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Superior History

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 ...

Blacks in colonial upper Great Lakes

The first people of African descent entered New France or Canada with the French. Louis XIV, in May 1689, permitted slavery in the colony. This was further legalized by decree and extended to the Upper Peninsula when the French settled here. However, in the early days most of the slaves were ...

Marquette’s last cigar maker

MARQUETTE — The Upper Peninsula’s history is full of weird and interesting trivia. Did you know that around 1900, there were 42 cigar makers in Marquette? By 1950, just one remained, Frank LaMora, who had been making cigars for 44 years. When he began serving his apprenticeship in the ...

St. Clair tragedy, Part 2

The steam barge St. Clair was burning on Lake Superior twelve miles north of Ontonagon at 2 a.m. on July 9, 1876. With reportedly 32 people on board, only a small metal boat with a capacity of less than 15 people was available after a much larger wooden lifeboat burned in the first few minutes ...

1918 funeral home ledger shows pandemic history

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — It’s hard for Virginia Kerr Zoller to tell grieving families that only 10 mourners can come to a funeral at Kerr Brothers on Main Street these days. But if she needs a reminder of why these quarantine restrictions and distancing rules for COVID-19 are in place, all ...

History quiz

Q: Which is not a name previously used for Marquette? A) Worcester B) Carp River C) Iron Bay D) Burtsville Answer: D, Burtsville was not used but Worcester, Carp River and Iron Bay were.

St. Clair tragedy, Part I

In the mid- to late-19th century, men had land and mineral interests in more than one region of the Upper Peninsula. Among those men was Marquette resident Judge Joseph Edwards. Edwards came to the Upper Peninsula from Youngstown, Ohio in 1851 for his health, first settling in Ontonagon, he ...

When Spanish flu came to Marquette County, part 2

MARQUETTE — Last week we discussed the spread of Spanish Flu pandemic in 1918 and Marquette County’s preparations before it arrived. The first case appeared in Marquette on October 17, 1918 reportedly brought to the city by healthcare workers who had gone to help with the outbreak in ...

When Spanish flu came to Marquette County

In light of recent events with the spread of the Covid-19 virus, comparisons are being made with a similar worldwide pandemic from just over a century ago. The accepted origins of the so-called Spanish flu were at Camp Funston (now Fort Riley) in central Kansas in March 1918. Over the course of ...

Big Bay life in 1922

MARQUETTE — Erwin Hedrick moved to Big Bay in 1922 to work at the bowling pin mill owned by J. B. Deutsch. His surviving letters to his mother in Grand Rapids, Michigan are from March through May of 1922, plus one from a return visit in 1924. It appears he went to work at the mill for three ...

Icon of downtown Marquette

MARQUETTE — Two years ago this month Marquette lost a gentleman who was beloved by downtown business owners and residents, window washer and man about town Phil Niemisto. Few people, though, may realize Phil's death was in many ways a replay of what occurred 70 years earlier, when another ...

Elmwood: Only documented African-American logging camp in the U.P.

MARQUETTE — In 1893, a community called Paint River, after a nearby stream, was established as a fueling and water stop for the Chicago and North Western Transportation Company’s railroad in what is now Stambaugh Township. By 1898, local users were calling the unincorporated community ...

The many inaugurations of George Romney

MARQUETTE — Marquette. Early February 1967. Michigan’s Republican Governor, 59-year-old George Romney (the father of the current senator and former presidential candidate Mitt Romney), was about to get inaugurated for the seventh time — in four years! How was this possible? When ...

Superior History: Learn about George Shiras III

By Adam Berger Marquette Regional History Center Special to the Journal MARQUETTE — In 1849, a group of pioneering businessmen established the Marquette Iron Company near the mouth of the Carp River on Lake Superior. They came to the central Upper Peninsula to make money exploiting ...

Remie’s rich in history

MARQUETTE — Federal Prohibition began 100 years ago on Jan. 17, 1920, when the Volstead Act went into effect. This law created a process for enforcing the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which banned the production, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages in the United ...

Marquette suffragist: Abby Beecher Longyear Roberts

“The time is coming when women will stand up as a unit and…they will be able to develop themselves just as men do, and stand for something as individuals.” - Abby Longyear Roberts at first Upper Peninsula Mothers/Daughters Banquet, Gwinn, 1916 Developing herself and her children was ...