News

  • The Norwood Needles, Norwood’s quilting group, was awarded the “Volunteer of the Year” prize at the Society’s meeting in November. This group of women from the Norwood area has been responsible for designing, cutting, sewing, assembling and raffling full size quilts each year for more than twenty years in order to benefit the NAHS. Over the years, the membership of the Norwood Needles has consisted of about 30 members as new residents have come into the area and others have departed, and while not everyone is involved in sewing, all are involved in raffle ticket sales. Since 1996 the Norwood Needles ... Read More »

  • KIRK WILSON died unexpectedly on April 11, 2016 at 60 years of age. Kirk was born in Minneapolis, MN on May 8, 1955 to Kenneth and Alice (Kresin) Wilson. He served in the US Coast Guard from 1973 to 1977 aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Sundew stationed in Charlevoix. He worked most of his life for Irish Boat Works as a master marine technician, retiring in October of 2015 after 27 years of service. In August 2014, he married Michele L. (Bateson) Bratcher, who survives him. Kirk and Michele made their home in Norwood and they could frequently be seen enjoying ... Read More »

  • Ro Gartner, of Clam Lake and Cincinnati Ohio, has been proclaimed the official winner of the 2016 Norwood Quilt raffle. Her winning ticket was pulled from over 2,200 at our annual drawing held at our membership meeting and potluck dinner on November 16, 2016. The quilt was delivered to her by Pam Gnodtke, who sold the lucky ticket. Read More »

  • Come join us Tuesdays at the schoolhouse from 10-1 as we research and archive our collection. The project has several components. We will use our new scanner to scan photos and journals and put them into a specified format for on-line research and cataloging. This will involve doing the actual scan, data entry, and physically storing the object. A second component is to begin transcribing some of our journals and diaries. Due to the age of some of the items, and the unique handwriting, some artifacts are difficult to read. We would like to provide a typed version of each page ... Read More »

  • 1870-1890 Winchester 44 Bullet Mold Kirk and Wendy Post of Charlevoix brought us a bullet mold that was found between the wall studs in a house being remodeled in Charlevoix. Attached to the handle of the bullet mold was a note that said the mold had been passed to Berth Harris Moore (first white baby born in Norwood township), daughter of William Harris (Apple Blossom Willie) state senator, teacher, post-master. The only markings placed on this mold was the caliber which in this case is "44 W.C.F." located on the left handle. The lettering led to the discovery that the bullet ... Read More »

  • Below you'll find a recap of the Norwood Area Historical Society's 2016 season. It was a busy and productive season. We kicked off the season in May with cleanup of the Schoolhouse and its grounds on the morning of May 12. Then Boy Scout Tyler Hitner presented his Eagle Scout project on Mid-Michigan’s Honor Flight. The evening prior to the Norwood Area Historical Society's Memorial Day Service at the Norwood Cemetery and Open House at the schoolhouse the Norwood Area Historical Society members and friends hosted a dessert reception honoring Dr. Kurt Kooyer and his family, along with members of the American Legion post in ... Read More »

  • Jackie Barnett, daughter of NAHS members Josette and Jack Costolo is the winner in this year's quilt raffle. The winning ticket was drawn at the annual Potluck dinner meeting  on  November 18.  Raffle sales grossed over $2000 with all proceeds  benefiting the society.  Thanks to the Norwood Needles for the beautiful handiwork in making the quilt, and to all who  participated in making the quilt and selling tickets. Read More »

  • Over 20 years ago a group of Norwood community neighbors founded the Norwood Area Historical Society.  Since then the group has grown in size and accomplishment. Early fund-raising and donations allowed the society to publish a book of Norwood’s history 2001 and purchase the 1890 school house in the village as a headquarters in 2004.  Much work was required in establishing the society and a historical presence in the community. Beginning in 2006, those efforts were recognized through the presentation of a Volunteer of the Year Award.Over the years many members of the society have helped honor and restore the ... Read More »

  • Jim DePriest, treasurer of the Norwood Area Historical Society and citizen of Norwood, passed away in January of 2015. Jim was a constant presence in the community, often seen walking the roads, or attending township meetings. Since his arrival in the northlands, he freely shared his skills, knowledge and expertise with the Society, serving not only as our reliable and competent treasurer, but also as a member dedicated to bringing the Society’s goals into fruition. In time, we came to realize what a special individual was amongst us. Jim graduated ... Read More »

  • It's time for that great even we started last year with our annual movie night, featuring a film from our local author, Rex Beach. The Norwood Area Historical Society will present the all-star adventure classic The World in His Arms, Wednesday, September 17 at 7:30 at the Old Schoolhouse in Norwood. Whether on land or sea, the adventures never stop in the thrill-packed epic adventure, The World in His Arms. Set in 1850, Gregory Peck stars as the swaggering sea captain Jonathan Clark who poaches seal pelts off the ... Read More »

  • The 2013 Schoolhouse Photo Gallery project has come together beautifully. Thank you members and friends for your contributions. We have twelve historical photos now framed and matted, which will be galleried in the Schoolhouse entryway sometime this January. The project committee, Sheron Laney, Marion Light, Chuck Cleland and Donalee Vermeesch have done an outstanding job in stretching our investment and choosing photos and memorabilia which represent the Schoolhouse well. Also a special thanks to the Picture This frame shop in Charlevoix. The Inventory, Curation and Acquisition project got off to a strong start this fall. The Schoolhouse basement has been cleaned ... Read More »

  • “Journey Stories" will be at the Charlevoix Public Library February 3 - March 21, 2014. The traveling exhibition is a Museum on Main Street project in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution, state humanities councils and local cultural organizations in small rural communities. It is the tale of how our ancestors came to America and settled down in their new home. The library is planning multiple lectures, concerts and events in conjunction with the exhibit. The Library has also asked for people to volunteer as docents. Those interested in serving as such should contact Linda Adams at the Charlevoix Public ... Read More »

  • Please make a note of our 2014 dates and events. We continue to urge you to support your local historical society. You can see outcomes of our recent endeavors at the schoolhouse. We will continue to work on the Photo gallery project in addition to continually cleaning up the basement and working on the acquisitions, curation and inventory project. Cathy Benson who will be leading up the project has considerable experience in this field and lots of resources to bring to bear on this effort. We are on our way of becoming a “solid” historical society and perhaps ... Read More »

  • The Board would like to welcome Sandy Miles as the secretary of the Norwood Area Historical Society. Sandy’s many talents including her expert knowledge of data storage and distribution will prove to be a great asset to the membership. Our heartfelt thanks to Toni Zello for her efforts as secretary of the Board and her many past roles on the Norwood Area Historical Society Board. But most of all, for her devotion to this community, her reasonable voice in all things and for being a “counselor” to all. Toni, you are a dear and we miss you. ... Read More »

  • The Norwood Area Historical Society will present the all-star adventure classic The Spoilers Wednesday, September 18 at dusk at the Old Schoolhouse in Norwood. This 1942 oscar-nominated movie version of the popular 1905 Rex Beach novel stars a young John Wayne, Marlene Dietrich, and Randolph Scott. Adventure author Rex Beach was born in Atwood, Michigan in 1877. His contemporaries include Jack London and Zane Grey. Twenty-seven of Beach’s stories and novels became successful Hollywood movies, and The Spoilers was filmed four times between 1920 and 1950. The novel and movie are based on true events witnessed by Beach in Alaska. Miner Roy Glennister ... Read More »

  • On Monday, May 27, 2013 citizens of the Norwood area gathered for the annual Memorial Day observance at the Norwood Cemetery. The ceremony was led by Dr. Kurt Kooyer, a Grand Rapids native who, along with his grandfather, has conducted these ceremonies in northern Michigan for many years--driving al the way from his busy medical practice in South Dakota. As quiet shrouded the gathered community, two bald eagles executed a smart left turn and flew directly overhead as if in honor of those fallen. The poignant service concluded with a 21-gun salute from the local squad of Veterans of Foreign Wars, ... Read More »

  • Our emphasis this year has been toward making the schoolhouse a more historic site. Our first step was to recreate a classroom setting in the main room of the building. Two old student desks and chairs have been arranged in front of an original slate blackboard and the iconic pictures of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington found in every schoolhouse during that time period. If you look closely you'll find period textbooks in the desks that have been generously donated by local Norwood residents. That small vignette was completed during the winter and in the spring we launched our gallery ... Read More »

  • Did you hear the Norwood Schoolhouse and Methodist Church bells ringing on the Fourth of July at 2:00 p.m.? Why were they ringing? On July 4, 1963, President Kennedy encouraged Americans nationwide to "ring freedom bells" to help celebrate Independence Day. While a popular tradition for many years, it slowly was forgotten and the bell ringing fell by the wayside. However, through a national effort on the part of patriotic citizens, the bell-ringing tradition has been resurrected and communities across the nation were encouraged to "ring a bell; cowbells, sleigh bells, school bells, church bells." Marian Light caught wind of the idea ... Read More »

  • The Norwood Area Historical Society will host a viewing of a 1930s-era Rex Beach movie outdoors on the side of the Schoolhouse sometime in September or early October. Watch our Calendar for details. Rex Beach, born in Atwood in 1877, went from prospecting to writing novels. His first and most famous novel, The Spoilers, was based on a true story of corrupt government officials stealing goldmines from prospectors, which he witnessed while prospecting in Nome, Alaska. He kept writing and after much success in his literary endeavors many of his works were adapted into successful films. Read More »

  • Food, hunters and quilts? What do they have in common? We could spend all day spinning a yarn about those three things and how they go together. But we'll let you work on that in your free time. For now, it's a catchy way to remind you that the Norwood Needles Quilt raffle is still going. Tickets can be purchased from Nancy Cleland --231-547-6220, or Pam Gnodtke --231-547-3066. The quilt is beautiful again this year. A winning ticket will be drawn at the Members Potluck Dinner. Which is a wonderful segue into our reminder about the Members Potluck Wednesday, November 13 at ... Read More »

  • Our first Summinar of the season featured Mr. and Mrs. Simon Otto of Petoskey. Mr. Otto is an Odawa elder and storyteller. He enamored the 55 member audience with softly spoken stories of his childhood in Michigan and how he was taught to live on the land by his father and grandfather. He remembered fondly being with his tribe on the shores of Lake Michigan when he was eight-years-old, hunting, fishing and making arrowheads and other tools from the chert (a kind of flint) found right here on the shores of Norwood. It was a delight to listen to his ... Read More »

  • Dr. Chuck Cleland is due congratulations on his recent release Faith in Paper: Ethnohistory and Litigation of Upper Great Lakes Indian Treaties. A detailed work regarding the cultural interactions between Native American and early Michigan settlers, Cleland explains the development of the treaties between the two and the legal disputes that ensued. Andrew Dietzel of Central Michigan University says, "Cleland carefully presents the perspectives and motivations of both parties in the treaty-making process. Moreover, he contends that, given the lack of written histories among the Anishnabeg, knowledge of culture proves a useful tool for extrapolating an indigenous point of view otherwise ... Read More »

  • Norwood resident, Dr. Chuck Cleland arranged for some wonderful lecture presentations at the Old Schoolhouse last summer. All of them had record attendance. Dr. Norton Bretz kicked off the lecture series with his presentation of “School Days: The Education of Norton Pearl 1878-1906” Dr. Norton Bretz, retired Princeton University professor of physics and avid researcher, presented his unique perspective on his grandfather, Norton Pearl, who was born in Eastport and immigrated through Norwood and Antrim City following the Civil War. Mr. Pearl was related to over 100 individuals in Norwood and Antrim City between 1870 and 1900; the Pearls, Flanagans and ... Read More »

  • Many of you may remember Jeff and Susan Kessler who were our neighbors on South Brinker's Road. The Kesslers have moved to Traverse City and we miss their participation in our community. But those who know them will be delighted to learn about Jeff's new career as an author of children's books. Last October Kessler released his first books, a trilogy of young-reader chapter books; Victor the Friendly Vampire, Victor and the Bullies, and Victor Finds His Family. The books' main character, a friendly vampire named Victor, is manager of the lighthouse on the tip of the Leelanau Peninsula. He gets into ... Read More »

  • If you haven't been down to the beach in Norwood lately, make a point to swing down there and take a look at the new facilities. Frank Hamilton, Norwood Township Supervisor, said, "Some time ago the Township applied for, and received, a grant to do improvements in the park. In November we installed some bathrooms and picnic facilities there. Go see your tax dollars at work." In other Township news Hamilton told us that "the turn out for the 2012 National Presidential Election was an outstanding 72% of the Norwood residents!" Way to go Norwood Township. Thanks for taking your right to ... Read More »

  • We'd like to introduce you to some of the Norwood area's newest neighbors! Meet Tim and Patti Fore. Originally from Grand Rapids, Tim and Patti recently purchased their home on the lake from longtime friends. Having been in the real estate business for years, Tim and Patti have brought their work from downstate up north with them. They own and operate a title company that has branches in Traverse City, Bay Harbor, Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, and now Charlevoix. The parents of six children, and grandparents to nine between the ages of one and 16, the Fores are anxiously awaiting the arrival ... Read More »

  • We co-hosted an unusual afternoon event last fall. On Sunday, October 21st the Norwood Area Historical Society and the Charlevoix Historical Society hosted the Marvo Entertainment Group's premiere of "America's Darling" at the Charlevoix Public Library. The Norwood Michigan-born Jay Norwood "Ding" Darling was the son of Marcellus and Clara Darling who were the ministers in the village of Norwood until 1886. Best known for his political and conservation cartoons, Darling was appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as the head of what later became the U.S. Fish and Wildlife ... Read More »

  • We would like to thank all the members of the Norwood Area Historical Society who made our four annual events—the Ice Cream Social, the Labor Day picnic, Hunter's Lunch, and year-end potluck—possible. We had several new members join us for the potluck; it will be fun to get to know them. Look for the write-ups on these new neighbors on this site. And the beautifully crafted "Bull's Eye" quilt made expertly by the Norwood Needles group was won by Jim and Jacque Depriest's granddaughter, Meredith Miller! Congratulations. The village was aglow with lights and pumpkins as we hosted the second annual ... Read More »

  • Chronicle is the membership magazine of the Historical Society of Michigan. It is a gem of a resource. If you aren't a member and love Michigan history we recommend you join just to get the magazine if nothing else. You can subscribe here. Here are a couple points of interest taken from the Chronicle, Vol. 35, No.3, Fall 2012. In Pellston, through the spring of 2013, the Little Traverse Bay bands of Odawa Indians, Emmet County and its historical commission, along with Petersburg National Battlefield present "Soldiers in the Shadows". The exhibit, featured at Pellston Regional Airport, tells the story ... Read More »