New Quarterly Newsletter Available!

Dear TAHS Members (and future members!),

Please enjoy the latest TAHS newsletter, which you can download by clicking on the link below:

May 2018 Newsletter

We recap our awesome 2017-2018 program series, and hear from the President, our various committees, and archivist! This newsletter also contains our summer calendar of TOURS! Don’t forget to add these dates to your calendars, they’re the hottest tickets in town!

Colored photographic postcard of Grand Traverse County Courthouse, undated. From the Local History Collection, Traverse Area District Library.

In this newsletter, we also debut our new feature, The Preservation Corner, by Peg Siciliano. The Corner will provide updates on various preservation issues of interest to TAHS and its supporters. In the future, after member input and Board consideration, TAHS could take public stands and action concerning pertinent issues. Such actions are certainly a part of this group’s history. For example, in the 1970s the organization was integral in the actions that saved the Grand Traverse County Courthouse from demolition.

This first installment presents updates on three current issues: The use of the Sixth Street Carnegie Building; the status of the City of Traverse City’s Con Foster Museum three-dimensional artifact collection; and plans for Traverse City Area Public Schools’ Central Grade School complex. If readers have other preservation concerns they would like to see addressed, please e-mail your ideas to contact@traversehistory.org.

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May 2018 Speaker Event: ‘These Are A Few of our favorite’ Local History Stories, part of the History Series

After the fire on Front Street, Traverse City, November 1896. Image from the S.E. Wait Glass Plate Negative Collection, Traverse Area District Library.

In anticipation of our upcoming season of walking history tours, please join members of the Traverse Area Historical Society and a few of our regular tour guides as they share some of their favorite pieces of local history in short story form.  This event will take place on Sunday, May 20th, 1-2 p.m., and is part of our ongoing History Series.

Have you heard about The Hannah Rifles — a group of local boys from the class of 1899 who answered Teddy Roosevelt’s call to join the Rough Riders in Cuba during the Spanish American War?

Did you know that the south side of the 200 block of Front street was devastated by a fire in November of 1896? This stretch of wooden buildings included a hotel, two saloons, a cigar store, and a grocery, among others.

Sharon Jennings, Richard Fidler, and Larry Hains will present for this last program in the spring history series for TAHS.

Our monthly History Series meetings take place in the McGuire Room at Traverse Area District Library, 610 Woodmere Ave., Traverse City. These events are free and open to the public.

April 2018 History Series Speaker: Julie Schopieray on the life of Traverse City Architect Jens Petersen

Join us on Sunday, April 15th, 1-2 p.m., for our next History Series event. “Jens C. Petersen: From Bricklayer to Architect: The Life and Works of a Visionary Michigan Architect,” based on Schopieray’s newly-published book.

Historian and published biographer Julie Schopieray once again brings an unknown figure to life. Those familiar with Traverse City, Michigan, will wonder why they had not heard of Jens C. Petersen before—and will appreciate learning about this remarkable man who lived in Northern Michigan for nearly thirty-five years.

Most likely the first licensed architect to ever work in Michigan, Jens Petersen opened his first office in the State Bank building in 1904. He gained a reputation throughout the United States and across the globe before moving to Sacramento, California, where he died. During his lifetime, he designed thousands of homes and buildings; many that still stand today. Although “architect” is the title that followed his name, Jens C. Petersen was also an innovator and successful marketer. He designed affordable homes for the average working person by utilizing concrete instead of lumber and advertised his services worldwide—which few if any others did in the early twentieth century. This book is complete with a riveting tale of a man who was focused, dedicated to quality, and never let “bumps” slow him down.

Our monthly History Series meetings take place in the McGuire Room at Traverse Area District Library, 610 Woodmere Ave., Traverse City. These events are free and open to the public.

As a reminder, Our Intrepid Board of Directors meets on the first Tuesday of every month, from 6-7:30pm at 627 Eastwood Ave, Traverse City, MI 49686. We would love to see you there!

March 2018 History Series Speaker: Sharon Jennings, former TCAPS Teacher

A colored postcard of Traverse City High School, ca. 1886-1920. From the Edith Comstock Scrapbook.

Join us on Sunday, March 18th, 1-2 p.m., for our next History Series event. Sharon Jennings, a retired Traverse City Area Public Schools elementary teacher, will trace the history of public schools in Traverse City from their humble beginning in a log cabin to TCAPS’ present day set up of 17 schools.

Have you ever wondered where Traverse City’s first school was located?  Did you know that two Traverse City schools have been destroyed by fire?  That today’s Ida Tompkins Administration building was once a school?  That at one time Traverse City boasted 18 public elementary schools?  Come to the TAHS’ March program and discover the history behind these and other “fun facts” about Traverse City’s public school system.

Our monthly History Series meetings take place in the McGuire Room at Traverse Area District Library, 610 Woodmere Ave., Traverse City. These events are free and open to the public.

As a reminder, Our Intrepid Board of Directors meets on the first Tuesday of every month, from 6-7:30pm at 627 Eastwood Ave, Traverse City, MI 49686. We would love to see you there!

February 2018 History Series Speaker: Former Clinch Park employee Jenny Loup; Spring 2018 Newsletter

Postcard from the Historical Society collection at Traverse Area District Library, ca. 1945.

Join us on Sunday, February 18th, 1-3 p.m., for our next History Series event. Jenny Loup, a former employee of Clinch Park with a history degree from the University of Michigan, will be speaking on the history of Clinch Park in Traverse City. Ms. Loup was present for the last days of the Clinch Park Zoo, and looks forward to reminiscing and discussing trends in Traverse City growth with the audience.

Our monthly History Series meetings take place in the McGuire Room at Traverse Area District Library, 610 Woodmere Ave., Traverse City. These events are free and open to the public.

As a reminder, Our Intrepid Board of Directors meets on the first Tuesday of every month, from 6-7:30pm at 627 Eastwood Ave, Traverse City, MI 49686. We would love to see you there!

The Board has released the latest Society Newsletter as well, please enjoy! Whether you are interested in upcoming events, the evolving future of the Society, the state of the Historical Society collection, or how to get involved, the newsletter is jam packed with important information.

January 2018 History Series Speaker: Traverse City Planner Russ Soyring

Downtown Traverse City, looking west from the corner of Cass and Front, 1952.

Join us on Sunday, January 21st, 1-3 p.m., when Russ Soyring, Traverse City Planner, will speak on “How Traverse City Planning Developed and Its Effects on our Community, 1940 to the Current Day.”

Our monthly History Series meetings take place in the McGuire Room at Traverse Area District Library, 610 Woodmere Ave., Traverse City. These events are

free and open to the public. (For the month of December, we are taking a hiatus, so see you in 2018!)

As a reminder, Our Intrepid Board of Directors meets on the first Tuesday of every month, from 6-7:30pm at 627 Eastwood Ave, Traverse City, MI 49686. We would love to see you there!

November 2017 History Series Speaker: John Brian

Ships at the Traverse City docks. (R-L)”Che-qua-me-gon”, “Illinois”, “Manistique, Marquette and Northern No. 1 ferry ” on far left, taken by Orson W. Peck, 1908. Image from the Historical Society Collection, Traverse Area District Library.

Join us on Sunday, November 19th, 1-3 p.m., when John Brian will speak on the history of Merchant Shipping on the Great Lakes in the Twentieth and Twenty-first centuries. Brian is recently retired from serving over 25 years as a merchant marine deck officer on the Great Lakes.

Our monthly History Series meetings take place in the McGuire Room at Traverse Area District Library, 610 Woodmere Ave., Traverse City. Event is free and open to the public.

Annual Meeting: October 15, 2017

I am pleased to announce it is time again for our annual meeting. We hope you can join us to hear about the programs and activities of your society since last October.  We have accomplished a great deal and look forward to sharing it with you.

As part of our annual meeting, we will be asking you to vote on some small revisions of the society bylaws conducted this year and the election of board members.  All the meeting documents can be found on our website at https://traversehistory.wordpress.com/about/board-meetings-minutes-and-agendas/

These include the following:

Please take the opportunity to review the documents prior to our meeting.  If you are unable to attend the annual meeting but wish to mail in a ballot, please send it to Traverse Area Historical Society, P.O. Box 7051, Traverse City, MI 49696-7051, so it will be received by Friday, October 13, 2017.

I look forward to seeing you at our annual meeting in the McGuire Room in the Traverse Area District Library at 610 Woodmere Ave. Traverse City, on Sunday, October 15, 2017 at 1:00 P.M.   

Thank you.

Stephen Siciliano, Ph.D.
Board President

TAHS Annual Meeting 2017

Photograph of the Victor Petertyl family meeting Louis Petertyl at the train station on his return from the army. Louis is standing at the left with his back to the camera and Victor is the man in the hat standing in the middle of the photograph, ca. 1917-1919. Image from the Historical Society Collection, Traverse Area District Library.

Join us for our Annual Meeting on Sunday, October 15th! This is your opportunity to talk directly with the Board of Directors, find out what the organization has been up to, and what you can do to help. This is always a fun, informative, and social event for all. Free and open to the public (even for non-members!)

The Annual Meeting will be held on Sunday, October 15th, 1-3 p.m., in the McGuire Room at Traverse Area District Library, 610 Woodmere Ave.

The Annual Meeting replaces our monthly speaker series. We will return to our regularly scheduled monthly history meetings on November 19th, 1-3 p.m., when John Brian will speak on the history of Merchant Shipping on the Great Lakes in the Twentieth and Twenty-first centuries. Brian is recently retired from serving over 25 years as a merchant marine deck officer on the Great Lakes.

September 2017 Program: Abraham Lincoln through the Eyes of Political Cartoonists

“The Rail Splitter Repairing the Union” — a political cartoon of Andrew Johnson and Abraham Lincoln from 1865, during the Reconstruction era of the United States (1863–1877).  Image courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Don’t miss the Traverse Area Historical Society’s September program, Sunday the 17th1pm in the McGuire Room at Traverse Area District Library, 610 Woodmere, Traverse City.

TAHS Board Chair, Stephen Siciliano, will be speaking on “Abraham Lincoln’s Presidency Through the Eyes of the Political Cartoonists of His Day.”  If you think Presidents Trump and Obama have been roughly handled by today’s press, you will be amazed by the treatment of the man who we now see as one of our greatest presidents. Siciliano has a PhD in American History from the College of William Mary, where his area of special study was the Civil War.