . . in all navigation of Lake Superior, there is none more dreaded by the mariner than from Whitefish Point to Grand Island." The Eleventh Lighthouse District, in whose purview the new light lay, commented in its annual report that a light was more needed at Au Sable Point than any other unprotected location in the district.

Originally Au Sable Point had been known as Point Aux Sables by the French, who named it for the nearby dunes. When the new Americans assumed control over the region, the name was translated to "Big Sable Point," which caused confusion with Big Sable Point on Lake Michigan. To end the chaos, in 1910 the Lighthouse Service officially renamed it Au Sable Light.

In 1872 Congress appropriated $40,000 to build a lighthouse at the point. The State of Michigan deeded 326 acres land to the federal government for the light station. Construction started the following year and on August 19, 1874 the light officially went into service. Its flickering and comparatively weak kerosene flame was multiplied to 6,750 candlepower after being reflected by 90-degree mirrors through a 270-degree Fresnel lens. The steady beam cut clearly 17 3/4 miles out into the black night. A hand-cranked foghorn was also installed to warn vessels off in thick weather.

The brick tower stands a full 86 feet high. Its base is 16 feet, six inches in diameter and the top, 12 feet, eight inches. The 23-foot foundation of rubble masonry rests firmly on bedrock. A passageway connects the tower to the keeper's residence. Au Sable Point Light was not unique in design. In fact, it is identical to the lighthouse at Outer Island, in the Apostles, Lake Superior, also placed in operation in 1874.

Duty at Au Sable was lonely for both the keepers and their families. It was considered one of the most isolated mainland lights in the country. The nearest village was Grand Marais, 12 miles to the east, via a narrow path running along the base of the steep dunes. During stormy weather the trail was virtually impassable due to the crashing waves. Usually all personnel and supplies came to the light by boat, coming ashore at a small pier at the base of the station. Travel in winter was by snowshoes, sleds and dog teams.

By regulation keepers were required to keep journals, faithfully recording daily events and activities. These documents provide a fascinating look into the human history of this isolated station, since they recorded news of the keeper's families, the arrival of the lighthouse tenders, daily chores, visitors and even the excitement of shipwrecks.

Keeper Napoleon Beedon described on December 8, 1876 a "...light brees," from the south, that by 5. p.m. had been replaced by a "...frightful storm" that blew down 50 trees or more close by the lighthouse and caused him to fear that "...the lighthouse and tower would be blow down as they shook like a leaf the wind was N.N. West snowing and freesing it was the worst storm I ever saw on Lake Superior."

On September 25, 1883, Frederick W. Boesler Sr., the keeper who took over from Beedon in 1879, wrote that the weather was "... clear, blowing hard from the northwest," as he watched the stranded steamer MARY JARECKI, on the reef since the previous July, beaten to splinters before his eyes.

Keeper Gus Gigandet, who arrived on May 21, 1884 with his wife and an assistant keeper, noted in his journal that, "I feel contented and satisfied with the station." Gigandet's feeling must have indeed run deep since he remained keeper until his death on October 29, 1896. Bad storms were a frequent companion. On November 5, 1886 he recorded "... one of the heaviest gales from the northwest with a blinding snowstorm I have ever experienced." The following July the wind blew so strong that it caused "the tower to shake hard." On July 24, 1893, during the height of a smashing thunderstorm, lighting struck the tower,"burning two holes in the bottom of the tower, right at the foot of the stairs."

While monotony was a constant companion, there were advantages to living at the light. Hunting and fishing were excellent and could always be depended on to supplement the larder. In 1900, Gigandet bragged that he caught 144 brook trout. The journal recorded that on November 4, 1901 the assistant keeper killed a bear so large that it required most of a day for two men to drag it back to the light. The local bears could be very dangerous. A bear at Point Iroquois light on Whitefish Bay had once dragged a small girl into the woods and devoured her. One assistant, William Laviate, earned extra income by spending his winter working in a local lumber camp. On a horticultural note, in 1881 keeper Boesler wrote that he had "... grafted 24 fruit trees, 12 cherry and 12 of apples." The fruit provided an important supplement to the food supply.

As time passed, many more improvements and additions were made to the station. A wooden boathouse and wood shed in 1875; a brick oil house in 1895; the steam powered fog horn in 1897, as well as piping to carry in lake water to operate the system, replacing the hand cranked unit. However, the first fog signal didn't work and it was a year before a replacement unit was operational, finally ending the keeper's arduous job of cranking the signal when the point was shrouded in fog. Improved boat ways were built in 1901, a new seawall in 1906, the old single story keeper's house was raised to two levels in 1909 and brick privies were added at the same time. A diaphone fog whistle was installed in 1928, the same year a rough road to Grand Marais was finally finished, providing eventual access to the public highway. No longer were the keepers quite so isolated.

During the harsh winters the road was impassable and the isolation complete. The winter seclusion was in part blamed for the deaths of a keeper's son and daughter. Both were buried near the station.

Seeing the station today, nestled into a forest of green trees and other foliage, it is hard to visualize how it looked when it was a working lighthouse. An excellent idea of what the station looked like in 1909 can be drawn from the Description of Buildings, Premises, Equipment, etc. of Au Sable Light Station , by Ralph Tinkerham, Light-House Establishment, Department of Commerce. "The main point on which the light house stands has been cleared of timber for a quarter mile each way from the station to facilitate the visibility of the light to the E'd and W'd. This clearing has grown up to the second growth -- small stuff ... Access is by boat or wagon road to within three miles of the station, thence by foot trail; this trail is cleared out so that a team without a load can get to the light station."

The old light was also the scene of personal tragedy for some of the families that maintained it. Keeper Otto Buffe had an especially difficult time. On October 14, 1904 his pregnant wife was very ill and he sent his second assistant to fetch the doctor from Grand Marais. In spite of the physician's best efforts at "4 pm Mrs. Buffe was delivered of a dead male child." The next day the child was lovingly buried on the grounds. In September 1905 another Buffe child died at the light. The next month the Buffe family was transferred to Point Iroquois, away from Au Sable's numbing isolation.

As the 20th Century grew older, life at the station gradually improved. A good road was finally built to the station in 1943, making it possible to reach it by car or truck. Batteries were used to power both the light and fog horn then, but electric generators were later installed.

In 1945, the quarters were modernized and the Coast Guard took over from the old civilian keepers. The light itself was automated in 1958, saving an estimated $20,000 a year. On January 12, 1968 Au Sable Light was officially transferred to the National Park Service, although the Coast Guard retained ownership of the light tower and continued its responsibility to maintain the steady beacon that is still as welcome to sailors today as it was in the days of sail.

The original six-foot high third order Fresnel lens, which was produced at a cost of $3,800 and removed in 1957 when the station closed, was returned to the light in 1995. The National Park Service is currently restoring the light to its 1909/1910 appearance. Grand Island North Light

Some consider Grand Island to be among the most beautiful islands on the Great Lakes. Roughly eight miles long and three miles wide, it has stark sandstone cliffs the equal of the famous Pictured Rocks, as well as white sandy beaches and small rocky protected coves. Located just north of Munising, its bulk acts as a natural windbreak for Munising Bay. It is also the largest island on the south shore of Superior. The island was a favorite stopping point for early explorers. Pierre Radisson and his brother-in-law Medard Chouart Sieur des Groseilliers were the first European to sight the island and record their experiences in detail, arriving in 1658. A fur trading post was operated on the island for a time in the early 1800's by Astor's American Fur Company. The old North West Company had run a post on the mainland opposite the island in the late 1770's. By 1832 a total of 50 people lived on Grand Island: seven men, six women, 23 children and 14 mixed blood.

In 1840 Abraham Williams arrived and for several generations thereafter he was the major influence. Initially he took over several log cabins abandoned by the American Fur Company. Later Williams and his family operated a sawmill, blacksmith shop and cooperage as well as farming and running a trading post. They also provided cordwood for the many steamers calling at Grand Island harbor. Williams Island, Williams Landing, the Anna River (named for his wife), and Powell Point (for his daughter's husband) are all part of the legacy of this remarkable man.

His family maintained ownership of the island until 1900 when it was sold to the Cleveland Cliffs Iron Company for $93,701.61. The island's timber resource was harvested for many years and for a period the location was used as a corporate retreat and game preserve. For a time the island was stocked with elk, Rocky Mountain sheep, moose, caribou, mule deer and antelope. In spite of problems with local predators, the animal population multiplied and the company used the surplus to stock zoos around the world. To make the island into an exclusive resort, cabins and lodges as well as horse paths, boats, tennis courts and archery ranges were constructed. The island was promoted as an "ideal summer resort." By 1958 the resort had closed. People had become more interested in other forms of recreation than enjoying the pampered tranquility of the north woods. Later selected timber was harvested but the island remains undeveloped. The exotic game long since succumbed to the ravages of nature. In 1990 the federal government purchased Grand Island for use as a national recreation area.

The first Grand Island Light was built at the north tip of the island at the edge of a 175-foot cliff. The original light was established in 1856 (some records indicate 1854) as the result of an 1853 appropriation of $5,000 to establish a "lighthouse at Grand Island Harbor." Apparently this structure was made of wood with a 30-foot tower, making it at the time the highest light above sea level on the lakes. This first light didn't last. In 1865 it was reported to be in "wretched condition," due apparently to the inferior materials of original construction.

The light was doubtlessly built in haste, the result of the increasing traffic between the Soo and the iron ore port of Marquette. Grand Island was also the only shelter between these two points and important as a wood shop for the early steamers. The light was needed to safely navigate the coast, especially considering the propensity for coastal sailing.

In 1867 the old light was torn down and a new one built adjacent to it. The new tower stood 40 feet tall with a keeper's house attached. Both were built of brick. A fourth order Fresnel lens comprised the optics. An oil house, storage building and outhouse completed the facility. It continued to be the highest light above sea level on the Great Lakes. To differentiate it from the East Channel Light, it was called North Light, or Grand Island North.

During this same period similar style lights were built at Ontonagon, Gull Rock, Huron Islands and Granite Island. Older lights at Copper Harbor and Marquette were rebuilt to the new North Light design.

Following the SUPERIOR disaster in October 1856, when nine of the survivors made their way there, life at the light continued without major interruption, other than on August 5, 1891 when the tower was struck by lightning. In 1941 the keeper was removed and the light changed from oil to acetylene gas. No longer did the trusty old wickie climb the winding tower steps on his rounds. Without the benefit of human habitation, or any significant maintenance, the structure deteriorated greatly. In 1961, the beacon proper was relocated from the stone tower to a pole near the cliff and automated. Also in the 1960s, the property was declared surplus and sold to Dr. Loren Graham, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with deep roots in Grand Island. After a great deal of effort, he was able to renovate the building sufficiently to make it his summer home.

North Light was also the scene of a real life murder mystery. What actually happened is still anyone's guess, but the known facts are these:

On June 12, 1908 the body of 30-year old Edward S. Morrison, the assistant lightkeeper at North Light, was discovered in a small sailboat near Au Sable Point. Although identification took a while, since few of the local people knew him, it was definite once made. Morrison had a distinctive tattoo of thirteen stars on his left arm, leaving no doubt as to the identity of the remains. Initial reports said his head had been "battered almost beyond recognition" and that "the head and shoulders were fearfully crushed, as if battered by a club." Inexplicably though, a coroners jury concluded death was due to exposure, thought to be caused by the rough weather on the 7th. A reported second coroners jury also examined the evidence and returned a verdict that the members were not able to tell how he died, but they had a strong suspicion of murder!

Morrison had been assistant keeper only six weeks when he met his death. A native of Tecumseh, Michigan, he joined the Lighthouse Service on May 1, 1908 and secured the assistant keeper's appointment at North Light. Friends claimed he had a "bright and sunny disposition" and that he "didn't have an enemy in the world."

The keeper of the light was George Genery, a long-time veteran of the Service. Appointed to North Light in 1893, he had been the assistant keeper at Menagerie Island, Isle Royale from 1887 until his posting to Grand Island. It was later claimed he had trouble keeping his assistants since none lasted longer than a season. Working with Genery was said to be difficult at best. The keeper was in Munising on June 6 to get supplies.

Baffled by the discovery of Morrison's body and the knowledge that the beacon had been dark for nearly a week, a delegation from Munising went out to the light. They discovered the supplies Genery had brought back from Munising still piled on the dock. An empty wheel barrow stood nearby and his coat dangled undisturbed on a hook in the boathouse. Morrison's vest was hanging carefully on the back of a chair, his watch and papers safe in a pocket. Of the three boats normally kept at the station, reports differed whether two or only one was missing. The last official log entry was made on June 5, while the slate entry for the 6th was made in Morrison's hand. Neither gave a clue to anything being amiss. Other than the untended lamp, all else was normal, without evidence of any unusual occurrence. Local volunteers manned the light until the service send a replacement.

Authorities immediately started a search for the missing keeper, but he had completely dropped out of sight. There were reports that five different men had seen him at various times in Munising between June 9 and 12, and that he was drinking heavily. His wife, living in town, claimed no knowledge of his whereabouts and did not seem overly concerned with his strange disappearance.

There were several theories proffered to explain the case. One said the two men had gone out to lift nets and that Genery had fallen overboard and drowned. Morrison, unfamiliar with a sailboat, then drifted about helplessly until finally perishing from exposure. Friends, however doubted such reasoning. They considered Morrison an expert sailor, and in fact he had previously owned a 32-foot sailboat on the Detroit River.

Another theory is based on their having been paid on the 6th; that they were attacked by one or more unknown assailants on the island, murdered, robbed and the bodies dumped into the sailboats and cast adrift. Morrison's eventually made shore. Genery's never did. Lonely to distraction, no better location for such a crime could be imagined. No one else was in the area to witness such a heinous deed. The nearest other occupant on the island was the Cleveland Cliffs game keeper, whose house was seven miles to the south. There was a story that a body was later discovered in the east channel, but it was apparently never identified so whether it was the missing keeper is unknown. Finding "floaters" was not that unusual, so no definite link between it and Genery was possible.

The third theory was that Morrison was murdered by Genery. It was thought that Morrison had come down to the dock with the wheelbarrow to help carry the supplies back to the light. As evidenced by Genery's coat and Morrison's vest, both men were in shirt sleeves and had likely just finished the hard work of unloading the supplies from the boat. For an unknown reason the two started to argue. Possibly it was the quarrelsome Genery who began by berating Morrison for some failing, real or imagined. In a moment of fury, Genery smashed Morrison's skull with a blunt object, perhaps an oar, shovel or hammer. To hide the dastardly crime, he then placed the body in a sailboat and pushed it out into the lake. With luck it would disappear and after a decent interval he could claim his assistant deserted for no apparent reason. If it was later found, he could claim it must have been a terrible accident, that Morrison left for a sail and evidently fell, injuring his head, or was stuck by the boom during a quick jibe. Regardless, Genery needed a drink, or several, and headed for Munising. Later reconsidering his plan, he went home where he was hidden by his wife. When the body was discovered and the charge "murder" echoed through the town, he fled. Some people claimed he reached Canada were he lived out his days in quiet obscurity.

Perhaps Morrison had a premonition of his own death, or at the very least was very unhappy working for Genery. On June 16, four days after his body was discovered, his wife in Flint received a letter from him posted just before his death. In it he wrote, "do not be surprised if you hear of my body being found dead along the shore of Lake Superior." He stated Genery was of a "... quarrelsome disposition..." and that he feared "... an accident if he opposed him ..." Did Morrison "oppose" him and did Genery respond to the challenge with murder?

Morrison's death was another example of the old adage, "death always comes in threes." Two years before his sister was murdered in Toledo. The previous fall a brother was killed when the locomotive he was riding in crashed through a wooden trestle.

Exactly what happened will of course never be known, but it is fair to say that not all men could handle the terrible monotony at the isolated lights. The long empty hours, days, weeks, months and years of crushing sameness could have caused Genery to become more irritable and unbalanced as evidenced by his trouble keeping assistants. Finally, for some unfathomable reason, he snapped resulting in murder most foul and a North Light mystery still unsolved. East Channel Light

The small wooden frame lighthouse on the southeast shore of Grand Island was constructed during the period 1869-1870 for the purpose of guiding vessels into Munising harbor from the east. The land was one of a number of parcels reserved in 1847 for government use. Resembling a small county church in style, its original color was white. The location, opposite the dangerous shoal at Sand Point was critical for safe navigation. By 1905 however, the Lighthouse Board noted that the light was no longer serving its original purpose and, considering difficulties in maintenance and the mariner's desire for improved range lights, its abandonment was only a manner of time. The light was finally abandoned in 1913 as the result of the construction in 1908 of improved range lights. In 1915 the land and lighthouse were privately purchased and divided into lots. The lighthouse building became community property. The building is still privately owned and although it is in badly deteriorated condition, periodic efforts have been made to reinforce the historic structure.

The small light was home to many keepers and their families. The last was George Prior, who served there from 1891 to 1907. Two of his children were born at the light. Difficulties the old keepers had to overcome were many. Just maintaining a reliable and varied food supply was always a problem at the Superior lights and the East Channel Light was no different. Like many other keepers, Prior kept a small garden as well as chickens and perhaps even a cow. Setting a net or two assured fresh fish.
Munising Range Lights

West Channel
The west channel range lights were established in 1868 to accurately guide vessels clear of the shoal running into the channel west of Grand Island. Vessels entering the bay carefully aligned the rear and front lights to place them on a safe course. The rear range light with a 32-foot tower was identical to the existing East Channel Light. The front range was a 19-foot wooden tower. Each was painted white, as is normal for range markers. Both were lit on August 15, 1868. The present 62-foot conical steel tower was erected in 1914 to replace the original wood structure. It was deactivated in 1969, the same year the front range light was torn down to make room for the Bay Furnace directional light.

East Channel
The east channel range lights, intended to replace the East Channel Light, were erected by the Champion Iron Company of Cleveland in 1908 as the result of a 1907 congressional appropriation of $15,000. The front tower, built of 5/16 inch, riveted steel plates, is 12 feet in diameter at the base, eight feet at the top and 58 feet tall. The rear range light tower, also built of riveted steel, is 10 feet, nine inches at the base, seven feet at the top and 33 feet tall and is located five blocks inland, on the side of steep hill. REFERENCES:

Annual Report of the Lighthouse Board , (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of the Treasury, various issues).

"Grand Island," Alger County Chamber of Commerce, n.d.

Francis Ross Holland, Jr., America's Lighthouses, An Illustrated History (New York: Dover Publications, 1988).

Dr. Loren Graham, correspondence the author, March 9, 1996.

Instructions to Light-Keepers (Allen Park: Michigan: Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association, 1989).

National Maritime Initiative, 1994 Inventory of Historic Light Stations (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, 1994).

Donald L. Nelson, correspondence to author, March 9, 1996.

Donald L. Nelson, "The Lighthouses of Grand Island on Michigan's Lake Superior." The Beacon , December, 1995.

Dennis L. Noble and T. Michael O'Brien, Sentinels of the Rocks (Marquette, Michigan: Northern Michigan University Press, 1979).

Grace Lee Nute, Lake Superior (New York: Bobbs-Merrill, 1944).

Laurie Penrose, Bill T. Penrose and Ruth Penrose, A Traveller's Guide to Michigan Lighthouses (Davison, Michigan: Friede Publications, 1992).

Porcupine Press , August 15-21, 1990.

Faye Swanberg, "The East Channel Lighthouse," Alger County Historical Society, n.d.


County Name

Named After

County Seat


Wayne County

General Anthony Wayne



Michilimackinac County

Great Turtle Place, Mackinac Island (Name reduced to "Mackinac" out of ease of spelling)

St. Ignace


Chippewa County

Native Americans

Sault Ste. Marie


Houghton County

Dr. Douglass Houghton



Ontonagon County

"Onagan" meaning "bowl" or "dish"



Marquette County

Jacques Marquette, S.J



Schoolcraft County

Henry Rowe Schoolcraft



Delta County

Shape of triangle



Keweenaw County

Native American word for "portage"

Eagle River


Menominee County

Menominee Indians; "wild rice people"



Baraga County

Frederick Baraga



Iron County


Crystal Falls


Alger County

Gov Russell Alger (1885-1886)



Gogebic County

From rock name of the district



Luce County

Gov. Cyrus G. Luce (1887-1890)



Dickinson County

Don M. Dickinson postmaster general under President Cleveland

Iron Mountain

By: Russell M. Magnaghi

Jacques Marquette, S.J. (1637-1675) was a French Jesuit priest who is known for his missionary work in the Great Lakes country and as co-discoverer of the Mississippi River with Louis Jolliet in 1673. His life and work have been commemorated by the naming of communities, counties, townships, parks and locations in the United States along with a number of state markers and statues.

The state of Michigan has the largest number of places named after Marquette. The village was begun in 1849 and named after the community of Worcester, Massachusetts. The name was changed on August 21, 1859 to Marquette. Within the city of Marquette a street, a large statue, a state historic marker, and the central Catholic school honor the community's namesake. The name of the county, a civil township and the designation of one of three iron ranges in the Upper Peninsula also commemorate the explorer. The Catholic diocese is also named after the Jesuit.

In 1924 Marquette State Park, occupying 139 densely wooded acres approximately three miles west of the city was established by the State of Michigan. The site which was devoted to camping and picnicking was located on a ridge between the Dead River and the Carp River valleys and was one of the few state parks in Michigan without water frontage. It continued as a state park until 1942 when the state was forced to sell it to a local family.

In the eastern Upper Peninsula there are other sites commemorating Father Marquette. In Lake Huron, south of Hessel-Cedarville is the resort island of Marquette. In the 1930s the Les Cheneaux Club had a spacious summer clubhouse on the northern tip of the island. The Federal government established Marquette National Forest along with the Hiawatha and Ottawa in 1931. It eventually covered over 500,000 acres and stretched from Lakes Superior to Michigan. This tract of land was eventually incorporated into the eastern section of the enlarged Hiawatha National Forest. In the city of St. Ignace, the site of the mission of the same name which was established by Marquette and from which Marquette and Jolliet left on their voyage of discovery, there are a number of sites commemorating this intrepid missionary. Marquette's alleged grave site is marked with a city park, state marker, statue and museum. In the 1970s Congress established the Father Marquette National Memorial which is located just west of St. Ignace overlooking the Straits of Mackinac. At the site there is a marker and elaborate museum where the story of Marquette is presented to the public. Across the Straits of Mackinac on the island of the same name is a statue of Marquette, like the one in Marquette, a copy of the statue representing Wisconsin in Statuary Hall in the national Capitol. In he early 20th century a truck carried the "Marquette" was produced in Menominee.

In southern Michigan he was commemorated as well. There is the Pere Marquette River which empties into Lake Michigan at Ludington, one of a number of cities which claim to be his original burial site. At one time there was the Pere Marquette Railroad which served the Lower Peninsula.

At one time there was a Michigan railroad - the Pere Marquette - named after him along with a truck produced in the early 20th century in Menominee.

Outside of Michigan there name of Marquette appears at a variety of locations. Marquette, Nebraska is a rural village located in Hamilton County, some twenty miles northeast of Grand Island or thirteen miles north of Intertstate 80 on Nebraska 14. The post office was originally called Avon, but on December 2, 1881 its name was changed to Marquette. However in this case it was not named after Jacques Marquette, S.J., but after Thomas M. Marquette of Lincoln, Nebraska. He was general attorney for the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad. The town was platted by the Lincoln Land Company in 1882. It reached its peak population of 308.

Two communities named Marquette were founded by former residents of Marquette and named for their home town. In the state of Kansas there is another community named Marquette. This Marquette is a little hamlet in the northwestern part of McPherson County on the Smoky River. It was surveyed in March 1874. H.S. Bacon, a director of the Town Company at the time and one of the town founders named it after his home town of Marquette, Michigan. By 1883 the settlement consisted of a post office, seven stores, a blacksmith shop, mill and a hotel. In the late 20th century its population remained static at 621. In southern California during the railroad boom days of the 1880s the planned community of Marquette was established northeast of Ontario by a Mr. Ferguson. The Hotel Marquette was constructed, vineyards and orange groves were planted and people began to settle the site. Unfortunately a number of years drought destroyed the small orange trees and the vineyards were eaten by jackrabbits. Ferguson moved to Los Angeles in 1890 and the other settlers migrated to nearby Ontario which subsequently incorporated the site.

In Iowa there is a Marquette in Clayton County, opposite the confluence of the Wisconsin and Mississippi Rivers (Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin) where the French Jesuit first entered the Father of Waters. Originally it was called North McGregor when the post office was established in February 1866 and it was incorporated as a town in May 1874. This Iowa railroad town was renamed Marquette on June 5, 1920.

In Illinois there is the community of Marquette Heights located in the Peoria area. Near the confluence of the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers, in Jersey County five miles west of Grafton is the Pere Marquette State Park. A large white cross, east of the park entrance alongside Route 100 commemorates the site where the explorers landed. The park was first established in 1932 and in 1967 when an adjacent conservation area was added it grew to 6,064 acres, making it the largest park in Illinois. The State of Wisconsin has honored Marquette in a variety of ways. In the national Capitol a statue of Marquette memorialized his work in the state. In southern Wisconsin, west of Fond du Lac, there is Marquette County. The village of Marquette and the civil township of Marquette are located in Green Lake County, immediately to the east of Marquette County. It is said that Marquette and Jolliet spent several days in a village of the Mascouten Indians where Marquette now stands. Luther Gleason, a settler from Vermont, established a trading post there in 1829. In the city of Milwaukee there are a number of parks and streets named after him as well. Marquette University, which was chartered by the Jesuits in 1864, opened in 1881 and became a university in 1907, is located in downtown Milwaukee.

This study has tried to summarize how Father Marquette has been memorialized in the United States. There are many other sites, streets and buildings named after the French Jesuit. If you can identify them, please write to the author through the Society so that we can compile a complete list of these citations.

The Munising Coast Guard station at Sand Point, the present day headquarters building for the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, was built during the period 1932-33. It is typical of the small Coast Guard stations that dotted the Great Lakes during the first half of the twentieth century. Contrary to popular belief, the Munising station was never a United States Life-Saving Service station. That organization ceased to exist in 1915 when it was combined with the US Revenue Marine to form the present day Coast Guard.

Specifications called for a ". . . two story frame dwelling, 30 feet by 45 feet, with concrete foundations; a one story frame boathouse, 37 feet by 55 feet, with creosote pile foundations; creosote wood pile and timber bulkheads, each 129 feet long; and a creosote timber and pile landing wharf, 10 by 40 feet."

The bid price for the construction was $12,230 by an Iron Mountain, Michigan contractor. The lookout tower and watch house were provided by the McClintic-Marshall Corporation of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. It was one of eight built for the Coast Guard that year at a cost of $2,092 each. Erection on site added another $865 to the bill. The land for the station, some 7.1 acres, was acquired from the Cleveland Cliffs Iron Company for the nominal fee of $1.

It was hoped the station would be in operation on May 1, 1933, but thick ice in Munising Bay prevented the transfer of necessary boats and equipment from Marquette for more than two weeks. Finally at 8 a.m. on May 16, the crew was formed up in front of the building; the activating orders read and Munising station officially placed in commission.

Throughout its operational life, the typical complement for the station included an officer-in-charge, bosun's mate first class, motor machinist's mate first class and seven surfmen.

Station equipment consisted of a 36-foot motor lifeboat, 26-foot motor surfboat, a small skiff and a cart-mounted beach apparatus. The later was used when a vessel wrecked near shore. It consisted of a Lyle gun, a small cannon used to fire a messenger line from the beach to the ship, a faking box carrying the line and a breeches buoy together with heavier ropes, blocks and tackles. The breeches buoy was a ring buoy with a canvas seat attached used to transport sailors via an overhead line from ship to shore. All of the items were carried in the cart which could be pulled to the wreck site by the crew. The station also was allotted a new truck, but since the road to the station wasn't finished until 1934, its arrival was delayed until then.

Perhaps under the theory of giving them room to grow, the first inspection of the new station was not favorable. The commander of the Eleventh Coast Guard District complained that the floors were not neat enough, especially in the corners. Such inspections included not only the facility itself, but the men were required to demonstrate proficiency in ". . . boat drill, fire drill, wigwag, semaphore, flashlight, resuscitation," as well as in the manual of arms and marksmanship. When the crew demonstrated the required drills, he found that although they were proficient, ". . . the necessary snap is not seen at this station as at other stations." He further stated, ". . . the Officer-in-Charge seems to lack the knack of properly caring for and keeping up a station."

The station itself was far from finished. Much landscaping was needed, the lawn had to be planted and sidewalks constructed among a host of other tasks. The crew was expected to accomplish all of them, in addition to their regular duties. Once the road to Munising was finished, the station truck could be used to haul the necessary materials out from town.

Five months later, the crew had apparently jelled into a cohesive unit and a new inspection found major improvements, as the station received an excellent rating.

During the years prior to World War II, the station crew varied between 10 and 13 men. Daily routine consisted of various equipment drills and normal maintenance. Actual rescues were few. The men were called out to help small craft an average of twice a month. Usually it was nothing more than towing in a boat with a balky engine. During the winter they periodically put on snow shoes and went out on the ice to look for missing ice fishermen.

From August 14 to September 3, 1936, three crewmen were sent with the 36-foot motor lifeboat to Isle Royale to help fight a forest fire that eventually consumed 34,000 acres of timber. They joined crews and boats from Portage, Eagle Harbor, North Superior, Marquette and Grand Marais to carry fire fighters and supplies around the island. By mission's end, the Coast Guard crews had hauled 9,390 men and 242,000 pounds of supplies, covering a distance of 5,983 miles.

The station's role in the November 7, 1940 SPARTA rescue is described elsewhere. Their last major rescue occurred five days later when they received word via the Michigan Conservation Department that the steel steamer SINALOA was on the rocks at Sac Bay, near Fayette, Lake Michigan, about 80 miles south of Munising. Commercial fishermen had managed to remove 23 of her 42 man crew before the mountainous waves drove them off. The remaining 19 sailors were trapped aboard. Loading their gear aboard the station truck, they rattled off to the scene. There they discovered the only way to reach the beach opposite the wreck was through the woods, without a track of any kind to guide them. In a scene reminiscent of the HARTZELL rescue in October 1880 by the Point aux Bec Scies Life-Savers, the crew fought their way through the forest, pulling the rubber-tired cart by hand.

Arriving at 12:30 a.m., they found the big freighter laying broadside to the shore and about 500 feet out. They quickly went to work and within an hour and a half had a breeches buoy rigged and the first man ashore. Three hours later, all of the steamer's 19 remaining men were safe ashore. All seven members of the Munising crew that participated in the SINALOA rescue received the Commandant's Commendation for their efficient work.

Coast Guard crews are sometimes asked to do some strange things and the Munising crew was no different. When a bull moose was trapped on a ledge along the bluff at Miner's Castle, the Michigan conservation Department asked the crew to help drive it to safety. Rough seas prevented them from immediately approaching in their boat and when they returned two days later, the animal had disappeared, whether escaping on his own or drowning in the lake was never determined.

During World War II, the station complement increased dramatically, at one time reaching 28, as the Coast Guard sent new men for initial training before going on to operational units. When the war ended, manning decreased accordingly.

The inevitable change in technology spelled the end for many small Coast Guard stations, Munising among them. Better navigation equipment, including radar and radios, made commercial vessels safer and less prone to shipwreck. Helicopters, fixed wing aircraft and offshore cutters took over the search and rescue mission. Gone were the days of the 36-foot motor lifeboat driving off into the teeth of the gale on a desperate life or death mission. Like many lake stations, Munising also suffered from sand constantly filling in around the slip area, necessitating periodic dredging.

For a while the Munising station was manned by a skeleton crew of just a few men. Eventually with its abandonment 1961, the land reverted to the Cleveland Cliffs Iron Company, who later deeded it to the city. It turn the city deeded it the National Park Service for inclusion in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

All college campuses have created a body of folklore and Northern Michigan University is no exception. Since 1907 the "Heart of Northern" has been a high and low profile item on campus. The portion that remains in front of the Cohodas building is the original elevation of the campus some three feet above the surrounding ground. It was grass covered and three pine trees graced the top of it. In terms of collegiate folklore it was one of the few places where groups of people congregated for public activities like band concerts, social events and even weddings and study sessions. However it was also the place where a fellow brought his girl and by kissing her inaugurated her as a Northern coed. As the campus moved westward the Heart was forgotten and in 1963 two-thirds of it was removed for the parking lot. Today it is being replicated to the east of Jamrich Hall.

From 1909 until 1946 Rush Day was a part of campus life. It consisted of a trip to Presque Isle and lunch followed by a variety of contests such as balancing on a board over water, tug-of-war, and similar contests. In the 1920s the afternoon ended with a return to the campus playing field where the freshmen and sophomores pelted each other with great quantities of rotten produce and eggs and motor oil while the female students watched -- shades of a medieval tournament.

In the beginning, smoking was not allowed on campus. If you wanted to smoke you had to physically leave the campus property. Students would stand at the edge of the street and smoke. After World War II with the influx of veterans, President Tape rescinded the regulation and at least allowed smoking outside the buildings. Eventually smoking was allowed in the buildings and there are instances in the 1970s where faculty actually smoked while teaching. Today smoking is banned from all campus buildings.

Faculty and staff have entered Northern's folklore. The most "infamous" was Ethel Carey, dean of women from 1924 to 1956 who was known for enforcing rules like: no red dresses to dances, regulating which male dates women took to a dance and how close they could dance, and sending the school nurse to your boarding house if you missed two days of class. Many thought she truly maintained a reign of terror. The list was endless but few knew that in many cases these rules were mandated by the State Board of Education. Later in the early 1960s Beatrice Boyton, a professor in math took umbrage at women students who took their shoes off at dances. In the 1920s President Munson was known to send congratulatory notes to students when they performed well in specific classes. One time he even helped a student developed her class schedule.

When Edgar Harden (1956-1967) was president everyone thought that he knew everything that went on campus. Cleobelle Harrison, the head of the Art Department beginning in 1946, was known for wanting everything to be "neat and clean" for the janitors when they came into her office. Another faculty became so outraged at a company he was dealing with that he sent them a box of rocks COD. Then there was Gene Lehman in math who ran without shoes even on rocky surfaces.

Alumni remember Dr. Albert Burrows in sociology who taught "Culture of Africa" whom they nicked named "Edgar Rice Burroughs." Then there was Almon Vedder in the Education Department who never wore a wristwatch. In the 1960s there were no clocks in the classrooms and classes ended with a automatic bell. Vedder would lecture and magically end the class exactly 5 seconds before the bell rang. He was so dedicated to teaching off-campus that even after he had a heart attack he used student drivers to get him to place like Iron Mt. or Sault Ste. Marie. "Dutch" Barnard in English took roll twice a year -- on the first day of class and on November 15 (start of hunting season). He then stated, "I assume that if you weren't here on one of the days you missed that half of the semester." Beyond this he took no action, but he did dislike deer hunters. Then there was Maude Van Antwerp of English who was known to be extremely kind and provided struggling single parents in the early 1950s with jars of jam. She eventually had a dorm named after her. Mildred Magers was the first female professor to receive a Ph.D. in March 1944.

Northern's folklore is endless and this a mere sampling of the more publishable stories which have surfaced and been preserved.

Interest in the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 continues as evidenced by the popularity of the movie, Titanic.

"Yes, there was a connection between the luxury liner and the UP," said Russ Magnaghi, director of the Center for UP Studies at NMU, "in the form of Joe Bayliss of Sault Ste. Marie." Back in 1887 as William Alden Smith began his climb up the Republican political ladder he was appointed Michigan's first paid game warden. In the process the two men became good friends. Joe stayed in the Soo and by 1912 Smith was one of Michigan's senators.

When Senator Smith read of the disaster he, as millions of others asked, why did the accident occur? Calls around Washington indicated no investigations of the tragedy were planned. A proactive Senator Smith would take the lead.

"According to the Smith Resolution, the Committee on Commerce was empowered to summon witnesses, administer oath, and serve subpoenas on all witnesses necessary for information," noted Magnaghi. Immediate action would have to be taken as the Carpathia with the survivors was nearing New York City.

As Senator Smith sat in his office fretting over whether or not Sergeant-of-Arms Ransdell had the guts to issue subpoenas, unexpectedly Sheriff Bayliss walked into his office. The senator needed a man of action like Bayliss called "the greatest little sheriff in Michigan."

Bayliss, in his slouch hat and battered boots, quickly joined Smith and his party for the trip to New York. In the days that followed Bayliss issued subpoenas without the slightest compunction to foreigners or citizens alike. In his free time he was assigned the duty of eavesdropping on crew members so that Senator Smith would know who would be the best to question.

The sheriff's work took some "fancy steppin'" because by now the British consul in New York was angry that this action was being taken. The result was that Sheriff Bayliss returned home and Senator Smith was able to conduct an extremely useful set of investigations concerning the sinking of the great liner.

By: Russell M. Magnaghi

During the summer, residents of the southern shore of Lake Superior daily see vacationers pass through their communities in their cars, RVs, or campers. Behind an immense RV driving south on US-41 toward Escanaba and unable to pass, you ask the questions, why? when? how? The why is obvious by a quick look at the environment, from the blue waters of Lake Superior, to the expanses of forests, to the cool summer climate. The Upper Peninsula has attracted tourists since the early days of the Republic when everyone from ambassadors from Belgium, Sardinia and the Austro-Hungarian Empire, to southern planters and common folk traveled to Mackinac Island to enjoy an invigorating summer away from the heat and humidity to the south.

Up until the early 20th century travel was by steamboat followed by rail. At the time of World War I and after this form of travel was giving way to the freedom and independence provided by the automobile. One railroad manager had completely missed the point when before the Michigan State Public Utilities Commission he predicted that the Upper Peninsula would never attract vacationing motorists due to lack of quality hotels. Local tourist officials naturally took issue with the statement and for good reason as we shall see.

Contrary to the railroad official's inaccurate comment, travel and camping with the automobile were becoming part of the American way of life. Tourism officials at Green Bay anticipated this change in American summer travel habits and in the spring of 1921 established a campground at the Northeastern Wisconsin fair grounds. A check of the facilities in late June showed that there were over three hundred automobile on the grounds and hundreds of people from over twenty different states were camped on the grounds. Upper Peninsula officials realized that it was a matter of time before these tourists would enter the Upper Peninsula in large numbers and they were not wrong.

By the early 1920s the Upper Peninsula and in particular Marquette County had become the destination of summer vacationers. People were beginning to appreciate the independence that the automobile provided and they were quickly exchanging railroad travel and luxurious hotels and resorts for camping gear and even if "official campgrounds" were not available, a roadside campsite.

During the month of June it was estimated that between 4,000 and 5,000 vacationers drove across the Upper Peninsula. Reports gathered from garagemen and hotel keepers indicated that a high percentage of them sought campsites in every community that they passed and were forced to camp along the roadside. It was noted that not one in ten motor tourists arrived in the Upper Peninsula seeking fancy accommodations. In July 1921 tourism officials reported "that the great majority come to Cloverland with khaki shirts and fish poles, that many have their own tents and need only a suitable camping site."

As a result of this lack of sites the Upper Peninsula Development Bureau began a program to contact county leaders from throughout the Upper Peninsula to encourage them to develop at least one well located campground in their county. This would help to promote the region and the local economy.

New camping equipment was being developed for this new and exciting form of vacationing. The Clare Manufacturing Company of Clare, Michigan offered a new and unique camping outfit carried on a trailer and weighing only 750 pounds. Two full-sized springs and bed mattresses were folded into the auto box of the trailer and were pulled out on each side of the trailer on special extensions and hinges. Two men could have the outfit prepared for use within ten minutes. Additional springs and mattress could be placed on the trailer bed for two additional sleepers. The outfit came equipped with woolen blankets, two a mattresses, four pillows, three camp chairs, gasoline cook stove, cooking utensils, ice chest and other necessities. Storage space existed in a compartment under the trailer. A rain-proof tent measuring 12 by 14 feet protected the happy campers.

The question of better and expanded highways throughout the state was a growing concerning throughout Michigan. This was the reason for the creation of the Michigan Pikers' Association. In July 1921, Fred S. Case, a businessman from Sault Ste. Marie and president of the Michigan Pikers led an "Around Lake Superior Tour". It consisted of 150 members and officers along with members of the Detroit band. Their arrival in Marquette and other Upper Peninsula communities was greeted with local enthusiasm and boosterism and residents came to see these pioneer auto travelers. When they arrived in Marquette they were greeted at the city limits and given a warm welcome by officials and citizens. Presque Isle pavilion was the site of a dinner and on their way proud city officials pointed out the Shiras pool, considered one of the best pools in the Midwest, which had opened nine days earlier on July 4th. At the pavilion perched on the edge of Lake Superior, they were treated to Jim Deegan's "famous whitefish" and music was furnished by the Marquette and Detroit city bands. Once the music ended, the Pikers held a "Good Roads" session during which they discussed the importance of good roads which interested many in attendance. The next morning they continued on their tour.

With this background, excerpts of an auto vacation through the Upper Peninsula can be better appreciated. The anonymous Grand Rapids, Michigan couple made the 18 day trip which cost them $100 and brought them to some isolated sections of the peninsula. It was rather typical of travel in the summer of 1921. Their trip was reported in the Mining Journal (7/24/1921): "At Mackinaw City we took the ferry to St. Ignace and from there followed Route 12 through Cedarville to the Soo. From this point we cut across to Rexton, going over elegant roads. At Rexton we veered to the north as far as Newberry over stone road.

From Newberry we cut through the stumps over a winding road to the mouth of the Two Heart river in Lake Superior. Here was Paradise indeed. For 35 miles over this woods road we never saw a sign of habitation of human life, never even meeting another car. Near the mouth of the Two Heart we came upon lumber camp of mighty hospitable folks. They were glad to see us and said our "Big Six" Studebaker was the first large car that ever had been that far into their woods.

I found the fishing in the Two Heart all that upper peninsula press agents have claimed. Not a large stream, the water is of a brownish hue and the German brown trout lie in holes waiting for fishermen to yank them out. At the mouth of the river, in the deep water of Lake Superior, the coast guard captain told me you could, in calm weather, see big German brown trout swimming along the bottom of the lake.

We camped for two days on the Two Heart and were sorry when we had to leave. Turning back we cut through the woods again to Newberry then west and north through Seney over the beaver trail across to Munising. Here we passed through mile after mile of virgin hardwood, beautiful maples, beech and birch.

Marquette was our next stop, then Houghton, Hancock, Calumet and Lake Linden. We hit Lake Superior again at Ontonagon. Because of work on the roads it was necessary to turn south and then west to Bessemer, Ironwood, and Hurley, Wis. Doubling back to St. Ignace we passed through Iron Mountain, Iron River, Escanaba, and Manistique.

Our return trip from St. Ignace through the lower peninsula was through Petoskey, Boyne City, Kalkaska, Pioneer, Lake City and Cadillac.

During our tour we were on the road 18 days. Fifteen nights we camped, using a side tent erected alongside of the car. Having a floor to our tent we were never bothered by mosquitoes or bugs. We did all of our cooking out of doors, except during the two days we stayed at hotels and the one day spent with friends at Luther. While you folks down here [Grand Rapids] have been suffering with the heat we found the nights so cool in the upper peninsula that all of the blankets we had were scarcely enough."

This glimpse into the summer of 1921 provides some interesting insights into the pioneer days of auto travel in the Upper Peninsula. This was the foundation upon which the Upper Peninsula tourist trade was built.

The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is a unique region in the United States. Its folklore and folklife has developed over the years through the interaction of the Native Americans, immigrants, and Americans within this unique environment. As a result  a rich and varied cuisine developed which thrives to the present day. The Cornish pasty is one of one of the products of this tradition. The names of counties also reflect this rich heritage. Other bits of folklore can be found in the lighthouses which dot the coastline. The folklife and history of the region are important ingredients in understanding the Upper Peninsula.