Portland Book Review on Mikel Classen’s “True Tales: The Forgotten History of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula”

True Tales: The Forgotten History of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula by Mikel B. Claussen takes the romance out of the stories of northern Michigan. Instead, Claussen weaves a yarn of facts the way only a Yooper can. His style is approachable and very much based on the storytelling of the region, plenty of facts peppered with clever interjections.

These little-known tales are written with the respect and matter-of-fact style that readers will appreciate. While “just the facts” for the most part, with pertinent quotes from relevant materials, the odd authorial interjection catches the reader at prime moments for a laugh, or at least a quick smile.

Deeply informative, but never boring, each chapter covers a different event or person in the often dangerous and sometimes lawless Great Lakes frontier. Maybe Michigan natives especially will be surprised by these stories from the state’s past. Claussen doesn’t focus on the well-known or the glamorous stories, but instead the odd, the little-known, and the people who labored so hard to provide for themselves and their families in an unforgiving and brutal environment.

This is a wonderful volume to better understand the little-understood region that is Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

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Author Mikel B Classen
Star Count 4/5
Format Trade
Page Count 162 pages
Publisher Modern History Press
Publish Date 01-Apr-2022
ISBN 9781615996353
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue June 2022
Category History
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True Tales

SKU 978-1-61599-635-3
$18.95
The Forgotten History of Michigan's Upper Peninsula
In stock
1
Product Details

What Were Pioneer Days Really Like in the U.P.?

The combination of mining, maritime and lumbering history created a culture in the U.P. that is unique to the Midwest. Discover true stories of the rough and dangerous times of the Upper Peninsula frontier that are as enjoyable as they are educational. You'll find no conventional romantic or whitewashed history here. Instead, you will be astonished by the true hardships and facets of trying to settle a frontier sandwiched among the three Great Lakes.

These pages are populated by Native Americans and the European immigrants, looking for their personal promised land-whether to raise families, avoid the law, start a new life or just get rich... no matter what it took. Mineral hunters, outlaws, men of honor creating civilization out of wilderness and the women of strength that accompanied them, the Upper Peninsula called to all. Among the eye-opening stories, you'll find True Tales includes:

  • Dan Seavey, the infamous pirate based out of Escanaba
  • Angelique Mott, who was marooned with her husband on Isle Royale for 9 months with just a handful of provisions and no weapons or tools
  • Vigilantes who broke up the notorious sex trafficking rings - protected by stockades, gunmen, and feral dogs - in Seney, Sac Bay, Ewen, Trout Creek, Ontonagon and Bruce Crossing
  • Klaus L. Hamringa, the lightkeeper hero who received a commendation of valor for saving the crews of the Monarch and Kiowa shipwrecks
  • The strange story of stagecoach robber Reimund (Black Bart) Holzhey
  • The whimsical tale of how Christmas, Michigan got its moniker
  • The backstories of famous pioneers, such as Peter White, George Shiras III, Governor Chase Osborn and many others

This book is a gold mine of vacation possibilities, providing dozens of fascinating little-known facts about many of the innumerable attractions found in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. With the aid of a near countless parade of carefully selected historical images, Mikel paints a picture the reader will not ever forget. -- Michael Carrier, author of Murder on Sugar Island (Jack Handler mysteries)

Learn more at MikelBClassen.com

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