2012-06-28 / Community

Historical society wins big


Members of the Gulliver Historical Society hold the recently received “Superior Award”. From left to right: Allen Schultz, Shirley Wardwell, Marilyn Fischer, Jean Williams, Polly Merrill, and Bob Williams. 
Courtesy photo Members of the Gulliver Historical Society hold the recently received “Superior Award”. From left to right: Allen Schultz, Shirley Wardwell, Marilyn Fischer, Jean Williams, Polly Merrill, and Bob Williams. Courtesy photo SAULT STE. MARIE — On June 23, Dr. Bernard J. Arbic and the Gulliver Historical Society received the Historical Society of Michigan’s top awards for the preservation of Upper Peninsula history at the 63rd Annual Upper Peninsula History Conference.

Arbic, of Sault Ste. Marie, was awarded the Charles Follo Award, which is presented each year to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the preservation and promotion of Upper Peninsula history.

Also honored at the Upper Peninsula History Awards Banquet was the Gulliver Historical Society located in Schoolcraft County. The society received the Superior Award, which was established in 2006 to honor historical societies, museums, and other organizations in the U.P. for their efforts to advance U.P. history.

Since organizing in 1987, members of the Gulliver Historical Society have created three 45-minute films, published three books, and restored a local cemetery. The society’s centerpiece, however, is the Seul Choix (pronounced Sis-Shwa) Point Lighthouse.

The U.S. Coast Guard leased the lighthouse to the organization, whereupon society members began an enormous restoration and renovation project. This has included moving an abandoned 1895 keepers’ house back to the park; tuck pointing the lighthouse; restoring the fog signal building, boat house, and two brick oil houses; and putting in a parking lot, sidewalks, and picnic areas. The complex now includes a Coast Guard room, scale-model room, keeper’s office, 30-seat theater, research library, and gift shop. Each year, about 20,000 visitors tour the buildings and exhibits or attend special events.

The Charles Follo and Superior Awards are presented each year at the Historical Society of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula History Conference.

For more information about the Society’s awards, visit www.hsmichigan.org or call (517) 324- 1828.

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