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Sitting Bull and a Michigan Family -- Legacy of an Unlikely Friendship

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Cover of January/February 1995 Michigan History magazineBy William John Armstrong

Sitting Bull was a great Lakota Sioux warrior and hunter. He also was a recorder of history. Today, a collection of pictographs drawn by one of America's best-known Native Americans is housed at the Fort St. Joseph Museum in Niles, Michigan. How these drawings came to reside in Michigan is a tale of an unlikely friendship between one of the nineteenth-century's most uncompromising Indian leaders and an army officer's wife and daughter.

The Lakota Sioux was the western-most band of the Sioux, a Native American people who originally came from the headwaters of the Mississippi River. The Lakota consisted of seven subtribes: Oglala, Brule, Two Kettle, Blackfeet, Sans Arc, Minniconjou and Hunkpapa. Sitting Bull was a Hunkpapa. At the time of Sitting Bull's birth in 1831, the seven tribes lived as nomads in the vast plains that stretched from the Missouri River to the Bighorn Mountains and from the Platte and Republican Rivers to the Canadian prairies.

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Endangered

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Michigan's first lighthouse, near Port HuronSince 1825, when the Fort Gratiot Light in Port Huron first put flame to its whale oil beacon, lighthouses peppering Michigan's coastline have guided ore freighters and pleasure boats, signaled home ports for Great Lakes voyagers and housed maritime rescue stations.

Designed as life-saving navigational aids, the lights metamorphosed into romantic symbols steeped in tales of rescue, adventure and even mystery. Souvenir ships across the state burst with lighthouse images, organizations of lighthouse lovers meet regularly to plan strategies for lighthouse preservation and archaeologists dig at their foundations for clues to the isolated lives of their keepers. The state's Travel Michigan office this year adopted the lighthouse as its tourism symbol. And am ambitious campaign is under way to erect a $45 million Great Lakes Lighthouse Museum in Mackinaw City.   more...

 



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Michigan's Coca-Cola Santa

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When the name Santa Claus is mentioned anywhere in America today, the image that invariably comes to mind is the one created by Muskegon native Haddon H. Sundblom. Almost every year from 1931 to 1964 he painted new illustrations for the Coca-Cola Company to use in its Christmas advertising. Sundblom’s Coca-Cola Santa appeared on billboards, point-of-purchase store displays and the back covers of such magazines as National Geographic, Saturday Evening Post and Life. The Coca-Cola Company’s large advertising budget ensured that Sundblom’s distinctive vision of Santa received massive exposure across the country and around the world.   more...

 



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The campaign to preserve Isle Royale

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On most days, moose outnumber the people in Isle Royale National Park. It is a natural treasure - a Lake Superior archipelago of more than 400 forested islands that provides a safe haven to hundreds of rare plant and animal species, including the much-maligned timber wolf.

Isolated by miles of water, the islands remained virtually untouched in the 300 years since French explorer Etienne Anto Brule stumbled across them in the early seventeenth century.

But by 1920, virtually all of Michigan's native white pine forests had been cut down, and copper and iron mines dotted much of the Upper Peninsula. The islands - particularly the 210-square-mile main island of Isle Royale - were attracting lumber and mining companies hungry for new resources to tap.   more...

 



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Mackinac Island's Grand Hotel is history's front porch

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 MACKINAC ISLAND--Dan Musser may have greeted more presidents, wannabe presidents, vice presidents and first ladies on his front porch than anyone in America -- certainly more than anyone in Michigan.

But then it isn't just any old porch. This porch, said to be around 880 feet long and proclaimed to be the longest front porch in the world by "Ripley's Believe It or Not," is that of the legendary Grand Hotel.

It is there that hotel owner Musser, 71, has greeted five presidents, 23 presidential contenders, five vice presidents and four first ladies. Not all were hotel guests, but all were visitors.

Today, he will greet Lynne Cheney, wife of Vice President Dick Cheney and keynote speaker at this weekend's Midwest Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference.

And with her departure will come another chapter in the rich history of the hotel, which has become a political mecca in the Midwest.    more...

 



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Get ready so trips won't be a drag

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Isn't this lovely? The weekend forecast for the Lower Peninsula calls for a return of winter, with temperatures in the high 30s or low 40s and rain, snow or both. The Upper Peninsula will be a few degrees warmer, but only because it gets the worst weather first, today.

In addition to the cold and precipitation, the entire state will be raked by 20- to 30-m.p.h. winds, producing conditions that would make even a duck hunter quiver in his boots. Since you probably won't spend much time outside, why not spend some time inside preparing to do the outside stuff when the worst of this weather is gone?

I'll be spending some time with a set of Great Lakes charts, topographic maps, dividers and a GPS, plotting out some kayak camping and fishing trips we plan to take this summer. Two areas we'll definitely paddle are Potagannissing Bay around Drummond Island and the Pictured Rocks Lakeshore and Grand Island off Munising in the UP.   more...

 



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Shore dispute to make encore

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Sheffield Lake- Swimmers, boaters and anglers are welcome to use the water lapping the shore of Lake Erie, but the land underneath is private property, lakefront property owners say.

State Sen. Tim Grendell of Geauga County will introduce legislation today to make that point clear. He says the bill tries to simplify what has been a confusing issue since the state's coastal management law went into effect eight years ago.

Ownership has been at the crux of the controversy. Previous bills led to an argument over ordinary high and low water marks, which fluctuate. This bill takes a more direct approach.    more...

 



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GLA prepares to open first saltwater exhibit

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The Great Lakes Aquarium is on track to open its first-ever saltwater exhibit June 1.

Aquarium officials have pinned hopes on the new exhibit to stem a tide of red ink and negative public attitudes.

"Our goal is to change that, and I think the Abyss is a good start," said Joe Choromanski, a vice president for Ripley Entertainment.

Florida-based Ripley manages the aquarium under contract with the Lake Superior Center, the nonprofit that oversees aquarium operations.   more...

 



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National Park Week

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A ranger answers questions asked by a group of school children as they stand at a wide spot along a trail through trees and brush.

National Park Week is an annual Presidentially proclaimed week for celebration and recognition of Your National Parks.

Your National Parks are living examples of the best this Nation has to offer - our magnificent natural landscapes and our varied yet interrelated heritage. Parks can provide recreational experiences, opportunities to learn and grow, and places of quiet refuge.

This year, take a moment, an hour, a day to visit the national parks near you.  more...

 



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Summer activity to-do list

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When people think of the Keweenaw Peninsula, they usually think of snow, snow and more snow. Students, who go home as soon as the weather gets warm, often fail to appreciate all of the summer aspects of the area. As our above 70-degree weather has proven, the frozen north isn’t always so cold. For those who are spending their first summer in the area, there are a variety of things to enjoy while everyone else is away.
       The Keweenaw is known as for having many lighthouses, beaches and agates, things that are often forgotten under the white blanket of winter. Also in the summer, the wildflowers, berries and forests come to life again.
       Houghton and Hancock each have a beach area for people to relax and enjoy the warm weather while it lasts.    more...


 



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Border bridges group criticizes passport plan

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WASHINGTON - Great Lakes bridge and tunnel operators Friday warned that the imposition of a passport requirement on travel between the United States and Canada "will end the spur-of-the-moment family vacation . . . to the Niagara Region."

The Bridge & Tunnel Operators Association said the plan would have such a dampening effect on traffic that many operators might find themselves unable to finance planned construction and repair projects.

The association, headed by Thomas Garlock, general manager of the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission, also warned that lower volumes could spur higher tolls and the need for government subsidies to keep facilities running.   more...

 



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McGuinty urges action on border delays

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WASHINGTON — Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty pushed U.S. officials today to move faster to break chronic congestion at Canada's busiest border point, saying it's imperative to security and trade.

Delays at the Windsor-Detroit crossings can increase the pressure to let people pass, said McGuinty, who met Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff during a two-day trip to the capital.

"There's a huge vulnerability here, so for security reasons alone we should be moving more quickly to get an alternate crossing available," said the premier, who also pressed the issue in a speech to the Canadian American Business Council.

"We need the safety of two bridges as soon as possible. We need to decide quickly how and where we can deliver a new crossing. If that requires the use of alternative funding, so be it."  more...

 



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State's 21st scenic byway hugs lake

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When it comes to scenic Lake Erie, the Marblehead Lighthouse ranks at the top - unless you're a driver trying to see the sights.

For 15 years, the self-guided Lake Erie Circle Tour has directed motorists primarily along U.S. 6 and Ohio 2, bypassing the lighthouse and other picturesque attractions.

That will change this week. The Lake Erie Coastal Trail, the state's 21st scenic byway, will take the place of the Circle Tour. The new route will hug the lake and lead to the steps of attractions like the lighthouse.   more...

 



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Beam Me Up, Scotty

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I.M.M. BEAMLESS BOATLIFT
A more appealing alternative than conventional boatlifts, the beamless boatlift is more pleasing to the eye and is easier to use.

The beamless boatlift uses shallow water cradles and “slack attackers” requiring less exertion on the part than standard boatlifts. It has a walk-board on both sides of the boat for easy accessibility and uses rubber-covered aluminum bunks with every lift. For added convenience, the drives can be placed between or outside pilings.

The beamless boatlift is available in bronze, silver or platinum series and comes in three sizes: 8,000-, 10,000- and 13,500-pound maximum capacity.   more...


 



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For the Love of Fish

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ANGLER MULTI-TOOL BY VICTORINOX | $43

The Angler multi-tool by Victorinox is designed specifically with anglers in mind. It includes a wire stripper, a fish scaler with hook disgorger and ruler, pliers with a wire cutter and a tag clamp. The Angler also features more traditional tools including two blades (large and small), a can opener, a small and large screwdriver, a bottle opener, tweezers, a reamer with sewing eye, a corkscrew and a toothpick.

Made of stainless steel, the Victorinox Angler is 3.5 inches long and is backed by a lifetime warranty.

MORE INFO: VICTORINOX; (800) 442-2706; www.swissarmy.com.


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