Superiorland Yesterdays

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

30 years ago

TRENARY — Niel Haapala has an affinity for wood. Fourteen years ago, he retired from his job as a union carpenter. Before that, he worked as a logger. Now, Haapala, 79, turns basswood, white pine, black ash and cherry into works of art. He draws his subjects from what he sees. His first effort was a bust of Sen. Sam Erwin, whose jowled face was broadcast daily in American households during the Watergate hearings. Then came JFK, FDR and his two granddaughters. And he has put together dozens of footstools. “It used to get tiresome,” he said, until he started carving different design on each piece, so now every one is unique. His wooden lamps feature loggers copping down trees, chipmunks running up and down the natural bark surface and nests full of birds. Carvings of people range from miniatures to nearly life size. “I haven’t tried selling much,” he said, “But now I’m making a batch of things I intend to sell.” Haapala’s work will be exhibited throughtout the month of September at the Alger Area Art Center in Munising.

60 years ago

MUNISING — The Chicago and Georgian Bay passenger steamer South American again will be on the Lake Superior route in 1959, contrary to prevalent rumors in the district. It had been speculated that the “South” may operate on the St. Lawrence River, but the line announces it does not expect to change its present sequence of ports for the 1959 season. Currently, the ship makes the ports of Munising, Houghton and Duluth after departing from Sault Ste. Marie. The Georgian firm also operates the North American. Next Tuesday will be the final call the South American will make at Munising in the 1958 season. Business has been excellent during the late season, although earlier all accommodations were not filled.