Continuing the Tales of Michigan Series
As with the previous volume of this series, Tales of Michigan II is 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:
A misunderstanding between a bridge tender and a lake freighter captain that resulted in a collision that severed the only land link between the upper portion of the Keweenaw Peninsula and the rest of the state. A mistake made by the overworked operator of an interurban railway car that led to a fatal collision near Monroe. The pioneering effort by Captain Curtis Boughton to open the hungry markets of Chicago to western Michigan fruit farmers. The days when dog sled teams provided many remote communities located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with their only connection to the outside world during the long winter months.
The devastation left behind by a fire that erupted in downtown Alpena during the summer of 1872. The tragic Easter Sunday crash of an airliner that investigators initially blamed on its crew until new information came to light nearly seven years later. The tale of a gasoline tanker stranded in Lake Michigan that prompted a series of dangerous salvage efforts to remove its valuable cargo. An international railway tunnel constructed below one the busiest waterways in the world.
On the afternoon of July 31, 1926, a crowd numbering more than 20,000 strong gathered on the grounds of a newly opened airport four miles south of downtown Grand Rapids. During the dedication festivities, officials named the new airfield Daniel Waters Cassard Field in honor of the only Grand Rapids aviator killed in World War I. With the formal dedication of this airport coinciding with the inauguration of air services between that city and the Ford Airport that served Detroit from its location in Dearborn, it was fitting that a Stout 2-AT Air Pullman belonging to the Detroit-Grand Rapids Airline was present at that day’s ceremonies.
From his post, bridge engineer Daniel Hardiman had no difficulty in hearing the bursts of sound emanating from the Northern Wave. Instead of hearing four blasts calling for him to open the bridge, however, Hardiman thought he only heard three. Believing the master of the approaching freighter had signaled the loading dock, the bridge operator took no immediate action.
Almost immediately following the Favorite’s departure, fishermen from Beaver Island descended upon the wrecked tanker in search of free gasoline. Despite the inherit risks involved, these men commenced siphoning off the precious fuel using rudimentary equipment while observing little or no safety procedures. These activities eventually brought the fishermen into direct contact with individuals representing the underwriters, which resulted in physical altercations breaking out between the two opposing parties.
A lifelong resident of Michigan, Constance M. Jerlecki has written four books concerning the history of the state she calls home.