Thursday, March 29, 2018

April & May 2018 Upcoming Events


Aladdin Kit Houses
Thursday, April 19 - 7:00 p.m.
Library of Michigan, 702 W. Kalamazoo St.

            Join HSGL and Dr. Frank Boles, Director of the Clarke Historical Library at Central Michigan University for a discussion about kit houses, and Michigan’s own Aladdin Company in Bay City, Michigan. The firm manufactured kit homes from 1907 until 1989. It was big business on a national level, second in sales volume only to Sears Roebuck & Company.

            The company’s story, though, is more about entrepreneurial endeavor than finance. The firm’s founders, brothers Otto and Bill Sovereign, were respectively a lawyer and an advertising agent, neither of whom knew anything about building houses. When a friend began to make money selling “knocked down boats” (kit boats), they decided they could do the same with houses. They “designed” their first house on their mother’s kitchen table. Through a piece of financial chicanery (a less kind person would say “fraud”), they placed a tiny ad for the house in one of the nation’s leading magazines, the Saturday Evening Post. Surprisingly someone actually ordered one, and paid the required one-third down! Soon enough Otto was posting new ads showing the “famous Board of Seven,” consisting of everyone then on the company’s payroll, carefully reviewing plans for new houses.

            The story of Aladdin is the story of American enterprise and vernacular architecture. The Sovereigns knew how to sell a house. They would ultimately sell about 75,000 of them. They also were keenly aware of what would sell to America’s emerging middle class and, along with their kit home competitors, defined the houses that most Americans aspired to own. Spend an evening learning about the Sovereigns and their homes.

            The over 350 linear feet of Aladdin Company Papers were acquired by the Clarke Historical Library from an abandoned warehouse in Bay City that had been sold for back taxes. They were processed for public use through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Lansing Police Department: Celebrating 125 Years of Service
Saturday, May 5 – 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Lansing Center, 333 E. Michigan Ave.

                        The Lansing Police Department invites Lansing residents to stop by Exhibit Halls B & C at the Lansing Center for their 125th Anniversary of Service event, which will highlight the department’s history through interactive experiences, displays, guest speakers, and other exciting programming.

            The department aims to build upon their legacy of community engagement by educating the region about its storied past and the ways they have evolved to meet the needs of residents. “We’ll be celebrating 125 years of service, but we’ve actually been around a little bit longer, since as far back as 1859. We became officially established in 1893 when we created a rules book to solidify our existence,” explained Sergeant Justin Moore of the Lansing Police Department. “Before then, serving the police was more of a political job, but this really brought us into the modern day as an organized public service organization with a purpose to serve the people. The concept of community policing saw a strong start here in Lansing, one that’s been all about making our community a safer place to live over the past 125 years.”

            The event will give residents a glimpse into the LPD’s past and its evolution as a public service entity by showcasing artifacts from throughout the department’s storied history, including objects that date back to the 1800s, retired Oldsmobile police cruisers from the 1950s, archival footage from the 1940s and 1950s, past uniforms and weaponry, oil-lit flashlights, and more. Residents can experience kid-centric activities and demonstrations of police technology, and even find opportunities to take a souvenir photograph.

            This family-friendly event is open to the public, including free parking and admission, and will be kicked off with an opening ceremony that includes remarks from Mayor Andy Schor, LPD Chief of Police Michael Yankowski, and members of the LPD Board of Commissioners. In addition, a special Memorial Service will be held to recognize and commemorate all LPD members who have fallen in the line of duty over the past 125 years.

            Volunteers are still needed to help oversee various historical displays for morning and afternoon shifts. Please contact Justin Moore at 517-483-4658 or Justin.moore@lansingmi.gov or Angela Matthews at Angela.matthews@lansingmi.gov to sign up. For more information visit: https://www.lansingmi.gov/398/Police-Department

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.


Saturday, March 3, 2018

March Programs


Spiritualism in Our Own Backyard
 by Penny Swartz
Thursday, March 15, 2018 - 7:00 p.m.
Library of Michigan - 702 W. Kalamazoo

The Historical Society of Greater Lansing is hosting a program, “Spiritualism in Our Own Backyard,” by retired clergy person Penelope Swartz at 7 p.m., Thursday, March 15, at the Library of Michigan, 702 W. Kalamazoo, Lansing. The program is free and open to the public.

The American socio-religious movement which started in upstate New York in 1848 spread like wildfire across the United States arriving in the Lansing area in 1882 when Lucretia Shaw opened a spiritualism camp at Pine Lake, now Lake Lansing. Spiritualists believed it was possible to communicate with the dead.  Even the parents of R.E. Olds, Pliny and Sarah Olds and were among the founders of the Namoka Spiritualist Camp Meeting Association which evolved into the Haslett Spiritualist Camp when James Haslett bought the camp in 1887 and began  attracting thousands of campers each summer.

The camp operated for six weeks during the summer, until about 1910, when Haslett’s spouse could no longer operate the camp profitably. In its heyday, the camp owners had erected an auditorium holding 2000 and a dining hall for 250 on a 100 acre piece of land. In addition, a special building for mediums and medium training was built with 16 private rooms.

In addition to spiritualist programs, campers had a vibrant range of other activities including dances and lectures which were also open to the public. To accommodate the public, rooming houses and a hotel cropped up nearby serviced by a trolley and a train which brought a steady stream of spiritualists and curiosity seekers.

The spiritualist movement attracted some notable international and U.S. personalities including Arthur Conan Doyle, Charles Dickens and Mary Todd Lincoln. Locally, the Mason area Meads, Mary Jeannete and George, were spiritualists.  The movement also attracted the attention of famed magician Harry Houdini who was instrumental in debunking spiritualists and mediums.

Mrs. Mead, a practicing medium, went by the professional name of “Lady” and was assisted by Yunundeo and Yokie.

Mediums were early adopters of emerging technology such as the telegraph, telephone, electricity and photography. Michigan also had an association of mediums which issued certificates certifying mediums to be a “trusted medium” and exhibiting “spotless purity.”

In addition to the Pine Lake spiritualism camp, Grand Ledge also hosted summer camps that delved into similar aspects of the movement. As late as 1948 the Lansing City Directory listed eight spiritualist churches in Lansing.

Today, the infamous Ouija Board continues the tradition of certain mediums who used the talking writing technique of allegedly communicating with the dead.  


Growing (Up In) Lansing's Catholic Church

by Rev. Msgr. George C. Michalek
Wednesday, March 21 – 6:30 p.m.
St. Mary Cathedral - 219 Seymour

            The first recorded Catholic activity in Lansing dates to 1853, with construction of the first church beginning in 1859. The name St. Mary was attached to the community. At the time, Lansing was regularly visited by the priest from Corunna, who moved to Lansing in 1966. New parishes were established in the “Roaring Twenties” and again in the post-WWII boom. Now there are nine worship sites in Lansing and East Lansing.

            Join Monsignor George C. Michalek, archivist of the diocese of Lansing  since 1979, who will explore the development of the Catholic parishes, the establishment of the diocese in 1937, and what it meant to grow-up Catholic in the greater Lansing area. The talk will be given at St. Mary Cathedral. Following his presentation attendees will have the opportunity to visit the small museum at the Cathedral dedicated to the history of the Lansing diocese.





Saturday, February 3, 2018

February 2018 Program

Capitol Women: Librarians, Clerks, Janitresses, and Lawmakers 1879-1940
by Valerie Marvin
Thursday, February 22 - 7:00 p.m.
Library of Michigan - 702 W. Kalamazoo

            When the present Capitol opened, Harriet Tenney, Michigan’s first female state librarian, held control over almost an entire wing of the building. The first professional woman to hold a top tier gubernatorial appointment in the peninsular state, Tenney was aware of her significance. In her first report to the governor she wrote that “By the advice of the Chief Executive of the State and with the unanimous consent and approbation of the Senate, on the 31st day of March, 1869, this Library was placed in charge of a WOMAN.”

            In the years that followed, Tenney was joined at the Capitol by an ever-increasing number of women who worked as assistant librarians, clerks, secretaries, telephone operators, and janitresses. Laboring day in and day out, these women fulfilled vital roles in state government as they kept careful records, operated new technologies, and, in the case of Harriet’s protégé, Mary Spencer, built a statewide lending library program that benefitted Michigan residents for decades. Among Mary’s contemporaries was another fascinating figure, Belle Maniates, who clerked during the day and wrote short stories and novels at night. In 1912 Maniates published her first novel, David Dunne, about a boy who grows up to be governor. Several scenes in it are set in the Capitol building.

            The dawn of women’s suffrage in 1920 brought Michigan’s first female legislators to the Capitol, including Grand Rapids suffrage leader Eva McCall Hamilton, and, in 1924, Cora Reynolds Anderson, a Native American educator and health activist from L’Anse. Bold advocates for women and children, Hamilton and Anderson were praised by some, and loathed by others, who saw them as distractions and interlopers in the male legislature.


            Learn about these trailblazing women and the rules—written and unspoken—that both limited and inspired their successes.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

January 2018 Events

A History of Rock and Roll Postcards

Tuesday, January 9 - 6:00 p.m.
Delta Township District Library - 5130 Davenport Dr., Delta Township (just NE of the Lansing Mall)

Wally Jung, a postcard collector for over 25 years, will present a history of popular music form the 1940s through the present, as illustrated in picture postcards. The program follows how radio and television shaped music into a major cultural force in the 1950s and 1960s.

Besides being a collector, Wally Jung is also a portcard dealer and show promotor. His interest in pop cuture led to a degree in American Studies from Michigan State University, and another degree in photography from Lansing Community College.


War and Speech: Propaganda, Patriotism, and Dissent in the Great War
Exhibit Tour with Curator Shirley Wajda

Tuesday, January 16, 2018 - 6:00 p.m.
Michigan State University Museum - 409 West Circle Drive
Exhibit Open November 11, 2017 – November 11, 2018

War and Speech: Propaganda, Patriotism, and Dissent in the Great War explores, through the MSU Museum’s extensive World War I poster and militaria collections, the new ways in which Americans understood civic duty and civic speech.

The techniques of persuasion that helped to shape the modern world were developed for and during the Great War (1914-1918).  In the United States, posters, cartoons, songs, and other popular culture were designed to mobilize the entire home front, to make every adult and child feel intimately involved with the war effort. At the same time, Liberty Loan campaigns, military parades, and other activities to support the troops as they trained and fought featured all aspects of military life, from the doughboy’s field kit to hard-won battlefield trophies brought back in victory.

Paradoxically, during this first world war to defend ideals of democracy and freedom, state surveillance and restrictions on dissent increased. These powerful images of persuasion simultaneously extended a promise of inclusion to all Americans in the life of the nation, even as women, African Americans, Native Americans, and others struggled for long-denied civil and political rights. 

Propaganda posters produced by the United States government, by commercial lithographers, and by average citizens created a new, modern way of signifying patriotism and the American people.  War and Speech provides a window to that moment, framing Americans' ideas about nation and citizenship in this critical historic era.


New Date, Location for Postcard Show
           
The next Lansing Postcard Show will be held Saturday, January 27, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Masonic Lodge, 2175 Hamilton Rd., Okemos. For more information, check the website: postcardarcheology.com.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Arthur Vandenberg: The Man in the Middle of the American Century
by Hendrik Meijer
Wednesday, November 8, 2017 - 6:30 p.m.
Library of Michigan - 702 W. Kalamazoo St

            It would be a fair question to ask why the portrait of Michigan Senator Arthur Vandenberg is displayed alongside those of Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, John C. Calhoun, Robert M. La Follette Sr., and Robert Taft in the U.S. Senate Reception Room in the nation’s Capitol. What distinguishes him to be among those important luminaries?

            A new biography of the Grand Rapids Republican senator by Hendrik Meijer, CEO and executive chairman of Meijer Inc., helps illuminate why Vandenberg is so important to the political history of the United States. Meijer’s book, Arthur Vandenberg: The Man in the Middle of the American Century, took 27 years to research and write, but it was worth waiting for. The author found that a major impediment to writing a book was his day job at the helm of one of the nation’s largest supermarket chains.

            Meijer will join Lansing Community College history professor David Siwik to talk about his new book. The event is free and books will be for sale.

            Vandenberg, who in the first half of his career was a newspaper editor and publisher of the now defunct Grand Rapids Herald, believed strongly that man makes his own destiny. He also strongly advocated for neutrality during World War I until the United States was forced into the conflict.

            The Michigan senator also was noted for his ability to cross the aisle and seek consensus. During the administration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt he was responsible for the establishment of the FDIC. He later sought the Republican nomination for president.

            Meijer also discovered in his research that Vandenberg became close with the author Sinclair Lewis, despite their differing political views. It is thought that Lewis used Vandenberg as the prototype for two characters in his book It Couldn’t Happen Here.

            Vandenberg may be best known for his speech following Pearl Harbor which became known as the “speech heard ’round the world.” Following World War II he was instrumental in the establishment of NATO, the Marshall Plan, and the United Nations.

            The author was aided in his research by numerous scrapbooks, diaries and journals of both Vandenberg and his spouse Hazel. He discovered the family held back one page from a scrapbook…but, you’ll learn more it about if you come to the event!


            Meijer’s book suggests that there is a role in politics for that one person who steps up and puts the good of the country ahead of the party.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

From the Wilderness to the Heights

 From the Wilderness to the Heights: 
The Transformation of the University of Michigan 1852-1900
Wednesday, October 25, 2017 - 7:00 pm
Library of Michigan - 702 W. Kalamazoo St.

            This year marks the University of Michigan's bicentennial--an auspicious time to reconsider the history of this important institution. Join HSGL and the Library of Michigan for a talk by Prof. Fran Blouin, who will discuss how this once remote school, founded when Michigan was still a territory, blossomed into one of the most important universities in the nation by the turn of the twentieth century.

            Blouin's carefully researched and eloquently told story reveals how presidents Henry Tappan and James Angell, along with some remarkable faculty members and deep-thinking students, fostered exciting discussions about the very essence of humanity, challenging both the academic and religious status quo. These extraordinary ideas, which were discussed, debated, and challenged in ordinary classrooms in Ann Arbor, would transform all of higher education, laying the foundation for our modern research institutions.


            Fran Blouin is Professor of History and Professor in the School of Information at the University of Michigan. He has been on the faculty of the University since 1978, serving as the director of the University's Bentley Historical Library from 1981 to 2013. 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Malcolm X's Daughter To Speak At MSU

The Life of Malcolm X
Thursday, October 12, 7:00 p.m.
Erickson Kiva, Erickson Hall, MSU - 620 Farm Lane

            Michigan State University’s Center for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives, the Michigan Humanities Council, and the Historical Society of Greater Lansing are sponsoring an appearance by Ilyasah Shabazz the daughter of Malcolm X.

            Shabazz will participate in a facilitated discussion with audience members led by MSU’s John Aerni-Flessner, Assistant Professor in the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities (RCAH), on the life of Malcolm X at 7 p.m., Thursday, October 12, in Erickson Hall Kiva on the campus of MSU. The Kiva was the site of an important speech delivered by Malcolm X on January 23, 1963. The event is free.

            Shabazz is touring the state as part of the Michigan Humanities Council’s Great Michigan Read, which selected Shabazz’s book X: A Novel for its 2017-2018 program. The novel, co-authored by young adult writer Kekla Magoon, is a fictionalized version of the life of a young Malcolm X, then Malcolm Little, who lived in Lansing and Mason from 1928-1940. The book, which has been called a “tale of reinvention and redemption” about one of the most important Civil Rights leaders of the 20th century, also was a 2016 Michigan Notable Book.

            On the morning of Friday, October 13, Shabazz will place a simple roadside marker in memory of her grandfather, Earl Little, who was killed in 1931 under suspicious circumstances (some say killed by a streetcar, others say by the Black Legion) at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Detroit Street on Lansing’s east side.

            Bill Castanier, president of the Historical Society, said, “It is important to recognize the life of Malcolm X and his formative years in Lansing. He is one of the most outspoken and important figures in the Civil Rights Movement.” 

            The homes in Lansing where Malcolm lived with his mother, father, and siblings have all been destroyed or torn down. The family’s first home on Lansing’s northwest side was set on fire by the Black Legion and burned to the ground in 1929.

            Malcolm X often returned to the Lansing area as an adult visiting family and friends. In 1958 Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz married in Lansing.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Frank Lloyd Wright Okemos Home Tour

Frank Lloyd Wright Lecture & Okemos Home Tour
Sunday, October 8, 2017
Lecture 12:00 noon in Room Rm 188, Psychology Bldg, MSU
Home Tour 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Mid-Michigan has an opportunity to learn more about Frank Lloyd Wright, the man dubbed as "the greatest American architect of all time," by the American Institute of Architects. On Sunday, October 8, from 1:00-4:00 p.m., the four Wright homes in Okemos, Michigan, will be on a home tour sponsored by the Historical Society of Greater Lansing and DOCOMOMO-MI. 

Wright designed 33 homes in Michigan between 1939 and 1958, including the four in Okemos. The homes are in the "Usonian" style. Each is a single-story dwelling without a garage or much storage. The homes are often L-shaped to fit around gardens and terraces, incorporating the natural surroundings into Wright's design.

This is the first time all four homes, built between 1940 and 1958, will be open to the public at one time. The homes on the tour are:

The Erling and Katherine Brauner House
2527 Arrowhead



The James and Dolores Edwards House
2504 Arrowhead



The Alma Goetsch and Katherine Winckler House
2410 Hulett Road



The Donald and Mary Lou Schaberg House
1155 Wrightwind Drive


Photography by Kim Kauffman

The tour is self-directed. No photographs in the homes, and no children under 12, please. 

Prior to the tour, Susan J. Bandes--author, director of the Museum Studies Program at MSU, and professor of Art History--will give a free lecture on the homes that Wright designed in Okemos, including several that were not built, and the continued importance of Frank Lloyd Wright. The lecture will begin in Room 188 in the Psychology Building on the MSU Campus.

The Okemos tour and lecture is part of a statewide recognition organized by DOCOMOMO-MI on the occasion of what would have been Wright's 150th birthday. Celebrations of Wright's birth are also being organized across the country.

Tickets costing $20 are available to purchase online using the Paypal button below and will be available at the lecture and at the Goetsch Winckler House between 1:00 and 3:00 p.m. during the tour.


 
Bandes, the former director of the Kresge Art Museum, is an expert on Modernism and recently authored Mid-Michigan Modern: From Frank Lloyd Wright to Googie, published by MSU Press in October 2016. Bandes's book will also be available for purchase at the lecture and at the Goetsch Winckler House. 

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Moores River Drive Historic Home Tour


Thank you to everyone who attended and supported the Moores River Drive and Cambridge Road Historic Home Tour!! It was a great day!

Moores River Drive Historic Home Tour
Sunday, September 17, 2017
Brunch 11:00 a.m -1:00 p.m., Home Tour 1:00-5:00 p.m.

Join HSGL for a peek into some of Lansing’s grandest and most beautiful historic homes in the Moores River Drive neighborhood on Sunday, September 17.  The group includes a variety of architectural styles, including Colonial Revival, Tudor Revival, and arguably Lansing’s most stylish bungalow.

The homes on the tour include:        

The home of Brian Huggler and Ken Ross - 1408 Cambridge
Originally built for Harry and Ragna Harper
~ ~ ~
The home of Don LeDuc and Susan Coley - 1435 Cambridge
Originally built for Joseph and Catherine Knapp
~ ~ ~
The home of Paul and Joette Yauk - 2011 Moores River Drive
Originally built for Theodore and Margaret Foster
~ ~ ~
The home of Larry Lee - 1908 Moores River Drive
Originally built for Wallace and Harriet Olds
~ ~ ~
The home of Ted and Gloria Rozeboom - 1607 Moores River Drive
Originally built for Carl and Etta Pearson 

The day begins at 11:00 a.m. for brunch at the Country Club of Lansing, followed by the Home Tour, which starts at 1:00 p.m. and ends at 5:00 p.m. Tickets for the tour only are $20, and tickets for the brunch and the tour are $50.

TOUR TICKETS
Tour tickets may be purchased online using the Paypal button below, sending in this order form with payment, or at the Country Club of Lansing the day of the event.  Brunch tickets must be purchased by September 11 online or by calling 517-282-0671.

Order Moores River Drive Historic Home Tour Tickets


SPONSORSHIPS AND ADVERTISEMENTS

HSGL is also looking to partner with area businesses and supporters who wish to sponsor the event, or buy an advertisement in the program to show their support for Lansing history.

Sponsorships are available at the following levels:
  • $2,500 Platinum Sponsor - Top billing on all promotional materials, full-page advertisement in tour booklet (back cover or inside covers), 8 home tour tickets, 8 brunch tickets.
  • $1,000 Gold Sponsor - Full-page advertisement in tour booklet, 6 home tour tickets, 6 brunch tickets
  • $500 Silver Sponsor - Half-page advertisement in tour booklet, 4 home tour tickets, 4 brunch tickets
  • $250 Bronze Sponsor - Quarter-page advertisement in tour booklet, 2 home tour tickets, 2 brunch tickets
  • $100 Copper Sponsor - Name included in list of sponsors in tour booklet, 2 home tour tickets
Advertisements are available at the following levels:
  • $200 - Full page advertisement in tour booklet. Full page ads are 5" wide by 8" tall.
  • $100 - Half-page advertisement in tour booklet. Half-page ads are 5" wide by 4" tall
  • $50 - Quarter-page advertisement in tour booklet. Quarter-page ads are 2.5" wide by 4" tall.

Purchase Sponsorships & Advertisements
Your black and white camera-ready artwork should be in PDF or JPG format at 300 dpi resolution, if possible. Please e-mail artwork by August 25, 2017, to daveumich@gmail.com. If you have any questions or would like us to prepare an advertisement, please feel free to call 517-282-0671.

Please note that advertisers do not receive complimentary tickets.

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.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

2017 Summer Walking Tour Schedule

2017 Summer Walking Tours


Old East Campus - MSU Tour Series
Saturday, August 19 - 10:00 a.m.
Tour meets at the Student Services Building, 556 E. Circle Dr.

            The 2017 MSU campus tour will cover the history of MSU’s old east campus, which is closely intertwined with the explosive growth of the campus before and after World War II, when President John Hannah found the resources to convert a small cow college into a major university. Highlights of the tour will include Berkey, the Student Services Building, the East Campus residence halls, the Natural Sciences Building, Giltner, and the Auditorium.

Beal Botanical Garden - A Historical Perspective
Thursday, August 24 - 6:30 p.m.
Tour meets at the W.J. Beal Botanical Garden, 40 W. Circle Dr.

            MSU’s Beal Garden owes its existence and its name to Prof. William James Beal, who decided not long after arriving at Michigan State Agricultural College in 1871 that the school needed a campus botanic garden. Within a year this able and ambitious man established a nursery featuring plants from around the world, including England’s Kew Garden. Over the next several years he worked across the campus cultivating trees, plants, and grasses in the area known as Sleepy Hollow and the arboretum. He worked tirelessly to grow these humble efforts throughout his career, and in 1924, following his death, the State Board of Agriculture named the botanic garden in his honor at the request of the Department of Botany. The tour will include stories of Beal’s work, as well as the efforts of his successors who reimagined and redesigned the garden in the mid-20th century, inspiring the American Society of Horticultural Science in 1955 to pronounce the newly organized garden the finest teaching facility in the country.