The Charlevoix Public Library presents the “Memorable Women” exhibition


The Charlevoix Public Library celebrates Women’s History Month with “Memorable Women of Charlevoix” in the Michigan room.

The library’s Michigan Hall Committee met for a second year to honor the achievements of eleven local women.

Michigan Room Committee members include Mary Ann Chew, Kay Heise and Marilyn Novak, as well as Sara Shifrin of the Charlevoix Public Library. Finding the story of the eleven women was no small feat. It took nine months to collect all the stories.

“We went through historical newspapers. We have an archive of newspapers in our library which we have curated. We have browsed vertical files here at the library. We worked with the Société historique de Charlevoix to obtain information. Then some of us lived here. I am from Charlevoix,” explains Mary Ann Chew.

Combined, the local women bring many accomplishments ranging from service in World War II to farming, writing, and even starting a food pantry.

“I don’t want them to be forgotten, and having grown up in Charlevoix, I have a special love for Charlevoix,” Chew said. “Some of these women have done amazing things for people in their lifetime. I think we’ve learned from our role models in the past. And we certainly have role models in this group of women.

Eleven 2022 “Memorable Women of Charlevoix” are:

Alice McNeal Bellinger 1906-2001

Faye Maxine Lewis Bergman 1928-2018

Francoise Cook Durance 1893-1998

Edith Wiesinger Gilbert 1917-2009

Esther Skagen Hawley 1912-1987

Frances A. Martin 1909-1989

Isabelle Willis Olivier 1878-1973

Eleanor Eldridge Ratigan 1916-1981

Mary Helen Fochtman Riggle 1916-2013

Helen Mildred Cross Webster 1902-1999

Bernice Crandall Wexstaff 1899-1988

To see the exhibition, go to the Charlevoix Public Library during normal opening hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday to Saturday and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

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Last years “Memorable Women of Charlevoix” include:

Lilian Dean Bergmann 1919-1999

Ethel W. Coeling 1918-2002

Mary C. Feindt 1916-2020

Susan Fisher Greenskand 1834-1923

Frances BaconHooper 1915-1998

Rosa Saunders Nettleton 1868-1959

Isabelle Dohm Seidel 1919-2020

Irene Harsha Young 1889-1978

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