Traverse City Record-Eagle

June 27, 2011

Loraine Anderson: Local history books

Local columnist

---- — Call this column History Crossroads. Local history writers are adding new books to the area's growing trove.

• Julie Schopieray, of Cedar, recently published her second book, "Edgewood Resort: A Place Apart."

Edgewood thrived as a destination cottage resort along the western shore of Old Mission Peninsula from the 1880s into the 1950s. Schopieray captures Edgewood's time and place in region history as well as the history of tourism. It includes vintage postcards, photographs, newspaper articles and stories. Her first book -- "In So Distant a Place as Traverse City: The Northern Michigan Relatives of Elizabeth Bacon Custer" -- came out in 2009.

Schopieray grew up in Monroe, the home of Gen. George Armstrong Custer, who married "Libbie" Bacon during the Civil War. Libby was a second cousin to Albert Bacon, one of the Grand Traverse region's early surveyors and prominent businessmen.

• Omena writer John C. Mitchell's hardcover "Grand Traverse: The Civil War Era" has arrived on area bookstore shelves. This 333-page book offers a thorough account of this region in its early days as a wilderness just as white settlers from the Northeast ventured in.

Mitchell gleaned much local history from the diaries of Indian mission leaders the Rev. George and Arvilla Smith and the Grand Traverse Herald and weaves it well into the young nation's political, abolition and war history.

The Smiths came to the Northport area with Chief Peter Waukazoo's band from Holland in 1849.

The Herald was founded in late 1858 by feisty editor/publisher, Morgan Bates, a radical abolitionist.

Mitchell is scheduled to talk about his book July 21 at the Northport Area Heritage Alliance meeting at 7 p.m. in Trinity Church Fellowship Hall.

• Remember Henry Morgenstein, the Northwestern Michigan College English instructor, early Traverse City bicycle advocate and prolific Record-Eagle columnist and Letters to the Editor writer from 1975 to 1991? He's included many of his newspaper writings and unpublished essays in a 132-page book aptly named "TC, I Love Thee: Essays, Radio Talks, Newspaper Columns and Letters to the Editor." It is scheduled to arrive at Horizon Books this week.

• Poet, storyteller and Record-Eagle columnist Terry Wooten is putting the finishing touches on "Water Under the Bridge: Poems from the Elk Rapids Elders Project."

The book is slated to come out in late summer or early fall and will be available locally through the Elks Rapids Area Historical Society and Horizon Books.

It's a unique mix of oral history, storytelling and poetry about area life during the World War I, Great Depression and World War II eras though today.

Elk Rapids students using tape recorders interviewed Elk Rapids elders and then wrote free-verse poems based on their interviews. Wooten transcribed the rest of the tapes and wrote poems around the student's works.

Loraine Anderson can be reached at 933-1468 or