Have You Heard the BUZZ About Michigan’s Official State Insect?

Michigan’s first state symbol was the state flower, designated as the Apple Blossom in 1897. Since that time, 10 other symbols have been added to the list – from bird to reptile, gem to stone, wildflower to tree. A twelfth symbol is now under consideration in the legislature – Michigan’s official state insect! If members of the House and Senate can agree, the designation would leave Iowa as the only state in the Union without a state bug.

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Maple Syrup Weekends Celebrate Michigan’s Oldest & Sweetest Spring Agricultural Activity

Each spring, as the days get longer and the temperatures begin to rise, Michiganders head out into the woods to take part in the state’s oldest agricultural activity…tapping maple trees for sap to be turned into mouth-watering maple syrup, candies and other sweet treats.

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Hugh Matthews Survived Civil War POW Camp, Returning to Work & Raise His Family

Throughout the pages of the recently-released historical novel The Penny by Michigan author Stewert James, readers find intertwined storylines that bring generations of families and friends together during often difficult times. One of the more compelling stories, one that warrants a more in-depth look, is Hugh Matthews – James’ great-great-grandfather.

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Bridges to Michigan’s Past

If your interest in covered bridges dates back to the 1995 film “The Bridges of Madison County” with Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep, you’re not alone! It was shortly after seeing that romantic drama that I began researching Michigan’s historic covered bridges – of which just few still exist. Over the past 12 months or so, I made a point to visit a couple of these bridges that I had yet to see for myself (in person). It renewed my interest in these beautifully rustic structures and I am reworking my presentation of the same name to add to my portfolio and am even looking at publishing a book in the future with The History Press.

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FAREWELL TO BACHELORHOOD: Ernest Hemingway’s Wedding in Northern Michigan

It should come as no surprise that Ernest Hemingway chose northern Michigan as the setting for his first wedding. This rural countryside was his first real love, so it was fitting that he and his muse would begin their marriage alongside the towering trees and flowing rivers which shaped his life. This year – September 3 – marks the 100th anniversary of the marriage between Hemingway (at the time, a life-long summer resident on Walloon Lake) and Hadley Richardson.

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The Mysterious Family Tree of Hannah Lincoln Sammis of Montague, Michigan

Earlier this summer, while speaking at the Montague Library in Muskegon County, I learned about one of the community’s most noted former residents – Hannah Lincoln Sammis – who was said to be a cousin of President Abraham Lincoln. The sign at the Sammis Cemetery in Montague Township, erected in 1977, even notes this designation while the City of Montague website states “President Abraham Lincoln’s first cousin, Hanna (sic) Lincoln Sammis, is buried in a little cemetery on the north side of Eilers Road, between Besser Court and Cook Street (in Montague Township).”

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The American Robin Celebrates 90 Years as Michigan’s State Bird

A sure sign of spring…the return of the robins to Michigan! In April 1931, the American robin (Turdus migratorius) was chosen as Michigan’s official state bird – one of three to claim this red-breasted aviary as its state bird (the others are Connecticut and Wisconsin).

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