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2017 MDNP Grant Winner L'Anse



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Voting Results: 
L'Anse: 38,036 votes
Utica: 31,679 votes
Leelan​au: 25,210 votes ​

1st and 2nd place towns receive an extra 500 and 250 votes for the newspaper they chose!   

​​MacDonald Public Library

New Baltimore - New Haven Star
North Macomb News - Press

Special Features or Unique Aspects of this Paper

 The New Baltimore News was started by Ben Davenport in 1929.  Mr. Davenport was keenly interested in local affairs which he reported through the columns of his paper. When his health failed, his daughter, Evelyn, took charge. She edited the paper until her marriage to Ken Ferguson, who, thereafter, became co-editor. This arrangement continued until the mid-thirties, when the paper was consolidated with the Nellis Publications of Mt. Clemens and became the New Baltimore-New Haven Star, covering not only local New Baltimore news but expanding to cover the village of New Haven and Lenox Township.

In 1944, Clarence Thielk of Mt. Clemens took over as editor and the paper became The North Macomb News-Press.  This newspaper was a consolidation of The New Baltimore News and The New Haven Press. The paper continued to be published in New Baltimore.

Besides covering the geographic area mentioned, these newspapers included articles of local or national importance at the time. Until 1930, New Baltimore was located in the middle of the Detroit United Railroad line that ran from Detroit to Port Huron. The train's power plant was built in New Baltimore. During Prohibition in the 1920s, New Baltimore was an important port for the illegal liquor trade due to its proximity to Canada.

Selfridge Air National Guard Base is only a couple of miles away, and articles about the development and changes to this base over the years were written. The March 11, 1931, issue of the New Baltimore-New Haven Star included a letter written by a young soldier as he laid mortally wounded during the battle of Chickamauga on September 30, 1863.

As with any small town newspaper both newspapers, chronicled the changing times from Prohibition through World War II. Articles about local residents, their everyday lives, and articles of a national or world level abound. The long-term value to historians, genealogists, or anyone else interested is invaluable.

Reason why you believe this paper should be made available online

The Dig Mich News digitizing newspaper program currently does not have representation from Macomb County and Southeast Michigan newspapers. Given the long history of New Baltimore, founded in 1845, this area should not be overlooked.

The library has 10 rolls of microfilm for the New Baltimore-New Haven Star and the North Macomb News-Press plus another 36 rolls of microfilm for the two newspapers that were published later. The time period spans from 1926 to the present. Currently, all this microfilm is unavailable for public viewing as our microfilm reader/printer finally became too old and parts were no longer available to repair.

We hope that by digitizing these two early newspapers we will provide access to them for historians, genealogists, or any persons or groups interested in this historical information. Our plan is to use this as a starting point to help us in raising funds to complete microfilming and start digitizing our entire collection.

​2017 Michigan Digital Newspaper Grant Winner: 
L'Anse Area Schools/Baraga County Public Library

The L'Anse Sentinel

Special Features or Unique Aspects of this Paper

TheL'Anse Sentinel is the largest weekly newspaper in the entire Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It is available on-line through subscription only.

This paper was established in 1890 and still operates today. Records exist back to 1896. This paper includes a history page each week which features an actual copy from older editions correlating to the date of the present edition. Many elderly residents who have grown up in the area love seeing the history page each week. Younger generations who have connections to historical events reported, by family relations or living in a certain location, also enjoy TheSentinel. This paper also covers headline events in the area as well as recaps sports events. Weekly features include obituaries, which provide a reliable reference for citizens of the area. Outlying news from the greater geographical area is also a weekly feature. The geographic coverage of this paper covers a reader radius of 1,265 square miles. Other weekly features include, outdoor, dining and entertainment, four national columnists and a local human interest feature called "The Fireside Chat." Most local advertising is done in The L'Anse Sentinel and residents of the area have come to use it as a necessary tool for reference information.

Reason why you believe this paper should be made available online

We believe this particular newspaper, The L'Anse Sentinel, should be made available on-line through the L'Anse Area Schools / Baraga County Public Library as it would provide local digitalized access to historical events in the area. The current access to historical pages of The L'Anse Sentinel is difficult at best. The pages are on microfiche / film that have to be used on a reader that is old and difficult to use. It would make easy access for interested persons to research ancestral, sports, geographical or other events of interest within the local geographical area. Several environmental episodes have been reported in this paper over the years in regards to pollution of the Great Lakes as we are positioned on the shores of Lake Superior. Making this paper available on-line would make researching topics affecting the environment by larger companies looking to locate in the area possible. Environmental activist groups who are striving to protect the environment of this beautiful area, especially its fresh water and clean air, find this particular newspaper a way to make their voice heard.​

Shelby Area District Library


Shelby Independent
Shelby Enterprise
The Oceana Herald​

Special Features or Unique Aspects of this Paper

Our community's earliest newspaper, the Shelby Independent, began in 1880 as a weekly and was published into the early part of 1884; after that was the Shelby Enterprise.  We only have four paper copies of that newspaper from 1886 and 1887, and don't know how long it was published.  In 1893, The Oceana Herald began and in the 1990s merged with the Hart Journal and became TheOceana Herald Journal.  This is a short history of the two newspapers that are on microfilm at the Shelby Area District Library's Local History Room.

 Our area in the county of Oceana was organized in 1862 under the name of Benona.  The name of the settlement called Benona was changed to Shelby in 1866 and in 1885 was incorporated as the village of Shelby.  This newspaper contains many stories of pioneer residents that cleared the land, built homes, began businesses in the downtown, and were dairy and fruit farmers.  Early industries included a sawmill, crate and basket factory, and a canning factory.  Because of the local lumbering business, the area also had a large number of coal kilns. The newspaper was the resident's only news source in the days before radio and television and was how they found out about births, deaths, marriages and who went to visit aunt and uncle so and so on Sunday afternoons.  The Shelby Independent/Oceana Herald is full of local interest items about life in a small pioneer town.  

The Shelby Independent /Oceana Herald told of the role that the large flocks of passenger pigeons nesting in the area played in the early life of Shelby.   In the 1870s the village economy was in decline. During this time, thousands of passenger pigeons would nest in and around nearby woodlands.  Many hunters came to the area to trap and kill them in large quantities.  The birds were then shipped on the railroad that went through Shelby.  This enterprise was a major boost to the local economy and Shelby thrived.  Pigeon hunting went on for quite a few years until the birds were hunted to extinction.  The last living passenger pigeon, named Martha, died in Ohio September 1, 1914 at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens.  The pigeon hunting activity made big news in the paper.  Meanwhile, the village increased in population, churches and schools were built, and a community was created.  High school graduations were held at the local Opera House above the local bank until a new high school was built after an earlier one burned.   That early bank was established and is still in business today after a few name and building changes.   Automobile dealerships and garages were part of the business scene.  A large number of gasoline stations occupied the village, mostly on the state highway that ran through the town.

This newspaper tells the story of our pioneer settlement that was established and grew, had hard times, good times, growth, and decline; changes that have been typical of small towns everywhere.

Reason this paper should be made available online

The Oceana Herald should be made available online to preserve a vital resource to our county's history and provide easy access for research.  Oceana County has mainly had this one newspaper to record all of the happenings in this small rural agricultural community.  One of the major concerns with microfilm is keeping the old microfilm machine working.  Over the past few years, our old microfilm machine has had problems printing pages for researchers and sometimes it really needs some TLC to make it work correctly.  We have looked into new microfilm machines, but at the price they will cost us, we wonder if it is worth it when it will cost just as much to digitize the microfilm.  Costs of both these processes are a major concern for our library, as we don't have extra money to work with since we service a more rural area.  Another major concern with the microfilm is worrying about how the film is holding up.  A way to preserve the quality of the microfilm copies we have is to get them digitized.  If the microfilm is digitized and available online, it would decrease the use of the actual microfilm which would help preserve the oldest microfilm we have.  If the microfilm is put online, it would not only help with preserving the microfilm, but would help researchers who are not in our area access historical information.

Putting The Oceana Herald online would greatly help those who have roots in Oceana County but now live in other places, and are looking for information on their family or events that happened in the county.  The Local History Room at the Library gets numerous inquiries from people who don't live here, but need information from the old newspapers.  Having the newspaper online would also help in these situations, because not only would the researcher be able to access the newspaper where they are at, but it would allow a much easier way to find what they are looking for.  On the microfilm you have to scour through all the newspapers for hours looking very carefully at each page to find what you are looking for, but if it was available online you could possibly find what you are looking for in a matter of minutes simply by typing in a date or subject.   Our county would greatly benefit from having The Oceana Herald online since none of the libraries or the Historical Society of our county have the paper available online. 

Leelanau Historical Society

Leelanau Enterprise

Special Features or Unique Aspects of this Paper

The Leelanau Enterprise is the longest continually operating newspaper in Leelanau County, printed every Thursday for 139 years.  Beginning in 1877 under the ownership of B.H. Derby, the Enterprise, as it is affectionately called, has reported on the daily activities of its residents.  Starting with it earliest pioneers who came here seeking a new life farming or lumbering until today's residents who enjoy living in what Good Morning America calls the most beautiful place in America!  Then, and now, the people of Leelanau have taken pride in their local community, businesses, and citizens who make this rural Michigan landscape home.

Over the years, 14 different persons have owned or partially-owned the newspaper, including three husband-wife teams.  Originally based out of Northport, the newspaper seemed to follow the county seat when it changed position, shifting to Leland in 1881 and Lake Leelanau in 2000 where it currently operates.

Leelanau is a Native American word meaning "Land of Delight."  So it is no surprise that Leelanau County is home to some of the most beautiful shorelines in America, including those inside of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.  The "pinky finger" of Michigan is a peninsula surrounded by Lake Michigan and West Grand Traverse Bay.  Leelanau has the second-highest proportion of water area of any county in the United States, boasting 100 miles of shoreline.  The Leelanau Enterprise often reported on the ships arriving and departing from the ports of the region, as well as the activities of the four Lighthouses and three Life Saving Stations/Coast Guard Stations.  Maritime history permeates the region beginning with the county's first settlers who landed on South Manitou Island, one of two islands about 12 miles offshore.  In addition to local happenings, the Leelanau Enterprise also reported on state, country, and world news that was of interest to the local people.

Genealogists find the Leelanau Enterprise to be an invaluable resource for primary source information on the comings and goings of local people, illnesses, accidents, marriages, deaths, events, and business advertisements.  The "Leelanau Locals" column featured the day- to-day activities of the region's residents, as well as the big news from the nearby counties of Grand Traverse and Benzie.  As the county grew economically and the residents began to age, there was significant forethought by the editors to include stories, memories, and interviews of the founding families of the region.  These stories are critical to filling in the historical record that has been lost over time due to lack of accessibility to the newspapers.

Reasons why this paper should be made available online

The Leelanau Enterprise should be made available online because it chronicles 139 years of a community that dared to transform wilderness into a home now beloved by newcomers and multi-generational residents and visitors alike.  The Leelanau Historical Society is the premier facility for exploration and interpretation of Leelanau's past.  ​Accessibility of the society's newspaper collection is a major priority identified in our 2016 Strategic Plan.  Since 2008, we have undertaken a huge digitization project making 14,900 artifacts, photos, documents, and books available using PastPerfect Online. The next step is digitization of the newspapers which are of frequent interest to researchers at our facility.  Not only will digitization and text search ability save staff time, it will also help preserve the physical newspapers for a longer period of time by reducing their usage.  Online accessibility of the newspapers will allow researchers to take charge of their own research rather than waiting for staff or volunteers to manually look through original copies of the newspaper.  Manual searches are inefficient and time consuming, but with the ability to quickly query the newspapers using online search tools, the research possibilities are endless! Having the newspapers online will also help build awareness of the Leelanau Historical Society and the other records available in our archives, leading to increased interest in local history, which is American history!

Sterling Heights Historical Commission & 

Utica Heritage Commission​


The Utica Sentinel

Special Features or Unique Aspects of this Paper

Being the first newspaper in Utica, and one of the first weekly newspapers in Macomb County, The Utica Sentinel is a glimpse into the comings and goings of life in the city of Utica, as well as the surrounding farming communities. The paper includes local news as well as updates on State and National news. Although it was "The Utica Sentinel", it covered a much larger area.

Marriage and death announcements of local residents are listed in many issues, as well as items of local interest such as advertisements and schedules for the Romeo/Utica Stage Line train, advertisements for local businesses, as well as the Walter Buhl Company and Detroit Stove Works, reports on new businesses opening up, and reports from the local schools. Few birth records were found in reviewing the microfilm, but that would not be unusual, since mortality rates for children at the time were around 50%! The front page had mostly local news, Page 2 and 3 had state, national, and international news, and page 4 had announcements from the surrounding communities. Later editions that had 8 pages had more advertisements and feature stories. The unique aspect of the paper is that it is published in the city, but covers a large area of farming communities that surround it.

The paper includes "Letters" from various "Agents" in the communities surrounding the City of Utica. There were literally correspondents who wrote letters to the newspaper about events in their towns and settlements. "Letters" found in reviewing the microfilm were from Armada, Avon, Big Beaver, Bruce, Chesterfield, Davis, Harrison, Lenox, Macomb, Mt. Clemens, New Baltimore, New Haven, Richmond, Rochester, Romeo, Ray, Troy, Warren and Washington. There were also correspondents from "English Settlement", "Farr Settlement", "Prestonville" (25 Mile & Schoenherr area), "Disco" (24 Mile & Van Dyke area), "Cady" (15 Mile & Moravian Road area), and items sent from "Mount Vernon" (28 Mile & Mount Vernon Road area). Many of these areas are large plots of land that were settled by Englishmen and they have written into the paper about the activities in their area, including who is visiting from outside of the area, who is sick, and who is hosting a party. There were also excerpts from The Milford Times, TheBirmingham Eccentric, and Richmond Review.

In its later publication years, The Utica Sentinel published official notices and some meeting minutes for the City of Utica, Sterling Township (later the City of Sterling Heights) and Shelby Township. 

Reason why you believe this paper should be made available online

The Utica Sentinel should be made available online due to the fact that it is one of the oldest weekly newspapers in the Macomb County area. The Digital Michigan Newspaper Portal does not include any newspapers from Macomb County, MI. We think this would be a great addition to the Michigan Digital Newspaper collection as it also does not include any newspapers from Macomb County, MI.

Macomb County, being the 3rd most populous county in the state of Michigan, would have many enthusiastic researchers eager to learn about life in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Genealogists would find this paper a treasure chest of links to their ancestors from the area. There are pages full of the individual activities of the people living here. Included in the paper are death notices, marriage notices, real estate transfer notices, and some birth notices.

Since next year is the bicentennial for Utica, (1817-2017) the Utica Heritage Association and the Bicentennial Committee are working to preserve and promote the history of the area. This would be a wonderful project to highlight the history of Utica. The City of Sterling Heights is celebrating its 50th anniversary (1968 – 2018) in two years and there is a greater interest in the history of the area.

This grant is made possible by the Robert and Susan Clarke Endowment.