Take trip back in time

Historical bus tour offers education, entertainment

Teddy Roosevelt is seen talking with an associate during the 1913 libel trial in the city of Marquette. Photo courtesy of the Marquette Regional Histpory Center)

MARQUETTE — If you’re a history buff, you probably daydream about having access to a time machine. Many of us wish we could go back to the past to see what life was actually like in living detail. But have you ever considered an airconditioned time machine? Now that’s dreaming big.

The Marquette Regional History Center’s popular bus tours are back this summer. For seven years, this has been one of our most entertaining programs, giving locals and visitors alike the chance to learn about Marquette history through costumed reenactors portraying the characters who made our town what it is today. Travel around the streets of Marquette and back in time in comfort. Take a mini-vacation to the past and come to love Marquette even more deeply by knowing its rich history.

For one full century, the Marquette Regional History Center has fulfilled its mission of preserving the stories of our unique heritage. This summer, our bus tours take those patrons lucky enough to secure tickets on this magical ride back in time to explore 1918, the year the History Center began our work documenting local history.

Along the way around town, your guide will tell stories about some of Marquette’s favorite ancestors, including Peter White and J.M. Longyear. She will also show off some of the beautiful historically important buildings and businesses that earned our city the nickname Queen City of the North. Take in the gentle grandeur of our community in four dimensions from the comfort of your seat.

Meet a local druggist to learn about the role of the pharmacy in the field of medicine in 1918. Speak with a World War I veteran, freshly home from the front lines of the most brutal war history had ever known at the time. Listen respectfully to the story of a sensitive young Marquette soldier who died in Paris.

Consider a petition from the Woman’s Welfare Club, advocating for the female vote. Abby Roberts, forward-thinking daughter of J.M. Longyear, founded the group to in part to press for suffrage because she believed that if women could vote, there would be no war.

New for this year, will go to the Bishop Baraga House to visit another World War I veteran who grew up in the historical home, Abraham Fleury. Fleury was reported to have been killed in battle, much to his family’s dismay. His mass was planned and the community grieved.

However, the report turned out to have been made in error. In reality, Abraham Fleury had been injured, and was healing up in a well-appointed hospital.

Fleury was later honorably discharged in April of 1919, and became a popular figure among Upper Peninsula veterans for surviving his own reported death.

On your way home, take a detour to 1913 to meet defeated Progressive Party Bull Moose candidate Teddy Roosevelt and hear the fascinating tale of his libel case against Conservative Republican Ishpeming newspaper Iron Ore.

After a 1912 campaign stop in Marquette on the way to a rally in Milwaukee, the Ishpeming paper published an intentionally inflammatory article which accused Roosevelt of being a drunkard, a liar, and a user of foul language.

Roosevelt, who took a would-be assassin’s bullet to the chest while giving his campaign speech in Milwaukee, is and back in town to settle the libel case in the Marquette County Courthouse.

Afternoon tours will be offered 1 this afternoon, July 24 and July 31st, and Aug. 7.

Evening tours will take place at 6 p.m. July 18 and July 2, and Aug. 1, Aug. 8 and Aug. 15.

Tickets are $20 and go fast, so reserve your seat today. Call 906-226-3571 or stop by 145 W. Spring St.

See you in the past for a 90-minute adventure you will remember for a lifetime!