History’s Gem of the Month: 1932 Petition

April 2018

History Gem – 1932 Petition submitted by the Grand Marais Womens’ Club to the Burt Township Board

After the railroad closed in 1910, the population in Grand Marais declined from thousands of people down to just a few hundred. Since there were no roads yet, the only way to get to Grand Marais was by ship, during the non-winter months, or by an over-land stage. Finally, M77 was completed in the mid-1920s that made life in Grand Marais a bit better. Just when things were improving, the depression hit. Those living in Grand Marais had to be self-sufficient and survived by fishing, hunting, and gardening. Many families also had cows to supply their families with milk and meat. However, most families did not have yards big enough to coral their livestock, so the cows were allowed to roam around town. The free-roaming bovine created friction when they knocked down fences around gardens and consumed neighbor’s gardens.

The oldest club in town today is the Grand Marais Women’s Club. Back in 1932 women in this club took action and created a petition to try to remedy the situation. The text of the petition is below.

The Grand Marais Women’s Club
Grand Marais, Michigan
September 5, 1932

To Chairmen of the Township Board of Burt Township

Gentlemen:
We, the undersigned qualified voters submit the following petition to have all cattle, horses, mules and pigs kept off of the streets in the town of Grand Marais, and Burt Township.
We believe for the future of Grand Marais, that the above animals on the streets are detrimental to the town in general. Gardens have been destroyed, fences broken down, and complaints have been made by tourists that they were unable to sleep on account of the cow bells.
We believe by bringing more tourists to town we will not only increase employment but also increase the sale of milk products and farm produce, which will help the owners of said cows and keep the town in a sanitary condition.

Mrs. J. Spencer
Mrs. A. J. Goupille
Otto Newberg
Mrs. A. Newberg
Mrs. A. Mattson
Mrs. Joe DesJardin
Mrs. Edward Erickson
J Rainthir
Mrs. Jas H. Buckland
J.H. Buckland
Pearl Martin
Mrs. A. S. Tulloch
E. J. Spencer
Irene Endress
Herman Wood
Isabelle McCall
Mrs. Donald McCall
Mrs. J Plant
Joe Plant
Mrs. Chas Duval
Mrs. R. E. Schneider
Mr. R. E. Schneider
A Goupille
Mr. Torrzes
Mrs. Torrzes
Kathleen Richards
Bernice Bennett
Etta Barney
Pearl Masse
Agnes Petitpren
Henry J. Petripren
M Thoupsow
J Thoupsow
Denise Thompson
Grace Chilson
Marie Petitpren
Chas Goodman
Ambrose Graham
May Meldrum
Ray Meldrum
Clarence Nettleton
Violet Nettleton
Mrs. M. Propst
Manley Propst
Chas Propst
C. J. Power
Mrs. C. J. Power
Hilda Peterson
John Peterson
Mrs. Mary C Demsey
Fred Demsey
Mrs. Irene Rathburn
D. M. Rathburn
Mrs. Elizabeth McDonald
Mr. Robert McDonald
R. J. Cook
Marner Keating
G. S. Hill
F. G. Petripren
John A. Peterson
Oiva Erickson
John W. Williamson
Mrs. J. W. Williamson
Mrs. Jay Lee
Jay Lee
Mrs. E. J. Gross
E. Gross
J. E Sayen
Mrs. J. E. Sayen
Mrs. D. H. Pratt
Geo S. Denny
Fred W. Denny
Cecelia Cherrette
Mrs. Elizabeth Nettleton
Mr. G. E. Nettleton
Geo S. Butler
Mrs. Wood
Ora Endress
Margaret M. Soldenski
G. S. Tullock
Mrs. Larson
Mrs. Frank Vaudreid
Charles Dunol
Mr. Frank Vandersal
Mrs. Mary Petripren
Janice Thomas
H. T. Richards
B. J. Trudell
Jean Trudell
Vivian Trudell
Lily B. Waggoner
Allen Tweedy
Alice Tweedy
Mrs. Florence Butler
Paul Reynolds
Mrs. Eldon Reynolds
Mr. Jesse Jones
Mr. A. L. Phoenix
Mrs. Mae Phoenix

NOTE: The signatures on this petition were written in pencil. Although efforts were made to correctly interpret the handwriting, I apologize in advance for any errors.

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