How Presque Isle came to Marquette

MARQUETTE — In honor of Marquette’s Parks and Recreation month, a guided historical tour was given this morning for of one of the most beloved spots for tourists and members of the community.

During Tuesday’s tour of Presque Isle, members of the community developed vast appreciation for an area that already serves as an aggregate for joy and serenity to many.

“We’ve lived here for 25 years and we’ve driven around this island so many times, but we’ve never had the opportunity to take a walk and get the full aspect of the historical value of Presque Isle,” said Marquette Resident Phil Pfannenstiel.

What a lot of people may not know about Presque Isle is that it used to be federal land. It was altered into a city park with regards to a vision by Peter White.

“He did a lot of work to bring in the right people, consult the right people including Chief Kawbawgam on the historical aspects and on what the future of this park should be,” said Tour Guide Jon Swenson.

Another person Peter White brought in was Frederick Law Olmstead, who is responsible for many notable parks throughout the United States including Central Park in New York. His goal was to use different types of landscapes to meet varied needs, and he fulfilled that goal in Marquette.

“Frederick Law Olmstead made the recommendation to the city that it should be kept as a wilderness area, pretty much untouched,” added Swenson, “he said there should be a road, but it should be narrow and inconvenient.”

Initially, Peter White’s idea didn’t resonate with the community.

“It just took a little while for the community to see that vision,” concluded Swenson, “now, because of that vision we have what we would consider this crowned jewel of a park.”

While learning about the fascinating historical significance of the accumulation of Presque Isle, tour members had plenty of time to treat their eyes to one of the most treasured areas in the U.P.

About the Author

Caleb Scanlon
Caleb M. Scanlon is a reporter for ABC 10 / CW 5 and joined the news team in 2015. He grew up in Negaunee, where he attended Negaunee High School. Caleb completed his Bachelor's degree in Media Production and New Technologies from Northern Michigan University with a minor in Communication Studies. Caleb interned with ABC 10 / CW 5 in the fall of 2014. During his free time, Caleb enjoys spending time with his wife Samantha, his kids Fred and Lucy, and his cats Scotty, Remus, and Fitzgerald. Caleb plays a multitude of musical instruments and performs in a band called Concord Through Keys. When there isn't snow on the ground, Caleb can often be found at Al-Quaal playing disc golf.