“A Superior Design…Whaleback Shipwrecks” by Ric Mixter
Whalebacks were unique ships built in Superior, Wisconsin. Shaped like submarines, they sailed for 80 years before the tanker “Meteor” was retired as a museum ship. Ric’s lecture and visual presentation profiles their inventor and includes underwater visits to the Sagamore, Colgate and Cort. Program length 45 minutes plus Q and A.

”Adventures in Michigan’s Past” by Larry Massie 
Michigan is a special place with a rich and colorful heritage second to no other state in the Union. Sprinkled across its grandeur are myriad of musical, magical place names, each with a fascinating story to tell.  Best-selling author, historian and dynamic storyteller, Larry B. Massie takes his audience on a pilgrimage into his beloved state’s past, his telling of true stories makes history come alive through storytelling and will entertain anyone who has felt the lure of Michigan’s fascinating past.  Vignettes featuring Indian chiefs, steel-sinewed voyageurs, black-robed Jesuit priests who carried the cross to the wilderness, intrepid pioneers, rough-hewn lumberjacks, salty Great Lakes ship captains and Underground Railroad conductors who risked their lives guiding slaves to freedom, prove that Michigan history is fascinating. The Michigan history storytelling sessions where Massie has shared his enthusiasm of Michigan’s heritage have been presented at hundreds of conferences, libraries, schools, universities, festivals and organizations across both peninsulas have proven a popular and fun way to get citizens excited about learning more about the heritage of their state and community. Massie, has authored twenty books and hundreds of articles about this great state’s history.

“Ballooning, Blimps & the Great Airships” by Al and David Eicher
This lecture and multi-media presentation covers three types of aircraft used in man’s early effort to maintain flight. We begin with the 1873 balloonists and progress into the Civil War observation balloon program. Along the way we meet Thaddeus Lowe, Michigan’s own General Custer, B.T. Barnum, Prof. Hogan from Jackson, Michigan, Count Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin, Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart. You will witness the building of the Great Dirigibles of the Goodyear Zeppelin Corporation and see Henry Ford’s mooring tower at the Dearborn Airport. Old photographs and movie footage of the period make this an outstanding program.

“The Bay View Association, a National Historic Landmark” By Mary Jane Doerr
Bay View, Michigan, was the largest community landmark effort in Michigan History. At the time of the award in 1989, it was the first landmark granted to Michigan in sixteen years marking a resurgence of interest in state historic properties. An example of both the American Methodist camp meeting movement and the independent Chautauqua assembly, the resort community is recognized not only for its romantic layout and Victorian architecture but its social contributions. The Bay View Assembly program has brought numerous public figures to northern Michigan since the late 1800’s. The Bay View Summer University and College of Liberal Arts offered the only accredited college level classes in northern Michigan nearly eighty years. The Bay view Egyptian Collection now makes up a substantial portion of the artifacts at the Kelsey Museum of Archeology at the U of M. The Bay View Magazine, a correspondence course, served the educational interests of the place where the book “The Joy of Cooking” has its roots and the popular song “Smile” was written. Program length is 45 minutes which includes a 17 minute Award Winning Video. Note: equipment needed VHS player and TV set or projection.

“Beneath Twelve O’clock Point” by David Trotter
On this underwater adventure, David takes you to the “Kamloops”, a 250 freighter, which sank in 1927 at the end of the shipping season. She had remained a “Ghost Ship” until her discovery in the 1970’s. David stories on the filming and survey work plus the actual scenes of the engine room of this well preserved shipwreck make this an outstanding multi-media presentation. Program length 45 minutes plus Q and A.

“Collision! Call All Vessels!” by David Trotter 
David Trotter has led expeditions and discovered shipwrecks in all the Great Lakes with the exception of Lake Ontario. David’s underwater photography of these shipwrecks and story telling have amazed and entertained thousands of people. The lectures and visual presentation are designed for people of all ages. He tailors the presentation to the audience. Program length 45 to 60 minutes depending on the audience.

“DNA Testing: Hope or Hype?” by Ceil Jensen
Is DNA testing a hope for researching your lineage or hype? Learn how to utilize DNA testing in Genealogy. of the researcher’s mt DNA test. After this presentation you will be know about laboratories offering DNA testing for genealogical research. All researchers can have their the maternal lineage traced with a sample of their mt DNA. Male researchers are contributing to Surname Y chromosome studies with surprising results.

Elbow Grease & Wood Smoke : Michigan’s Culinary Past by Priscilla Massie
Step back into Michigan’s past to sniff a warm country kitchen filled with the magic aroma of freshly baked bread, rich stew bubbling on a back burner, and wood smoke – an era when every dish was lovingly prepared from scratch by cooks using treasured recipes handed down through generations. Enjoy the nostalgia of old kitchen utensils, learn the secrets of measuring ingredients by the egg shell, hickory nut, walnut, a pinch, a dash, or a “nickels worth!”  Priscilla Massie & Larry Massie, a husband and wife team of historians will engage you on a guided tour of Michigan’s culinary past, including a display of antique kitchen artifacts. It’s a 50 minute, fast-paced presentation with food tasting, questions, answers and comments following. Please note, men as well as women and children enjoy this fun-filled romp through food history.

“The Early Days of Radio in Michigan” by Al and David Eicher 
This lecture and multi-media presentation features the first commercial radio stations in Michigan and follows a time line which explores the history of early radio programs. From the mid 1920’s, as radio receiver sales soared, we review the classic radio programs of that Era and into the 1950’s. By 1930, radio listening became an “All American past time”. When 1950 came around, more than 200 classic programs had been created by the radio networks. Some of the best shows originated from Detroit and Chicago. This lecture will stimulate many wonderful memories of the early days of radio and display several hundred old photos and movie footage of the characters on radio. Program Length 45 minutes plus Q and A.

“European Waterways: Legends & History from Amsterdam to Vienna” by Al & Dave Eicher
This adventure in European History begins at Amsterdam with a Canal Tour of the city and a visit to a Museum and Diamond Factory. Our river boat “The River Melody” will be your floating hotel and dining room for this 15 day journey. We visit 23 cities and villages along the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers.  The adventure was recorded in the HD! Walking tours and visits to several cathedrals, castles, palaces, wineries in caves, a brewery and prison, plus home visits are only a few events in the adventure.  We also visit the Hall of Justice and Room 600 where the Nuremburg Trials were held and the Parade grounds of the 3rd Reich.  At historic Heidelberg, the Castle Fortress, the University tour, meeting the Student Prince and a Wagon ride up to Old Rothemburg and the Christmas Museum adds to the adventure. River cruising offers a spectacular view of the Danube Valley Grand Gorge. It also makes it possible for convenient stops at the Weltenburg and Melk Abbeys. We will pass through 66 locks on our way to Vienna, Austria.  The Lecture and Visual presentation can be tailored for a 1 1/2 to 2 hour program with Q & A to follow.

“Diving the Great Lakes” by Ric Mixter
This lecture and visual presentation can be designed to highlight stories of shipwrecks near your area. Our library includes nearly 100 wrecks from around the lakes. This makes it possible to customize the program to your area of interest. Program length 45 minutes plus Q and A.

“The Edmund Fitzgerald Investigations” by Ric Mixter
This lecture and visual presentation takes you to the Edmund Fitzgerald, the most investigated shipwreck in the Great Lakes. Diver, Ric Mixter is one of only a few who have actually visited the ship in the cold icy depths of Lake Superior. Hear it from Ric first hand the story of the Edmund Fitzgerald. Program length 45 minutes plus Q and A.

“Friday…The 13th” by David Trotter
In this lecture and multi-media adventure, David takes you to the cold dark waters off Pointe Aux Barques to see the wreckage of the Fred A. Lee, a Canadian 70 foot tug. This ship on its last voyage of the year was bound for Sault St. Marie when it sank on Friday the 13th in the notorious lake storm of 1913  All hands on board were lost. David unfolds the mystery of its sinking and offers new theories on her disappearance. Program length 45 minutes plus Q & A

“For whom the Bell Tolls” by David Trotter
This unique presentation focuses on early navigation on the Great Lakes. It features David’s story telling and the historic discovery of the side-wheel steamer, “Detroit”, which sunk, on May 25, 1854, when it collided with the “Barque Nucleus”. The audience experiences the adventure through the eyes of the divers as they explore the cavities and swim across the decks to view the Paddlewheels of the intact ship. The ship has rested on the bottom of Lake Huron for 140 years, a sight to behold, as only David Trotter can tell the story of this historic ship. Program length 45 minutes plus Q and A.

“Final Run…Storms of the Century” by Ric Mixter
From the 1905 gale storm to the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald, this lecture and visual presentation is most often selected. Ric, a diver and photographer gives first hand information of events from interviews he conducted with survivors. His interviews also included survivors of the 1913 storm on the Great Lakes. Ric’s stories of diving the wrecks make this program unique. Program length plus Q and A.

”History & Legends…Greece, Turkey & the Islands” by Al and David Eicher
Al Eicher traveled to over 50 locations in these countries visiting sites of the early civilizations. He also traveled to the islands of Mykonos, Crete, Patmos, Petra and Santorini. This lecture and visual presentation captures spectacular views of the ancient ruins, snow capped mountains and stories of Greek mythology. Sites visited include Athens,Corinth, Ephesus, Patmos, Rhodes, Lindos, Knossos, Sounion, Thira, Oia, Mycenae, Mars Hill, Kalambaka, Kusadasi, Delphi, Olympia, St. John’s Cave, St. Andrew’s by the Sea and more. The most incredible panoramic views were captured at Meteora where 13 monasteries were built in the 14th and 15th centuries. Many of the monasteries are located on the high pinnacles of the Pindos mountain range. The presentation gives the audience a front row seat,including the sights and sounds of cruising to the islands and climbing to the Acropolis sites of many old cities. Experience the visual history and legends of Greece and Turkey. Program Length 80 minutes plus Q & A.

History & Legends…Traveling the Russian Waterways from St. Petersburg to Moscow” by Al & Dave Eicher
Al Eicher traveled the rivers and lakes on a 1200 mile journey capturing the sights and sounds from St. Petersburg to Moscow. We begin our profile on the Legends and History of Russia’s past plus current economy and lifestyles. Among the many stops along the way, he visited  the historic Peter and Paul Fortress, the Palace of Catherine the Great, Peterhof, Yusupow Palace, the Ballet at the Alexandrinsky Theatre, the Volga Baltic Waterway, the Village of Svirstroy, Kizhi Island and the 22 domed Church of the Transfiguration, and Ivan the Terrible’s 16th Century Fortress in Uglich among the many stops along the way. The trip ended with 3 days in Moscow visiting Red Square, Cathedral of St. Basil, State Armory, the Kremlin, Russian Space Training Center, the Tretvakov Art Gallery and the Russian War Museum.  No visit to Russia would be complete without a trip to the famous Moscow Circus. Besides learning about the Legends and History of Russia, you’ll get a look into the current economy and lifestyle for Russia’s citizens.

“The History of Music Boxes in Michigan” by Al and David Eicher
This lecture and multi-media presentation was developed by Al Eicher who has been a music box collector for many years. He and his son, David went to auctions, where the collectors gather, and traveled throughout Michigan filming and recording the sounds of Music boxes. This presentation covers the historical beginnings in Europe of the early chiming watches, musical snuff boxes, barrel organs and carillons. A segment of the program is devoted to the history of music, revealing the great music composers of the period and their contribution to eventually bring music into homes by the 1860’s and for the next 30 years. Program length 45 minutes plus Q and A.

“The History of Michigan’s Largest Commercial Fishery” by Al and David Eicher
This lecture and multi-media presentation documents the history of Michigan’s largest commercial fishery on Lake Huron’s, Saginaw Bay. The lecture covers the early fisheries at Bay City, Bay Port, East Tawas, Caseville, Oscoda, Au Sable and Sebewaing. The timeline of events begins with the 1850’s to current times. This 150 year history includes salt well operations, ice harvesting using 100’s of old photographs and movie footage of the 1920’s. Two years of research and underwater photography plus interviews with the fishermen of the 1920’s make this an outstanding program and proves that Saginaw Bay was the world’s largest freshwater fishery. Program length 45 minutes plus Q and A.

“How a 1755 Map Gave Michigan Isle Royale and Started the Toledo War” by John L. Daly
In 1755, John Mitchell, created what would become the most often used North American map for five decades.  Negotiators used the Mitchell Map to set the boundaries between the United States and Canada and define the Great Lakes States in the Northwest Ordinance.  John L. Daly tells the stories of how the Mitchell Map influenced Michigan’s boundaries and the entire Great Lakes region.

“Indian History of Southeastern Michigan” by Al and David Eicher
This lecture and multi-media presentation provides “proof positive” information about Michigan’s Thumb region, being rich in Native American History dating back to ancient times. Al and David Eicher working with the Ziibiwing Cultural Center in Mt. Pleasant and several Michigan Museums, over a period of two years, made it possible to develop the story of the early Indians of the Paleo era to the coming of the Anishanabe. Al and David went to many Indian Village sites, Pow Wows, Indian Mission locations, burial mounds and the Petroglyphs in Sanilac County. They traveled to the “Great White Rock” in Lake Huron and walked the river banks where Indian Treaties were signed. Program length 45 minutes plus Q and A.

”It’s Daylight in the Swamp” Songs & Stories by Bill Jamerson
Journey back to the days of swampers, choppers and skidders, where men ate beans and molasses for breakfast before working the woods all day. The only thing bigger that their appetites were the tall tales they told in the bunkhouse. Bill shares many of these tales along with songs about the lives of walking bosses, river hogs, top loaders and teamsters. Lumberjack stories offer a colorful view of our past that appeal to audiences of all ages.

“Lest We Forget: Black Soldiers in the Civil War”by Jeff O’Den is a fastpaced presentation with video, questions, answers and follow-up comments. Note: men as well as women and children, 4th graders and up will enjoy this revealing and fascinating journey through Civil War history.  Note, if time permits, Jeff has a few interesting experiences to share about the research, producing and filming aspects of his work, which make this topic an outstanding presentation. Program length: 45-minutes plus Q & A, includes an exciting 36 minute video. Note: Equipment needed: projector, speakers, screen or large TV set. Laptop provided by speaker.

Lewis & Clark Expedition” by Randy Baker 
Randy portrays Sergeant Patrick Gass of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, a carpenter on the journey and the first to publish his journal after the expedition. Patrick Gass lived to be 98 years old and thus had a better perspective on how the Lewis and Clark Expedition changed the course of American history than any other member on the expedition. Why they went, what they saw, who they met, and what they did on this extraordinary adventure into American west is our focus. A wide variety of artifacts utilized throughout the  program helps to bring history to life.  In the year 1800 Meriwether Lewis served as paymaster for  Fort Detroit and some of Patrick Gass’ relatives still live here in Michigan. Program length one hour. Best suited for  grades 4 through adult.

“Maps for Genealogy: Old, New and Electronic” by Ceil Jensen
Whether its finding the family farm on a plat map or the changing boarders of a county or country; maps are indispensable. A range of sources, types and uses of maps will be covered.

“Mark Twain’s American West” by John L. Daly
John L. Daly, as Mark Twain, will regale you with amusing tales of the Mississippi River, Virginia City’s silver boom and San Francisco in the 1860’s from Twain’s books “Life on the Mississippi” and “Roughing it”.

“Michigan in the Civil War” by Al and David Eicher
This lecture and visual presentation was developed over a 5 year period by Al and Dave Eicher. More than 150 Michigan research centers such as Libraries, historical societies and individuals contributed information and photographs. The presentation includes visits to the many Historic sites relating to Civil War events in Michigan and old photos of places where the recruits joined the Union cause. The producer’s television cameras also went to the Harper’s Ferry Arsenal, Gettysburg Battle fields, the Battle of the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, the crossing of the Rappahannock River, Petersburg, Bull Run and Fredericksburg. Michigan men and women were there! This presentation is unique in that it develops a month by month timeline of events in Michigan and at the Eastern battlefields. This program in 77 minutes tells true stories about Michigan people and Governor Blair’s search for troops to meet Lincoln’s request. The music and sounds created at the reenactment events make this a very special program relating Michigan’s role in the Civil War.

“Michigan’s Lumbering Days and Camp Life” by Al and David Eicher 
This lecture and multi-media presentation covers the history of lumbering in Michigan from the first settlements and the earliest forms of lumber harvesting. We follow a timeline progressing from hand hewn logs to making finished lumber using the water powered mills. We then progress to the 1870’s steam engines which powered the mills in lower Michigan. Over 200 photographs and old movie footage recreate the life of the lumberjack and river hogs in their quest to harvest the big trees and get them to the mill.  Program length 45 minutes plus Q and A.

“Michigan’s Passesnger Pigeons:  Gone Forever” by Al and David Eicher   Al and David Eicher have created a unique Lecture and Visual presentation about a 70 year event in Michigan’s history.  From the 1830’s and through the 1890’s, the Passenger Pigeon was the most beautiful bird and the dominate species in the State of Michigan.  It was also the most hunted bird from April into September, depending on its roosting patterns.  Professional hunters and game dealers came from New York, Texas, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Ohio to get in on the hunt.  The program follows a timeline of historic events in Michigan’s History which led to the extinction of the Passenger Pigeon.  This presentation was developed over several years of collecting data, newspaper articles, photos,colorful artwork, visiting museums and libraries in Michigan.  The Passenger Pigeon project is the 18th lecture topic developed by the Eicher’s.  The “Orphan Train In Michigan” was their first research project, which became a lecture and visual presentation.  This led to the creation of “When Mark Twain Came to Michigan” and most recent “When Amelia Came to Michigan.  With over 340 lectures given to their credit and the Award of Merit from the Historical Society of Michigan several years ago, they enjoy a statewide audience at many Libraries, Historical Societies and several Colleges. This presentation is 60 minutes in length (plus Q & A) and features a wonderful story, beautiful artwork, specimens from the Cranbrook Institute of Science, plus sounds of nature as it was in the middle 1800’s.

”Michigan’s Native American” by Randy Baker 

The history of how the Native Americans lived in Michigan is the emphasis of the program. We focus on how the local resources were utilized by the Native Americans in Michigan. Medicinal plants, plants used for food, how stone tools, and bone tools  were made and used are just a few of the topics covered during the program. Myths, hunting techniques, cooking methods, methods of preserving food and how their lives changed over time are also covered during the program. A wide variety of tools, Native American foods, and other artifacts are utilized to bring a better understanding of what life was like hundreds and even thousands of years ago. How Michigan’s first inhabitants impact our lives as Americans today is also emphasized during the program. Program length one hour and best suited for ages 3rd grade through adult. Program is well suited for school and organizations interested in history and cultures.

“Michigan’s Wild Life” by Randy Baker
The life history and ecology of a wide variety of Michigan’s wildlife is covered during this 45 minute to one hour long program. Live animals and biofacts are utilized to teach about the amazing animals that are found within Michigan’s boundaries. From birds and mammals to reptiles and amphibians this program covers the uniqueness of each species and how they fit into the ecosystem. Our programs utilize  cutting edge information, new discoveries in science, and exciting educational techniques to stimulate the mind and spawn a desire to learn even more about our wildlife. How Michigan’s  wildlife has  changed due to human activities over the centuries, how it is doing now, and what the future might hold for these Great Lakes residents is just a part of this exciting program. Programs are adjusted for grade levels and are suitable for ages  5 – Adult.

“The Making of Deep Six” by Ric Mixter
This lecture and visual presentation highlights the making of the highly acclaimed video documentary. The presentation features 6 freighters at the bottom of the Great Lakes. Ric shares some of the behind the scenes adventures in making the award winning documentary. Program length 45 minutes plus Q and A.

“The Morrell Encounter” by David Trotter
David tells the story of the now famous ship “The Daniel J. Morrell” which sank in 1966 off Pointe Aux Barques. The ship wreckage at the bottom of Lake Huron is in two pieces, five miles apart. The stern section was located by the Coast Guard in 1966. The bow section was found in 1979. The photography of the dive to the Morrell is outstanding. David tells the many stories of terror and the last hours of this ship. Twenty-eight crewmen lost their lives. David recounts the personal triumph of the lone survivor, Dennis Hale.  Program length 45 minutes plus Q and A.

“Motorcars, Mansions and Melodies” by Susan Berg
Susan Berg (aka Ukulele Sue) is a performing artist who narrates and sings here way through the early automotive history of Detroit. This is the age of auto barons, immigration, Prohibition, flappers, the Depression, the rise of the United Auto Workers, and so much more. In 1925, Detroit had the highest per capita income of any city in the world! (Does that record include the Dodge widows, who sold their company for 146 million dollars that same year?) This is a highly entertaining, carefully researched, and informative program that spotlights the first golden auto age of Detroit from 1914 to the early 1940s. Program length: Flexible 30 – 60 minutes, with possible Q & A.

“Newspapers: Three Generations In The News” by Ceil Jensen
Newspapers are a great resource for information on the life and times of your ancestors. Follow a family for three generations in community and regional newspapers. Ideas are included on how to use current global newspapers to obtain information.

”Old Books: Trash or Treasure” by Larry Massie
What makes one old book a desirable and valuable collector item and another old book practically worthless?  During this one hour presentation Larry B. Massie, Michigan historian, author and advanced book collector (currently 35,000 volumes in his private collection) will unravel some of the mysteries of book collecting. Massie will discuss the relative age of books, how to tell if a book is a first edition, association values, illustrations, fine bindings, significant imprints, dust jackets, and other book collecting lore. He will bring from his private library a display of representative books that will appeal to anyone who cannot resist picking up a beautiful old volume, or perhaps is wondering if any of the books in their attic might be worth something.  Following the discussion Larry will be happy to evaluate books, pamphlets and other printed material brought in by audience members. Please no more than 2 items per person.

“The Orphan Train In Michigan” by Al and David Eicher 
Al and David Eicher, while doing research on the History of Oxford,Michigan, found evidence of the Orphan Train coming to Michigan. From a period starting in 1854 to 1927 approximately 12,500 orphans were placed in Michigan, many coming from the New York Children’s Aid Society.  The lecture and 100 or more old photos present the early formation of the Orphan Train, the collecting of children from various orphanages, the story of the orphan train agents and nurses plus “The Placement” process. The first placement of Orphan Train Riders in the United States occurred at Dowagiac, Michigan on a Sunday morning in September of 1854. Come ride with us, on the “Baby Train”, across the state traveling the route of the Michigan Central Railroad.  Program length 45 minutes plus Q and A.

“On the Road to Michigan’s Past” by Larry B. Massie
Michigan is a special place with a rich and colorful heritage second to no other state in the union. Larry B. Massie, historian and acclaimed storyteller, takes his audience on a pilgrimage into his beloved state’s past as he makes history come alive through his storytelling. Vignettes feature Indian chiefs, a black-robed Jesuit priest, intrepid pioneers, rough-hewn lumberjacks, salty Great Lakes ship captains and the Underground Railroad conductors. Massie transforms himself into real characters, whose exploits helped make Michigan the great state it is. Program Length 45 minutes plus Q and A.

“Polish Archives: Behind the Scenes” by Ceil Jensen
Based on site interviews with the directors. Learn of the unique materials held at the archives of Poznan, Gdansk, Mlawa, Bialystok and the concentration camp at Stutthof.

“Polish Research” by Ceil Jensen
This lecture will dispel myths that records were destroyed during the World Wars and that language barriers make research difficult. She will present practical examples and suggestions on how to use records, databases and archives to start or advance your Polish genealogy research.

“Post Mortem Records” by Ceil Jensen
This session covers North American funerary customs and records. We will cover records from churches, undertakers, stonemasons, cemeteries and societies that sponsor burial grounds for their members. Learn about home wakes and view photos made at graveside. The lecture includes photos of funeral cards and announcements, record books, cemeteries, tombstones and exhumation. You may be surprised at the wealth of information available.

“Professional Techniques for the Family Genealogist” by Ceil Jensen
Research and organizational techniques used by professional genealogists that can easily be used by the family researcher. An overview of who, what, where, when, why and how of recordkeeping. Brickwall solutions for North American and European research problems will be investigated.

“The Quest for the Minnedosa” by David Trotter
David Trotter through his Great Lakes Adventure and Discover lectures brings to life Michigan’s sunken ship history. David is a renowned shipwreck discoverer, deep diver, author, and photographer. The quest for the Minnedosa is the story of a 15 year search for the largest schooner (250 ft.) built in Canada and lost with all hands off the “Thumb” of Michigan. Program length 45 minutes plus Q and A.

“Researching Your U.S. Heritage Online” by Ceil Jensen
The key to finding your ancestors records in Europe is to locate their home village. You might be surprised to find out that the documents that identify the ancestral home are readily available here in the U.S. This session will outline the most likely civil and religious records that will list the home village.

“Researching Your International Heritage Online” by Ceil Jensen
Once you have located your ancestral village(s) your search can continue online. European archives, repositories and civil offices are accessible via your computer. Government and community organizations offer online databases and maps. The Hamburg Internet databank: “LinkToYourRoots” will be highlighted. 5 million people emigrated via Hamburg between 1850 and 1934, to the U.S.A., Canada and Australia.

Ross Richardson Michigan History Lecture Topics:
Currently doing presentations on the discovery of the Westmoreland, the shipwrecks discoveries off Sleeping Bear Point, and Michigan Mysteries, unsolved mysteries in the State of Michigan.

”Roosevelt’s Tree Army: The Civilian Conservation Corps in Michigan”
Songs & Stories by Bill Jamerson

The CCC planted hundreds of millions of trees across the upper Midwest during the Great Depression. The 17 to 21 year old youths also fought forest fires, restored damaged riverbanks, cut truck trails and built airports. The Federal Works Program created under President Roosevelt not only restored damaged wilderness but helped the young men grow in discipline and self confidence. Bill wrote a dozen original songs that celebrate this life changing experience for many youth..

“Safe Ashore…The 1940 Armistice Day Storm” by Ric Mixter
This lecture and visual presentation is a big hit for the communities along Lake Michigan’s shoreline. This storm claimed over 60 lives and sent 3 steel freighters to the bottom of Lake Michigan. Seventeen sailors were spared thanks to three Pentwater fishermen. Ric held interviews with the survivors and has actual film footage of the 1940 storm and the rescue.  Program length 45 minutes plus Q and A.

”Saturday Night Sauna” Songs & Stories of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula by Bill Jamerson
Imagine living in the U.P. where seven out of ten adults were foreign born, a place where a person could live their entire life without speaking English. Bills original songs tell the story of life in mining towns like Negaunee and Ishpeming. The favorite winter sport was ski jumping, Saturday night was a time to join a friend in a sauna and pasties were the food of choice for iron miners. The songs tell the story of a unique culture that flourished due to its isolation.

“Shattered Dreams…The Hunter Savidge Story” by David Trotter
David relates the story of an 1899 whirlwind squall which capsized the “Hunter Savidge”, a 117 foot sailing vessel, off Grindstone City in Lake Huron. Captain Fred Sharpsteen was from Sebewaing, Michigan. In a period of 10 seconds Captain Sharpsteen’s wife, Rose and son, John went down in the storm. Also trapped in the cabin were Mrs John Mullerweiss from Alpena, the wife of the owner and Etta, their daughter. Other crew members and Captain Sharpsteen managed to survive this mysterious squall. A rescue team searched for other survivors to no avail. This is another outstanding story as only David can relive the events. Program length 45 minutes plus Q and A.

“Sand Dunes, Sawdust & Ship Wrecks: Stories from the Sunset Shore ” by Larry B. Massie  Best-selling author, dynamic storyteller and the first to be presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Historical Society of Michigan. Larry Massie’s colorful telling of true and unusual stories will entertain anyone who’s felt the lure of glorious Lake Michigan. From New Buffalo beaches to the Strait of Mackinac few of America’s beauty spots enjoy as colorful a heritage as Michigan’s sunset shore. Ottawa and Potawatomi warriors people its past, as well as intrepid explorers, steel-sinewed voyageurs, hardy pioneers, courageous ship captains and rough hewn lumberjacks. Sand dunes have crept forward to bury ghost towns, passenger pigeons once darkened the skies, and many are the proud vessels that sailed to never return to port. The Michigan history storytelling sessions Massie has presented at hundreds of conferences, libraries, schools, festivals and organizations across both peninsulas have proven a popular and fun way to get citizens excited about learning more about the heritage of their state and community. Massie, who has authored twenty books about this great state’s history. Larry’s books will be available at a discount after his presentation. Contact: Priscilla Massie at or call  1-269- 673-3633 for more info.

“Spain:  History & Legends by Al & Dave Eicher” is a 70 minutes lecture and visual  presentation created  in 2014.    The adventure begins  in Madrid and visit historic sites such as “Valley of the Fallen”, Basilica De La Santa Cruz, the El Escorial Monastery and the Royal Palace of El Pardo.  Later, we go to Toledo and visit the Toledo Cathedral and San Domingo De Silos,  where El Greco spent many years painting.  We also visit the countrysides of Spain and see their agricultural resources and the windmills made popular by  Don Quixote.   Our tour continues through the Sierra Nevada Mountains near Grenada, with stops along the Costa del Sol region of the Spanish Riviera.  A trip to Spain wouldn’t be  complete with out a visit the the Rock of Gibralter, where we ventured into the WWII tunnels and natural  caverns.  We also  met the local  population of the Macaque apes.   Heading to Seville, we go to a restaurant, known for their tapas,  stop at bull  rings, enjoy a Flamenco  Dance show and visit the the Royal Palace of Seville and the Royal Cathedral.  Stops are also made at the Mosque of the Caliphs before returning to the US from Madrid.  For more information, contact us at 248-333-2010  or email al (at)

“Traveling the Inside Passage to Alaska” by Al and David Eicher                      This lecture and multi-media presentation is a grand view of the last American frontier. Al Eicher spent 11 days cruising and going on land tours at each port to portrait a current and Historic look of the last frontier. The television camera captured the days of the Klondike Gold Rush, the glaciers, the White Pass Railroad and the main streets of these old frontier towns. The real “Eye Openers” are the scenes of Alaskan Wildlife, the Salmon Run and the “Whale Watch”. Come cruise the Inside Passage with us! Program length 45 minutes plus Q & A.

“The Civil War: A Forlorn Hope” by Jeff O’Den
The Civil War, personalized from both sides, is the emphasis of this program. If you’re interested in untold personal stories of the Civil War, you won’t want to miss this lecture and video presentation. This multi-media presentation also briefly explores the early history of Blacks in American from 1619 to1865. With the upcoming 150th anniversary of the American Civil War starting in 2011, Jeff, an Emmy-nominated producer spent the last five-years researching the Library of Congress, the National Archives and other reliable sources for developing unknown and untold true stories of notable contributions by Black Americans during the Civil War. This presentation also includes interviews with scholars, historians and professional (in-character) Civil War re-enactors with intriguing stories and portrayals that make this program truly unique. “The Civil War: A Forlorn Hope” is a fast-paced presentation with video, questions, answers and follow-up comments. Note: men, as well as women and children – 4th graders and up, will enjoy this fascinating docudrama about the Civil War. Program Length: 60-minutes plus Q & A. Note: Equipment needed: projector, speakers, screen or large TV set. Laptop provided by speaker

“The Ship Time Forgot…The Carl D. Bradley” by Ric Mixter
This lecture and visual presentation features the 600 foot, self-unloading freighter, known as the Carl D. Bradley. This is the second largest shipwreck in the Great Lakes. Ric tells stories about the ship and the two men who survived the sinking in Lake Michigan. Ric served as the sole dive cameraman for the first visit to the Bradley in 1995. Program length 45 minutes plus Q and A.

“Titans Clash!…Then Death in the Abyss” by David Trotter
David through his “Great Lakes Adventure and Discover” lecture series brings to life the Marine history and shipwreck discoveries of the Great Lakes. This lecture and visual presentation features the discovery and exploration of the 436 foot Frank H.Goodyear the ship that changed Great Lakes history. David’s programs are designed for people of all ages which he tailors to enlighten any audience. Program length 45 minutes plus Q and A.

“Two Ships…Frozen in Time” by David Trotter
David Trotter is a renown shipwreck discoverer, deep diver, author and photographer who has discovered and explored shipwrecks at 80 plus sites in the Great Lakes. This lecture and visual presentation features the exploration of the 163 foot Barkentine H.P. Explore with David the Bridge with bell, masts and the Captains stove pipe hat still intact. Program length 45 minutes plus Q and A.

“Valley Girls…Ships built on the Saginaw River” by Ric Mixter
The area of the Saginaw Valley birthed hundred of ships, from wooden barges to giant steel warships. Valley Girls chronicles the final resting place of some of these ships. Ric also tells stories of some of the vessels that are still sailing today. The presentation features the Daniel J. Morrell, Eber Ward, Newell Eddy, Merida, Pretoria, Sevona and several others. Program length 45 minutes plus Q and A.

“Voyageurs of the French Fur Trade Era” by Randy Baker
This program fits extremely well with Michigan History, Canadian History, and units on explorers. It is suitable and adaptable for all grade levels from grades 3 and above. It is also an exciting presentation for a variety of adult organizations that have an interest in history. This program’s emphasis is on why they came, how the voyageurs lived, what they did, who they were, their interactions with the Native Americans, and their dependence on the natural resources of the area. Randy Baker dresses the dress, talks the talk and even walks the walk of a voyageur. Arctic rivers, the mighty Mississippi, and hundreds of miles of Lake Huron shore line are just a few of the places that this living voyageur has canoed. Randy’s life long portfolio of canoeing experience allows him to bring a perspective of voyageur life that only someone that has been there can bring. Fresh, energetic, and highly educational are just a few of the terms that have been used to describe this amazing program. Program length one hour.

“When Amelia Came to Michigan” by Al and David Eicher
This is the real life story of Amelia Earhart’s adventures in Michigan.  Our many years of research indicates she was here more than 25 times promoting the aviation industry and opportunities for women in this field.  Our lecture and visual presentation begins with her childhood at the turn of the century, her family life and education, early flying experiences, the world records and her 8 years of adventures in Michigan.  Over a 10 year period, we collected Michigan newspaper articles about Amelia, also hundred’s of photographs, old film footage, plus the music from the 1920’s and 30’s.  Our presentation reveals the life and times of the woman who flew for the fun of it! Call Al or Dave Eicher at 248-333-2010 for lecture bookings.   Program length 60 minutes plus Q & A.

“When Mark Twain Came to Michigan” by Al and David Eicher
This lecture and multi-media presentation was developed after several years of research and the on going collecting of old photographs of this world famous author. The lecture focuses on a period in Samuel Clemens life when he took the name, Mark Twain, and came to Michigan. The presentation also covers stories of his early childhood in the 1850’s. We obtained a diary of his travels in Michigan which was the beginning of his World Tour. He traveled with his wife and daughter plus his business manager. The diary provides interesting comments about the St. Clair flats and sites along the way to Mackinac Island and other parts of Michigan. The lecture along with 150 or more photos presents a time line of events in his family life. You will see the good years and his times of great loss. Program length 45 minutes plus Q and A.

“Women of the Watch, Keepers of the Light,” by Anna Marck
This is an uplifting 45-minutes of music, laughter, and simple honest storytelling. The play follows Anna as she relives hilarious family trips to lighthouses in Michigan, which ignites a passion to share the spectacular stories of various female lighthouse keepers of the Great Lakes. She details the lives of four particular keepers by donning voice and movement. As she steps into these brave women’s shoes, she discovers the tragedy of the hardships they faced and the beauty of their spirits. Each show is followed by a Q and A talkback.

“Women’s Suffrage…Michigan Women in the Chautauqua Community” by Mary Jane Doerr
In the tiny historic community resort of Bay View, Michigan near Petoskey, women began congregating in the late 1880’s to study and learn about political educational, and domestic issues. From that time until the turn of the century nearly 200 suffragists appeared on the Bay View Assembly to lecture to audiences that numbered into hundreds and sometimes thousands. Bay View was the site of the organizational meeting for the Federation of Women’s Clubs – Michigan, and featured nearly 200 nationally and locally known women suffragists on its program. Some of these nationally famous women and the Michigan women that made this possible are featured in this lecture. Program length 45 Minutes. Equipment needed Overhead Projector.

“The Wild Life of the Americas” by Randy Baker 
Live animals and biofacts from North America, Central America and South America are utilized in this exciting presentation. Ecology, natural history and animal adaptations are but a few of the topics covered during the program.  The wildlife throughout  North, Central, and South America is changing rapidly and has changed drastically from the  days of the  early European explorers. We will never see it the way they did, and our children will not see it the way that we do today. Many of our most common forms of wildlife today were rare in centuries gone by, and many animals abundant in centuries past are already gone or on the verge of going. Through education we hope to develop a greater appreciation for wildlife and perhaps by doing so we can alter history for those that will inherit it from us. Suitable for ages 5 – adult. Program length 45 minutes to one hour.

“Wood Smoke & Elbow Grease…Michigan’s Culinary Heritage” by Priscilla and Larry Massie Priscilla and Larry Massie, a husband and wife team of historians will help you step back into Michigan’s past to sniff a warm country kitchen filled with the magic aroma of freshly baked bread, rich stew bubbling on a back burner and wood smoke…an era when every dish was lovingly prepared from scratch. Also enjoy the nostalgia of old kitchen utensils worn thin through decades of use. They will lead you on a guided tour of Michigan’s culinary heritage as well as a taste of old time delicacies. Program length 45 minutes plus Q and A.