Tales of Michigan

Stories from across the “Great Lakes State.”

Tales of Michigan Book Cover Inland Expressions

What's Inside

A collection of fifteen stories from across the “Great Lakes State.” Chosen to give the reader an insight into Michigan’s rich and varied historical heritage, each of these tales relates a different aspect of the state’s past.

Among others, stories in this book include:The life of George N. Smith, a pioneering missionary, who, along with his family, endured years of hardship living with the Native Americans. A man with a common name, but an uncommon life. The story of Detroit’s once proud status as “Stove Capital of the World.” The fiery head-on collision of two passenger trains at Battle Creek caused when one of the crews ignored their instructions.

The tale of William Bryce, a Union soldier that returned home following the Civil War only to succumb to injuries resulting from his experiences as a prisoner of the Confederacy. The struggle to build a bridge across the Straits of Mackinac that lasted nearly seventy-five years before the Mackinac Bridge was finally completed. A freighter’s crew that entered into a life-and-death struggle with the Storm of 1913, the most destructive storm to strike the Great Lakes in modern history.

Book Details

Author: Constance M. Jerlecki
Publication Date: October 2012
Binding: Softcover Pages: 160
ISBN: 9781939150004 | eISBN: 9781939150011

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Excerpt from Chapter 5

The Osceola Mine Disaster - 1895

Regardless of their subsequent actions, all of the men in the mine, with the exception of the party actually fighting the fire, received warning of the blaze and were therefore given ample time to escape. As the fire intensified, Shaft No. 3 continued to fill with smoke and toxic gases. Men working in the mine were advised to go to the Opechee, the southernmost shaft, to affect their escape, as that shaft was clear of smoke. To assist in helping the miners escape, mine skips in Shafts No. 4 and 5 remained in constant use. While many escaped by this method, others were able to exit the mine by climbing ladders.

Excerpt from Chapter 8

Stove Capital of the World

During 1890s, the Detroit Stove Works earned a reputation as being one of the best-equipped stove manufacturing establishments in the United States. Of the products produced by this firm, the best known was its line of “Jewel” stoves and ranges. Contemporary writing tells us that there were 800 different styles of “Jewel” stoves being produced by the Detroit Stove Works during this period, with an annual volume of 60,000 units.3 Furthermore, the “Jewel” line of stoves was remodeled on a yearly basis to meet the changing demands of their customers while incorporating the latest advancements in technology. As such, “Jewel” stoves and ranges were in demand the world over.

Excerpt from Chapter 15

The Life of a Pioneering Missionary

Having but $1.06 to his credit, George Smith was faced with a severe financial hardship upon his arrival at Detroit, a situation made somewhat better following the sale of his watch for $5.50. The small group of travelers was fortunate in meeting in an old acquaintance from Vermont who helped them in obtaining a room at a nearby hotel. Later, when George Smith had found a lumber wagon willing to transport him and his family across the territory to Gull Prairie, this same friend guaranteed the $20 charged by the teamster.

About the Author

A lifelong resident of Michigan, Constance M. Jerlecki has written four books concerning the history of the state she calls home.

Other Titles by Constance M. Jerlecki

Sailing Into Disaster Book Cover Constance M. Jerlecki
Sailing Into Disaster

Ghost ships and other mysterious shipwrecks of the Great Lakes.

Book Details
Tales of Michigan II Book Cover Constance M. Jerlecki
Tales of Michigan II

Continuing with the Tales of Michigan Series, Tales of Michigan II is a collection of fifteen stories from across the “Great Lakes State.”

Book Details

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