By Elisa Walker
Local history enthusiasts may be interested in attending the Syracuse-Wawasee Historical Museum’s first summer Centennial Homes presentation.
The presentation will be about the Morrison Island homes. The event starts at 12:30 p.m. and will be Saturday, July 28, in celebration hall at the Syracuse Community Center.
There will be a wide variety of topics to discuss, such as John Dillinger renting one of the cottages in 1929.
The presentation will cover how the Morrison family first settled on the island as well as the Moore family and the current residents of the island.
“I could gather this information from the homeowners and present it myself,” explained Ann Vanderford Garceau, who also has personal ties to Morrison Island. “But when you hear the homeowner speak about their home, how it’s important to them and their family, that’s when the audience can really know what the home is like. As people get older, there are fewer and fewer people who know their stories.
“If they’re not passed down, we’ll lose them. This is for everyone. We’ve all heard of Morrison Island, but there’s many who have never been to it and seen it,” she said.
The presentation will prepare for the Wawasee Property Owners Association’s Tour of the Century. People will visit one of the cottages in the beginning of August.
Vanderford Garceau commented that the Wawasee area lures people in, referencing Jerry Moore, who used to spend summers on Morrison Island and who currently lives there. Despite his children and grandchildren living across the country, Wawasee is their gathering place. Fond memories of growing up in the area is what keeps them coming back.
A variety of photos will highlight interesting features of the island, from picturesque boathouses to the cottages, giving the public some insight to the island that they may not have had before.
Vanderford Garceau also mentioned that there will be a brief feature over a special project that took place with the help of the township trustee and several others to place a headstone in Crow Cemetery, also known as Lake Bethel Cemetery, for two young Morrison sons.
While there will be several interesting topics of discussion, Vanderford Garceau plans to keep the presentation at an hour long.
The second Centennial Homes presentation will be about homes along Wawasee’s South Shore at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 18.