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tv   Book TV in Port Huron MI  CSPAN  August 6, 2016 12:02pm-1:04pm EDT

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busiest crossing points between the us and canada. with the help of our comcast partners over the next 60 minutes, we will travel around the city of 30,000 to talk with local authors about the history of the area including the role steamships played in the great lakes region in the 19th century. >> a steamboat was constructed in black rock, new york, near niagara falls and that vessel ran from black rock or buffalo and detroit for three years before it was wrecked. that was the beginning of the steamboat age. they didn't travel fast but they traveled reality. >> we will visit the thomas edison depot museum to learn about the importance of the railroads in the development of michigan's some region. >> when the railroads first came into the county into the some region, most of the life was centered on the lake.
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the interior itself if there were farms and early settlers. >> first we talk to the former executive editor of the poor huron times herald about the city's history, it's challenges today and the state of the newspaper business. >> this is the mouth of the black river, a small river that comes into the thank you river, the st. clair river is straight connecting lake here on with lake erie. this is as far as we cover water, poor huron, that water is a significant issue. a nomadic journalist like we all are in the community. we sit on the head of west virginia, lived in florida and georgia and kentucky.
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now michigan. we moved around a lot. one thing i learned to do was take a dip into local history to understand the community. how do you know where you are going? how do you know where you are or where you are going if you don't know where you have been? frankly i was surprised how rich the history is in this community and this part of michigan. maybe i shouldn't have been, the mid deck of the great lakes, great shipping industry, for 20 years after the civil war we were the leading second point of entry for immigration, you wouldn't think hundreds of thousands of americans came across the border here. they get cheap fares in canada to take the railroad. across the river points west. there was a reason for it.
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in the 19th and early 20th century. that is fascinating. the most important story of this generation has been -- in the 1990s this was a very prosperous town, 1990s really thriving economy, not just in statewide but locally we go pretty well. in 2000 if you go by household income michigan is one of the 15 wealthiest states. by 2008, one of the 15 poorest states. a profound change. why that should be the question for economists and scholars and politicians but the effect it had on the people has been
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devastating. the poverty rate was 25%, the unemployment rate was in the 30s. really devastating, population, things were turning around and resilient community, and a difficult period of time for the state of michigan. there are four five pages of foreclosures, didn't go on for a week or month but month after month after month or four or five years, property plummeted, you are lucky if it is worth $25,000. they provide services to cut the
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workforce, and it is affected by the county, on a manufacturing basis, literally disappeared in a few years. it didn't disappear, but greatly diminished. the most interesting thing about this community, it is 170,000 people, the 12th largest county in michigan. while in office and harry truman came here on the honeymoon, we had several presidents, no sitting president has ever come to this town. they were coming to detroit, marine one, a 5 minute drive from the county line but for whatever reason they always go to in some other direction.
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we are out of the mainstream. not considerably important enough to either party that they were not presidential to come and campaign. why should it be that way? used to joke the presidential election counting on going to the democrat and 6-numfour. went from mcclellan 21864, went to lyndon johnson to barry goldwater in 1964, and a third-party candidate won here. and barack obama carried it on the first go, george bush barely beat out gore, it is a 50/50
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basis. it is a very republican area and that is true of michigan, the democratic state in the presidential politics, hillary clinton can expect -- and it is heavily democratic. suburban areas get more republican. and legislative department with complete control, in the legislature have a supermajority, democrats can't block them. the supreme court is nonpartisan but the state supreme court, and
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levers of power. and the geographical areas, in re-districts. and in lake huron, in 2009, i was writing colleagues about it. and in a thriving city growing by leaps and bounds, expected to get the metropolitan area, that was the time of the cold war and they were getting water from lake st. clair which is shallow and it seems kind of funny now but it wasn't at all in the 60s that the soviet union would drop an atomic bomb on lake st. clair and vaporize that lake and detroit would be left without
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waters of detroit put water intake out in the lake in a 7 mile tunnel, i forget how deep, 200 feet deep to this water intake. it is just north of the city. the tunnel exploded, killed 20 some minors, the worst industrial accident in history of lower michigan. detroit built a water main. you can think of a basketball ring, it is that high, that is where the water goes, it goes to west out of lake huron towards flint but the next county west of here, half of the pipe or part of the pipe pumping station is in south to the northern suburbs and the other is flint. in 2009 flint goes with another water line that is exactly 6 miles north of this water line,
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and duplicating water line, i thought it was crazy and i wrote in 2009 that this is insane. they will spend billion dollars which is what they were estimating back then to duplicate something that already exists. why are we doing it? the reason we are doing it is detroit didn't grow the way we thought. it never used half of the capacity but the water is treated on the lakeshore, going to flint, detroit, claimed good water out of lake huron, it is good water and they are duplicating it and the reason they are gouging them on the price, you would think somebody in michigan is the adult in the room, some governor, water is not regulated by the public service commission, they regulate the fairy if you are taking it there by the public
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service commission but don't regulate water so detroit probably was gouging flint. somebody should have said stop it but they didn't and flint says we are going to spend hundreds of millions to duplicate an existing water line so we don't have to be held hostage by you any longer. that is the original sin. if that doesn't happen none of the rest of this happen is because people are not drinking out of the flint river, children are not being poisoned by led. the governor of michigan is made to go down in history as a buffoon is what it looks like. all that happens because of this decision, there was nobody in a position of power in michigan, no adult in the room to say it is crazy. so many things we need to be doing in this state, why would we spend $1 billion to duplicate
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what exists? i never heard a good answer for that but the rationalizations, the fact of the matter is a perfectly good water line could be serving flint for another 50 years if they just maintain it. everybody knows newspapers are in trouble. what goes around comes around, if you go to the 19th century in this county, most of america, every town had a newspaper. publishers who go into why they have a handcranked printing press on their wagon they settled in a little town, start a newspaper, making some money, stay put, if they were not making money they would move on, a lot of smaller towns had two papers, republican paper and the democratic paper but there were lots of community papers, we are talking about until after the
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civil war and two german populations, two german language newspapers in this town and a dozen newspapers at one time or another so what happens is the press comes in. the average guy can't afford to be in the news business anymore, you have to be a multimillionaire. and you can no longer start a newspaper and start any chance of success. a full circle back with the internet's. the disadvantage, not totally a good thing, and one of the things you do sacrifice is if you have a smaller paper with three, four, two reporters you
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can't do much in-depth reporting, you can't dig deep into a topic and here is what everybody says, i will talk to 20 people and here is what is happening, take a week or two, complete package, at least you will know what is going on. you can't do that when struggling to put out a paper with a skeleton staff. it is is got to figure out a business model, if we lose that. if our society loses that community newspapers do in-depth reporting we lost what is important whether you are republican, democrat, liberal conservative, we lost something vitally important if we lost that. >> c-span is visiting the city of port huron located next to
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the st. clair river where we meet up with arthur joel stone as he talks about the role the area played in a 19th century. >> at the turn of the last century the river behind us was one of the busiest waterways in the world. the st. clair river and detroit river in 1907 constituted more tonnage than the port of new england, this waterway was moving ships at an incredible place. some where the freight carriers, the bulk carriers we got and some were passenger ship carriers that were here. every one of them from detroit to cleveland or buffalo, the history of steamboats started 100 years ago, in 1817, one by the canadians and one by the americans, that got the process
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rolling. a steamboat was constructed in black rock, new york near niagara falls, that vessel ran from black rock or buffalo and detroit for three years before it was wrecked. that was the beginning of the steamboat age, people understood they didn't travel very fast but traveled reliably. if you were on a sailboat you had to wait for the wind. if you were on a sailboat working against the current like the one behind us was almost impossible unless the wind was behind you. with the steamboat you would get on the boat and the boat would really -- reliably travel 6, 8, 10 not stored where you were going if you could get there at a regular schedule, could finally rely on travel to get them where they want to be. with the opening of the erie canal in 1825, there was an influx, greater influx of immigrants coming and. soon after that there was a
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railroad running next to the erie canal. all of a sudden two reliable forms of transportation coming and. the railroad stopped in buffalo so once you got that far you had to find another way to get to detroit to catch the next train. trains ran across the bottom of michigan to chicago, the first in 1852 and from there you could get to the westward countries to where the farmland was. before the american civil war if you want to get to the second train you had to get on a ship. the entrepreneurs were running the vessels, partnered with the railroad companies and the ship became an extension of the railroad. frankly a much more beautiful extension of the railroad. if you were on a train, they were not as ornate as we think of trains now, they were not very comfortable, if you wanted to walk around you walked up and
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down the aisles but if you got on a steamer, one of these beautiful paddlewheel steamers you were not only in beautiful ornate salons, you can walk around the decks, lots to view, the view up and down the rivers is gorgeous, it was a nicer, more comfortable way to travel, assuming you weren't in a storm where the boat didn't catch fire. tourism has been an effective business in the great lakes basin since right after the war of 1812, tourism really picked up in the 1880s and 1890s, industries that established themselves, people had resources to take a sunday off and go for a short cruise or actually take a vacation, that didn't start until the 1880s or 1890s and business shifted to take them to destinations. in chicago to see the great
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exposition in 1893, all of a sudden the tourism business became an important part of this, like the cruise ship industry is today so ships were designed for groups of people that would want to travel and that started to -- the palace era. the first had taken place in the 1840s and 1850s, the second palace era started in 1880 and went through 1910. the second palace era was grander than the first, the boats were bigger, more elegant, some of the interiors of the salons, you thought you were walking into a verse i palace. they were spectacular. the furniture, everything lent itself to an elegant lifestyle. even middle-class people who traveled abroad their best clothes, they went there to be
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seen and to see all the gorgeous people wandering these boats and enjoy being on the water. this is before air-conditioning. on a good hot summer day, the best way to cool off was to get on a boat. sometimes you would travel on a fairly long excursion, it a couple days but in the detroit area we had island parks you would travel to, you get in a small steamer, travel for a couple hours from detroit to port huron and while you are doing that the boat is traveling 15 minutes an hour. beautiful breeze coming over, the men, layers and layers of petticoats and that kind of thing, certainly much better than hanging out in a hot city. steamboats were an affordable way to relax and enjoy the day. we have passenger boats that mostly come from the ocean during the summer.
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there are passenger ferry, if you go to beaver island and lake michigan you get a four hour ride on a boat. there is across lake michigan the badger, the last coal-fired passenger carrying steamboat in the united states. if you want a great ride and experience steamboat you can still do it today. people forget how important the great lakes was to developing the middle of america, the heartland of america. when railroads finally reached in there, prior to the 1920s when automobiles could get people into small towns, if you wanted to travel and travel comfortably the best way to go was on a steamship. the business men who ran those firms innovated to draw people,
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the luxury in their boats, they innovated making comfort, something people could buy, innovated their engines, their advertising, important to the development of america as a whole and we forget that. the steamboat industry is lost to history. americans think of the beautiful steamboats on the mississippi river which were essentially waiting by the american civil war. they could think of the steamboats in the musical, don't think about the beautiful coastal steamers on the east coast or the west coast but most particularly on the great lakes was on the great lakes much innovation happens. the largest paddlewheel letters were built on the great lakes was the most elegant vessels in the world were built on the
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great lakes. several vessels designed by people in the great lakes working on the east coast, an important part of the development of steamships, particularly passenger vessels, something that has been lost will bring it back to people. >> we are steps from the thomas edison depot museum. one of the places c-span will be visiting in port huron for the literary scene. inside we will see local author and historian, michigan's region. >> the real impetus for writing the book came out of my interest in the rail history of the
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region. up to that point there hadn't been a great deal written on it especially when it comes to the different railroads and growth in different communities in the region. comprises 5 counties in the state, huron and st. clair. there is a little debate about that, but when the railroad first came into the county and into the sum region as a whole, most was centered on the lake so the interior it self, if there were farms or early settlers they were few and far between. first railroads into the region, the grand trunk when it came up from detroit or made its
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connection here, economically it was tied to british interests with the not too distant fart war of 1812 breaking away, it was actually british business interest that financed that railroad to the point where the depots survived, were built to a british design, you go to ontario and other areas where basic depot design was used in the region, was an extremely important one. the community with the grand trunk railway and later construction of the st. clair river tunnel in the 1890s, not only continued immigration but it meant we were one of the
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first stops when someone came to visit the united states or came through one of the last stops, some of the people decided to make our area in some part because of that and also fed many of the industries along the line that wouldn't have come otherwise. places like that still exist, part huron, anchor -- later on, auto light, basically came to this region because of the connection with the railroad and water, the double combo was unique for us but the fact you could pick one or two different things was a huge thing even to
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this day. for large industries you need a railroad presence and their freights in an expedited manner. there were several indices in the region that worked with the railroad and also that the railroad employed a large facility, the original shops were located to the north of us after they burned, they were relocated into porter township and were completely reconstructed and rebuilt because of world war i. ..
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>> it was built we believe sometime prior to the 1880's, it was restored at the car shop, which were just to the north of us here, to the north of the bridges. and, that car shop burned in 1913. so there's very few surviving examples of cars. it is built of wood, and it is of the type that would have been around the at the time that thomased edison was a news, ande spent much of his formulative years here and depot to the west
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of us was the depot that he worked out of as a boy. >> he would walk around as basket. and he had fruit small sang wishes, and, his paper it was tied to the military installation and he would then go to, ride the train to detroit and, you know, hit all the stations along the way. in the afternoon he would come back. it was down in the morning and then back up during the day. he did have down time in between and would go to the city library
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in detroit, and he is quoted as saying he didn't read a come on, he went through the entire library. if he had down time he was trying to learn something new. that, he definitely liked his routines as has been mentioned, and i think that started in his youth. that down time was something that he cherished. and he mentioned it several times and the fact that he was always keeping an eye and ap ear out for what was going on around him i think really hem him move aheat. policy ann was a nickname that was used for the upon pontiac,
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and it was north-south of here here -- it was bucolic. a lost crews that worked the train were known by the local individuals. so, it took quite awhile to get from pontiac, to there and it would take you 3-and-a-half hours to drive, would take almost 16. [laughter] >> back then. so it was, they served every industry and, evergreen elevator and really the inspear error of the thumb region. but the connections of the everyday life everyday things
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happened in the train. not too long after the tunnel, a woman was coming across from chicago, she had been pregnant and began to give birth as the train was going through the tunnel. life was conceived somewhere underneath the st. claire river. there's stories about the passengers all breaking collection together get the mother, and the child to their next location. so, there's several stories related to those type of things. the site that we're at, is the depot museum, you can't get away from looking above you. there are steel and concrete structures.
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>> those are the blue water bridges. their impact is pretty important. butbut their connection with the railroad, they were the next connection of the world that the railroad initially played. when the railroad built the tunnel, in between traffic increased greatly. those natural traffic flow lines, that were created by the railroad were then followed by the interstates and again, the need to be able to transport things easily, quickly and economically led to them, the construction of the two bridges behind us. >> the general public, when they look at the railroads today, often sees it in the negative.
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the railroad plays a important role today, as they did back 100 years ago. lodge commodities are still shrimped by rail. there's been a lot of discussion about the impact of coal and its decline. and its connection to the railroad. and then, that it has had a great effect. but, the container movement, particularly, the connection of shipping containers moving over from china and elsewhere, railroads are very much a part of that route. so, when you go long beach, california, large shipping facilities, the railroads are right there, and they're the
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ones that help get it to the next route and they work with semi-trucks and trucking companies, to then move it to shorter distances, so they're very important. both here locally and throughout the country. >> there were several things when i was writing this book that, dime light that made things interesting. i mentioned the connection with the titanic and charles hayes. but, the, i would say just the overall personal connection between a lot of these smaller communities and the role that the river played, in their life, i think was the thing that even several years after i would say that impact has waned, and, 50,
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the feeling of the individuals for those that worked for the railroad and the role that the railroad played, it is still very deep. part of the reason that so many of the pictures that i have came to light was because they saved those. and i'm forever grateful, and i felt it was part of my duty to make sure those survived as long as they could. it helped in getting, making the book a much larger and more hopefully interesting read. >> we're filming on the fourth floor of city hall. and it's right on the st. claire river, probably the most eastern point of michigan. 30,000 people which is a decrease. at one time, back 1950s, it
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would have been closer in the 40's. but, as economic changes and industry changes, it has decreased over the years. demographicly, we probably have all different types of people. but, i would call it a little bit on the distressed side. we do have, because we're the county seat we have the rentals and the social services and things like that. so we don't have maybe the most stable population. it comes and it goes. and, k34078 mickly. it's a very nice community. it's just we have a whole lot of different things going on. >> the unemployment rate in
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michigan is higher, than the country, and in this area. it has gone down but not the same. we're always a little bit higher than the rest of the probably the rest of the county and state and the country michigan is, we have had a lot of improvements over the last couple of years. everybody suffered in 2008 when the economy factor -- tanked. and we have some wonderful things happening. so i'm very proud of that. right now, there's been a really interest in our downtown area. we have a lot of new businesses downtown and restaurants, and bars, and little stores, there's no big department store.
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but the other thing, is we are getting more loft apartments. but it's just been a surge of those. we have so many that they have waiting lists, and there's two separate contractors building some more. that's good because in those lofts it is mostly the younger professionals and you're looking to get some of the younger people to come back and the jobs to come back. that's what we have been working on. we also have which would be right behind where i'm standing, on the river, a piece of property which is to house our y.m.c.a., it was sold to the city, just a few years ago and it was made development ready and we have sold it to a developer and they're going to put high-rise condos.
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>> they should be started by the first of the year at the latest and it's probably going to be four to five stories high. so this is going to bring a lot of people into town, too. that's what we're looking for. reinventing ourselves, as a place to come, if you are younger and retirement. getting people to live in the downtown area has been a big part of that. i think one of the key parts of our history, is, we are celebrating, we have celebrated, our sen gwen knee he will. >> walk up and, look out, and, it was back in the day, you had
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shipping around this area, logging and things like that. not today. but, it's a very strong part of our heritage. the bridge, as i said connects with ontario. that was built in 1938. that was to be able to, before that, you had to take a ferry. the amount of commerce, a lot of it goes through port huron and people come to shop and it's a big part of the success of the businesses in this area, not just the city, but the surrounding area. so it's very important for commerce that they have this bridge. that lasted until the 1990s.
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they are packed. and it is still very much doing its job for the commerce. i think in the future port huron is only going to get better. we've had a lot of interest from investors. the other side of the state, now a double tree and restaurant combined there, that was an invest tor. >> they didn't know, that it was by the bridge. when you drive through and we're getting a better reputation it's worth coming here. our parks and our beaches and
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history we have and, the people are friendly and we very nice places to go. so i think we'll have a resuragainst even more than we have now of our downtown, and other businesses coming in. so i'm looking forward good things happening. >> book t.v. is learning more about its culture. we'll visit st. claire county library and we'll hear from the director about how the public library system works in michigan >> we are standing in the main floor of the main branch of the library system. the main branch is located in port huron, county site of st. claire county. we have a nice group of libraries, that are
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county-wide. 11 branches. this branch in particular, we have a wonderful opportunity, in the county government campus, and we see quite a few patrons who come to the library and this planning we see 600 people a day. as you can see, we are fairly busy on a regular basis. this particular building was built in the early 1960s after the system merged with the port huron public library. we took on the function of public library service for the
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county, as well, as for the city of port huron. we moved from the original carney gee building, we arpublic library. we try to meet as many interests as we can. we can't meet everyone's interest. one of the nice things we share things. if there is an item, that a patron is looking for we can request it, and outside of our state. but what we hold here, is general interest topics, entertainment reading, and, magazines, we also have fiction of all kinds of genres, and,
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many different topics and we have an historical collection, where we have a lot of folks who come in, and do their research. it material is very, very interesting. one of the things that we are working on doing, is taking that material, and, digitizing is so we can make it available. our library system offers 2,000 programs a year. system wide. so, we have everything from book clubs which are pretty traditional to clubs that learn how to play other games. we have phoenix that come in and learn how to knit.
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we have computer classes, and we have been doing this for 15 years. and the community really loves their computer classes. we offer programs on literacy. all of our programs have an element of literacy. so if it is a teen or children's program they're doing things that reinforce things, that kids are learning in school, or need to learn to be ready for school. and then, we offer an opportunity to discuss topics of import, whether that's book topics, whether that is community event topics or situations that are happening, those folks can get together.
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that's what i really see this library becoming is more of an opportunity to create and contribute to community. we're no longer looking at ourselves as warehouse for books and hope that people come and to want continue to read print materials. we do still collect print materials but we want people to sees as a place where they can come and enjoy spending time with one another. meeting new people, having someone to share an idea with. where do do you go to learn something new you come to the library. >> the system does play a role
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in the library world of the state of michigan. we have 117 branches that are across our county, we're the only county department that has the ability to reach the vast majority of our residents in that way. what we have are, they're not individual branches. here we have the administration of the entire system. but we do have wonderful teams of staff at each branch who know their communities, and they know the reading, and entertainment values of, their likes and dislikes and we administer the basic business of doing library service from the main library. but we're all one big team. we come together, once a year to have a big staff event where we do training and learning and
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just being together to talk. what that means for the community, though, is that there is consistent library service across the country. so, if you are interested in a book, in, and you are from our down river area, and they, that branch doesn't particularly have that book we can get it very quickly within 24 hours from another branch in our system. your good ska length customer service you got from one you will see at another branch. >> one of the most surprising things that i find, is that it is vibrant. there are people here that use the library and enjoy the library and are excited about what we do in the community.
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on a personal note i grew up in this town, i went to school, i went away to college but i brought my family back to port huron. and one of the things i thought was so important was to give back to my community and doing so as the director of the library system, it is a joy. it's a pleasure to be here and to work with these wonderful people making those connections and building those relationships with other agencies, working together, to break down some of those barriers to public service for people. that is a huge joy for me. one of the things that the library system is doing, we are looking at how library service is delivered to our community today. the demands of today. we're looking towards our future
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and what library users will want and need in our future as well as helping to educate those folks who are maybe don't have access to all of the benefits that others may. but we still do honor the traditions of library service of yesterday. so, while we are continuing to build and renew our print collections, and our audio book collections we're embracing the electronic collections and we have e-books. e. magazines and we have streaming media. >> visiting the stiff port huron, to learn more, next we
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speak with author tj gaffney who shares the history through his book, port huron, 1880-19690. >> we are standing in front of the last. >> it was constructed, during the world of 1812 at the time canada was part of the enemy, under british control. this structure was built in 1829 along with several other structures of similar design to replace the original stock indicated style buildings. the postcard was one of the quickest ways to send small
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snippets of information, back-and-forth. the idea there was, to keep things in a tight format and a greeting to let people know that you had arrived and to remember. the name of my book is port huron, on postcards, i wrote it as a project my father wanted to do it my dad collected post carts of st. claire county, and this region for about 40 years. he passed away and i helped finish it for him. i chose the dates because the time-frame of the biggest
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occupation of the port huron area fits within that time-frame. it was a period of largest growth. from a photographfy perspective. it is a fairly well-documented period of time. very prolific photographer. he worked in a very small window of time prior to 1912 and from about 1905 to about then, 7, 8 year period. but it is known that he took close to 18,000 images, in that period. when you understand what that took, that is pretty astownldzing. >> louis had a studio, to the
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south of here and ontario. so you could purchase the postcards from him. he also had several locations within hotels, train stations, and, not unlike today when you go to a tourist attraction and there's a kiosk, it was very similar to that back in the postcard era. his images, because of their clarity, and the forethought that he took to pose people and understand the time-frame that he was in, several of those images were ahead of their time in terms of how he took them. in many instances, they are the only known images, that he took those photos of. i can think of several great lakes passenger boats that he
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took images of, that in one instance there's one known as the sign prison. >> there's only one other known image. and it sank about a month later. those type of things stand out. the connections with several of our local businesses as well, were important. one of the more important aspects to the postcard era was the development and change in transportation over time and you can see that, through some of the images that i chose. the shift to a means of travel, that most of us don't recognize today which would be the trolley
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or the electric and urban, which was a very vital connection in our area, is highlighted there. it was a short period of time and took place mostly within this era, so you do see siforts images related to streetcars, within the middle of a georgia nair rick town image or, you know, out in the behinder lands. it's interesting how people spent their leisure time. they do a lot of outdoor activities. you'll see people canoeing, and, bikes. so you'll see images of those. one of the most important aspects of the images that you see in this book is documenting how the area has changed.
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>> some of the commentary gets losr isn't, isn't as emphasized as
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much. and i worked very, very diligently to, when i was giving background to the images to try and give folks a real chance to make that connection with today. and so i will very often reference in the captions to the images what was there, what is there today and then what made those images significant to the history of the community. one of the things i think that tends to get lost when you're looking at several of these images is, you know, what is conveyed on the back as well as on the front. and because you were forced at that time or the people of that time were forced to write things in a very short, succinct format, it gives you an indication of what they felt was important. and in many cases it's very different than what we feel is
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important today. in some cases it's very much like we do. they tended to stick to, you know, in the words of joe friday, just the facts, you know? they really believed that conveying, you know, the most important things were important, but it gives you a real idea of what things, what people, what events were important in their daily lives. and that kind of a window is very often a tough thing for historians in particular to get an idea of. and so that's one thing in particular that i think the postcard era really has been able to document in ways that you may not have been able to document eras prior or maybe even since. >> for more information on booktv's recent visit to port huron andhe

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