Early this month, local history was spotlighted for me in many different ways.
Our Key Peninsula Historical Society took down last year’s museum display on the Penrose family and began to work on this year’s exhibit about logging.
“Tall Trees, Tall Men, Tall Tales” will cover a lot of ground, and it poses some unique challenges in how to set up logging artifacts. We can’t bring in a steam donkey or crummy, but smaller equipment used by old-timers, as well as contemporary loggers, can be set out to see and, in some cases, handled.
My husband Frank and friend Don are working on a list of logging terms (although some won’t be put into print), such as “I can whomp up a Molly Hogan” and “Who has cork boots and tin pants?”
As we go through photos, it’s hard to believe the size of trees and logs compared with the size of husky men.
It was a different life when the early loggers worked at clearing those ancient forests.
The memorial service a few weeks ago for local logger and collector Dale Boquist, a lifetime Key Peninsula resident, brought out people who knew him from various parts of his life. His amazing collection of logging equipment has been enjoyed by many, both in use at Old Timer Days logging shows at the Longbranch Improvement Club, and for those who visited his home.
A life snuffed out too soon, and the overflow crowd that celebrated his life shared a wealth of more recent local history.
I met the new owner of the Lakebay Marina and toured the facility he’s restoring to look like what he remembers from when he was a boy. Much of it has been in place longer than I’ve been around, and talking to people about the history has been fascinating.
I learned the house, once the Lakebay Community Church parsonage, also was where my brother was born. The doctor who lived there with his family delivered some local babies.
The Olde Glencove Hotel, featured in the Gateway a few weeks ago, was another historic site to visit this month. Owner Luciann Nadeau gave me a complete tour among packing boxes still sealed since last year’s fire.
I loved seeing the antiques and Victorian décor, picturing some of my early English ancestors living in or visiting such places, but I also had to consider the tremendous upkeep of such beauty.
Beyond being a historic building in the community, the hotel was the home of the Petersens, grandparents of a couple of my grade-school classmates, Nick Boquist and Diann Whitmore.
It seems it’s always more interesting when a building is connected to someone you know.
Following soon after those tours, a few of us from out this way joined Walt Smith and Jerry Eckrom at the Harbor History Museum to discuss KP history in relation to a new book in process.
Get people together who’ve spent many of their years in an area, and the stories roll. Eckrom had a recorder; there’s no way to get all the information down otherwise.
It’s fun to hear stories about people, places and events you know, especially if you’re a local history buff as I am.
A quick tour of the museum was full of “Oh, look!” and “Did you see this?” We promised ourselves a return visit with lots of time to browse.
We came full-circle back to our KP museum that will have our new display open in February. We may still be working to fill it out for a later grand opening, but come see what we’ve pulled out of our archives and storage areas to tell more stories of our local history.Out Our Way columnist Colleen Slater can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.