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4 Responses “Contact us” →

  1. Belinda

    January 4, 2012

    Wow I would love to see if anything remains of where my ancestors lived.
    I haven’t been on your site in awhile it all looks different.

    Reply
    • Next time you’re here we’ll have to rummage around.

      I have been redecorating. In the process I forgot to turn off comments for the “Contact Us” widget, so here we are. Odd, but in a good way.


  2. Liz Evans

    August 14, 2012

    Thoughts on the Wilkinson Exhibition of Emil Johnson Photographs:Emil Johnson’s incredible photographs were protected and collected by Betty Beeby and displayed yesterday, Sunday, August 12th, 2012 at the Wilkinson House Historical Society, Eastport.
    Emil’s photos capture the struggles and joys of early 20th c life in northern Michigan and the people of Mancelona in particular. The photographs displayed were hauntingly beautiful and poignant. .. one young woman lay dying of TB on a divan surrounded by family lakeside; another young woman in long skirts with a rifle across her knees, watches on as two men set up an open air kitchen on an old wooden box and cast iron cook stove; other photos featured a house sided with tar paper and large tin tacks; one such house posted a sign “Smallpox” while a young woman with scabs on her face poses cheerfully outside. ..snap shots into early 20th century life.
    As I walked through the exhibition, I found myself wishing that the photographs had had captions and names, and I regretted the lost stories and forgotten names of these early people. Perhaps, it is not surprising then, that later the same day while walking and talking with Norton Bretz in Torch Lake at the Pearl Harbor sand bar , we both mentioned that we wished we knew more about Emil Johnson’s life and his photographed subjects.
    We daydreamed and voiced the desire that perhaps the Mancelona Library or the Historical Society could organize a project where the people of Mancelona with deep roots would be invited to look through CDs of the scanned photos and begin to identify the subjects and record their stories. The photographs are an historical treasure, and with names and stories would make a wonderful book.
    What about Emil Johnson? I began digging into census records yesterday, and this is all I know: It seems he was born 28 April 1886 but I don’t know exactly where he was born nor do I yet know his parents names although the census reports that they were both born in Sweden.
    In 1910, he is living in Mancelona (age 24) on Maple Street and listed as photographer with a studio. In 1920 at 34, he is a U.S. Post Mail Carrier and at 44 years, he still carries the mail in Mancelona.
    His World War I draft card says that his name was John Emil Johnson and his wife is Clara May Johnson. Clara May’s maiden name was Stevens and her father may be Bedford Stevens of Newago, Michigan and her mother, Mary Duffy Stevens.
    In 1940 census Emil is living on Maple Avenue/Maple Street in Mancelona with his wife, Clara, and his son Louis E. Johnson, born 1931 as well as his mother -in -law, Mary Stevens. Emil Johnson died in August 1961 according to Michigan death records, but I do not know where he is buried. Some of his neighbors on Maple Street were: Evans, Besaw, Moore, Peterson, Erickson, Gardner, Belding , Hilderly, Goddard, Davidson, Wardell, and Mc Manus… Does anyone remember Emil Johnson, mail carrier, and photographer extraordinaire ?
    At the moment, this is all I have gathered about Emil Johnson’s life. What we know is that he was a true talent and worthy of mention; further work and honors.
    P.O. Box 313, Eastport, Michigan 49627

    Reply
  3. Hi Gerry. I hope you’re ok. We haven’t heard from you for a while now but I expect you have other good things to do. I’m in a bit of a hurry right now so I’m going to give you this link quickly and be off. I thought of you immediately when I saw all these wonderful photographs of veterans of the American Revolution.
    http://lightbox.time.com/2013/07/03/faces-of-the-american-revolution/#1

    Take care. Hope to hear from you soon

    Reply

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