The interest in traditional sailing ships—both here in the Grand Traverse region and throughout much of the world—fascinates many. This enthusiasm for both reconstructing and maintaining these boats visually connects maritime history with current times. Schooners would grace the waterways not only out of need in the early days of our area being settled, but again today, bringing a deep recreational satisfaction to many. Being aboard, skimming over the water, feeling the wooden planks underneath one’s feet, winds whipping the face, is sheer exhilaration for the adventurous.

After my great-great-grandfather returned from the Civil War, laws regarding firearms were passed by many different units of government. Laws in Michigan prohibited the firing of guns in towns. Traverse City Police Chief Blacken had lots of firearms turned in to his office in 1926. Blacken dumped the guns in Grand Traverse Bay, ensuring the public’s safety from dangerous misfires.

There are approximately 250 volunteers helping out at the Inland Seas Education Association. “We’d be unable to function without all the amazingly talented and amazingly dedicated volunteers,” says executive director Fred Sitkins. There are doctors, lawyers, teachers, fish biologists, interior decorators, housewives and retirees of all kinds, including retired school administrators, pipe fitters and electronic hospital equipment salesmen.