MARQUETTE — A trip back to yesteryear is part of a popular summertime tradition of learning about the history of Marquette.
U.P. residents and tourists of all ages get a chance to travel back in time to see Marquette as it was more than 100 years ago, it’s part of a unique program through the Marquette Regional History Center.
“I’m really worried about the children in this community and the outbreak of Polio,” says Josephine, a nurse in the 1940s.
“Oh Josephine, that is so worrisome indeed. Let me tell you about this ten-year-old that came in. She was complaining about a high fever and a stiff neck, and the next thing I know, the doctor has diagnosed her with Polio,” says another nurse from the 1940s.
The historical bus tour comes alive through the characters that tell the stories from long ago.
Betsy Rutz, Museum educator says, “For people who live here all their life, it’s easy to just drive by a building or location and not think about it, but each of those places have a real story behind it, a story where people lived.”
The bus made a special stop at the Marquette County Courthouse where Teddy Roosevelt told the group about his libel trial.
“I’ve just left the courtroom where George Newett of Ishpeming has admitted his fault in labeling me a drunkard in his newspaper,” says Teddy Roosevelt.
“It gives the people who live here now, pride of place, it really makes them think about their town differently and put some value into that,” continues Rutz.
Robert Mercure, whose dressed as Theodore Roosevelt says, “The history of Marquette in a sense is developing all the time. And we have to kinda look back at some of the things that occurred here that some people are unaware of. So basically, these bus tours bring some of them to life.”
The Marquette Regional History Center will host 8 bus tours throughout the summer. Four will be held in July, and the other four in August.
Tickets are $20 and available for purchase at the Marquette Regional History Center and on their website marquettehistory.org.