The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
  • Front.newpaper.2
    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
  • Front.code.2
    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.skelton.vigil
    MORENCI’S three Skelton brothers were remembered with both tears and laughter last week during a candlelight vigil at Wakefield Park. Several people came out of the crowd to give their recollection of the boys who have now been missing for five years.
  • Front.gym.new
    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.

John Geisler to speak about U.S. 12, the Old Sauk Trail 2.11

Written by David Green.

John Geisler had a fascination with roads and where they led ever since he was a child growing up in Morenci.

Once he retired from his career as a professor at Western Michigan University, he returned to that curiosity with the highway and took a closer look.john.geisler.jpg

He’ll present some of his findings Tuesday at Stair Public Library when he talks about the Old Sauk Trail.

Don’t expect a boring lecture, Geisler said.

“I’m not a historian,” he said, “and it’s not a lecture type of presentation.”

The title of his talk should make that clear: “From Pathways to Expressways: A Quixotic, Queer, Quaint, Clever and Whimsical History of the Sauk Trail (U.S. 12) from Detroit to Chicago.”

And if that’s not enough, he describes the program “as told by a quaint and quixotic former resident of Morenci” who shows clever slides at the whim of the presenter.

He won’t work his way through a stack of note cards; it’s just a light and entertaining talk coming from his memory.

There are many interesting stories behind the hundreds of major roads in America, and U.S. 12 is no exception.

“It’s still the shortest route from Detroit to Chicago,” Geisler said. “It’s not the fastest, but it’s the shortest.”

The Sauk people had a connection to the British, Geisler said, and they traveled from Illinois to Detroit each year in the late 1700s to receive gifts.

From the first paths forged out of the wilderness to the well-worn trail and finally an early road, the old Sauk Trail served as an important route for travel.

It was the chief road between Detroit and Chicago before construction of the I-94 interstate.

After Geisler retired from teaching graduate level counseling courses at Western, he decided to become a student again.

“I’ve had an abiding interest in roads and highways ever since I was a kid,” he said. “What I’ve done is to continue my education.”

Many retirees just sit and listen in, but not Geisler. He wants the tests and a grade. In a Michigan history class, he decided fulfill a project assignment by exploring his interest in roads.

Michigan highways became his goal, but it didn’t take long to discover he was biting off far too much.

“I soon learned that one road was enough and I chose the old Old Sauk Trail.”

Geisler’s presentation Tuesday, beginning at 7 p.m., will incorporate slides that show highlights of the road from its start in downtown Detroit, the communities it passes through and the attractions along the way.

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