Historically speaking

Merry Christmas from the Negaunee Historical Society

Joseph O. Cyr is pictured. (Photo courtesy of the Negaunee Historical Society)

NEGAUNEE — Joseph O. Cyr, a well known Negaunee resident, was born on July 6, 1879 in Montreal, Canada, and came to Negaunee in 1902.

He was a member of St Paul Church, the Holy Name Society, and the Knights of Columbus.

He was one of the last residents of a large number of citizens of French descent, who lived in Negaunee around the turn of the century. Joe Cyr was 84 years old when he died.

During the early days of his residency in the community, he was self-employed as a blacksmith, and when the horse and carriage gave way to the automobile, he was employed by the City of Negaunee. Joe was one of the oldest members of service in the Negaunee Fire Department.

When his age made it necessary for him to retire from the department, he became an honorary member of firefighters. Joe Cyr was best remembered by local residents as Santa Claus, a part he played for many years.

Clad in the traditional Saint Nicholas costume, he thoroughly enjoyed the annual trip through the business district, riding on the back of the fire truck for the opening of Santa Claus Lane.

What he enjoyed even more was the chance to hand out candy to the children as well as listening to what they wanted for Christmas.


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