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.
During the late 1880s and 90s, Constant Moody Ruggles was the proprietor at the Ossawinamakee Hotel. Ruggles was a Civil War veteran from Oshkosh, Wisconsin, who first came to Manistique in 1875 with Ebenezer James. Ruggles was a partner in the James Bros. Sawmill which flourished briefly at the village of Jamestown on the Manistique River. He had diverse business interests including a butcher shop, stage coach line, livery stable and a strawberry farm. According to the above business card, Ruggles was also a guide for tourist fishermen seeking a good trout stream.
Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.
The above picture shows early Memorial Day parades in Manistique. The parades featured not only veterans from foreign wars but also the Civil War. Several bands were part of the parades along with the Woman’s Relief Corps, Red Cross, Catholic Benevolent Association, and Daughters of Veterans. Schoolchildren marched in formation with their teachers along with the 200-member Garden Club.