Local author Mike Cornelius keeps mining new material for books covering the history of Hubbard Lake. He's already published three volumes chock full of photos, events from the past and colorful anecdotes about a corner of Northeast Michigan that runs deep in his veins.
During the writing of those earlier books, Cornelius had hoped to feature pictures and stories related to hunting and fishing in Hubbard Lake and nearby streams, but there were so many other details to include that he never managed to fit in all the outdoor sporting-related material he'd amassed.
He finally solved the problem by writing a fourth book devoted entirely to the subjects of hunting and fishing. The 192-page fourth volume, "140 Years of Hunting and Fishing History Around Hubbard Lake," came out this week. Like the others, it was printed locally through Sarge Publications at Model Printing Service.
Cornelius now plans to do book signings Thursday from 3-7 p.m. at Alpena County Library and Friday from 3-7 p.m. at Smokeys Restaurant and Tavern. His newest volume is a color, hardcover, coffee-table size book available for $63.
The first 90 pages cover deer hunting, Hubbard Lake-style, starting in the 1800s up through the present. Lots of photos of trophy bucks, hunting camps, buck poles and the like are interspersed with tales from local hunters, how-to tips, informational charts and DNR statistics. Some of the stories and ways of doing things have been handed down through multiple generations.
"I'm big on traditions things that are special and carried on from one generation to the next," Cornelius said. "Tradition leads to a lot of memories that's a lot of what my books are about stirring up old memories."
Besides deer, Cornelius also touches on hunting small game such as turkeys, ducks, rabbits and partridges as well as big game like grizzly bear and moose that some Hubbard Lake residents have been fortunate enough to take in other locations around the country.
A large section of the book is devoted to fishing, including an "honor roll" of lucky fishermen. Readers will get information on lunker pike, how to catch walleye and big perch, smelt dipping, brook trout and white fish spearing.
"I'm excited about this book, and I think it's going to appeal to anyone who loves hunting and fishing," Cornelius said. "There is a lot of valuable information in it as far as techniques from experienced and successful outdoorsmen, so readers will get the benefit of many, many decades of experience from respected hunters and fishermen in the area."
Though Cornelius is an avid hunter and also enjoys fishing, he said in putting the book together he's learned a lot that he didn't know before.
"I know how to catch a walleye now, winter and summer, and perch also," he said. "I'm going to take the grandkids out and try out what I've learned with them."
Cornelius estimates there around 500 photos contained in "140 Years of Hunting and Fishing Around Hubbard Lake." Some are vintage shots and feature hundreds of different people who spent time enjoying the outdoors in and around the lake. Others are nature photography snapped by Cornelius of both wildlife and scenery around the Hubbard Lake area.
The first book written by Cornelius deals with the history of Hubbard Lake from 1600 to 1900, focusing in part on the Chippewa Indians who once roamed the area and including the region's early lumbering days. His first 1,088 copies of that book sold out, and he has sent printed an additional 100 in softcover. Those also are now nearly gone.
His second book told the history on Hubbard Lake from 1900 to the 1950s. Like his first volume, the initial run of 1,005 sold out, and he recently ordered another 100 in softcover.
Book number three covers Hubbard Lake from 1960 to the present. A limited number of copies of that book still remain available.
Anyone interested in acquiring any of his books may contact Cornelius at 464-6471.