Michigan History, PRC Archives, and Maple Syrup *(Tree-tap Update!)

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This morning I attended a special seminar on “Archives 101” at the headquarters of the Historical Society of Michigan (HSM) in our state capital of Lansing (in the Meijer Education Center). Having recently become a member of the society, I not only receive the Michigan History Magazine and other benefits, but also access to special seminars and workshops relating to our state’s history and archives. And lest we forget, much of that history includes her Christian churches, ministries, and missions, several of which were represented at this seminar.

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Today’s seminar was a basic but profitable survey of how to do archiving. Being new to the position of archivist for our denomination, I want to learn from those who are experienced in the field. Not only was the presentation instructive (with many helpful handouts), but so also was the networking with the people in attendance.  As each of us introduced himself or herself and described our roles, I was struck by the fact that many of us are in the same positions and circumstances: serving in dual roles (librarian-archivist, or curator-archivist, or church secretary-historian) in small settings (small-town museums, collections, libraries) and facing quite similar needs (limited budgets, helpers, and space)! But that’s what makes it such a benefit to talk to one another about the what, how, and why of archiving. I was glad I took the time to go to this seminar.

Michigan-History-coverAnd I will take this opportunity to encourage our teachers and Christian schools in Michigan to take advantage of the manifold resources of the HSM, including the magazine and many history workshops and tours. The Society has a section on the website just for teachers and the MH Magazine also has a special children’s edition.

Speaking of Michigan history, did you that the famous Mackinac Island used to be one of our National Parks – the second one, in fact?

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And that leads into another great Michigan past time – making maple syrup. While more common in the northern portion of the state, it can be done wherever there are good maples trees – including on the PRC Seminary property. That’s right, this week (yesterday), one of our pre-seminary students, Doner Bartolon and his son Ian, tapped into some of our maple trees so as to experience firsthand the fine art of maple-syrup making.

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So I took them around and we picked out some good hard maples; then Ian and his dad did the drilling and I helped Ian with the tapping; soon the sap started to flow into the jugs they made! With warmer weather in the forecast, it is a good time to start the process. We’ll see how the syrup turns out!


Jake Green | MLive.com

MLive carried a story about Michigan’s maple-syrup industry this Wednesday (March 6). Check out that fascinating report here.

*UPDATE! I checked the trees today and guess what?! The jugs are filling and some are full! Check out these two on tree #1:

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And, finally, we should give you a little update on the new archive addition going out the back of the library. As you can see, not much more had been done in the last few weeks, thanks to the frigid temps and snow-laden clouds in our neck of the woods.

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But, there’s hope. Today was sunny and the temp finally climbed above freezing. Ice was melting and snow receding. Word is that Bosveld plans to return next week and finish enclosing the structure so that work can begin inside. That is good news!

 

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