Traverse Area Historical Society Programs are held on Sunday afternoons in the McGuire Room of the Traverse Area District Library on Woodmere Ave.
The History of Power Island By Kathleen Firestone
Sunday, March 19th, 1:00 to 2:30 pm
This island gem in Grand Traverse Bay has a colorful history, from the Basset Island “hermit” to Marion Fowler, to Henry Ford and Pete Rennie. The Eugene Power family graciously helped preserve this island as public parkland.
Kathleen Firestone became interested in islands when her family lumbered South Fox Island in the 1950s-60s. She has written The Fox Islands, North and South; An Island in Grand Traverse Bay; and is presently writing the shipping dock history of Leelanau County.
A Murder in Eastport: An 1870 Family Story of Racial Profiling By Norton Bretz
Sunday, April 9th, 1pm
This talk will examine a fascinating 1870 murder that echoes issues our country still deals with today.
On June 12, 1870, a black man named William Swan was walking along what is now US31 near near Eastport. William and his family had been living in the Charlevoix area for over five years, the only black residents of the county. He was was shot and killed by two Civil War veterans, for no apparent reason. The shooters would be acquitted.
Come hear Mr. Bretz, a descendant of these veterans, give a lively recounting of this event and its aftermath.
Norton Bretz is President of the Eastport Historical Society. He spent his career as a nuclear physicist at Princeton University. He is a Michigan native who grew up spending summers in Eastport.