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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 — Fifty-one years ago on Halloween night, thousands of Americans fled their homes in terror, rushing to police stations and jamming the highways with cars. “War of the Worlds,” a 1938 radio drama directed by Orson Welles, convinced listeners that Martians had invaded their planet. “It’s the greatest show that ever came over the radio waves,” said Scott Stobbelaar, director of the Shiras Planetarium. The sound effects back then were crude, but it shows that radio still has value in this age of special effects. Stobbelaar will present “War of the Worlds” at the planetarium each Monday this month. “It’s a lot more fun to listen to with the effect of the stars,” he said. The Shiras Planetarium is in the Marquette Senior High School near the College Street entrance off Lincoln Avenue. The planetarium is barrier-free. The show will begin at 7:30 p.m. each Monday in October with doors opening at 7:15. Admission is $2 for adults and $1 for children. Preschoolers are not admitted.

90 years ago

ISHPEMING — The vacant eyes of the tower atop the H.W. Gossard Co. factory are all that remain of the “Big Ben” clock. The famous clock and landmark is being dismantled this week, after reminding Ishpeming residents of its existence every 15 minutes for the past 55 years. The solemn tones of the chiming clock ended when Harold Peterson, general manager, decided to dismantle the clock and its tower. Original plans were to rebuild the clockworks, but it was discovered that the ancient tower, which overhangs the sidewalk four floors below, was in poor condition. The clock was installed in 1904 when the structure was built to house the Brassett Store — a sort of general store which handled dry goods, food and hardware, among other lines. The Gossard company occupied the building on April 20, 1920.