Superiorland Yesterdays

EDITOR’S NOTE: Superiorland Yesterdays is prepared by the reference staff at the Peter White Public Library in Marquette.

30 years ago

MARQUETTE-Those dazzling red sunsets local residents have enjoyed for the past several weeks have a rather ominous origin. The sunsets and general hazy conditions are due to massive forest fires that have blackened some 1.5 million acres in and around Yellowstone National Park. Fires have also raged out of control in four other states. “What we’re seeing is the sun’s light scattered by the suspended particles,” said Duane Fowler, chief of the physics department at Northern Michigan University. Fowler and Ann Arbor National Weather Services forecaster Dennis Dixon agreed that the smoke poses no particular health threat. Approximately 80 Upper Peninsula firefighters are part of a force that has swelled to nearly 5,000 battling the western fires. Twenty of those were sent west by the Marquette County office of the Department of Natural Resources. Firefighters were given a hand in their battle this weekend when snow and rain fell on many of the fires but officials caution that the danger is not over yet.

60 years ago

SAULT STE MARIE-Rex McGinn, 21, of Route 2, Sault Ste. Marie escaped serious injury and managed to walk away from the wreckage after a train hit his car and dragged it 182 feet from the crossing. McGinn told sheriff’s deputies the sun was in his eyes and prevented him from seeing the oncoming Soo Line train immediately. When he did see the train, he braked, causing the car to skid and come to a stop on the tracks, where the motor stalled. The impact of the train hitting the vehicle threw McGinn 84 feet from the crossing and dragged the car along the tracks. According to the sheriff’s report, the motor fell out 60 feet from the crossing, the rear wheels were left 153 feet away and the rest of the car dropped 182 feet from the point of impact.