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In the first season of our new podcast, we're exploring the roots of our area and delving into the stories that make Northern Michigan exceptional. 


This program is made possible by headline sponsor Golden-Fowler Home Furnishings and supporting sponsor Bill Marsh Auto Group.


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Home Run Bundy

Episode 6

Home Run BundyGrand Traverse Look Back
00:00 / 01:04

What’s in a name? Well, when it comes to the most successful ball player to come out of Traverse City…plenty.  On this episode, we’re grabbing our mitts and practicing our batting stances while discussing the major leaguer who came from our neck of the woods: Bundy Brief.  

Or Bunny.  Or is it Bunty?  And, instead of Brief, isn’t it really—


—eh, we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

We spoke with Gary Cieradkowski, baseball historian and author of The League of Outsider Baseball: An Illustrated History of Baseball’s Forgotten Heroes.”  To read more about Brief the ball player, visit Gary’s baseball blog:

Beauty is Therapy

Episode 5

Beauty is TherapyGrand Traverse Look Back
00:00 / 01:04

The story of the Village at Grand Traverse Commons—what is today a bustling mixed-use community—began back in the late 1800’s, when the Father of Traverse City used his influence to bring a psychiatric hospital to Northern Michigan.  And, for almost 140 years, that facility has captivated, enthralled and enriched this region.

We spoke with Vanessa Vance, a long-time tour guide of the hospital property, Raymond Minnervini II, a partner in the Minnervini Group, which spearheaded the successful “resurrection” of the campus, and Karen Anderson, CEO of Cordia Senior Living, a resident of one of the refurbished Commons buildings.

Different Kinds of Pioneers

Episode 4

Different Kinds of PioneersGrand Traverse Look Back
00:00 / 01:04

When I say the word “pioneer,” most of you are likely envisioning something similar: covered wagons heading west, bold folks who are forging a new path through unknown-to-them terrain.  But the term “pioneer” covers much more than just that.  Today we’re talking about different kinds of pioneers—first, about a group of immigrants who found their way to Northern Michigan and made an everlasting impact on the culture of the region, and, then, about a teacher who reshaped the educational opportunities in a growing lumber town.  

We spoke with Larry Hains and Marty MacLeod, members of the Board of Directors of the Traverse Area Historical Society.

A Tale of Two Companies

Episode 3

A Tale of Two CompaniesGrand Traverse Look Back
00:00 / 01:04

The early days of Traverse City saw a near countless number of businesses pop up, some of which thrived…and some of which became interesting stories…the kind perfectly suited to explore on a show like this.

We spoke with Brian Park, General Manager of Votruba Leather Goods, and Marty MacLeod, local author, historian and member of the Board of Directors of the Traverse Area Historical Society.

The Heyday of Hannah, Lay

Episode 2

The Heyday of Hannah, LayGrand Traverse Look Back
00:00 / 01:04

When it comes to the early days of the Grand Traverse region, one name towers above the rest: Perry Hannah.  We'll explore Hannah's arrival to the area, his business successes and his vision for what Traverse City could become -- as well as how he helped make those dreams a reality.

We spoke with local historians Peg Siciliano and Marty MacLeod, both members of the Traverse Area Historical Society, as well as Peg Jonkhoff, owner of Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home (located in Perry Hannah's former retirement dream home) and co-author of "Perry Hannah's Gifts: Then & Now."

The Beginning

Episode 1

The BeginningGrand Traverse Look Back
00:00 / 01:04

In our inaugural episode, we explore the earliest days of the Grand Traverse area — starting with the history of the Anishinaabe in the region, the arrival of trappers, traders and, finally, the missionaries — then talk about the burgeoning lumber business and a ship captain named Boardman.


We had the pleasure of speaking with JoAnne Cook, educator and historian, as well as a member and a chief appellate judge of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians; Chris Rieser, a local historian and president of the Peter Dougherty Society; and Peg Siciliano, local historian and board member of the Traverse Area Historical Society.

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