January 2019 TAHS Program: Waterfront Transformations by Peg Siciliano

2498Sunday, January 20, 2019 – 1pm, at the Dennos Museum Center

In partnership with the Dennos Museum Center, Local historian and TAHS board member, Peg Siciliano, will present a program about the transformation of West Bay and Boardman Lake from industrial to recreational uses, and of Traverse City’s change from a lumbering and industrial hub to an outdoor mecca for tourists and retirees. Please join the TAHS for their January monthly program held in conjunction with Visions of American Life: Paintings from the Manoogian Collection, 1850 – 1940, organized and toured by the Detroit Institute of Arts. This program is free of charge thanks to a grant from Art Bridges.

The program will be held at the Dennos Museum Center (1701 E. Front St. GPS: 1410 College Drive, Traverse City, MI) on Sunday, January 20th, at 1 pm. Program is free and open to the public.

November 2018 History Series: “History of City Opera House Program,” Sunday, November 4th, 1pm

COH, built in 1891.

Fred Anderson, TAHS board member, will present a program about the history of City Opera House (COH) in Traverse City. Of the approximately 128 local opera houses built in Michigan from the late-1800s through the early-1900s, only 13 still stand today, and 6 have been restored and used as entertainment venues. COH is the largest of those handful of restored facilities.

The program will be held at the Dennos Museum Center (1701 E. Front St. GPS: 1410 College Drive, Traverse City, MI) on Sunday, November 4th, at 1 pm. Program is free and open to the public.

TAHS Annual Membership Meeting

Sunday, October 21, 2018, 1:00 pm

October 21st is our annual membership meeting. Peg Siciliano will provide a short presentation on the history of the Traverse Area Historical Society to give both members and prospective members background on the origins of our society. The annual meeting will include a report on the state of the society, presentation of a proposed 2019 annual budget, and the election of board members.

Fall 2018 Newsletter Now Available

Dear TAHS Members (and future members!),

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

Newsletter Fall 2018

We encourage you to read the newsletter in full, but if you insist on the short version:

  • The President’s Report highlights a successful year, both fiscally and by meeting our mission through programming, partnerships, and internships
  • Our May program featured three speakers, talking about their favorite local history stories
  • See our slate of upcoming monthly history programs!
  • Reports from the Treasurer and Membership Committee Chair shows the strength of our organization. Go Team!
  • Our Archives is always adding, cataloging, and working to meet your research needs. We can’t do this work without volunteers!
  • Preservation Corner, a new feature debuted in our Spring newsletter, details some exciting opportunities for preserving the foundations of the Hitchcock/Goodale Farmhouse, as well as the other projects on our minds.
  • Learn more about Oakwood Cemetery in Richard Fidler’s beautifully written piece, A City of the Dead
  • Catch the dates for our end-of-the-year tours! You know our Halloween Tours fill up fast!
  • See a list of volunteer projects and consider joining us!
  • Read all about an upcoming event at the Perry Hannah House, taking place on Sunday, September 9th!

Special thanks to Bill Ruesink from the TAHS Board for his exceptional work as Newsletter Editor.

Upcoming Tours through the end of the Summer!

Colored photographic postcard of Julius T. Hannah’s Mausoleum at Oakwood Cemetery, Traverse City, undated. Image 4806 from the Local History Collection.

If you are interested in learning Traverse City history, beat feet to one of our fabulous tours! Find out more information on our Tours page, but here’s a quick overview of dates:

  • Downtown Guided Walking Tours, 10:30am-12:00pm; July 28th, August 11th, August 25th, September 8th, September 22nd, and October 27th.
  • Cemetery Guided Walking Tours, 4:00pm-5:30pm; August 19th  and September 16th.
  • Halloween-themed Cemetery Guided Walking Tour, 5:00pm-6:30pm; October 28th and 29th.

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.

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!