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The speaker is a 67-year-old White woman with a grade school education from Marquette, Michigan; she was recorded in 1966.
1:23-3:17


County: Marquette
State: MI

Commentary:
Marquette, in the northern part of the Upper Peninsula, is legendary for its cold winters and huge quantities of snow. Its location on Lake Superior was advantageous for shipping ore and manufactured products. Immigrants to the area have been mostly Finns, Swedes, Poles, Irish, Scotch, English, and French-Canadians. While this speaker's parents came from Sweden, the language of the home was English. She speaks here of water dowsing or witching.
Inf: Our cousin from Oregon is a Mormon and he came visiting uh, on the farm and he was interested in finding water with a willow twig. And he found one, I don't know where in the name of common sense he found it, but uh, eh, he took it and I took it out uh, did it the way it was supposed to, and it fell right down. I had it right close to where, and it, wherever I went, uh, it would do that.

FW: How is this that you hold it now?

Inf: I tell you, the thumbs are out. The thumbs are supposed to be out and clench the, uh, the twig and the --

FW: There's a forked stick.

Inf: Yeah, a forked stick, and that you put right to your chest and, and that will, and when there is a spring, it'll fall, and that happened several times for me.

FW: Now which part is pointed toward your chest? Not the forked part, but the --

Inf: The uh, narrow part

[FW: Yeah the uh just the one, the trunk, yeah]

the one tree, one trunk, that's one trunk, yeah. Mm-hmm. So uh.

FW: And what happened?

Inf: Well, we found, uh we knew-, we knew ourselves that, that there was a spring there. We had, because, one, I know, uh, when we had the electricity put th-, in there, the man, the electrician found the, the spring by uh digging a hole for the pole, post. And he came running in and he said, "Oh, there's a spring down here, here." And, and I knew that. Nobody else did, though. So I took them over there and whoever, our cousin of course, the Mormon, he had a, the power, he knew that. So bang went, down went the stick.

FW: Now what does it do? Now what does it do?

Inf: But there wasn't-

FW: It just twists in your hand?

Inf: It goes; it twists, and I, in uh, hands, and uh, and it falls right down.



The speaker is a 63-year-old White man with a college education from Ishpeming, Michigan; he was recorded in 1966.
11:45-13:57


County: Marquette
State: MI

Commentary:
Ishpeming, located on the dividing ridge between the waters of Lake Superior and Lake Michigan in the rather remote northwestern part of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, was founded after the discovery of rich iron ore in the 1840's. The speaker is talking here about the Mackinaw Bridge, built in 1957, which provides a link between the Upper and Lower Peninsulas of Michigan. It is about 150 miles east of Ishpeming.
Inf: When they opened the Mackinaw Bridge, I was, you know, a, a, I, I guess I'd written [my book] then. I was something of a notorious person, at least. Eh, the committee invited me down to attend the opening exercises. I didn't go. I appreciated the compliment, so I wrote Prentice Brown, my old friend, "Dear Senator, Uh, I can't make it. You know I've just been appointed head of the 'Bomb the Bridge Committee,' and I think it'd be unbecoming of me to show up at the exercise. And the reason we haven't announced it yet, we were waiting until, you s-, sell the ferry boats." In other words, the real UP'er of us is the Chamber of Commerce president or something. He doesn't want tourists up here. He loves it the way it is. I know there's a lot of economic uh problems, and all that, but I'd rather be broke up here than have a million dollars in uh some cities I know. Most of, all of 'em, go the whole hog. I never knew of a city I would wanna live in.

FW: Do you think the bridge has made a, a material difference in uh, in, in changing the uh, face of the Upper Peninsula?

Inf: Uh, this I doubt. It's got more, there's more Coney Island than the Jack Pine around the bridge, but, uh, Chamber of Commerce isn't gonna like me for this, but I think the thing that'll save the Peninsula is its, is what I love about it, is its harshness, its wildness, its remoteness, the glaciated, rough quality of it. But see I grew, well there's foxes back here, and, behind the house. And rabbits, an occasional deer. And one day snow-shoeing, my wife and I saw where a wolf had spent the night. Any man here that said he was et by a wolf is a damn liar.

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