I’ve always had a fascination with old newspapers. I’ve read everything from issues of the Petoskey newspaper decades back to issues of what used to the the Boyne Citizen as far back as the 1800’s, and it seems like another world. [private[
I see a Boyne City with dirt roads, horse-drawn buggies, and people working to dredge what once was the Pine Lake (now Lake Charlevoix), effectively lowering the water level by several feet. I see businesses charging pennies for loaves of bread, obituaries proclaiming lives of people who died long before I was born, and men wearing top hats, bowlers, and bowties.
I also look and see the important news of the day. The citizens were one day proud that their children could have a school to go to, and happier still to take the train to their next destination. The missions, which are now churches, worked with travelling priests and pastors, as they gave sermons on their way through, making rounds from church to church. Issues affecting the residents in 1909 included the finding of oil in Mancelona, the selling of “firewater” to minor children, and the opening of a Justice’s Office in City Hall. We look back and see just what was important to everyone.
I often wonder what people would think 100 years from now if they read The Boyne City Gazette. Some weeks, the grim truth can be seen – the front page showing things like a complaint against the Police Department, a lawsuit affecting Grandvue, the home for many of Boyne’s elders, and the turmoil abounding from gas and oil leases. Other weeks, business open, businesses close, and a building may be knocked down, but we’re not sure yet, so check back next week.
I know one thing for sure. One hundred years from now, people will look at the Boyne Country Community Center, and read about how it came to be. They will read about a night when many citizens and businesses came together, and in spite of personal risk, chipped in the dollars and cents they had to give hope to their city. Businesses, organizations, couples, individuals, and all of Boyne City alike came together for a common cause – to see that our children have a place to go, something to do, and a way to improve their future.
The Masonic Lodge will look back and see it as the day they took a big step to ensure that they would be here tomorrow. While selling their building to better their home town, they also found a place to meet that will allow them to continue.
As I write this column, I wonder what people will say if they read it 100 years from now, or even 1 year from now. I hope that next year, someone can sit and read their paper over a cup of coffee at the new Community Center. I hope that some ten-year-old child rips apart his Boyne Gazette to stuff the scarecrow out front for the Harvest Festival, getting the Community Center ready for one of its many celebrations.
I’m waiting for the future, and asking myself “What will they say when they read this.” I hope to hear something like “This is why we live in Boyne City.” That’s what I’d say.[/private]