Living Memory Project

The Living Memory Project is an occasional series of Interlochen Public Radio, connecting the past to the present in northern Michigan.

U.S. Forest Service

In the 1970s, people complained the Pine River had become a “canoe freeway.”

Mark Miltner owns Pine River Paddlesports Center and says people like the river because it’s fast.

“It’s just a little livelier than most Michigan rivers,” he says. “It has more personality, has more push, has more fun factor.”

Clements Library, University of Michigan

Henry Rowe Schoolcraft did as much as anyone else to make Michigan a state. As the U.S. Indian agent, he negotiated a treaty with tribes up north, who gave up millions of acres of land in the deal.

Schoolcraft married Jane Johnston Schoolcraft, a poet who was half Ojibwe. But he still thought of Indians as savages and that it was his job to lift them out of their “barbaric” state, according to Eric Hemenway.

Hemenway is a member of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians who works in cultural preservation.

Today in 1958, the Carl D. Bradley sank

Nov 18, 2015
Wikipedia

Thirty-three men lost their lives when the freighter Carl D. Bradley broke in two during a terrible storm on Lake Michigan.

Elizabeth Kowalski's brother, Bernard Schefke, died that day.   

"A girlfriend called me on the phone and told me that one of our boats had gone down,” she recalls. “She had a husband who sailed, too.  And she said, ‘don't worry, it's not our boat, it's the Bradley.’ And I said, ‘Oh my God, my brother's on that boat!’”

Only two men survived the storm.  Out of the 33 who perished, 26 were from the small town of Rogers City.

Mary Jo West

The park’s name comes from the Native American legend of a mother bear who swims from Wisconsin to escape a forest fire.

Marie Scott, a park ranger and interpreter who has worked at Sleeping Bear on and off since the 1970’s, says the park was preserved by joining existing state parks together with private land to retain public access to the so called “Third Coast.”
    

Today in 1964, Van Cliburn conducted at Interlochen

Aug 26, 2015

Van Cliburn's visit that year produced a recording of Serenade to Music that wound up on a record produced by RCA Victor. It was called Van Cliburn Conducts.

Cliburn visited Interlochen throughout the 1960s. But his show with the Interlochen Youth Orchestra had a last minute problem. There was no choir.

Interlochen’s archivist, Byron Hanson, says the concert was scheduled for the week after camp let out and by that time most of the choir had gone home. So they had to assemble a choir from the community.
 

Michigan Wines

Bernie Rink had been growing wine grapes on his property overlooking Lake Leelanau for more than a decade when he opened his tasting room in 1976. His vineyard was the first commercial vineyard in the region.

Today in 1928, the Cherry Festival moved to July

Jul 20, 2015
Traverse City Tourism AP

July 19, 1928 marks the date of the first Cherry Festival held in July. Before that, a festival known as “the Blessing of the Blossoms” was held in May.


Alan Newton / NewtonPhotography.us

For more than 30 years, Stone Circle has been a gathering place for poets, storytellers and musicians around the campfire on Saturday nights. Terry Wooten says the event, held at his home north of Elk Rapids, was inspired by his parents.


Amelia Payette

It didn’t look like an attack at first when American Indians in the Straits of Mackinac joined the rebellion against the British. Ojibwa and Sauk Indians started a game of baggatiway – renamed lacrosse by the French – in front of Fort Michilimackinac.

Indian women watching the game kept hatchets under their garments and passed them to the warriors when they rushed the fort. They quickly killed more than 15 British soldiers and held the fort for a year. One observer reported seeing the attackers "furiously cutting down and scalping every Englishman they found."
 

Northwest Michigan Horticulture Research Center

May 17th, 2002 was the official date when tart cherry trees reached full bloom in northern Michigan that year. The orchards looked normal but most of the cherry buds had been destroyed in April by freezing cold.

The Leelanau Enterprise ran a headline that summer that said “No Cherries.”

Ben LaCross is a second generation grower on a farm north of Cedar. He says nobody could recall a cherry crop failing so completely.

Today in 1945, Nazi Germany surrendered

May 8, 2015
michiganrailroads.com-Alan Loftis Collection

It’s VE Day today, Victory in Europe.  Nazi Germany surrendered to the Allies on this day 70 years ago. Europe is far from northern Michigan but for many families, the Traverse City train depot was where the action took place.

The old Pere Marquette train station in Traverse City sits near the corner of Eight and Woodmere. It’s a part of town that has seen a recent revival of activity and bustle since the library opened in 1998. 

The last passenger train pulled out of the station in 1966.

This piece is the first for The Living Memory Project, an occasional series connecting the past to the present in Northern Michigan.

On May 7th, 1979, Judge Noel Fox ruled in favor of three Indian tribes in a dispute with Michigan over fishing in the Great Lakes.

Judge Fox’s decision was blunt. He called the history of government dealings with Indians a “shameful record of broken treaties and unfulfilled promises.”