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Superior History

Smallpox in Copper Country part 1

A smallpox quarantine hospital operated in the Copper Country from 1901 to the mid-1930s. Smallpox is a gruesome subject, so maybe that is why it has been forgotten. The hospital was called a “pest house” which comes from the word “pestilence”, and was on the Lake Annie Road about a ...

May Quilliam and her family

The Marquette Regional History Center recently featured May Malloy Quilliam in our annual cemetery walk. Mary Bridget “May” Malloy was born in Ontonagon, Michigan on May 13, 1897. She was the oldest of Hugh and Rose (McCaully) Malloy’s nine children. The family moved around a lot before ...

History quiz

Q: Which was not a name of an orphanage in Marquette? A) St. Amelia’s B) St. John’s C) St. Joseph’s D) Holy Family AnswER: B, Prior to the establishment of Holy Family Orphanage in 1915, Marquette's first orphanage was St. Amelia's which was later renamed St. Joseph's. Marquette had ...

Memories of Au Train: Former resident looks back

“When I go to Au Train now, I don’t know anyone, but when I go to the cemetery nine out of ten people are related to me.” Many of the small lumbering and mining communities in the Upper Peninsula lost population or even became ghost towns as the lumber or the ore gave out, but those ...

History quiz

Q: Which of the following is NOT true about the Detroit, Mackinac and Marquette Railroad? A) It ran from Marquette to Detroit B) It was built west to east C) It was never a financial success D) It was eventually consolidated into the Duluth, South Shore and Atlantic Railroad Answer: A, ...

Celebrate the great outdoors

MARQUETTE — As summer comes into full swing in Marquette County, in what can only be described as a disrupted year, the Marquette Regional History Center is set to celebrate the local history of outdoor recreation pursuits in a special exhibit called “The Great Outdoors: The History of ...

Superior History

MARQUETTE — Anyone who’s ever been in Marquette is familiar with the Janzen House. The Janzen, for a long time, was a traveler’s hotel. In fact, it was one of four such buildings that once sat on the 100 west block of Spring Street, a block that for a span of over sixty years was home to ...

History quiz

Q: Based in U.S. Census statistics, what year did Marquette County’s population peak at 74,101 people? A) 1910 B) 1950 C) 1980 D) 2000 Answer: C, 1980.

Celebrating the fourth in the north

The Fourth of July is little more than a week away but this year’s public celebration has been canceled. Marquette has a long history of Fourth of July celebrations over the last 165 years. Here are some of the highlights. As Peter White noted in a speech for the holiday in 1891, “On the ...

William Gwinn Mather: mining chief

MARQUETTE — Marquette often honors our county’s most important citizens with very short streets. Consider Mather Street, which runs east just one block from Fourth Street to Third Street between Fisher Street and the U.S. 41 bypass. It is named for William Gwinn Mather (1857-1951). As ...

A man with stories to tell: Raymond Shaw

MARQUETTE — Everybody has important stories to tell—and often funny ones too. Here are a few from an oral history interview done with long-time Marquette resident Raymond Shaw. “I had two rules for cutting pulp. I never went into the woods with a chainsaw by myself and I never had a ...

Bacon Block fire devastated building

MARQUETTE — Just before 7 on the evening of July 5, 1912, a fire was reported in the Grabower dry goods store on the west side of Front Street between Washington and Main streets (the block currently occupied by Flagstar Bank). The ensuing conflagration was reported as “the most ...

History quiz

Q: According to the U.S. Census, in what year did Ishpeming’s population peak? A) 1880 B) 1890 C) 1900 D) 1910 E) 1920 Answer: C, 1900. (13,255)

Marquette celebrates Memorial Day

MARQUETTE — This year’s Memorial Day observances were somewhat different than normal due to the current pandemic. As we remember the ultimate sacrifice that soldiers have given for American freedom, let’s look back at the holiday’s rather complex history. The U.S. Department of ...

History quiz

When did Father Jacques Marquette arrive in Quebec? a. 1666 b. 1671 c. 1675 d. 1679 Answer: A, 1666

Dr. A.K. Thiell influences modern medicine in Marquette

MARQUETTE — Marquette physician Annandale K. Thiell moved to Marquette at the age of nine when his father accepted a job with the Marquette, Houghton, & Ontonagon Railroad in 1867. He was one of six children, but only he and his sister Bessie lived to adulthood. Upon graduation from ...

An unusual tourist attraction

Quick, can you name an 1889 sandstone building in Marquette that is on the National Register of Historic Places and is still in use but is not in any tourist guides and is almost never seen by visitors? If you guessed the Marquette Branch Prison, you are correct. Designing the prison was ...

Marquette’s first appearance on silver screen

MARQUETTE — If you were to ask 100 Marquette County residents the name of the first Hollywood feature shot in the area, you’d probably get 100 answers of “Anatomy of a Murder.” But they’d all be wrong. “Anatomy,” in fact, wasn’t even the first Otto Preminger feature to have a ...