Category Archives: Marquette Michigan

A localwiki for the Marquette, Michigan area

There’s no better way to learn about your home town than by trying to start a wiki for it. In that regard, I’m happy to announce a new Localwiki installation for Marquette County, Michigan.

The Localwiki crew has developed a new hosting platform for people who want to start a wiki for their area, but who don’t have the resources or the time or the skills to launch their own server. It runs on, and currently has about two dozen sites up and running. Your town or region could be next!

When I originally envisioned doing a wiki for Marquette, I was thinking ambitiously and thought “hey, I’ll do the whole U.P.” I’m glad I didn’t, not at least yet. There’s enough small amounts of nitty-gritty detail about local history, ghost towns, old mines, and bits of industrial archaeology that I have just enough knowledge to tackle for the Marquette area, but don’t have any clue where I’d start for Houghton or Escanaba or the Soo. Someone else can tackle that.

Marquette County is the biggest county (by area) in Michigan, so there’s plenty of geography to cover. It’s also home to some political subdivisions like Humboldt Township that have less than 500 inhabitants, no post office of their own, and no chance ever that anyone there would start a wiki just for that place alone.

Just like Arborwiki, which covers Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County, I see this as the very first step towards a project that could last a long time. At a few pages a day for a few years you could start to get to the point where you had enough material to be useful for a visitor, a local, or a historian, and where people who would never be notable enough for a first draft biography on Wikipedia might get properly noted or memorialized. I’m looking forward to learning more so that the next time I visit I’ll be that much better informed.


Marquette Alternative High School photo calendar for 2013

image from marquette.revtrak.netStudents and teachers from the photography class at Marquette Alternative High School (MAHS) create a calendar each year. The project showcases their work and funds a field trip for the students. This year's 2013 calendar features pictures of Marquette, the butterfly house on Mackinac Island, and the DeYoung Family Zoo in Wallace. The cost is $20 and it's available for sale online.

Proceeds from the sale of the calendar go to photo equipment and to a photo field trip – the butterfly museum photos are from last year's trip.

I asked Cindy DePetro from MAHS about the calendar and the responses they've gotten from it. She writes:

We continue to get praised over the quality of the photos, but our biggest praise is that most people feel like they receive a little piece of home when they see our calendars. We get many repeat customers, and our calendars travel all over the world. Thus far, we know they are being sent to Iraq, Afghanistan, Germany and China.

Tis the season!

For 906 day, some photos of Marquette, MI from Shorpy

906 day (September 6) celebrates the area code of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. First I've heard of this holiday, but I heartily approve.

In honor of this day a couple of nice photos of Marquette, MI came via Shorpy. The photos of the harbor and ore docks, Front Street, and a panorama of downtown Marquette date from 1908 and 1909 and are from glass negatives from the Detroit Publishing Company.

A detail below shows the Hotel Janzen, with a train's smoke just to the left of it and a piece of City Hall at the far left.

Picture 21

Joy Yuill (1932-2008)

as printed in the Marquette Mining Journal, April 22 2008. Joy and Baldy were neighbors of ours in Marquette.

REPUBLIC — Joy Elizabeth Yuill, 75, of 11676 River Road, Republic, and former Marquette resident, entered eternal life Tuesday afternoon, April 15, 2008, at her home in the loving care of her family and the caregivers of Upper Peninsula Home Health & Hospice.

Born September 11, 1932, in Gaylord, the daughter of Stanley and Dorothy (Siegel) Yuill, Joy was raised in Vanderbilt and graduated from the Gaylord High School in 1949. She attended Hillsdale College for a year before transferring to Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa, where she received a bachelor of science degree in education in 1953. Joy taught in Detroit, while also taking classes at Wayne State University, which led to her receiving her master’s degree in special education in 1956, with special emphasis on blind and partially sighted clients. In 1957, Joy moved to Marquette, traveling extensively throughout the Upper Peninsula to serve sight-impaired students. In 1971, Joy received a nursing degree from Northern Michigan University, working at Marquette General Hospital mostly on weekends. She retired from her nursing career in 2000. For over 17 years, Joy worked summers at Bay Cliff Health Camp in Big Bay as a special education teacher and swimming instructor. She retired from this position in 2005 and then assisted with adult campers for one week each year. 1972 was to produce yet another degree for Joy, this time a master’s degree in music from Wayne State. Joy continued teaching full time until 2002 and thereafter taught on a part-time basis for the next two years. When not in the classroom, Joy was the piano accompanist for the Marquette Male Chorus for many years. She also assisted many students with their solo and ensemble pieces at the Negaunee and Westwood high schools for over 20 years. Known locally for her beautiful renditions on the harp, Joy was a participant in many concerts and musical programs over the years. She was a member of the United Presbyterian Church in Ishpeming. In June 1963, Joy married Vincent “Baldy” Bur, and he preceded her in death in 1999. Joy and Baldy were great animal lovers and took in all sorts of stray and unwanted animals over the years. In her leisure, she enjoyed baking bread, knitting, sewing, gardening, and being involved in anything musical.

Joy is survived by her brother, Robert “Beezle” Yuill of Harvey; a brother-in-law, Leonard Bur of Marquette; sister-in-law, Amelia Kent of North Little Rock, Ark.; her niece, Martha Yuill of St. Paul, Minn.; and a nephew, Stephen Yuill of Ishpeming. In addition to her parents and husband, Joy was preceded in death by sisters-in-law, Christine Yuill and Verna Bur; and a nephew, Michael Bur.

The family will receive relatives and friends at the United Presbyterian Church in Ishpeming on Saturday, May 10, beginning at 1 p.m. A memorial service will follow at 2 p.m. Saturday with the Rev. James Robb officiating. Memorials may be directed to the Marquette County Humane Society, 84 Snowfield Road, Negaunee, MI 49866; or to the United Presbyterian Church, 112 E. Euclid St., Ishpeming, MI 49849.

The Fassbender Funeral Home is serving the family, where condolences may be expressed online at

Where to pick blueberries in Marquette, Michigan

Now that I’ve had my berry-picking for the year, keeping the patch hidden is less important.

This year the intelligence directed us to a spot on M-553 south of County Road 480, past the Blueberry Ridge pathway and not as far as the fairgrounds. We pulled off on the west side of the road at a stop sign, drove in 20 feet, and there were more berries on the ground than a team of five enthusiastic pickers could exhaust. From the looks of it, the whole area south towards the airport would be likely. Here’s an approximate map of blueberries near Marquette, MI that would get you nearby.

The berries were small, perhaps smaller than normal, but not by much. Last Friday they were almost all ripe, so if you haven’t gone out go out now.

Local berry-picking spots change from year to year, and there are places that are unmarked private property that still may be open for berry picking. Use caution, and check for ticks when you’re done picking.

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DEQ delays Kennecott sulfide mine decision (Marquette Mining Journal)

From the Marquette Mining Journal of November 16, 2006 via AP:

DEQ delays Kennecott decision

By JOHN FLESHER, Associated Press Writer

LANSING — Michigan officials are delaying until January a long-anticipated, tentative decision on whether to allow development of a nickel and copper mine in Marquette County.

The Department of Environmental Quality had been expected to announce the preliminary ruling this week. Instead, the agency said Wednesday it was giving the public more time to study and react to Kennecott Minerals Co.’s plans.

Under the revised schedule, the department will accept public comments until Dec. 26. After reviewing the comments for two weeks, the DEQ will issue a proposed decision Jan. 9.

Even then, the fate of the would-be mine won’t be certain. The DEQ will hold a public hearing — probably in mid-February — and may request more information from Kennecott before making a final ruling.

‘‘People obviously care very much about this,’’ agency spokesman Robert McCann said. ‘‘We feel that instead of jamming through a proposed decision, let’s slow down a bit and make sure everyone has had time to review’’ the company’s latest documents.

For more information on the opposition to the highly toxic sulfide mining process on the Yellow Dog Plains, see the Save the Wild UP site and sign up for their newsletter.

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Guide to Miriam Hilton Papers, Northern Michigan University Archives

Guide to Miriam Hilton Papers from the NMU archives.

Collection Number: Univ Series 63

Volume: 2 boxes (.6 linear feet)

Inclusive Dates: 1949-1975

Prepared by Kim Shannon and Marcus C. Robyns

Biographical Note:

Miriam Hilton was born in Iran, daughter of John and Ruth Elder who were missionaries there. She received her BA from Wellesley College and her MA from the University of Michigan. In 1947, Hilton married Earl Hilton. In 1974, she authored the first book length history of Northern Michigan University entitled, Northern Michigan University: The First Seventy-Five Years. From time to time, prior to Earl Hilton’s retirement, Miriam Hilton taught adjunct courses for the Departments of English and History. Over the years, she has also become known for her very active volunteer service activities in both the Marquette community at large and in her church.

Scope and Content Note:

The collection contains the papers of Miriam Hilton. The collection mainly documents her research and writing of the book. The collection includes book drafts, notes, news clippings, alumni questionnaires, and transcriptions of faculty interviews (Meyland, Hedgecock, Wahtera, and O'Dell). Also included are records relating to Church Women United of Marquette and writings of Hilton's father, Dr. John Elder.

Processed, March 1995

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