Museum exhibit features work by siblings

Brother and sister Janet and Bob Young look through one of the local Grand Lake history books she has written. Bob, owner of Young’s Appliance and Young’s ArtVan in Alpena, did many of the illustrations for her books.

Besser Museum for Northeast Michigan announces an artist reception Saturday in honor of the opening of Grand Lake Vintage Resorts, a new exhibit by Bob Young and Janet Young. The free public event will be held from 3-5 p.m.

Decades ago, Janet promised her grandmother that one day she would write the history of the family’s Birch Hill Hotel. What began as the story of one historic hotel has developed into a series of four books centered on the history of Presque Isle.

“Volume II, Grand Lake’s Vintage Resorts,” peers into the life and times of the men and women who built the first hotels and clubhouses along the shore of this isolated lake in the forested heart of Presque Isle. Personal stories of the resort owners, employees, club members and guests are based on family letters, journals, interviews, newspaper articles and legal documents from the 1870s through the 1940s.

“Grand Lake’s Vintage Resorts” features a wealth of maps, rare photographs and exceptional artwork.

Bob, Janet’s businessman and artist brother, shared his talents in the books as well. Bob’s watercolor paintings, along with his detailed pen and ink sketches, illustrate idyllic summer vacations at the early rustic hotels of Northeastern Michigan. His specialty is painting from vintage black and white photos or postcards.

“I’m pretty excited to have a local author’s work and the artist exhibiting as a team. You get the literary and the visual in one exhibit,” said Danyeal Dorr, curator of collections and exhibits for the Besser Museum.

Bob’s artwork, along with Janet’s interpretations, will be on display in the Trelfa Gallery through April. They will be on hand Saturday to meet and greet visitors to the reception.