Long before today’s fabled Michigan – Ohio football rivalry, the Territory of Michigan, led by feisty “boy governor” Stevens T. Mason, was locked in a territorial dispute with the State of Ohio and its governor, Robert Lucas. On Sunday, March 11, 2 p.m., the Lorenzo Cultural Center at Macomb Community College will showcase the story of this unusual war, which involved more saber-rattling and one-upmanship than shooting, and eventually resulted in Ohio retaining the Toledo Strip, with Michigan gaining the western three-quarters of the Upper Peninsula as well as statehood.
The presentation is part of Becoming Michigan: From Revolution to Statehood, which runs Feb. 25 through May 5 and offers an exciting examination of Michigan’s early years employing exhibits, presentations and performances. The program series explores factors in the settling of the state and surrounding region as well as stories of its early settlers; the critical role of the Great Lakes to the economic, political and social development of the region; the events that propelled Michigan into statehood, and the impact of the War of 1812.
“Becoming Michigan highlights the colorful history of Michigan’s early days, bringing to life the experiences on the Michigan frontier through the territory’s quest and journey to statehood,” said Christine Guarino, director of cultural affairs and community engagement. “With presentations from experts, including two Pulitzer-Prize-winning historians, as well as storytelling, music, dance and exhibits, Becoming Michigan at the Lorenzo Cultural Center offers a multi-faceted exploration of the people, places and politics that molded today’s Michigan.”
Becoming Michigan features more than 25 free experiences, including presentations by Pulitzer Prize-winning historians Gordon S. Wood, Ph. D., who will focus on the invention of the United States by describing how Americans in the 1776 – 1812 period went about establishing their national identity, and Alan Taylor, Ph.D., who will discuss the relationships between natives , settlers and soldiers on both sides of the Michigan/ Canadian border as well as how the War of 1812 transformed the Michigan Territory.
Other program highlights include:
• Presentations employing storytelling, music and dance: It’s Maple Syrup Time, Mar. 24, storyteller Genot Picor; Take Good Care of My Michigan, Apr. 15, La Compagnie Musical Dance Troupe; Adventures in Michigan’s Past, Apr. 19, Larry Massie; Journey to Paradise (Michigan!) on the Erie Canal, historical re-enactor Michael Deren; Bunyan and Banjoes, May 3, singer and songwriter Kitty Donohoe; What Was it Like in Early Michigan Times, May 4, storyteller Lois Sprengnether Keel.
• War of 1812: Invaded on All Sides, Mar. 15; Troubled Waters, Mar. 17; Mr. and Mrs. Madison’s War, Apr. 12; Turning Point: The Battle of Lake Erie, Apr. 14; 1812: America’s Second War for Independence, Apr. 28
All presentations require advance registration by calling 586.445.7348.
The program series also features exhibits including Becoming Michigan, which provides a wide range of photos, timelines, images, artifacts and displays that illustrate key people, places and events; and Great Lakes Native Quilting, which showcases 16 quilts, photographs of quilters and quilting activities, and four settings that demonstrate the use of quilts in Great Lakes Native communities, historically and today.
Exhibits are free and don’t require advance registration to view. School and group tours are also available. The Lorenzo Cultural Center is located at 44575 Garfield Road, Clinton Township, MI, 48038, and is open 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and 1-4 p.m. Sundays. For a full schedule of events, more information or to register, visit www.LorenzoCulturalCenter.com or call 586.445.7348.
About the Lorenzo Cultural Center
The Lorenzo Cultural Center (www.LorenzoCulturalCenter.com) explores the influences and experiences that shape our community's heritage, examining topics from a variety of perspectives and creating interactive opportunities for learning, celebration and entertainment. Located on Macomb Community College's Center Campus, Hall and Garfield Roads in Clinton Township, the cultural center is adjacent to the Macomb Center for Performing Arts.
About Macomb Community College
Macomb Community College (www.macomb.edu) is one of the nation’s leading community colleges, providing learning experiences to more than 50,000 students annually. Macomb nationally ranks in the top two percent in the number of associate degrees awarded and as the largest grantor of associate degrees in Michigan. The college’s comprehensive educational programming includes pre-collegiate experiences, university transfer and career preparation programs, bachelor degree completion and graduate degree programs, workforce training, professional education and certification, and continuing education and enrichment opportunities.
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