Manistique’s Civil War Cannon Mystery

Manistique’s Civil War Cannon on the Courthouse grounds. Photo Courtesy Mary Riley


     In 1896, the United States Navy Department donated a Civil War era cannon to Manistique’s George F. Fuller Post of the Grand Army of the Republic. The cannon had seen service on the James River in Virginia during the years 1861-65. After it arrived in Manistique, the cannon was placed on the Courthouse grounds where it soon became an honored emblem of national pride. The cannon played an important role in the life of the community. It was paraded through the streets of the city on Decoration Day and on the Fourth of July.  Its thunderous boom could be heard on National holidays and on extraordinary occasions, such as at the death of President McKinley in 1901, when the Presidential Salute was given. It took two men to fire the cannon, and the duty fell to Civil War Veterans, Henry Brassel and John Gayar. Read More...

Manistique’s Indoor Baseball Team

The 1902 Manistique Indoor Baseball Club. Top row from left: Harley Garland, Victor Deemer, John Forshaw. Middle row from left: Dean Crowe, J.C. Wood, Ben Gero, Sr. and Ed Jewell. Bottom row from left: F. Paulson, William S. Crowe, John “Jack” Williams and F. Guinan. Photo courtesy Wm. S. Crowe Collection.

           During the early 1900’s, the month of November marked the beginning of the indoor baseball season. Fans flocked to the Star Opera House to watch an indoor version of the national pastime.  Season tickets cost a dollar and a quarter. Indoor baseball was invented in the 1880’s and was the forerunner of modern fast-pitch softball. In Manistique, the fraternal societies organized a “city league” which included the Masons, Legionites, Maccabees, Woodmen of the World and the Ancient Order of United Workmen. Read More...

The 1920’s KKK – A Legacy of Intolerance

The film “The Birth of a Nation” led to a resurgence of the KKK in 1920’s America. Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

     The racist organization known as the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan mounted a resurgence in the 1920’s following the Hollywood release of D. W. Griffiths classic silent film, “The Birth of a Nation.” The widely popular movie reinforced negative racial stereotypes concerning blacks and portrayed Klan members as heroic. The film’s unparalleled success reflected the prejudices then held by a large portion of the American population.

     The Klan first arrived in Detroit in 1921, but the organization quickly spread to Michigan’s northern rural counties. Ku Klux Klan organizers came to Manistique during the early summer of 1923. Four men posing as researchers from the “Sebring Research Bureau” circulated among the population. It soon became known that the group was attempting to organize a branch of the Ku Klux Klan in Manistique. Read More...