Friday, October 30, 2015

Happy Halloween!

by Marian Matyn

In the Clarke, we have a few manuscript collections that have interesting items documenting Halloweens of years past.

In the Trelfa Photographic Collection, 1886-1920, Series 6, which contains Sepull Glass-plate negatives, there are early Alpena images showing how Halloween was celebrated in Alpena in 1904. These images can be found in Box 2, Folders 45 and 46. Click the link to view the catalog record and finding aids for this collection (the fifth finding aid link includes the listing noting the Halloween images).

Above are glass-plate negatives found in the Trelfa collection, 1886-1920 of ghost scenes painted on Alpena store windows.

Another set of materials with images from Halloweens of yore is the Norm Lyon Papers, 1920-91. In Box 1 are film negatives of Lyon's children in Halloween costumes in the 1930s and 1940s. Box 2 contains film negatives of Mount Pleasant store fronts with Halloween scenes painted on the windows (these are undated). An example with a cat, a witch on a broomstick, and a Halloween field scene is below. Click the link to view the catalog record and finding aid for his papers.

Moving away from street scene, in the Nellie May Davis Finley Family Papers, 1881-1978, we find undated 20th century greeting cards in Box 21 Folder 3. This includes the party invitation below. Click the link to view the catalog record and finding aid for this collection.

Lastly, there are Halloween greeting cards and postcards in our miscellaneous Display Items collection. This is an uncataloged, inventoried collection. Here’s something you don’t see on the store shelves today -- a Halloween pumpkin balloon postcard.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Children's Lighthouse Art, Poetry, and Thank You Cards

by Marian Matyn

I'm currently processing the miscellaneous papers of Richard L. "Dick" Moehl. Moehl founded and led the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association (GLLKA) and worked with related groups to help preserve and repair Michigan lighthouses and document their history. He actively engaged troops of Boy Scouts and some Girl Scouts from several counties to help cleanup and repair lighthouses and their grounds. He also worked in conjunction with other related groups to improve Michigan tourism and preservation of historic and natural sites including helping develop the Sweetwater Trail of Michigan and the Mackinaw area to promote tourism, notably concerning the preservation of the Icebreaker Mackinaw.

Through Moehl, the Clarke already has the Organizational Records of GLLKA, 1984-2007, documenting the restoration of the St. Helena and Round Island lighthouses, complete runs of GLLKA's two publications, the Beacon and the Great Lakes Cruiser, as well as their other historic and educational publications and lighthouse calendars, and the photographic files used to generate the images in Great Lakes Cruiser. These collections can be found in Centra and their Google-searchable finding aids are available at

In Moehl's collection, there are lots of images of scouts working on lighthouses. Besides his work with scouts, lighthouses, and various organizations concerned with preserving lighthouses, nature, and promoting Michigan tourism, Dick traveled and talked with many groups of school children to promote interest in and education about lighthouses. He was apparently an inspiring speaker. The kids loved him. Below are some images of the thank yous and poems his presentations inspired the children to create.

Thank you cards by 5th graders, Sterling Heights, undated
(above and below)

Oversized lighthouse art of Kevin Van Allen
Lighthouse poetry anthologies, 4th grade students,
Hugger Elementary (Rocherster, Mich.), undated
A scary poem from the anthologies by Matt Glaser
Poem by "Kevin," from an anthology entitled Thank You, Captain!,
unidentified school, undated

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Coach Bono's '87 JV Oilers

CM Life, 10/21/1987, pp. 3, 15

Everyone had to get their start somewhere - Picasso had to pick up a paint brush for the first time and Aretha Franklin had to get up on stage for the first time. For CMU Coach John Bonamego, his first time hanging up the cleats and coaching was in 1987 with the Mount Pleasant High School junior varsity team. Since his time with the JV Oilers, coach Bono has coached several teams at the NCAA Division I and NFL levels. Nearly 30 years later, CMU's 2015 Homecoming is special as we welcome back an alum to Mount Pleasant, just one mile from where he first picked up a whistle and called plays.

Click on the images to view a larger version

Fire Up, Coach Bono and fire Up, Chips!