Thanks, Debbie Lynne, for the opportunity to be a guest on HHH, talking about the turn of the century in Michigan, when lumber camps were common in the straits of Mackinac. My Christy Lumber Camp Series shows the progression of three children of a lumber camp boss as they transition from life in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan to the Upper Peninsula in pursuit of better logging possibilities at the turn of the century.
First of all, where are the straits of Mackinac? The straits of water lie between the Lower Peninsula of Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. Three cities are the main gateways to this corridor, both today, and historically: Mackinaw City, Mackinac Island, and St. Ignace, Michigan. North of the straits of Mackinac we use a “c” at the end of this Indian word and in the Lower Peninsula, a “w” is placed at the end of Mackinac/Mackinaw. In between, the jewel of the straits, lies Mackinac Island. At the turn of the century, St. Ignace was a bustling city with four newspapers and was a mecca for tourists. Today it is a small town just over the Mackinac Bridge, into the Upper Peninsula.
Lilacs for Juliana, which releases in August. The photo was taken on Mackinac Island, during their annual Lilac Festival. It may be hard to imagine, but at the turn of the century, Native Americans were often educated away from home at “Indian Missions” including on Mackinac Island. Children were separated from their parents and lived at school, sometimes for years.
Although Mackinac Island has a dearth of lumberjacks, lumber camps dotted the countryside both above and below the straits, with easy shipment, by water, of lumber to the mills. This was the prime time and location for Michigan’s “White gold” – the white pines that were frequently as wide across as a man’s height. The woods of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, full of hardwoods as well as pine, beckoned the lumber camp owners north as the massive white pines were thinned out. This necessitated the transition of lumber camps from Lower Michigan into the Upper Peninsula.
Many lumber camps had almost criminal reputations, and it’s not difficult to find descriptions of some of the nefarious activities that went on, if you search for those. However, this is unlike the family lumber camp, my setting for The Fruitcake Challenge. My Kentuckian grandfather was born near Traverse City, Michigan, during this time—presumably where his father worked as a lumberjack and he returned to run his own family lumber camp. In the 1800s and 1900s, a great many men came up from the South, worked in the woods, and then returned home. As the 20th century approached, lumber camp owners were searching for more virgin woods and they crossed the straits to the eastern and middle portions of the Upper Peninsula. Expanding railroad lines, during this time, made the expansion possible, too. I try to show this in my series, with the Christy family moving their camp to just east of St. Ignace and have a scene with the railroad cross-straits transportation, which was a fun thing to learn about at Mackinaw City’s lighthouse museum. Can you imagine having railroad cars pulled across Lake Michigan?
Want to learn more about lumbering? You can visit the Tahquamenon Logging Museum, in Newberry, Michigan, my home town – where my great-grandparents’ cedar cabin still stands, to get a good idea of what lumberjack life was like. Also, below the straits, in central Michigan is the beautiful virgin white pine stand at Hartwick Pines State Park, which I highly recommend visiting and they have a Logging Museum as well.
GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment to enter to win a pair of teapot earrings made by Carrie plus an ebook copy of the brand new Christmas Traditions Eight-In-One collection, The Fruitcake Challenge (A Selah finalist) The Lumberjacks’ Ball, or Lilacs for Juliana.
Carrie Fancett Pagels, the author of The Christy Lumber Camp Series, resides in Virginia’s Historic Triangle and enjoys reading, traveling, baking, beading, and researching--but not all at the same time!
Carrie Fancett Pagels
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Christmas Traditions Eight-In-One collection (August, 2015) on Amazon in Kindle. (Includes Carrie’s story, The Fruitcake Challenge, and seven other novellas by authors Gina Welborn, Darlene Franklin, Jennifer Allee, Cynthia Hickey, Patty Smith Hall, Angela Breidenbach and Niki Turner.
Lilacs for Juliana releases in August, 2015, on Amazon.
The Lumberjacks' Ball (2015) on Amazon in Kindle and paperback.
The Fruitcake Challenge (2014) on Amazon and on Barnes and Noble in ebook and paperback formats.
Carrie, you have a fascinating, rich heritage and it's wonderful to see it tied into your books! All these historic places, and especially Mackinac Island, sound so interesting and beautiful... I wish I could come see them all!! With you as a guide of course! ;) Loved Lilacs for Juliana!! Thanks for having Carrie here, Debbie Lynne! :)ReplyDelete
Am praying you'll get to come see it with me some day, Noela! I'd love to be your guide! So glad you enjoyed this story! Richard was my quietest hero so far and not a real "deep" kind of guy,other than his love of poetry, but he was a lot of fun to write! Hugs!!!Delete
DebbieLynne, Thanks for having me on!!! Labor Day is a GREAT day in Michigan--or at least it was in my childhood. Rich history of labor in that state! So I'm happy to be here today, virtually in the U.P. this Labor Day, 2015! Blessings!ReplyDelete
Carrie, the more I read about Mackinac Island (from your books of course), the more I would like to visit there one day. And like Noela, having you as a guide would be extra special. I loved Lilacs for Juliana, the whole series really.ReplyDelete
Debbie Lynne, thanks for having Carrie share about her books and heritage.
When you go, Tina, be SURE to stay overnight on the island at least one night, preferably more. It isn't the same just going for the day. Thanks for coming by!Delete
Not sure when I would be going Carrie, but I would probably plan on a few days.Delete
An interesting history post on your family, logging, and the lumber camps - Carrie. Thank you!!ReplyDelete
Hey Bonnie! Thanks for coming by! What a beautiful Labor Day! Blessings!Delete
Loved reading this about Mackinac Island and would love to visit there someday. I love Carrie's writing and have really enjoyed this series.ReplyDelete
I wish we could go every summer, Ann. With my surgery last spring that pretty much put a trip up there in June off the calendar. You have to get up there! Thanks for your kind words!Delete
I hope your Labor Day is going great, Bonnie! I got my dining room vacuumed and mopped and I am praising God that I can do this! Wish I was in Michigan, though--at least I am there virtually!!!ReplyDelete
Love hearing about lumberjack history. Carrie, I am loving your series about them.ReplyDelete
It is a vanishing culture, and it was fun growing up with the stories I heard, Robin! Thanks!!!Delete
Love hearing about lumberjack history. Carrie, I am loving your series about them.ReplyDelete
What a fun post! I loved the lumberjack history and all the photos. :) A copy of Lilacs for Juliana will be arriving in my mailbox this week. Super excited to read it!ReplyDelete
My mom certainly had stories to tell about lumber camp life. I think she was quite happy to be out of there but I think it also made a richer life for her with all the people she knew! I hope you love Lilacs for Juliana, Sydney and thanks for being a Beta reader!!!Delete
Hello Debbie Lynne and Carrie! I loved reading this fascinating post. Thanks for sharing the beautiful photos. I can't wait to read Lilacs for Juliana. Blessings to you both.ReplyDelete
Hey Caryl! I'm glad you enjoyed this and hope you'll enjoy this new book! Blessings~!Delete
I'd love a chance to win, Carrie. I've been praying for you,too.ReplyDelete
Will enter you, Sweet Susan! TY for those prayers!Delete
When did you start making jewelry. I like the way you describe everything . I do my traveling through booksReplyDelete
I started making bead jewelry when my daughter was very young. My mentor, another psychologist, had taken up the hobby. She's my daughters Godmother. That is what started me, Jan! Blessings!Delete
Continuing to keep you in my prayers, Carrie! And Lilacs for Juliana is doing so great!!!That is so wonderful I absolutely love reading your books! BLessings!Delete
Logging is HUGE in my neck of the woods (no pun intended!)....Oregon coast. It's still the trade of many men here & has a rich history of logging. It's no surprise to me to drive near a paper mill or be behind a wood chip truck or log truck going down the highway. And each year, you can attend a logging competition at our country fair! A great time to be had all around :-) We even have what's called Camp 18 restaurant that used to be a booming logging camp! I love seeing all the old-timey pictures of loggers :-)ReplyDelete
Since I have "Christmas Traditions", "Lumberjacks Ball" and "The Fruitcake Challenge" I would love to add "Lilacs for Juliana", thank you for the chance :-)
I need to come visit out in Oregon, Trixi--sounds like I'd feel right at home!!! That is really cool! Best wishes for you on a chance to win Lilacs for Juliana!Delete
Interesting to read about logging in the UP. I assumed they had lots of logable trees but didn't know the real history. sm wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)comReplyDelete
Thanks for coming by! The Upper Peninsula is covered with trees. When they logged out much of the Lower Peninsula they went north.Delete
Love your interesting post, Carrie. Michigan is such a beautiful state. I've always enjoyed visiting, but never stayed for any length of time. I would love to visit Mackinac Island, when the lilacs are blooming. I"m looking forward to reading Lilacs for Juliana. Blessings...ReplyDelete
June is when they have the Lilac Festival on Mackinac Island, Kay, and it is like being in heaven when you are there when they are in full bloom!!! Blessings!Delete
Happy Labor Day, Carrie! I hope it has been a good day for you.ReplyDelete
It has been lovely day, Melanie! I pray this has been a lovely day for you, too!Delete
Hello Debbie Lynne. Thanks for hosting Carrie, such a sweet lady. Carrie I sure loved this post. So neat that the cabin where your grandparents lived is still there. I don't have Lilacs for Juliana yet but know I will love it. Loved the first two.ReplyDelete
I would sure love to visit the places you talk about. Never been to that part of the country. Would especially like to meet you in person. Gonna enjoy this HOP. Maxie > mac262(at)me(dot)com <
So glad you could come by, Maxie! TY for your kind words! I love that I can go visit the cabin, which holds SO MANY wonderful memories for me of my Great Uncle Fred, who lived there when I was a child. I hope you'll enjoy this next story, Maxie! Blessings!Delete
Carrie, I have never had the pleasure of visiting Mackinac Island so reading about it is always enjoyable. The lilacs are simply beautiful and the festival sounds wonderful.ReplyDelete
Thank you Debbie Lynne for featuring another great author interview.
cps1950 at gmail dot com
Thanks, Connie! I sure hope you can get up there to visit one day! Make sure you stay overnight on this enchanting island!Delete
Michigan is always fascinating to me - especially the U.P. We love teaching our kids about it - since we live here! Lovely post and very cool to learn more about the logging industry. Your stories bring it to life!ReplyDelete
Thanks so much, Susan! Michigan has such a wealth of fascinating history! One doesn't have to look far to mine for stories! Blessings!Delete
Carrie I love your books and I love those tea pot earrings. Are they the same from the party you had. I loved them and your awesome books. I hope you are feeling better.ReplyDelete
Thanks so much, Tammy! I thought those were really cool tea pot charms and would make great earrings! Many blessings to you and keep reading! BTW, DebbieLynne has a new upcoming release!Delete
Hey Deb and Carrie! Chappy here, just dropping in to say Hey! And Congrats on the new release Carrie! I love this series and I am looking forward to reading Lilacs!ReplyDelete
Hey Debbie! I am so glad you got your copy! Praying you will be blessed by this story! hugs!Delete
Thanks for more history on Mackinac Island and the lovely surrounding area. I have visited the island once - just for the day and I must say I dream about the possibility of visiting again and even starting overnight for a night or two. It really IS an area stories should be written about :)ReplyDelete
Yes, you have to go back and stay overnight, Betti! It just isn't the same as in the daytime!!! I totally agree about this is an area where stories should be set!!! Hugs!Delete
Most informative thank you.ReplyDelete
TY! And you are welcome!Delete
Great info. kamundsen44(at)yahoo(dot)com.ReplyDelete
I've been the logging camp museum before as a child. I would love to go back as an adult to remember more about it.ReplyDelete
Cool! you have been to the one in Newberry, Becky?! That is so neat! Blessings!Delete
This sounds like an awesome book. My husbands ancestors had a Logging Company here in Oregon years ago. This should be a very interesting read. Love History.ReplyDelete
Well, Miss Debi, I hope you will enjoy The Fruitcake Challenge, which I have packed up for you! We love history too!!! I'd love to hear more about your husband's ancestors!Delete
Love, love, love the Christy Lumbar Camp Series. Great characters, great story, great author!ReplyDelete
Love your books!ReplyDelete
I haven't read any of your books but they sound very good.ReplyDelete
Hello, Carrie! Although, not a logger/lumberjack myself, I have many male relatives who have made a career of it here in the Pacific Northwest.ReplyDelete
What a wonderful post. It was a like a getaway. I've read several books that were centered around Mackinac Island. I've already begged my husband to get us away at some point. It just sounds ideal.ReplyDelete
PS Loved The Fruitcake Challenge!
Would love a chance to read a book from a new author to me.ReplyDelete
What a special treat thst you make jewelry. I know it will bless someone. I think working in lumber camps were a very hard and physical job. I don't think I could do thst job without hurting myself. Thanks for your insights on the subject.ReplyDelete
The story sounds exciting and it is full of history! I love historical stories! Your teacup earrings are so pretty! I would love to visit your hometown and the Lumberjack museum! Sounds like some of them lived a hard life that also made it tough for their families! Looking forward to reading your story!ReplyDelete
I enjoy books where the author weaves their ancestry into the pages!ReplyDelete
Love your books Carrie!ReplyDelete
Logging camps are so interesting. I have lots of family pictures with loggers in them.ReplyDelete
This entire post is so enriching! I would love to know more about lumbering, especially my knowledge of it so limited. Great post! Thank you very much for sharing this.ReplyDelete
I love drinking tea. and reading. The teapot earrings sound wonderful.ReplyDelete