Library News: Book Sales, Covid Test Kits, Miriam Pico, Paul Bunyan and a Bike Repair Station | Wender Mind Kids

Peninsula Township Fire Department with Madelyn Ryan at Fire Station 2
The Peninsula Township Fire Department with Madelyn Ryan in Fire Station 2 | PCL photo

It’s National Paul Bunyan Day! Paul Bunyan has deep Michigan roots. While many states claimed the legend as their own, historians believe the stories were based on the life of Fabian Fournier, a French Canadian who came to work in Michigan’s logging camps after the Civil War.

Fournier’s height – more than 1.80m in a day, while the average man was 1.60m tall – combined with his heavy drinking and brawling made him intimidating. He died after a fight in Bay City, a wild town in the days when loggers drank their wages. The trial of his alleged attacker, which ended in acquittal, spread far and wide, and as stories were told around campfires and pot-bellied stoves, a legend was born.

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Legends abound here at Peninsula Community Library, both on our shelves and in the reputation of our programs and friendly staff!

Sign up for the Summer Reading Club now! “Oceans of Possibility” is this year’s theme. July is filled with imagination and rewards for guests of all ages. A children’s program with visits from pirates and mermaids will be offered in the kindergarten in July at 11 a.m. on Tuesdays! Adults and children can keep a log and start reading NOW. Multi-age programs throughout the month include:

Pirates Ahoy! Our first Tuesday reading session at the Summer Reading Club is July 5th at 11am! Kids are invited to dress up as pirates to meet pirate captain Barnacle Bob! We offer craft bags (while they last), pirate supplies, and nursery activities!

Patrons of ALL ages are invited to join storyteller Jenifer Stauss outside for Swim with Dolphins and Sway with Whales: Science, Tales and Songs from the Deep Blue Sea on Thursday, July 7 at 6:30 p.m. Bring chairs or a blanket. Venue is the common room.

Michigan Medicine Lecture Series. We are proud to sponsor a number of programs with medical professionals around the world in partnership with the University of Michigan. Joining us on July 25 at 3 p.m. is Dr. Henry Paulson, MD, Ph.D. dr Paulson is director of the Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Center (MADC) and co-director of the University of Michigan’s Protein Folding Diseases Initiative. Reservations are not required, but we try to get a feel for the place. If you can, please give us a call to let us know you are coming – (231) 223-7700.

language meeting. Always wanted to learn Spanish but can’t get started? Have you been learning Spanish but found you need people to practice with to maintain and improve it? Do you want to be able to connect with your Spanish speaking neighbors? Do you speak Spanish and ready to help new speakers practice? Join a monthly group to socialize and develop or practice your Spanish skills. Meetings are on the third Saturday of the month for 90 minutes. The first meeting will be on Saturday, July 16 at 10:30 am in the library. RSVP to Leslie below [email protected] so that we can plan space, drinks and snacks.

Chapter Champions! Children in grades 3-5 are invited to join us for a fun book discussion and crafts on Saturday, August 13th at 10am at Lighthouse Beach. Karen Inglis’ book The Secret Lake is available now. Get one and let us know your kids are attending! The book belongs to your child!

Covid test kits. The state of Michigan has sent out more at-home Covid-19 testing kits. You can use the supply in the foyer – up to five per household – freely. If you think you may be ill please send someone else to pick up a kit or stay in your car and call us at the curb when you arrive. We leave the kits near your car for you to pick up when we go away. Help keep everyone healthy!

Bike repair station. Be sure to visit our new bike repair station at the bike stand! Made possible by a generous grant from Cherry Capital Cycling Club, it includes a pump and tools for emergency repairs. I was told the tools are great for repairing wheelchairs too!


Annual book sale. This year, our Friends of PCL book sale begins on Friday, August 12th and will run through Saturday, August 20th during regular library hours. We would like to thank the community for all of their generous book donations. Proceeds from the Friends’ activities support PCL programs and therefore flow back into the community.

book donations. In preparation for the sale, we concentrate on book sorting. The last day for book donations is Monday, July 18, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m

How did the true story of Fabian Fournier evolve into the legends of Paul Bunyan? Known as Saginaw Joe, Fournier’s life became intertwined with another French Canadian named Bon Jean after his death. Stories quickly spread to every logging camp across the country, and stories were exaggerated and made up.

In 1910 James MacGillivray, a Detroit News reporter, published a popular series called The Logging Tall Tales. Several lumber companies later developed leaflets advertising Paul. From there, the stories exploded. Statues, a JL Hudson’s Department Store Thanksgiving Parade figure, and festivals evolved, forever assuring that a legend lives on!

Paul Bunyan Stories |  Photo by the Society for Forest History
Paul Bunyan Stories | Photo by the Society for Forest History

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