The Michigan Hemingway Society (MHS) will delve into “Hemingway and the Odawa Indians” at its annual literary and history conference, October 7-9 at The Terrace Inn in the Methodist Chautauqua community of Bay View. It was in the surrounding countryside and lakeshore communities of Northern Michigan that the Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winning author, Ernest Hemingway, discovered his love of nature and the quite solace that can be found “Up North in Michigan.”
After socializing over appetizers and a cash bar at The Terrace Inn on Friday, guests will be escorted to the adjacent Loud Hall by Mike Naganashe, a former Tribal Councilor at the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians and a member of the Spirit Lake drum group, who will perform a traditional “Call to Order” ceremony. Then, guests will listen as Don Daiker, Hemingway scholar and professor of English emeritus from Miami University in Ohio, presents a reading and discussion of his new work “Nick Adams and His ‘Indian Girl.’” The evening will conclude with a performance of Hemingway-themed songs by Michael Kim Roos, just back from the International Hemingway Society Conference in Wyoming.
Around midday on Saturday, guests will board a bus for the Greensky Hill Indian United Methodist Church in Charlevoix where Eric Hemenway, Director of Repatriations, Archives and Records for the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, will offer a tour and presentation.
A traditional Odawa Ghost Supper is planned for Saturday evening. The Ghost Supper is a Native American ceremony that is observed in the fall. It is a traditional time of remembering and honoring deceased loved ones and relatives through the offering of food and tobacco (semaa) at a community meal.
This year’s Keynote Speaker is Frank Ettawageshik, President of the Association on American Indian Affairs – the oldest non-profit serving Indian Country protecting sovereignty, preserving culture, educating youth and building capacity, formed in 1922. Ettawageshik served in tribal elected office for 16 years, 14 as the Tribal Chairman of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians in Harbor Springs.
Before heading home on Sunday, attendees are encouraged to visit the St. Francis Solanus Indian Mission Church (the oldest building in northern lower Michigan) and/or The Little Traverse History Museum (which houses Odawa art and artifacts as well as Hemingway items of note), which will both be open during the early afternoon. Other sites on the Michigan Hemingway Tour can also be explored in downtown Petoskey – including the statue of “Young Hemingway” in Pennsylvania Park, Walloon Lake – including a statue of “The Old Man and the Cat” in Circle Park, Kalkaska outside the museum and the nearby Pigeon River Discovery Center.
The cost to attend the conference is $180 per person for members and $220 per person for non-members. If you join the Society now, your conference fee will be reduced by $40 per person. Register online: 2022 Michigan Hemingway Conference. There are a limited number of tickets for Saturday evening’s dinner and Keynote, for $60 per person. Those tickets may be reserved by contacting Chris Struble at 517-290-3162.
Founded on the shores of Lake Michigan in 1875, Bay View has maintained its historic buildings, homes and charm. Hemingway was very familiar with this community when he lived in Petoskey for that last time. Throughout the weekend, attendees will tour some of the old Victorian buildings and cottages, exploring their architecture and learn the detailed history of the community.
The Michigan Hemingway Society has been active since 1983 and was incorporated officially as a non-profit organization in 1993. Made up of university professors, writers, high school teachers, fly fishers, journalists and all kinds of other people who are interested in exploring the life and body of literature created by this Nobel and Pulitzer prize-winning author.
Ernest Hemingway was just three months old when he made his first trip from his hometown of Oak Park, Illinois to Walloon Lake, Michigan where his parents – Clarence and Grace (Hall) – had purchased property along the North Shore. Ernest spent time every summer until 1921 (the year he married Hadley Richardson in nearby Horton Bay) at the family’s beloved Windemere cottage, still owned by descendants today.
The woods and waters in and around Walloon Lake shaped Hemingway’s life in many ways and it was a place he always held dear to his heart. It was here that his 1972 posthumously published book, The Nick Adams Stories, is primarily set.