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Orchard Lake

Lessons, crafts mark historical-society events

January 22, 2013

ORCHARD LAKE — The Greater West Bloomfield Historical Society is hoping that its winter programs will be ones for the history books.

According to Gina Gregory, the historical society’s secretary and program chair, the group offers programs all throughout the year to educate people in the greater West Bloomfield area about old-fashioned activities, nature and institutions from the past.

“We like to emphasize local history, but also programs that are of interest to the public,” she said.

The events calendar begins with an annual meeting at 10 a.m. Jan. 26 at St. Mary’s Dining Hall in Orchard Lake.

Gregory explained that anyone who wishes to come may also see a presentation of approximately 100 characters that represent various figures of Polish history up until Pope John Paul II.

“They are wooden figures that are about 2 feet high,” she said. “They move, and a recorded presentation is given with that.”

On Feb. 17, the historical society will bundle together a “patchwork” sort of program. Quilter Judy Schmidt is expected to display her creations and describe the history of quilting at the West Bloomfield Township Public Library at 2 p.m.

Schmidt said she has held storytelling sessions and shared folklore about quilts and cloth before, often to kids. And while she wasn’t exactly sure which format her upcoming event might take, she said it could be sort of like a trunk show.

“You bring a trunk full of quilts and talk about what they are and what their background is and how you got the idea of that quilt,” she said.

Wannabe weavers are also in luck. DuAnne Sonneville is planning to teach the art of building an 8-inch ribbed melon basket during her Basketry 101 class at Schulak Farm 10:30 a.m. March 9.

Although Gregory said the class is currently full, the historical society is taking names for a waiting list.

The historical society will wrap up the winter with a March 17 lecture on the history of summer camps in the greater West Bloomfield area from 1910 through the 1960s. According to Gregory, the lecture will take place at the West Bloomfield library and will cover the Sylvan Lake-based Detroit Free Press Fresh Air Camp, the Protestant Children’s Home Camp Tinega and more.

Although spring is still weeks away, the historical society’s calendar has more planned for the future. As in other years, the group will hold its annual tours of Apple Island in May.

Learn more about the Greater West Bloomfield Historical Society and its events — including admission fees and event locations — at or by calling (248) 757-2451.

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