Books explore U.P. people, Prohibition

By Tyler Tichelaar


U.P. People: Incredible Stories About Incredible People

By Sonny Longtine

Sonny Longtine’s newest book lives up to its subtitle of incredible stories about incredible people. Many are household names to U.P. readers, or at least to the people in the parts of the U.P. where they lived. However, while I knew of most of them, even the descriptions of the ones I thought I knew well had some information that was new to me.

The book covers a wide variety of famous or prominent people from the area, ranging from Father Marquette to Sam Cohodas, Nita Engle, Tom Izzo and Steve Mariucci. The book is divided into 12 categories, with more than 40 people coming from all parts of the U.P. examined.

Of course, I can’t write about all of these people, but I found all their stories fascinating. Among the community activists is Paul Van Riper, for whom Van Riper State Park in Michigamme is named. The day he arrived in Champion in January 1901, he was sent to sit beside the bed of a dying woman. By morning, he had healed her. He would go on to practice medicine for years, making his last house call at age 92…

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