Buttons benefit Esky birthday celebration

ESCANABA – It’s time for a trip down memory lane.

Thirteen vintage photos – in honor of the city of Escanaba’s 150th birthday in 2013 – are featured on a collection of buttons now available to the public.

“We wanted to include well-known landmarks and local buildings that would represent our town’s history,” said Esky 150 Co-coordinator Kay Harvey Johnson. “We hope folks will buy these buttons and in turn support our big celebration this July.”

Escanaba’s sesquicentennial will be commemorated July 5-14 and include events ranging from lumberjack shows to golf outings and art exhibits.

The buttons were developed by Johnson with the help of the Delta County Historical Society Archives and Peggy Schumann of Positively! gift shop.

Johnson said it’s hoped the pins will rekindle fond memories and also unleash curiosity about Escanaba’s past.

“Several of these locations are no longer in existence,” she said, including the last wooden ore dock, the old St. Francis Hospital, Escanaba High School and the original Delta County Court House.

Other available images include the former Escanaba Junior High (now Upper Elementary) School, the Carnegie Library, House of Ludington, Sand Point Lighthouse, Delta Brewery building, Gust Asp store, Shell station on Ludington Street (American Mobile X-ray), Delta Hotel (Hereford & Hops brew pub) and St. Joseph gymnasium (Bonifas Arts Center).

The buttons sell for $3 each – the same price as in 1963’s centennial – or $30 for the entire set of 13.

The pins are now on sale at the Escanaba Chamber of Commerce, Northern Michigan Bank, Escanaba City Hall, Peninsula Federal Credit Union, Positively! and First Bank. More locations will be added as the sesquicentennial draws nearer.

In addition, Carnegie Library buttons are for sale at the Escanaba Public Library circulation desk.

“The booster buttons will help residents show their city pride,” said Johnson, “and also make great gifts for transplanted Escanabans and visitors as well.”

She encouraged older folk to share their memories of the landmarks with their children and grandchildren.

“Many people recall watching the first ore boat of spring come in, climbing the steps to the old high school, or perhaps picking up their first book at the Carnegie Library. We’ve got to pass these memories on to the next few generations.”

For more information on booster buttons or getting involved with the sesquicentennial, visit esky150.org.