I was stationed to work as a Park Ranger at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore from 1984—2005. During that time I was lucky to have the chance to get to know most of the people still around Port Oneida, the lakeside farming community within the park. I first started taping some of their recollections in 1992, when Laura Basch happily filled some 14 hours of tape with her encyclopedic knowledge of Port Oneida goings-on, gained from a lifetime at the top of Basch Road. Since that time many others have shared stories, photos, documents, and whatever else might serve to give the rest of us some idea of how their community worked.

All of the recordings, images, and other materials I’ve been able to collect have been given to the National Park Service and the public domain and are free for your use at

                                            HISTORIC SLEEPING BEAR ARCHIVE

They are also being preserved and are available for public use at the University of Michigan’s Bentley Historical Library in Ann Arbor, and at the Glen Lake Library in Empire.


The following are books I’ve prepared to pass on some of what has been shared with me. They’re available for online reading here—

                                                      —BOOKS TO READ ONLINE--
(If you like good old-fashioned books made of paper, they’re available that way a few inches down—)

                                                                      —A FEW VIDEOS—

Here are a few videos. They’re totally amateur, but might be of interest to you if you’re interested in the subjects—
A Day at the Port Oneida Fair—2017 (about 1/2 hour)

A Day at the Port Oneida Fair—2018 (This one’s about 50 minutes)

The Story of a Bench Over Glen Lake  (25 minutes)

10 Minutes of The Old Settlers Picnic, 2018


                        —HERE ARE THE BOOKS THAT ARE FOR SALE (You know, paper ones)—

A Port Oneida Collection: Images, Oral History, Maps cover

A Port Oneida Collection: Images, Oral History, Maps

This replaces all my earlier Port Oneida books, and adds the rest of the farms, etc., of Pt. Oneida. It features information about each of the farms, mainly as learned through oral history interviews, supplemented by historic photos. A detailed map is included for each farm. The book comes with an audio CD containing some oral history excerpts.


More information & to purchase….

Voices from Burdickville and the Surrounding Sleeping Bear Region cover

Voices from Burdickville and the Surrounding Sleeping Bear Region

Let the people of the Sleeping Bear Region—past & present—tell you about themselves. Through oral histories, memoirs, and old photos, you can meet the early settlers and those who followed: the store-keeper’s free-spirited daughter; a hermit jack-of-all trades; a community grandmother; a midwife’s daughter; and others. What did they have to say? How did they go about their activities? How did they get along with one another? What did they look like? How did they talk? What did they think? Those are the kinds of things that are addressed here.

More information & to purchase….

Dottie Lanham of Burdickville cover

Dottie Lanham of Burdickville

NOTE—This book has been replaced by the new “Voices from Burdickville” book. However, I do still have a number of copies, so if you want to give me a few bucks for one or more, that would be great. Or, if you are or can suggest a worthy cause, I’m open to ideas.

More information & to purchase….

Boudewijn & Kate DeKorne cover

Boudewijn & Kate DeKorne

One more Burdickville book—A 40-page collection of photographs and related information about the beginnings of this family in America, and their lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan and at Glen Lake.

More information & to purchase….

A Farm Album from the Michigan Dutch Colony: An Oral and Photographic History cover

A Farm Album from the Michigan Dutch Colony: An Oral and Photographic History

The story of the community of Netherlanders who came to Western Michigan during the mid–1800s—their background in Europe preceding the wave of emigration; the journey to America; the terribly difficult early pioneering years; and life during the decades that followed.

More information & to purchase….

Links to Related Organizations

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Sand Hill Nature Education: My wife Alice's site, which includes great information on Sleeping Bear area phenology--signs of the seasons, etc.

Preserve Historic Sleeping Bear

Manitou Islands Archives

Homestead Resort Sewage Issue: A website concerning the problem of blowing sewage spray in the Port Oneida area

Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes