Marquette is a town that means a lot of things to a lot of people, and for local author Tyler Tichelaar, it's a lot more than just a hometown.
That's one of the reasons he's published a new nonfiction book titled My Marquette: Explore the Queen City of the North—Its History, People, and Places
. Tichelaar has explored the area plenty himself in previous books, including the historical fiction Marquette Trilogy, and dug further into that research to write My Marquette
He says that's another reason behind the genesis of the new book, as it was a chance to present Marquette's history to those near and far.
"After my novel Iron Pioneers
was published, I had several requests from people to give tours of Marquette and I did give a couple of walking tours," Tichelaar says. "Then I realized I could write a book that would give that tour to people who weren't able to come to Marquette, and rather than write a typical history book, I could include personal anecdotes about the places and people that make Marquette's history, showing why it matters to me and why I hope it matters to others."
Increasingly, that history does matter to others, as Marquette is recognized nationally as a historic, recreational and entrepreneurial community. The ties to the past are strong in the Lake Superior town, and Tichelaar, a seventh-generation resident, is well-suited to tell its stories.
Among the stories in My Marquette
are tales of pioneers, scandals, politics, religion, intrigue and dramatic events, like the fire that destroyed much of downtown during a blizzard, or the train journey on which the notable Longyear family sent their 65-room mansion piece by piece. And there are many others, woven into the fabric of the U.P., past and present.
"Since My Marquette
has come out, I've had numerous people contact me to share their own stories and connections to many of the people and places I mention. That tells me that people are interested in history and how the past still shapes the present today, as well as providing us with a platform for shaping our future," Tichelaar says.My Marquette
is available at local bookstores as well as online
.Writer: Sam EgglestonSource: Tyler Tichelaar, Marquette Fiction