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2012 News

2012.07.05Johnston Historic Home Programs Feature Songwriters Stanaway and Askwith

SAULT STE. MARIE, MICHIGAN. Once again, you can enjoy local singer-songwriters bring history to life at the John Johnston House this summer. Dave Stanaway and Susan Askwith perform their Fur Trade Era songs and stories Tuesdays & Thursdays, July 5 thru August 30, from 1 pm until 2pm. More info...

2011 News

2011.07.19Johnston Historic Home Programs Feature Songwriters Askwith and Stanaway

SAULT STE. MARIE, MICHIGAN.  After having been closed for a year due to road construction, the Historic Block on Water Street is again open.  Singer-songwriters Susan Askwith and Dave Stanaway are featured each Tuesday and Thursday from 1:00 to 2:00 pm.  Concerts are at the Johnston Historic Home next to the U.S. Coast Guard Base and run through September 1.  The songwriters are beginning their seventh year of performing original songs about the history of Sault Ste. Marie and the Eastern Upper Peninsula.

Askwith and Stanaway have expanded their subject matter to include more recent historical events.  Several newer songs celebrate the historic significance of the Great Lakes and the waterways in the area.  Newer songs commemorate the building of the Mackinac Bridge, the retirement of the US Coast Guard Cutter Mackinac, and Great Lakes shipwrecks.

Askwith has two songs about ships -  The Elba, a ship from the Arnold Line in St. Ignace, and another about the reported sighting of a ghost ship.

Stanaway’s two songs about shipwrecks include The Sinking of the Daniel J. Morrell which he was inspired to write after meeting Dennis Hale, the sole survivor of the ship that sank in Lake Huron in November 1966.

The discovery in 2007 of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society of the 100 year old wreck in Lake Superior inspired Stanaway to write another shipwreck song, The Cyprus.

The duo has written more than 50 songs that tell the history of the Sault and the Eastern Upper Peninsula, and the Native American culture that was instrumental in the development of the area.

Stanaway and Askwith have recorded a CD, John Johnston, His Life and Times in the Fur Trade EraThe CD is available at the Johnston Home and at the studio website, www.borderlandrecords.com, as well as at several area businesses.

The Johnston Historic Home is located on Water Street, next to the US Coast Guard in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, and is open daily from noon to 5:00 pm.  In addition to the Johnston Home, the Kemp Museum and the Schoolcraft Dependency Office building are open to the public.  Donations by visitors are gratefully accepted. For further information, contact the Chippewa County Historical Society 906-635-7082 or visit the website http://www.cchsmi.com/ .

2010 News

2010.08.01Hear Us Perform at St. Mary's Catholic Church on Monday August 2

St. Mary's Catholic Church will host the fifth evening of the 2010 Historic Churches of Sault St. Marie season on Monday, August 2. The 7 p.m. musical program will feature Dave Stanaway and Susan Askwith performing "Original Songs of the Fur Trade Era and Maritime Adventures." The popular duo usually performs in the John Johnston House during the summer, but due to construction, the Water Street Historic Block has been closed. This will be a great opportunity to view one of their performances.

Built in 1881, St. Mary's Catholic Church is located at 320 East Portage Avenue. The church will be open for viewing from 6:30 to 8 p.m. that evening. Refreshments will be provided after the performance. Admission is free. Donations are greatly appreciated.

This Historic Churches program is a project of the Chippewa County Historical Society. 2010 marks the Society's 10th year of showcasing these landmark structures that have played significant roles in the cultural history of Sault Ste. Marie.

Residents and visitors to the Sault area are invited to attend these free programs in July and August. The schedule is available at the five participating churches: Central United Methodist Church, St. George Greek Orthodox Church, St. James Episcopal Church, St. Mary's Catholic Church, and the Salvation Army Citadel; the Chippewa County Historical Society at 115 Ashmun Street; and Bayliss Public Library at 541 Library Drive. For more information, call (906) 635-7082 or email cchs@sault.com.

2009 News

2009.09.27Hear Us Sing Sweet Willy on YouTube!

Check out this new YouTube video of us singing at the John Johnston Historic Home this past summer. Sweet Willy is the song that gets the most hits on CDBaby.  The video was recorded by Douglas Koch.  He and his wife have attended our concerts for several summers.  The video title is Heritage Singers of the Soo. (If the embedded video doesn't work, go to the video on YouTube instead.)

 

2009.07.26We Make Our YouTube Debut!

We've gone global with our first video on YouTube! Linda Hoath, Director of the Sault Convention and Visitors Bureau, made a video of Susan Askwith and Dave Stanaway singing at the John Johnston Historic Home, and posted it on YouTube. Check it out!

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2009.06.22Come See Us at the John Johnston House This Summer

SAULT STE. MARIE, MICHIGAN—Songwriters Susan Askwith and Dave Stanaway will begin their sixth year of performing original songs about the history of the Sault Ste. Marie area at the John Johnston Historic Home on June 30. The concerts will run each Tuesday and Thursday from 1:00 to 2:00 pm until August 27.

After five years of collaborating to write songs about the early history of the area, Stanaway and Askwith have expanded their subject matter to include more recent historical events. Several new songs celebrate the 50-year anniversary of the building of the Mackinac Bridge, the retirement of the US Coast Guard Cutter Mackinac, and Great Lakes shipwrecks.

When the two songwriters performed at the Ann Arbor Book Festival, Stanaway met Dennis Hale, another presenter at the event, and the sole survivor of the Daniel J. Morrell, a ship that sank in Lake Huron in November 1966.

After listening to Hale’s story of his ordeal, Stanaway was inspired to write “The Sinking of the Daniel J. Morrell.”

“It is very rare to be able to hear the account of a shipwreck survivor, and Hale’s survival is not only remarkable, but is told in a manner that sent chills down my spine,” Stanaway said.

The discovery in 2007 of the 100-year-old wreck in Lake Superior inspired another song, “The Cyprus,” which Stanaway and Askwith performed at the annual meeting of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society.

One of Askwith’s recent songs, “The Easily Wounded Nature of our Souls,” weaves a story that is built around a true event of a woman whose husband was killed in a duel.

“Although the story of how Mrs. Campbell became a widow is fact, the rest is pure fabrication on my part. I like to knit, and somehow the concept of knitting socks to earn a living became tied into the concept of healing, and the lyrics just followed that path,” Askwith explained.

Another of Askwith’s newer songs, “Father Frederic,” gives an Anishinaabe impression of Bishop Frederic Baraga, and was written to celebrate Bishop Baraga Days.

The duo has written more than 50 songs that tell some aspect of the history of the Sault and the Eastern Upper Peninsula. Many of their songs celebrate the Native American culture that was instrumental in the development of the area.

Stanaway and Askwith have recorded a CD, John Johnston: His Life and Times in the Fur Trade Era. The CD is available at the Johnston Home and online at www.borderlandrecords.com/dssa, as well as at several area businesses. (Buy it here!)

The Johnston Historic Home is located on Water Street, next to the US Coast Guard in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, and is open daily from noon to 5:00 p.m. from June 29 through August. In addition to the Johnston Home, the Kemp Museum, and the Schoolcraft Dependency Office building are open to the public. Admission to all three facilities is by donation. For further information, contact the Chippewa County Historical Society at (906) 635-7082.

2008 News

2008.06.23Songwriters Askwith and Stanaway begin fifth year of performances at historic home

SAULT STE. MARIE, MICHIGAN—Songwriters Susan Askwith and Dave Stanaway will begin their fifth year of performing original songs about the history of the Sault Ste. Marie area at the John Johnston Historic Home in July. The concerts will run each Tuesday and Thursday from 1:00 to 2:00 pm during July and August.

After four years of collaborating to write songs about the early history of the area, Stanaway and Askwith have expanded their subject matter to include more recent historical events. Several new songs celebrate the 50-year anniversary of the building of the Mackinac Bridge, the retirement of the US Coast Guard Cutter Mackinac, and Great Lakes shipwrecks.

When the two songwriters performed at the Ann Arbor Book Festival, Stanaway met Dennis Hale, another presenter at the event, and the sole survivor of the Daniel J. Morrell, a ship that sank in Lake Huron in November 1966.

After listening to Hale’s story of his ordeal, Stanaway was inspired to write “The Sinking of the Daniel J. Morrell.”

“It is very rare to be able to hear the account of a shipwreck survivor, and Hale’s survival is not only remarkable, but is told in a manner that sent chills down my spine,” Stanaway said.

The discovery in 2007 of the 100-year-old wreck in Lake Superior inspired another song, “The Cyprus,” which Stanaway and Askwith performed at the annual meeting of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society.

One of Askwith’s recent songs, “The Easily Wounded Nature of our Souls,” weaves a story that is built around a true event of a woman whose husband was killed in a duel.

“Although the story of how Mrs. Campbell became a widow is fact, the rest is pure fabrication on my part. I like to knit, and somehow the concept of knitting socks to earn a living became tied into the concept of healing, and the lyrics just followed that path,” Askwith explained.

Another of Askwith’s newer songs, “Father Frederic,” gives an Anishinaabe impression of Bishop Frederic Baraga, and was written to celebrate Bishop Baraga Days.

The duo has written more than 50 songs that tell some aspect of the history of the Sault and the Eastern Upper Peninsula. Many of their songs celebrate the Native American culture that was instrumental in the development of the area.

Stanaway and Askwith have recorded a CD, John Johnston: His Life and Times in the Fur Trade Era. The CD is available at the Johnston Home and at the studio website, www.borderlandrecords.com/dssa, as well as at several area businesses. (Buy it here!)

The Johnston Historic Home is located on Water Street, next to the US Coast Guard in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, and is open daily from noon to 5:00 p.m. during July and August. In addition to the Johnston Home, the Kemp Museum, and the Schoolcraft Dependency Office building are open to the public. Admission to all three facilities is by donation. For further information, contact the Chippewa County Historical Society at (906) 635-7082.

2008.01.04Remembering the Cyprus on January 18

SAULT STE. MARIE, MICHIGAN—Musicians Dave Stanaway and Susan Askwith will perform their new song, "Cyprus," at the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society 2008 Annual Meeting on Friday, January 18, 2008, at the Kewadin Hotel and Convention Center, 2186 Shunk Road, in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.

This year’s program is "Remembering the Cyprus" and will feature Capt. Ann Sanborn, USMS, as keynote speaker. She is the great-niece of Charles Pitz, second mate of the Cyprus - and her sole survivor. Other Cyprus family members will be there as well.

A cocktail hour will begin at 6:00 pm, with dinner at 6:30 pm, meeting to follow. Dinner is $20.00 per person. All members of the Shipwreck Society are encouraged to attend. For reservations, please contact the Shipwreck Society Administrative Office at 800-635-1742 before Monday, January 14th.

Lost within Lake Superior’s mysteries for 100 years, the wreck of the historic Cyprus was located by the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society this past September. She is a 420-foot steel steamer, lying on her port side in 460 feet of water, untouched, and completely intact except for sections of her wooden deck cabins that were destroyed in the sinking. As this discovery reveals such an excellent glimpse of life aboard on October 11, 1907, it quickly become a major news event. For more information on the discovery, see:

2007 News

2007.10.29Enjoy an Autumn Tea & Concert November 11

The Chippewa County Historical Society invites you to an Autumn Tea & Concert on Sunday afternoon, November 11; Dave Stanaway and Susan Askwith will perform! Click for a larger version.

Autumn Tea & Concert poster (PDF version)

SAULT STE. MARIE, MICHIGAN—The Chippewa County Historical Society will feature local songwriters, Dave Stanaway and Susan Askwith, in an Autumn Concert and Tea on Sunday, November 11 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm.

This free concert will be held at the historical society’s new home at 115 Ashmun Street, and will be an opportunity for the public to see the newly remodeled facility. Stanaway and Askwith will debut several new, original songs about the history of the area, along with performing some from their CD, John Johnston, His Life and Times in the Fur Trade Era.

The new building has given the historical society a place to open a gift shop, featuring books and other items about the history of the Eastern Upper Peninsula. The area adjacent to the gift shop includes exhibits, with the Fighting Fires display being a featured exhibit. This exhibit commemorates the Sault Ste. Marie Fire Department’s 100 year anniversary, and was created by Sault historian and author, Bernie Arbic.

Visitors will also enjoy seeing four paintings by Gene Usimaki showing rows of Ashmun Street businesses as they existed circa 1930 – 1950s. The paintings are on loan from Marian and Jon MacLeod.

The historic district buildings include the Kemp Coal Building, newly opened to the public this summer, and the Bishop Baraga residence, opened for the Baraga Days Celebration in September. The historic district also includes the John Johnston Home where Stanaway and Askwith perform each summer, and the Schoolcraft Dependency Office.

The historical society is conducting a capital campaign, chaired by Pat Egan and County Commissioner Don Cooper, to raise funds needed for the further renovation of the Ashmun Street building. This structure was formerly the location of Edison Sault Electric Company and, later, the Sault Alternative High School.

Concert goers will be treated to tea sandwiches and baked goods. The gift shop is open Tuesday through Saturday from 1:00 to 5:00 pm will remain open through Christmas for holiday shoppers. For further information, phone the Chippewa County Historical Society at 906-635-7082 or email cchs@sault.com. Musical samples of Stanaway's and Askwith's songs may be heard at www.borderlandrecords.com/dssa or at www.cdbaby.com/dssa.

2007.09.18Performances to Honor Sainthood Candidate Bishop Baraga

Bishop Frederic Baraga (1797-1868)

Bishop Frederic Baraga

(1797–1868)

SAULT STE. MARIE—In conjunction with the annual Bishop Baraga Days, local songwriters, Dave Stanaway and Sue Askwith, will perform their original songs about the Sault’s Bishop Frederic Baraga (1797–1868) at two local churches.

The two performances will be held on Sunday, September 23 at the 10:00 AM Mass at St. Joseph Catholic Church and at the 11:30 AM Mass at St. Mary’s Catholic Church.

The performances are an effort to tell the story of one of the Sault’s more interesting historical figures, and to raise donations for the renovation and opening of the Baraga Historic Home on Water Street in Sault Ste. Marie.

Sault Ste. Marie is rich in Baraga history, as it was the site of Baraga’s first Episcopal See. In 1853, Baraga was appointed Bishop of the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie, which stretched across the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. In 1866, the diocese relocated to Marquette, its present location.

Baraga was born in what is present day Slovenia was the first of many Slovenian missionaries to come to the United States, arriving in 1830. During his work in Michigan and Wisconsin, he mastered several Native American languages, and in 1843, he wrote his Grammar and Dictionary of the Chippewa Language, that is still in use today.

Bishop Baraga Days 2007 is a meeting of the Bishop Baraga Association and will be held in Sault Ste. Marie on Saturday and Sunday, September 29 and 30.

The Bishop Baraga Association’s Mission is to make the life of Bishop Frederic Baraga known and to work for the cause of sainthood for Baraga. The association’s annual event celebrates the life of the first bishop of the Diocese of Marquette and includes a variety of activities.

For a schedule of events, see www.bishopbaraga.org or phone the Sault Convention and Visitors’ Bureau, 1-800-MI-SAULT.

Askwith and Stanaway have been performing at the John Johnston Home in the Historic Home District for the past four years. Their CD, John Johnston, His Life and Times in the Fur Trade Era, tells about the early history of Sault Ste. Marie.

They recently completed new songs about Bishop Frederic Baraga and his home. For more information on the music of Askwith and Stanaway, see borderlandrecords.com/dssa.

For more information on Bishop Baraga and the cause of his sainthood, contact the Bishop Baraga Association, 347 Rock Street, Marquette, MI 49855, 906-227-9117.

2007.08.25Catch Us in DeTour Village on September 2 at 3 p.m.

SAULT STE. MARIE—Labor Day Weekend will find us performing in DeTour Village. The Eastern Upper Peninsula Fine Arts Council will sponsor its third Summer’s End Concert in DeTour Village on Sunday, September 2, 2007. This year’s concert will feature music composed and sung by Susan Askwith and Dave Stanaway of Sault Ste. Marie. Susan and Dave are best known for their music devoted to the fur trade era, presented weekly at the John Johnston House in the Soo.

The Summer’s End Concert will be devoted to the regular sailings of The Elva, an old passenger steamer of the Arnold Line that traveled between the Straits of Mackinac and Sault Ste. Marie, with stops at Mackinac Island, the Les Cheneaux Islands, DeTour and the islands of the St. Mary’s River. Songs commemorating the trip, its scenery and the history of the area will be featured. The Elva’s Arnold Line route lasted from 1892 until 1922 when trucks and cars replaced it. A model of the historic Elva will be shown at the concert. In 1954 the hull of The Elva was burned off of Mackinac Island’s Arch Rock, creating a spectacular fire on the lake to celebrate the ground-breaking for the Mackinac Bridge.

Attendance is free. The concert will begin at 3 PM on Sunday, September 2, and last no more than an hour and a half. The concert will be held at the Fine Arts Council Hall (formerly the Sacred Heart Church Hall) in DeTour Village, behind Sacred Heart Church. Join us for an imaginary musical cruise on The Elva! A reception will follow.

2007.07.01Don't Miss Us at the John Johnston Home This Summer

SAULT STE. MARIE—Summer is here and once again we're performing our original songs and stories about the John Johnston family and Sault Ste. Marie's history during the Fur Trade Era.   Come and see us every Tuesday & Thursday, 1 to 2 p.m., July and August, at the John Johnston Historic Home, located on Water Street next to the U.S. Coast Guard Station, Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.  This summer marks the fourth season of performances in the Johnston Home, which was opened to the public in 2004.

2006 News

2006.07.03John Johnston Historic Home Holds Grand Opening July 9

SAULT STE. MARIE—The Chippewa County Historical Society is celebrating the third season of having the historic John Johnston Home open by hosting a grand opening on Sunday, July 9. The event will be held from 2 to 4 PM on the lawn in front of the Schoolcraft Home on Water Street. More...

2006.07.03New photos

Here are a few new photos of Dave and Sue and friends to start off the season...

2006.06.19 Chippewa County Historical Society members (L-R) Nancy Steinhaus, Dave Stanaway, Susan Askwith, and Bernie Arbic plan the 2006 grand opening of the John Johnston Historic Home in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.
Chippewa County Historical Society members (L-R)
Nancy Steinhaus, Dave Stanaway, Susan Askwith,
and Bernie Arbic plan the 2006 grand opening
of the John Johnston Historic Home.

2006.06.19Historic Home Opening Is Planned

Chippewa County Historical Society members are planning the grand opening for the John Johnston Historic Home. The event will be held on Sunday, July 9 from 2:00 to 4:00 PM on the lawn. The public is invited to enjoy a program of stories about the history of the Sault by author Bernie Arbic, and original songs performed by Dave Stanaway and Susan Askwith about the lives of European settlers and Native Americans during the fur trade era. The Johnston Home is on Water Street next to the U.S. Coast Guard. Rain date is July 16. Photo

 

 

2006.03.08We're Weaving Winter Dreams

It's wintertime in a big way here in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. A good time to do all those indoor tasks that we put off while the weather was fine. Like learning Dreamweaver and setting up a new website. So please stay tuned while we get the rest of this site up. Thanks!

2005 News

2005.12.07Get Photos for News Stories Here!

Attention reporters, editors, reviewers, promoters, and fans! We've added a page where you can download images related to Dave Stanaway and Susan Askwith's John Johnston--His Life and Times in the Fur Trade Era CD. Images are available in both print and web formats (high and low resolution). We've tried to guess what you need, but if there's something else, please let us know!

2005.11.29 We've Gone Global!

We are very pleased to announce that Dave Stanaway and Susan Askwith's John Johnston--His Life and Times in the Fur Trade Era CD is now available at CD Baby, the largest seller of independent CDs on the web. Benefits for you:

  1. You can listen to samples of all ten original songs
  2. You can buy the CD using your credit card (they also have other payment options.)
  3. You can order the CD by phone. Just call CD Baby at 1-800-448-6369.

2005.11.29 Save When You Buy 10 or More CDs

If you would like to order ten or more copies of the CD (it's a great gift for friends and family!), we offer a volume discount of 20%. Order from Borderland Records by mail (order form) or call us at (906) 248-5947.

This offer is not available in stores. Order today!