Michigan history

Place-making with historic preservation

May 16, 2014
Wikimedia Commons

Historic preservation stakeholders from across the state are convening in Jackson, Michigan this week for the annual Michigan Historic Preservation Network conference. The network works to recognize and conserve Michigan’s architectural culture.

Scott Pohl/WKAR


A new book by Jack Dempsey tells the story of Detroit’s historic Capitol Park. It’s the site of Michigan’s first capitol building, and the state’s first governor is buried there.

New book chronicles Lansing's First Family

Apr 24, 2014
Flickr - Greater Lansing Convention & Visitor's Bureau

Take a drive through Lansing Township north of the Capitol, and you’re likely to pass by a stately Classical Revival-style mansion.  Beginning in 1855, the  Turner-Dodge House on North Street was home to several generations of one of  Lansing’s most prominent families.  Today, it’s an interpretive center with its own spot on the National Register of Historic Places.

Wikimedia Commons

March is Women’s History Month, and Current State’s Scott Pohl talks with the author of a new book about one Michigan woman's role in America’s suffrage movement. 

Anna Howard Shaw was born in England in 1847. Her family moved to America and she grew up in Michigan. After an isolated farm upbringing, Shaw enrolled at Albion College, which became a springboard to a life as a minister and medical school studies in Boston, and ultimately to work in the reform movements of that era.

Ex-German POW to share story at Statehood Day event

Jan 24, 2014
Joe Linstroth/WKAR

On January 26th, 1837, Michigan was admitted as the 26th state to the Union. The Michigan Historical Museum is celebrating our state’s 177th birthday with its annual Michigan Statehood Day planned for tomorrow. The celebration is also centered around the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

Grand Ledge church looks to solve time capsule mystery

Dec 11, 2013
Joe Linstroth/WKAR

Earlier this year, as part of its centennial celebration, members of the Trinity Episcopal Church in Grand Ledge removed a time capsule that had been placed in the cornerstone all the way back in 1912.

www.carlbradley.org

The sinking of the SS Carl D. Bradley claimed the lives of 33 crewmembers on Lake Michigan. The Bradley wreck doesn’t get talked about as much as the Edmund Fitzgerald does, but it is a story worth remembering.

Flickr - bettybarcode

Tonight, the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame in Lansing will induct six new nominees to its ranks.  Two are high-profile women from Lansing.

Scott Pohl/WKAR

At the Michigan Historical Museum in Lansing, a new exhibit called “Lake Effects” examines the state’s weather history, including the state’s worst natural disasters.

Biography explores Gerald Ford's early years

Sep 30, 2013
Flickr-kwatson0013

Gerald Ford was the only President who came from Michigan. Biographer Rick Boorem focuses on a time of President Ford’s life far removed from the pressures of the Presidency.  His book is called ‘Young Jerry Ford, Athlete and Citizen.’

Debunking the myth of Lansing as 'Biddle City'

Sep 16, 2013
Wikimedia Commons

 

The Wikipedia page for Lansing, Mich. reads that "in the winter of 1835 and early 1836, two brothers from New York plotted the area now known as REO Town just south of downtown Lansing and named it 'Biddle City.' All of this land lay in a floodplain and was underwater during the majority of the year. Regardless, the brothers went back to New York, specifically Lansing, New York, to sell plots for the town that did not exist.”

This story may sound familiar to many, but it turns out it’s not true. David Votta, Community Engagement Librarian at the Midwest Collaborative for Library Services, sat down with Current State’s Emanuele Berry to debunked the myth of Lansing’s foundation.

dartmouth.edu

 

For the United States, the War of 1812 took a turn for the better on this date 200 years ago. American naval forces defeated the British in The Battle of Lake Erie. The victory secured the lake and ensured that Michigan and Ohio would remain the sovereign territory of the U.S.A.

Current State’s Scott Pohl talked with MSU historian Roger Rosentreter about the Battle of Lake Erie.

Almost 100 years ago, two young girls enjoying their summer on Harsens Island scrawled a note, stuck it in a glass bottle and threw it in the St. Clair River. Early last month, Bernard Licata , President of the Harsens Island/St. Clair Flats Historical Society, was contacted about the bottle after a diver stumbled across it. Licata share this remarkable piece of history with Current State.


 

Wikimedia commons

This week marks the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, the turning point of the U.S. Civil War.  The MSU Museum is observing Michigan's involvement in the conflict between North and South.   Roger Rosentreter, professor of history at Michigan State University, discusses the exhibit, "Michigan and the Civil War."

University of Michigan Press

Stevens T. Mason is a familiar name for anyone who knows their Michigan history.  Mason, also known as the state’s so-called “boy governor," squeezed a lot of accomplishments in his 32 years.  At the age of only 19, Mason became the secretary of the Michigan Territory in 1831. Just three years later, he became its governor, and led the process of Michigan becoming a state.

Don Faber, author of the book “The Boy Governor:  Stevens T. Mason and the Birth of Michigan Politics,”  explains Michigan's early beginnings.

Pages