The Beaver Island AMVET's group who took the Gettysburg/Washington D.C. trip returned home on October 6th about 6 p.m. We missed the ferry due to another tour member being injured in a fall. We had a great time and the weather was beautiful, as was the scenery.
The first night we went to Dundee, Michigan and had supper at Cabela's. From Dundee we went on to Somerset, Pennsylvania and spent the night. We visited the "Flight 93" memorial sight in the country-side of Pennsylvania. It is way out "in the boonies" and a very moving sight. To think that all of the 40 people on board gave their lives so that more lives might be saved in D.C. so moved Richie O'Donnell that he left his AMVET hat there with the other mementoes from previous visitors.
We took highway 30 on our way to the turnpike. WOW! we were in the mountains and the color was just gorgeous. We then went to Gettysburg and had a three hour tour, with a guide from Gettysburg. That, too, was very interesting. So many memorials and so much history. We spent the night in Gettysburg at a real nice hotel. We had dinner in a building that was built in 1776. Very quaint and good food.
Early to rise the next morning, and on to Washington, D.C. We picked up our Step-on-Guide at the Union Station at 10 a.m. and she was with us for eight hours. We were able to visit the new F.D.R. Memorial, World War II Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, Iwo JIma Memorial, Korean Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, and the Arlington Cemetery - changing of the guard. On our way to lunch we were passed by what our tour guide said was the President's motorcade. There were police cars, motorcycles, two black limo's and several other black cars. Sirens blaring and lights flashing. All traffic came to a stop. A couple of people on the tour had their picture taken with the President - ask Alvin or Janet and Richie! We had lunch in the basement of the old post office and had our bus stopped by the police and they came aboard, looked us over, said, "Have a nice day" and then proceeded to have a search dog check our luggage, and sniff all around the outside of the bus. Then we took our guide back to Union Station and tried to find the restaurant where we were booked to have dinner.
After making a U-turn on a busy street, that is not easy with a 56-passenger bus in D.C., we found it and had a wonderful meal. We then went back across town to our hotel - it was called the Presidential Inn - which it was not!! Our first clue that it was bad was the desk clerk was behind bullet-proof glass!! but by this time it was almost midnight, and everyone was really tired so we stayed, and everyone came out alive.
We then made our way to Akron, Ohio where we stayed at the Crowne Plaza, Quaker Square. This hotel was class AAAA! It is the place where the Quaker Oats Company started. They have now moved their headquarters to Chicago. Since all old buildings in Akron are rebuilt, not torn down, they made the old grain silos into hotel rooms. It was really something to behold. We then went to the Carousel Dinner Theatre in Akron and saw the musical "Footloose". Needless to say, we all had a wonderful nights' sleep!
Our bus driver was top notch, as was our Tour director, Vicky. She was so embarrassed about the D.C. hotel. It was recommended by the Tourist Association. She's going to suggest that they take it off their list!. We are now trying to get rested up but we would go again tomorrow!
They're movin' on out although not under their own power. The island "junk" cars have put on a few miles even without working engines or with flattened tires as they were moved from next door to Stoney Acres to the west end of the Welke runway and then down to the old Gillespie dock where they're being loaded on a huge barge and transported to the mainland. The property next to Stoney Acres is now clear of the junkers and hopefully before winter sets in they'll all make the move from the end of the runway to the barge. It's sure looking better. I wonder how many of the smashed cars folks still recognize?
The Kahlenberg engine from the tug Bob S, owned by the Beaver Island Historical Society, left the island Sunday on its way down to East Lansing where Karl Bartels plans to rebuild it for the Historical Society. This will be a major undertaking considering the many parts that the engine is in. Karl was assisted by his friend Jerry Heffelbower of Woodland, Michigan.
The Bob S is 50 ft. x 13 ft. fish tug, built by Peterson Boat Works, for William Sellman, Manistique, Mich. in 1935. Equipped with a 75-90 hp. Kahlenberg oil engine and compressed air net lifter. In 1961 the boat was sold to Reuben Peterson, and taken to Harbor Beach, Mich., where it was operated for a number of years. Reuben's sons, Robert and Jerome, brought her back to Manistique and fished from there for a number of years. After sinking at the dock in 1979, she was raised, and then sold to Earl Maudrie, of Beaver Island who operated until 1983, then donated it to the Beaver Island Historical Society, where it remains on display.
Karl Bartels is donating his labor for this project and has promised to send along photos as the work progresses. Considering how many pieces the engine is in at the present time, and the amount of rust that has accumulated it may take Karl a couple years to get it back into prime condition. He has been in touch with the Kahlenberg Company and has high hopes of bringing it back as it was when running. It should be interesting to watch as time passes.
The Community House is moving right along. The hole has been dug and footings are being poured. You'll be able to see this new building "grow" as time passes. Robert Gillespie, Beaver Gems, is the project manager. Most folks are familiar with his work on the new Rural Health Center.
Marguerite McDonough Teter died on September 10, 2005. There will be a graveside service on Sunday, October 16th at Holy Cross Cemetery immediately following the 10:00 Mass.
The Community Calendar has been updated through June 2006. If you know of some event that should be on it, please let me know as much in advance as possible.