2016 State History Awards

history-award-emblem---with-date-low-resHSM announced the winners of its 2016 State History Awards, which were presented during its annual State History Conference in Alpena, Mich., Sept. 23-25, 2016. The Society presents the State History Awards every year to individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to the appreciation, collection, preservation and/or promotion of state and local history. The awards are the highest recognition presented by the Historical Society of Michigan, the state’s official historical society and oldest cultural organization.

The 16 winners are: (Detailed descriptions of each recipient are listed at the end of this news release.)

2016-shc-award-winners1

  • Lifetime Achievement AwardEllis Olson from Cheboygan
  • Distinguished Volunteer ServiceRonald Hinman from White Lake
  • Books: University & Commercial Press
    • “A Fluid Frontier: Slavery, Resistance, and the Underground Railroad in the Detroit River Borderland” edited by Karolyn Smardz Frost and Veta Smith Tucker (Wayne State University Press)
    • “Masters of Empire: Great Lakes Indians and the Making of America” by Michael A. McDonnell (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
    • “Sin City North: Sex, Drugs, and Citizenship in the Detroit-Windsor Borderland” by Holly M. Karibo (The University of North Carolina Press)
    • “Twelve Twenty-Five: The Life and Times of a Steam Locomotive” by Kevin P. Keefe (Michigan State University Press)
  • Books: Private Printing
    • “Darius B. Moon: The History of a Michigan Architect, 1880-1910” by James V. MacLean (SoloVerso Press)
    • “Vintage Views Along Scenic M-22 Including Sleeping Bear Dunes” by M. Christine Byron and Thomas R. Wilson (Vintage Views Press)
  • Books: Children & Youth—“They Have My Shoes, I Have My Freedom: A Story About the Underground Railroad” by Cindy Yawkey
  • Communications: WebsitesUniversity of Michigan Heritage Project, www.heritage.umich.edu
  • Education: EducatorJohn R. Beck from Mattawan, teacher at Heritage Christian Academy in Kalamazoo
  • InstitutionsAlpena County George N. Fletcher Public Library Special Collections Department
  • Restoration/PreservationYankee Air Museum in Belleville
  • Special Programs/EventsLindsay Hiltunen, Martin Hobmeier and Mike Stockwell for the “Black Voices in the Copper Country” Series
  • Media“A Minute of Your Time” by the Mount Clemens Public Library and Macomb Cable Network
  • Best Article in Michigan History magazine“The KKK in 1920s Michigan” by Frank J. Boles

2016-shc-award-winners2

The State History Conference explores significant people, places and events in Michigan’s past through a diverse offering of keynote speakers, breakout sessions, workshops and tours. Each year, the conference moves to a different location within the Lower Peninsula to feature the local history of that area and to address notable statewide historical matters. The Historical Society of Michigan also hosts the Upper Peninsula History Conference, which focuses on the history of the Upper Peninsula, and Michigan in Perspective: The Local History Conference, which concentrates on Southeast Michigan and statewide history.

The 2016 State History Conference was sponsored and hosted by the Besser Museum for Northeast Michigan and Alpena Community College.

The Historical Society of Michigan is the state’s oldest cultural organization, founded in 1828 by territorial governor Lewis Cass and explorer Henry Schoolcraft. A nongovernmental nonprofit, the Society focuses on publications, conferences, education, awards and recognition programming, and support for local history organizations to preserve and promote Michigan’s rich history.


Ellis Olson from Cheboygan, Mich., will be awarded the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award. He created the Cheboygan Area Free Museum and Historical Library in 1969 and co-founded the Cheboygan County Historical Society in 1971, serving as its first president. He has also written three books on the history of the area.

Ronald Hinman from White Lake will receive the Distinguished Volunteer Service Award. He has been a lifetime member of the White Lake Historical Society for more than 25 years, during which he has published a number of local history materials, videotaped interviews with White Lake residents, and compiled reference information on White Lake houses and schools.

In the category of Books: University & Commercial Press, Karolyn Smardz Frost and Veta Smith Tucker will be presented a State History Award for “A Fluid Frontier: Slavery, Resistance, and the Underground Railroad in the Detroit River Borderland,” which was published by Wayne State University Press. The editors describe the founding of African-Canadian settlements along the Detroit River during the early 1800s and include many individual accounts of freedom-seekers.

A State History Award in the category of Books: University & Commercial Press will be presented to Michael A. McDonnell for “Masters of Empire: Great Lakes Indians and the Making of America,” published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. The book details the relationships between Michigan’s native tribes—involving commerce, kinship and rivalry—and how much of that early history in fact had little to do with the presence of Europeans.

Holly M. Karibo will receive a State History Award in the category of Books: University & Commercial Press for “Sin City North: Sex, Drugs, and Citizenship in the Detroit-Windsor Borderland,” published by The University of North Carolina Press. The book illustrates political, cultural and socioeconomic developments of the Detroit-Windsor border during the 1940s and 1950s, which saw the region quickly become the busiest crossing point between Canada and the United States.

A State History Award in the category of Books: University & Commercial Press will be presented to Kevin P. Keefe for “Twelve Twenty-Five: The Life and Times of a Steam Locomotive,” published by Michigan State University Press. Keefe follows a single World War II-era locomotive, the Pere Marquette 1225, through its wartime service, retirement, donation to MSU and subsequent return to steam, which exemplifies the achievement of historic preservation.

James V. MacLean of Lansing will receive a State History Award for “Darius B. Moon: The History of a Michigan Architect, 1880-1910,” published by SoloVerso Press, in the category of Books: Private Printing. Drawing from family records, archival sources and local histories, MacLean has assembled a comprehensive compilation of houses designed by Moon. The book offers comprehensive accounts of each house and, when available, biographies of notable citizens who lived there.

M. Christine Byron and Thomas R. Wilson of Grand Rapids will receive a State History Award in the category of Books: Private Printing for their work “Vintage Views Along Scenic M-22 Including Sleeping Bear Dunes,” which was published by Vintage Views Press. The book follows one of northern Michigan’s most scenic routes, providing for vacationers a unique historical travel resource complete with vintage maps, photographs and postcards.

In the category of Books: Children & Youth, author and illustrator Cindy Yawkey of Vandalia will be presented with a State History Award for “They Have My Shoes, I Have My Freedom: A Story About the Underground Railroad.” The book describes how abolitionists, fugitive slaves, free blacks and Quakers came together in Cass County to combat slavery during the 19th century.

The 2016 Communications: Websites Award will be presented to the University of Michigan Heritage Project, coordinated by the offices of the president and vice president for global communications as well as the Bentley Historical Library. The project features a collection of multimedia stories that provide a digital experience of the university’s past and serves to identify relationships between the state of Michigan and its oldest university.

The State History Award for Education: Educator will be presented to John R. Beck of Mattawan. As a high school teacher at Heritage Christian Academy in Kalamazoo, Beck is dedicated to expanding and improving the study of history. He created a freshman high school Michigan history class at Heritage Christian Academy; founded a school-wide Heritage History Club Speaker Series; mentored fellow Michigan history teachers; and utilized local, state and national resources to prepare his students to pursue history following their graduation.

The State History Award for Institutions will be awarded to the Alpena County George N. Fletcher Public Library Special Collections Department. Its special collections department houses an incomparable collection of photographs and documents pertaining to Michigan’s lumber industry, Great Lakes maritime history, and the cultural history of Michigan’s northeastern Lower Peninsula. The library’s holdings also include oral histories that range from stories of one-room schoolhouses and workplace conditions to musicians and music educators.

The Yankee Air Museum will be awarded a State History Award for the category of Restoration/Preservation. Located on the grounds of the Willow Run airport in Belleville, Mich., the museum serves to preserve the World War II-era history of Detroit as America’s “Arsenal of Democracy,” Rosie the Riveter and wartime aviation in southeast Michigan. After raising $8 million in two years, the Yankee Air Museum was able to purchase and preserve a section of the Willow Run Bomber Plant, which now tells the story of “How Detroit Saved the World.”

The “Black Voices in the Copper Country” Series will be awarded the 2016 Special Programs/Events Award. Developed by staff members of the Michigan Technological University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections, Lindsay Hiltunen, Martin Hobmeier and Mike Stockwell, the program illustrates the African-American experience in Keweenaw County through historical source analysis, community involvement and exhibits. While much of the research done on Michigan’s Copper Country focuses on industry, business and immigration, “Black Voices” seeks to identify cultural diversity in the region’s history.

The Mount Clemens Public Library and Macomb Cable Network will receive the 2016 Media Award for the local history video series “A Minute of Your Time.” In anticipation of Macomb County’s bicentennial, the two institutions partnered to develop a video series to educate the public about the area’s history, raise public awareness of the county’s historical assets, promote interest in historic preservation and generate the interest of youth in local history.

“The KKK in 1920s Michigan” by Frank J. Boles of Mount Pleasant received the 2016 Best Article in Michigan History magazine. The article appeared in the Jul/Aug 2016 issue. It describes how the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan entered Michigan by way of Detroit in 1921, quickly spreading throughout the state, and recruited larger numbers of members by promoting the purity of the white race, Protestant Christianity and “100% Americanism.” The article focuses specifically on the impact of the KKK on Newaygo County during the 1920s.

 

Historical Society of Michigan 5815 Executive Drive Lansing, MI 48911
Email hsm@hsmichigan.org | Phone (517) 324-1828 | Fax (517) 324-4370

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