Happy New Year Everyone!
It was a great year here at the Heritage Center. Spring Summer and Fall. In Early Spring we started the year off with a salute to the past with the Smithsonian Exhibit in the area and our support of the theme “The Way We Worked”. Board members Dick Steiger and Ed Sandene retold stories with video of Logging and Mining to good crowds on weekends in April and May.
To quote Ed Sandene “When iron mining started in 1884 and the City of Bessemer was platted, the area began a rapid growth. Lumber was needed for homes, businesses and in the mines. There were large white pines in the uncut forest which produced a lot of the lumber for building. One can only imagine what it was like for two lumberjacks with a crosscut saw, cutting down the huge pine. This was done in the winter when the frozen sleigh tracks made for easier hauling. This meant wading through deep snow and putting in long hours in cold weather. Logging camps were set up in the forests for the workers. This is where they lived and worked all winter until the spring breakup.”
The Summer was busy on weekends, and during the 4th of July, through Labor Day and the Pumpkin Fest. During Pumpkin Fest to honor our heritage in Logging, the Historical Society commissioned a saw-carving artist from Potlickers out of Rhinelander,WI to create a logger from a large old pine log. The white pine log was over 31 inches in diameter, 10 feet long and possibly over 200 years old. It was donated by Steiger Lumber Mill. The completed Logger statue will sit close to the Moore Street end of the Ethnic Park and the Iron Miner sculpture near the Sophie Street side of the Park.
By years’ end, The Historical Society added a new board member. We are proud to welcome Mr. James Rouse, from ADJ Class of ’64. He has an extensive knowledge of the history of railroads in the area and is a history buff. He has given us an idea for another possible project to enhance the new bike and walking trail that will be completed to Bessemer late next summer.
There’s an old weathered railroad round-about in the woods (right off the trail) in town that was used by the trains in the early days of mining. It Might be good to transform it in to a small historic park, picnic, or resting area for walkers, bikers or moms with strollers. Also a good project for volunteers to get involved and make happen next year? We can use help or v ideas you might have.
Are you in? Contact us about this or any other questions or suggestions you might have by going to our website www.bessemerhistoricalsociety.com
or write to us at
P.O. Box 148, Bessemer, MI 49911.
And feel free to check out our facebook page.
Or the Facebook page: You know you’re from Bessemer when…
It’s a new year- help us keep our records updated with any new addresses or memberships. Membership is only $12 for a single or $18 for a family membership.
Officers and Directors
of the Bessemer Area Historical Society
Ed Sandene, President
Dan Cvengros, Vice President
Myron Re, Secretary
Connie Pricco, Director at large
James Rouse, Director at large
Meetings are held the 3rd Thursday of the month at 2pm at the Heritage Center In Bessemer.
4th Quarter Newsletter December 2015