What's in a Name - Wenona #1437 chapter

 The Wenona #1437 chapter of Bay City was formed in in January 2005. The chapter was started with 9 members, 4 of which are still active in the chapter which now totals 20!

The chapter name Wenona has long been associated with Bay City’s history. In 1864 Messers Sage and McGraw from Ithica, N.Y., purchased 116 acres of the west side of the Saginaw River to erect a saw mill. The village was called Wenona which is now Bay City’s west side, (1877). Wenona meaning first born. Its growth was very spontaneous: in four years there were 1200 inhabitants and growing with all the conveniences of city life. Famous in its day and considered the most luxurious hotel north of Detroit was the Wenonah Hotel and Park. 1908-1978, President D. Eisenhower and R. Nixon stayed there on their campaign route and considered it a mandatory stop. The hotel was named Wenonah for the Indian maiden in Longfellow’s poem Hiawatha, which was her son. A treasured artwork of a mosaic panel of the Princess was in the hotel lobby was salvaged from the fire that destroyed the hotel in 1978. This mosaic panel in now on display at the Bay County Historical Museum. Wenonah Park is still on our river front. Also very popular in its day was the casino at Wenonah Beach Amusement park on the beach of the Saginaw Bay. Note both spellings Wenona and Wenonah are correct.

Early in the chapter’s 8 year history the 2005 Michigan Questers convention was held. Since then the chapter has continued to be an active part of our Bay City community and the Michigan Questers. P & R projects have included donating funds to the Bay County Historical Museum, obtaining State Questers grants for historical plaques placed in front of homes in the historical Center Avenue district and purchasing medallions to complete railings in the historical Bay City’s City Hall. Funds are being saved towards an outdoor sculpture of Princess Wenona.

We have earned P & R funds through a booth at an antique show, bus trip to Pewabic Company and the Eastern Market. Most recently we have been hosting the “Appetite for Antiques? Come lunch & learn education seminar.

We enjoy our monthly meetings with a variety of subjects from which we continually learn about antiques and history. Many of our members have had the opportunity to attend various state Quester events and hope to help with the 2014 International convention. Our friendships are strong and our interests alive.

The Wenona Chapter #1437 looks forward to hosting the 2020 Michigan State Convention. Until then see you around Michigan.