Celebrating Michigan’s Sesquicentennial Cities

In 1869, the State of Michigan was just 32 years old (statehood day was January 26, 1837…while President Thomas Jefferson had first created the Michigan Territory on January 11, 1805). The population at the time would have been over one million (the 1870 census reports 1,184,059…up 58.1% from the previous census in 1860 (at 749,113).

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Seven Weeks and Counting…

It’s finally happening. My book is getting closer to publication every single day and it has recently appeared for pre-order on The History Press website and Amazon.com (AMAZON….OMG). Autographed copies will also be sold on this website in March. It’s also listed with the popular book review site, GoodReads.com. It’s surreal…to say the least.

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Remembering 2018: A Year of Travel

What a year it has been! Right off the bat I crossed of “visiting the Upper Peninsula in winter” off my travel bucket list when we rang in the blustery cold New Year in downtown Marquette. It would be the first of seven trips to the UP throughout the year: snowmobiling and yurt camping in March; lighthouse touring, book research and a paranormal conference all in August; a beer fest and to volunteering for Michigan Cares for Tourism in Copper Harbor on the Keweenaw Peninsula in September.

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2019 Milestone Celebrations

Many noted Michigan businesses, attractions, events and communities (including Promote Michigan, founded in 2004) are celebrating milestone years this year. This year, the big anniversary celebration focuses on Michigan’s State Parks, which were formally organized in 1919. Please feel free to share others we may have missed by emailing promotemichigan@gmail.com.

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Pure Michigan’s Iconic Pop Culture

The Faygo Book is the social history of a company that has forged a bond with a city and its residents for more than a century. The story of Faygo, Detroit’s beloved soda pop, begins over a hundred years ago with two Russian immigrant brothers who were looking to get out of the baking business. Released this fall from Wayne State University Press, this 136-page book ($24.99) is a must for anyone interested in Michigan history, industry, innovation and pop culture (pun intended).

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An evolution of writing

I’ve been writing professionally (meaning getting paid) since I was in high school. From news articles to magazine features stories, I have hundreds of pieces with my byline. In 2019, I’ll add a book–titled “Michigan’s Haunted Lighthouses”–to my portfolio. Research and writing continues, and I want to hear YOUR stories if you have any to share about your ghostly encounters at any of Michigan’s historic beacons.

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Cooking Up Food & Friendships

Growing up, many family traditions were centered around the table. After launching Promote Michigan in 2004, I found myself drawn to certain sectors of the hospitality industry: restaurants, wineries, breweries, distilleries, farm markets and agricultural organizations. Yes, I found a way to get paid to eat and drink…how lucky! I was also building a network and often friendships with chefs who were eager to feed my desire to learn more about locally-sourced ingredients and unique ways to prepare them into delicious dishes.

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Celebrating Michigan’s Irish Communities

Irish immigration to Michigan dates back to the early 1800s, with a heavy increase between 1845 and 1855 during a period of famine in Ireland, lasting well into the 1920s. Starting first in Detroit, the Irish made their way north and westward, landing throughout both the Lower and Upper Peninsulas where they found work in factories, fishing villages and copper mines. Nearly one-third of Michigan’s foreign-born population was from Ireland in 1870. Today, only about 10% of the state’s 9.9 million population is of Irish descent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

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Shedding Light on Michigan’s Historic Female Keepers

Serving as a lighthouse keeper was the only “non-clerical” government job that women were allowed to have in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Michigan had more than 60 women documented as lighthouse keepers at these historic beacons, often serving as assistant keepers with their husbands, fathers or brothers—and in the case of tragedy, many were promoted to the role of head keeper.

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