Local History and Genealogy
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Our Great Lakes Connection
In the strictest interpretation of the term “local history,” you might not consider topics related to Lake Superior or even Lake Michigan close enough to qualify here in Kalamazoo. However, as residents of Michigan--whether living on the lakeshore or in the dead center of the state--we all feel a special connection to each of the Great Lakes and consider them our own. For that reason, we are hosting two wonderful programs in May related to the Lakes. On May 5, Valerie van Heest--author, shipwreck hunter and member of the Women Divers Hall of Fame--will be here presenting her program Lost and Found: Shipwrecks of West Michigan. Ms. van Heest will treat her audience to a history of Great Lakes shipping through the dozens of almost timelessly preserved shipwrecks that lie hidden off the shores of West Michigan. Then, on May 13, we will have the rare opportunity to discover what Great Lakes lighthouse keeping was really like from someone who lived it. The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter, Frances Platske, will share her childhood experiences of life in lighthouses on Lake Superior and her passion for preserving this important part of our state’s heritage. So get ready to expand your horizons and get in touch with history that is uniquely Michigan.
Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter