Wednesday, May 29, 2019

June Events

Lansing Juneteenth Celebration

Thursday, June 13 - Saturday, June 15

Various locations, see below.

HSGL is participating in the 26th annual Juneteenth Celebration. Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. The three-day celebration includes a Thursday kick-off at Lansing City Hall where HSGL will present its annual history award to two individuals who have significantly contributed to the preservation of Lansing's history during the last year. 

In addition, under the auspices of Pave the Way: The I-496, HSGL will be gathering stories from neighborhood residents whose lives were disrupted and forever changed by the construction of I-496. Pave the War is a joint project of HSGL, the City of Lansing and the National Parks Service.

Juneteenth events include:

Opening Ceremony: Thursday, June 13, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Lobby of City Hall

Commemorative Negro League Baseball Game and entertainment: Friday, June 14, 3:00 p.m.
St. Joseph Park

Parade, festivities, food and merchant vendors, health fair, music and exhibits: Saturday, June 15, with parade beginnings at 10:00 a.m. at Letts Community Center and marching to St. Joseph Park on Lansing's Westside. 


MSU Sorority Row
A Walk Through Women's Greek History at MSU
Thursday, June 27 - 7:00 p.m.
Tour Starts at the Corner of M.A.C. Ave and Burcham, East Lansing

In 1870 the State Agricultural College officially opened its doors to female students. In the years since, the MSU campus and East Lansing have been home to increasing numbers of female students who've studied everything from domestic science to music, engineering, and agriculture. 

As the decades have passed, MSU women have found community, support, and sisterhood through the Greek Sorority system. HSGL will go walking down M.A.C. - known to many as Sorority Row - where we will discuss women's history, traditions, scholarship, service, and architecture. Among the sororities we'll be featuring are Alpha Chi Omega, Zeta Tau Alpha, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Alpha Phi, Kappa Delta, Sigma Kappa, and Sigma Delta Tau. 

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Guardians of Detroit

Guardians of Detroit
By Jeff Morrison
Wednesday, May 22 - 7:00 p.m.
Library of Michigan, 702 W. Kalamazoo

Gargoyles, griffins, lions, and bears, cherubs, eagles, and praying monks - oh my! All these and uncountable more decorative figures adorn the buildings of Detroit, but until Oxford Michigan photographer and writer Jeff Morrison decided to photograph these incredible adornments they were undocumented and often overlooked.

Morrison, in his new book Guardians of Detroit: Architectural Sculpture in the Motor City, gives reads a close-up view of these incredibly, sometimes monstrous, figures with more than 770 photographs gracing the 350-page book published by Wayne State University Press.

Morrison attributes the large number of public adornments on Detroit buildings to "deep pockets, big egos, and men who wanted to build monuments to themselves" and sought out artists to complete the dream. Detroit certainly had its giants of industry, and the names on the buildings often tell the tale: Kresge, Fisher, Book, Buhl, and Whitney.

Ir you are interested in photography, architecture, Detroit, or the artists who created these decorative figures, you will want to join HSGL as Jeff Morrison shows photographs from and discusses his new book. 

HSGL Annual Meeting - Vote for Nominees
Wednesday, May 22 - 6:30 p.m.
Library of Michigan, 702 W. Kalamazoo

The HSGL annual meeting will be held a half-hour before the start of the "Guardians of Detroit" program. Executive Board Members up for reelection are: Bill Castanier for President, Valerie Marvin for Vice President, Tim Kaltenbach for Treasurer, and Ron Emery for Secretary. Trustees up for re-election are: Joan Bauer, Jacob McCormick, Bob Rose, and Anne Wilson. Nominations can also be taken from the floor. Please come cast your vote. 

Thursday, April 4, 2019

April and May Events


Downtown Lansing Walking Tour
Wednesday, May 1 – 6:00 p.m.
Begins/ends: Capitol Area District Library, 401 S. Capitol

The Office of Mayor Andy Schor, the Capitol Area District Library, and the Historical Society of Greater Lansing are joining hands to host the first walking tour of the season, focused on the south downtown area.

The tour will look at the former Arbaugh’s Department Store; the Bus Depot; the Lansing Women’s Clubhouse; the Midtown Apartments; and Reutter Park, Lansing’s oldest park, named for Lansing mayor and businessman J. Gottlieb Reutter. Also included on the tour are some elegant Victorian-era homes of famous and infamous Lansing residents. The tour will feature the homes of William Kerns, owner of the Kerns Hotel; the founder of Lansing Capitol Savings and Loan Association; an early Lansing alderman and vice president of the original Lansing Brewing Co; and a prominent Lansing attorney who was disbarred for “fraud, deceit and malpractice.”


      In addition, a stop at the State Democratic Party office will reveal a controversy surrounding a potential error in the State Historical Marker that identifies Darius Moon as the architect. So who built the Victorian-era home and how was the error made? The first person on the tour to answer that question will receive the definitive guide to Moon’s work, Darius B. Moon: The History of a Michigan Architect 1880-1910 by CADL Librarian James MacLean. 



The ABCs of DNA & Genealogy
by Jessica M. Trotter
Thursday, April 11, 2019 – 7:00 p.m.
Library of Michigan, 702 W. Kalamazoo
Everywhere I turn, I hear people discussing their DNA results. But what can DNA testing really tell you? Should you take a test? What tests should you take? What does it all mean? DNA testing can be a powerful tool. Trotter’s presentation will offer a layman’s overview on tests, testing companies, and how you can use your results, as well as some of the pitfalls to DNA testing.

Jessica Trotter is an Archivist with a Master of Science in Information, Archives and Records Management Specialization from the University of Michigan—but works for the Capital Area District Libraries in Collection Development by day. Trotter’s background with DNA is as a genealogist and genealogy instructor. She first tested her own DNA in 2012 in response to students asking questions on DNA as testing prices came down, as well as out of curiosity. She hoped it might help with a hard-to-trace line of formerly enslaved African-Americans, but in retrospect it actually turned all of her research on that line upside down.

Her presentation on April 11 will look at the three major tests—Autosomal, Y-DNA, and Mitochondrial DNA. She’ll discuss the major testing companies—including Ancestry, 23 and Me, and MyHeritage. And she’ll walk the audience through what the results look like and what you can do with that information.

DNA is now an integral tool in genealogical research but not one to be taken lightly. You have to know going in that you may find out secrets you didn’t know about your family.

Antiquarian Book & Paper Show
Sunday, April 28 – 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Causeway Bay Hotel & Conference Center, 6820 S. Cedar Street, Lansing

The 69th Michigan Antiquarian Book and Paper Show is billed as “The Midwest’s Largest Book and Paper Show.” Items for sale include: first editions, Americana, fine bindings, science fiction, postcards, autographs, prints and maps, sheet music, posters, magazines, Michigan history, children’s books, ephemera, photographs, rare books and more. The show is sponsored by Curious Bookstore. Admission is $5.00 and parking is free. For more information: curiousbooks.com/shows.html or call 517-332-0112.



Tuesday, January 8, 2019

February Event


Alois Lang, Master Woodcarver

by Tim Gleisner
Wednesday, February 20 – 7:00 p.m.
Library of Michigan – 702 W. Kalamazoo

Tim Gleisner, Head of Special Collections at the Library of Michigan, will be discussing the life and work of master woodcarver Alois Lang. Lang (1872-1954) was a Master Woodcarver at the American Seating Company and one of the artists responsible for bringing the medieval art of ecclesiastical carving to life in the United States.

Lang was born in Oberammergau, Bavaria, a town long known for its excellence in wood carving. He was apprenticed to his cousin Andreas Lang around the age of 14 and moved to the United States in 1890 at the age of 19. Lang first found work in Boston carving elaborate mantelpieces for Back Bay families. In 1903, Lang moved westward and joined the American Seating Company of Manitowoc, Wisconsin, moving with the firm to Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1927. There Lang became well known as a prominent ecclesiastical woodcarver. In 1946 the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts, and Letters presented him with a special award for his contribution to art in Michigan.

Lang’s carvings can be seen in the following churches in Michigan: Christ Church, Cranbrook, Bloomfield Hills; National Shrine of the Little Flower, Royal Oak; Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church, Lansing; First (Park) Congregational Church, Grand Rapids; Grosse Pointe Memorial Church, Grosse Pointe; and Hope Church (Reformed Church in America), Holland.

  Outside of Michigan, Lang’s work is represented at: Rockefeller Chapel and Wicker Park Lutheran Church, Chicago, Illinois; Christ Episcopal Church, Ottawa, Illinois; The Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Rockford, Illinois; Christ Episcopal Cathedral, Salina, Kansas; Christ Church, Boston, Massachusetts; Church of the Incarnation, Great Falls, Montana; and All Saints Church, Pasadena, California.


Tim Gleisner has been Head of Special Collections of the Library of Michigan for the last year. Before that he worked as Head of Special Collections at the Grand Rapids Public Library for 12 years. During that time Tim became acquainted with Alois Lang and the furniture industry in Grand Rapids and West Michigan. Tim’s talk will delve into how master artists like Lang helped to create an image for the furniture industry of Michigan. Discover how this master woodcarver not only changed the religious art here in Lansing, but in Michigan as a whole.

Monday, November 12, 2018

November Event


Capitols and Capitals:
The State’s Odyssey from Detroit to Lansing
by Valerie R. Marvin, Michigan Capitol Historian
Thursday, November 29, 2018 – 7:00 p.m.
Library of Michigan
702 W. Kalamazoo Street, Lansing

Join Valerie Marvin, Michigan Capitol Historian, as she discusses how Michigan’s three state capitals came to be.
Michigan’s current capitol, the state’s third, opened to great acclaim on January 1, 1879. Students of Michigan history, however, know that the road to that day was a long and winding one.
When Michigan declared herself a state in 1835, Detroit served as the seat of government. The city’s hold on the capital was tenuous at best as the 1835 constitution stated that a permanent seat of government had to be established by 1847. The battle to choose the permanent site took place in the state’s first capitol building, a two-story brick Federal style structure with a thin, steeple-like central tower built 1823-1828. Here legislators from across Michigan voted on dozens of proposed sites before finally compromising on rural Lansing Township—then-home to only eight voters.
Moving the seat of government meant that the state would need to construct a new capitol building. Hastily erected in the last months of 1847, the wooden structure was always intended to be temporary. Poor economic conditions and the Civil War ultimately extended its use 30 years, during which time everyone in government complained about its cramped quarters, poor ventilation, and the ever-present threat of fire. Finally, in 1871, Governor Henry P. Baldwin called for the construction of a third capitol and challenged the legislature to appropriate money for the project, which was soon underway.
From 1872 to 1878, Lansing residents watched eagerly as the new state capitol began to rise up. Crafted of brick, sandstone, and cast and wrought iron, Michigan’s new building clearly echoed the appearance of the newly enlarged national capitol in Washington D.C., a sign of the state’s loyalty to the Union. When it opened on January 1, 1879, eager citizens poured in from across the state to visit the state’s new treasure, confident that Michigan finally had a dignified capitol that would stand for the ages.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

October Events

Double-Take: Greater Lansing in the Age of Stereographs

By Craig Whitford and Jacob McCormick
Thursday, October 18, 2018 - 7:00 p.m.
Library of Michigan, 702 W. Kalamazoo, Lansing

We'll have you seeing double through the entertainment media of the late 19th and early 20th century - the stereograph. Historians Jacob McCormick and Craig Whitford will introduce you to the little-known world of greater Lansing stereoview images. They'll provide you with the history of the stereograph as well as an overview of those local and national photographers that created them. You'll be treated to a tour of images captured as a double-photograph that, when view with a stereoscope, produces a three-dimensional view. Many of the images Jacob and Craig will present have not been seen before. 

Duffy Daughtery: A Man Ahead of His Time

By David Claerbaut
Thursday, October 25, 2018 - 7:00 p.m.
Library of Michigan, 702 W. Kalamazoo, Lansing

Duffy Daugherty may have led the MSU Spartans to a winning record of 109 wins, 69 losses, and five ties during his tenure from 1954-1972, but he is still remembered for a 1966 tie with Notre Dame while playing for the National Championship. Author David Claerbaut writes about that infamous tie and other highlights of Duffy's life in his new book Duffy Daughtery: A Man Ahead of His Time, published by Michigan State University Press. Claerbaut will join HSGL at the Library of Michigan (not the East Lansing Public Library, as previously announced) for a free event to discuss and sign his new book. 

In his career Daugherty coached 33 first-team All Americans, but probably more rewarding to him was the fact he recruited 59 black players to play football at MSU during a time when they could not play for the powerhouse Southern teams like Alabama. His 1965 and 1966 teams either won or tied for the National Championship.

Daughtery also was credited with starting an African American quarterback, Jimmy Raye, one of the first for a major college. Raye said in his autobiography that Daughtery "was color-blind." Other coaches may ultimately win more games at MSU but it's unlikely any will gave the cover of Time Magazine as Duffy did on October 8, 1956. 

Monday, August 6, 2018

Upcoming September & October Events


HSGL Returning to Moores River Drive for New Home Tour!

Sunday, September 16, 2018
Brunch 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Home Tour 1:00 - 5:00 p.m.

            HSGL is excited to announce that we are returning to Moores River Drive for a second tour featuring a new slate of homes this fall! Join us on Sunday, September 16 and visit some of Lansing's most beautiful homes, including the Potter House and a house designed by architect Lee Black. The homes range in style from Tudor Revivals to sophisticated Four Squares and a new retro Modern home with touches of Art Deco. To learn more, click on the "2018 Moores River Drive Home Tour" tab at the top.



            This fundraiser for the Historical Society of Greater Lansing is being generously hosted by the Moores River Drive Neighborhood Association and the Riverside Home Association. All proceeds benefit HSGL.

Kickstepping Through the Years:
The History of the Spartan Marching Band
by Jacob McCormick
Thursday, September 27, 2018 – 7:00 p.m.
Library of Michigan, 702 W. Kalamazoo, Lansing

            Join HSGL for a program on the historic 148 years of tradition, innovation, and excellence of the Michigan State University Spartan Marching Band. Historian and Spartan Marching Band alumnus Jacob McCormick will share the history of the Big Ten’s oldest band and its deeply rooted traditions. From its military origins beginning in 1870 through the introduction to the Big Ten in the 1950s, the SMB has performed nationwide and even internationally to much high acclaim. A collection of Spartan Marching Band artifacts will also be on exhibit during the program.

            You are also encouraged to visit the Spartan Marching Band rehearsal, Monday through Friday, 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., at the Forest Akers Trust Practice Complex on the corner of Shaw Lane and Chestnut Road on the campus of Michigan State University. 

Double-Take:
Greater Lansing in the Age of Stereographs
by Craig Whitford and Jacob McCormick
Thursday October 18, 2018 – 7:00 p.m.
Library of Michigan, 702 W. Kalamazoo, Lansing

            We’ll have you seeing double through the entertainment media of the late 19th and early 20th century¾the stereograph. Historians Jacob McCormick and Craig Whitford will introduce you to the little-known world of greater Lansing stereoview images. They’ll provide you with the history of the stereograph as well as an overview of those local and national photographers that created them. You’ll be treated to a tour of images captured as a double-photograph that, when viewed with a stereoscope, produces a three-dimensional view. Many of the images Jacob and Craig will present have not been seen before.


Friday, June 29, 2018

July 2018 Events


South Capitol Ave. Walking Tour
Saturday, July 28, 2018 - 10:00 a.m.
Tour meets on Capitol Square

            Join HSGL for a walk down South Capitol Ave. where we'll be discussing architecture, people, and the growth of the city on Saturday, July 28. Once home to the wooden capitol building, beautiful brownstones, and elegant residences, South Capitol Ave has morphed into a place of business and civic pleasure with the construction of two Masonic Temples, the development and beautification of Reutter Park, and the creation of the downtown branch of the Capitol Area District Library. The tour will also wander by some properties west of Capitol Ave., including the Porter Apartment Building/Hotel and the old YMCA.


Congratulations to the 2018 Morris Peckham Award Winners!

            Sgt. Justin Moore and Msgr. George Michalek J.C.L. were honored at the annual meeting of the Historical Society of Greater Lansing for their efforts to preserve Lansing history.

            The Robert J. Morris and Linda R. Peckham Towering Achievement Award was presented by Linda Peckham, spouse of the late Robert Morris. The award was created by Peckham as a way to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to the preservation of Lansing history.
Morris and Peckham were among the first to recognize the importance of preserving Lansing history and were also pioneers in adaptive reuse when they restored the St. Mary’s Convent and converted it into condominiums.

            Moore was recognized for his efforts in leading the Lansing Police Department’s 125th Anniversary celebration and Michalek for his role in the establishment of the Diocese of Lansing Archive.

            Each of the award winners received a personalized plaque illustrated with a stylized version of the Olds Tower made from a “found” printing plate from the 1930s.


Monday, June 4, 2018

June 2018 Events


Upcoming Events

1968: A Year in American History and Its Impact on the East Lansing Area
Wednesday, June 13, 2018 - 7:00 p.m.
East Lansing High School Student Union - 509 Burcham Dr.

            The year 1968 brought more fighting in Vietnam, the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby Kennedy, and the Democratic Convention in Chicago. Locally in East Lansing there were issues like open housing and ending the ban on alcohol sales in East Lansing.
           
            A panel of area residents, including Clarence Underwood, Sarah Fryer, and Nelson Brown will revisit this dramatic year and what it meant for the East Lansing area. Lynn Jondahl will moderate. The event is sponsored by the East Lansing Foundation and the Historical Society of Greater Lansing.

HSGL Annual Meeting, Cherry Hill Walking Tour
Thursday, June 14, 2018  - 6:30 p.m.
Cherry Hill Park - 515 River St.

            On Thursday, June 14, HSGL members are asked to attend a very brief annual meeting, at which we’ll vote on next year’s board and enjoy some ice cream! The proposed slate of officers for the 2018-2019 HSGL year is:

President - Bill Castanier
Vice President - Valerie Marvin
Secretary - Ron Emery
Treasurer - Tim Kaltenback
Trustee - Cathy Babcock
Trustee - Helen Mickens
Trustee - Zig Olds
Trustee - Mary Kwas

            An all-new tour of the Cherry Hill neighborhood will begin at 7:00 p.m. One of Lansing’s last surviving late-19th century neighborhoods, Cherry Hill is full of architectural gems that were once home to some of the city’s best-known business and civic leaders. Learn about the people who originally built Cherry Hill and the evolution of the neighborhood into a one-time home of the arts and business, while enjoying a pleasant evening walk.

Learn more about HSGL’s July and August walking tours at www.lansinghistory.org.


Modern as Tomorrow:
Mid-Century Modern Architecture Along the Michigan Roadside
by Christine Byron & Tom Wilson
Thursday, June 21, 2018 - 7:00 p.m.
Library of Michigan 702 W. Kalamazoo

            The Michigan roadside landscape changed dramatically after WWII with the rise of “mid-century modern” architecture. Sometimes referred to as “googie,” “jetset,” “space-age,” “Jetsons,” or “populuxe,” this style of architecture is characterized by flat planes, geometric angles, large glass windows, 1950’s colors, and oftentimes flat roofs. Although Michigan produced a wealth of well-known architects, such as Alden B. Dow and Eero Saarinen, most of the motels, restaurants, and gas stations in this presentation were not created by such well-known figures. And unlike the buildings by these famous architects, most of the roadside mid-century modern buildings have beed razed, significantly changed, or “remuddled.” Through their postcard and ephemera collection, Byron and Wilson have tried to document this architectural period that was once seen on every major highway in Michigan. 

Christine and Tom share a love of Michigan and a fascination with its history. They are co-authors of the five books in the Vintage Views series. The pictorial histories, illustrated with vintage images and ephemera, explore the development of tourism in Michigan. They also have a regular column in Michigan Blue magazine. They live in Grand Rapids.

Lansing Police Department 125th Anniversary Exhibit

            Stop by Lansing City Hall anytime during normal business hours (Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.) to see HSGL’s 2018 summer exhibit celebrating the 125th anniversary of the Lansing Police Department. The exhibit chronicles the evolution of the police department from its official founding in 1893 to the present day through dozens of photographs, unique artifacts (like an old blue call box), police-related equipment, educational puppets, uniforms, and memorabilia from the old charity Bull Bowls, better known as Pigs vs. Freaks. Special thanks to LPD for partnering with HSGL for this one-of-a-kind anniversary celebration.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

May 2018 Upcoming Events


The German Backlash
Tuesday, May 15 – 7:00 p.m.
Library of Michigan, 702 W. Kalamazoo St.

            Sara Kosiba, English Professor at Troy University in Alabama and biographer of Lansing’s John Herrmann, will be featured at a book release party and signing for a rediscovered Herrmann manuscript. Lansing’s forgotten author, John Herrmann, pal of Hemingway and grandson of the founder of John Herrmann’s Sons, a bespoke Lansing tailor, often turned to his hometown for inspiration in his writing. His recently discovered manuscript Foreign Born is a fictionalized account of the anti-German backlash in Lansing during WWI.

            In Foreign Born Herrmann describes tar-and-featherings and other actions against German citizens who espoused pro-German feelings. Included in the manuscript is a nasty libel trial against the Lansing State Journal regarding their description of what led to the tar-and-feathering of a Lansing butcher.

            The manuscript was rediscovered by Kosiba, who uncovered it while researching the author’s life at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas. Kosiba then shepherded the manuscript through to publication. The book release party is free and books will be available for sale.

Old Germantown Walking Tour
Thursday, May 17 – 7:00 p.m.
LCC Administration Building, Board Room, 610 Capitol Ave.

            A companion walking tour of Lansing’s old Germantown neighborhood, adjacent to Lansing Community College, will be led by LCC history Professor David Siwik.

            When German families immigrated to the United States, they often settled in close proximity, forming “Germantowns” in many communities. Germans who settled in Lansing gravitated to an area along Capitol and Seymour Streets. Many of the new immigrants also started businesses in downtown and Old Town, including such notables as Herrmann’s, Kositchek’s, and Bissinger’s Flowers. Bissinger’s was located where the Lansing Community College Administration Building now stands.