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Eight miles long and four miles wide, Grand Island lies off the south shore of Lake Superior. It was once home to a sizable community of Chippewa Indians who lived in harmony with the land and with each other. Their tragic demise began early in the nineteenth century when their fellow tribesmen from the mainland goaded them into waging war against rival Sioux. The war party was decimated; only one young brave, Powers of the Air, lived to tell the story that celebrated the heroism of his band and formed the basis of the legend that survives today. Distinguished historian Loren R. Graham has spent more than forty years researching and reconstructing the poignant tale of Powers of the Air and his people. A Face in the Rock is an artful melding of human history and natural history; it is a fascinating narrative of the intimate relation between place and people. Powers of the Air lived to witness the desecration of Grand Island by the fur and logging industries, the Christianization of the tribe, and the near total loss of the Chippewa language, history, and culture. Graham charts the plight of the Chippewa as white culture steadily encroaches, forcing the native people off the island and dispersing their community on the mainland. The story ends with happier events of the past two decades, including the protection of Grand Island within the National Forest system, and the resurgence of Chippewa culture.
“Island Of Adventures – Tales Of Grand Island” is about tales, legends and adventures that have occurred on or around Grand Island, Michigan, the largest island on the south shore of Lake Superior. Located near the famous Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Grand Island was once home to Native Americans, followed by fur traders and early white settlers. Purchased by the Cleveland Cliffs Iron Company in 1900, the island then became a tourist resort which lasted into the 1950s, when its pristine pine forests were logged. Grand Island then declined into a wilderness again. Today it is a National Recreation Area, its nature being preserved. I first came to Grand Island when I was five years old, my family having been invited by close friends who own one of the two lighthouses. From then on I have spent almost every summer on the island in cottages without electricity and running water. During these years I heard many stories about the island which I finally decided to compile into a book. They vary from a mysterious lighthouse murder to the thrill of bear encounters, to rescue missions on Lake Superior and some islanders’ tall tales, along with a closer look at Grand Island’s history and the fascination of exploring the island for remnants of its past. The Foreword is written by Loren Graham who has told me several of these stories. He is also the author of “A Face In The Rock - The Tale Of A Grand Island Chippewa”.
The U.S. Coast Guard had long abandoned the North Lighthouse on Grand Island, erecting a pole light instead when, in 1972, summer residents, Professors Loren and Patricia Graham, became interested in buying and preserving the property which was in great need of repair. They were not aware of the mysterious disappearance of two Lighthouse Keepers in 1908 until Graham found a newspaper clipping from The Detroit Free Press of June 15, 1908, under the oilcloth on the rickety kitchen table in the lighthouse. It read: "Slain and Set Afloat, Grand Island Lighthouse keeper and his assistant are believed to be victims of brutal murder and robbery. Mutilated body of one found in boat. Keeper George Genry missing from his isolated post and thought to have met same fate." Graham began a thirty year investigation of the event and has recorded his findings in his new book, Death at the Lighthouse: A Grand Island Riddle. This non-fiction work begins with a systematic investigation.
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