A free public reception was hosted in recognition of the opening of a New Grand Lake Vintage Resorts Exhibit at the Besser Museum featuring the work of bother and sister, Bob and Janet Young.
Focusing on the history of Presque Isle, the Young’s showcased their books and artwork to interested viewers.
Janet Young the author of two books said she made a promise to her grandmother to tell the past times of resorts that were located on Grand Lake.
“I’ve always loved history. But years, and years, ago my grandmother had asked if I would write a story about the family hotel, which was the Birch Hill Hotel at Grand Lake. So I have all of the family stories and I’ve got stories from other people. But basically I promised her that someday I would put in writing all of the history of Birch Hill Hotel. Then after I had done that, I decided to include the other hotels that were there so it gives an complete picture of what early resorts were like,” Young explained.
There’s always photos that need to be taken when talking about history, and that’s where Janet’s brother, Bob comes into play.
Bob created illustrations by pen, and ink along with watercolor to match the descriptions of his sister’s books.
“Watercolor has evolved. Part of the fun with watercolor is it just becomes something. You do a pencil sketch and you can do it with pen and ink and let the pigment do its thing. Sometimes it comes out good, and sometimes it doesn’t. It was fun some of these for the book were actually done in black and white, black and white pictures and we had to suppose what color they would be. So we just had fun with it,” Young said.
Young also noted that it was unique to learn about how people migrated to Alpena and the Presque Isle area.
He said the journals, and postcards from the hotels were key when creating the books and images to create their sibling masterpiece.