Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Friday

October 18, 2013

Hannah gets his own book

TRAVERSE CITY – Lumber baron Perry Hannah finally will get a book all his own.

The 9-by-12-inch coffee table style book — “Perry Hannah’s Gifts Then and Now” — is tentatively scheduled to come out in December.

It is exclusively devoted to the Traverse City lumber baron and town father, said co-author Peg Jonkhoff, who co-wrote the book with Fred Hoisington.

“As far as I know, this is the first book written exclusively about Perry Hannah,” she said. “He’s always been buried in the legend books.”

Jonkhoff has led many tours over the years through the massive three-story Victorian house at 305 Sixth St. She and husband Dan have owned it since 1992. Today it houses the Reynolds-Jonkhoff funeral home.

Hoisington, a retired Traverse City planner who recently moved to Massachusetts, also has guided historic walking tours through the Central Neighborhood and downtown for several years, often in period dress to impersonate the city father.

Hannah’s retirement home includes 40 rooms and 10 fireplaces especially built in Belgium. It’s total 14,000 square feet of space includes 3,500 square feet on each of the three floors and the full basement.

The house was constructed between 1891 and 1893 with first-cut virgin timber by as many as 60 local craftsmen and cost Hannah $40,000. He, wife Ann and two servants moved in 1893. Ann died in 1898.

Perry drew his final breath at home on Aug. 13, 1904 , three days after going into a coma following a paralytic stroke and just a month short of his 80th birthday.

The book will sell for $49.95 and tells a series of “then and now” short stories about Hannah, his gifts of land to churches, the city, and other groups.

“It’s full of history, photographs, little known facts and a large section highlights the house,” Jonkhoff said.

All proceeds from the book will help pay for an outdoor 5-foot-8-inch tall statue of Hannah ideally to be placed in Hannah Park, if the city and neighborhood governing bodies approve, Jonkhoff said.

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