EDITOR’S NOTE: Superiorland Yesterdays is prepared by the reference staff at the Peter White Public Library in Marquette.
30 years ago
NEGAUNEE — Beth Barry has been in the baking business for 28 years, so putting the finishing touches on a holiday cake is old hat. She opened Beth’s Kake Kreations in 1978. Beth and employees, Jeanne Knuuttila, Marcia Stagliano, and Daryl Barry work at the bakery’s tables over which will pass literally thousands of cookies and hundreds of cakes during the holidays. The staff works 12 hours a day during the hectic season, and admit they have lost their taste for cookies and cakes — they don’t snack on anything they make. For bakers, ’tis the season to step up the pace, as holiday revelers always have a hearty appetite for sweets. The most popular Christmas cookies are Santas, snowmen and Christmas trees.
60 years ago
ISHPEMING — One thing that will come in for its share of after-dinner talk this year is the Christmas parties held in the underground mines years ago. The Morris Mine, operated by the Inland Steel Co., here, had one of these underground Christmas parties. The saga of the brightness of holidays underground began as a joke. In the winter of 1920, the story goes, an evergreen tree fell to the ground near the opening of the shaft of the Morris Mine. Someone kicked the tree down the opening. Shift Captain Charles Miron conceived the idea of decorating the tree and letting the miners have a Christmas party of their own underground. Thus began a custom that caught on with the mines in the area. In 1938, the Morris received nationwide acclaim when various news services throughout the country carried the story of the annual Christmas party.