The 2010 History Tour was focused on Petoskey's rich medical history. The first white settlers, Andrew Porter, his wife Mary and his mother, Anna, came to start a mission school and by default became the area's first doctors and first dentist. That was in 1852. In 1873, William Little became the first trained physician, but he passed away in 1875 at the age of 33. Lelia Rowan wrote an article in a Grand Rapids newspaper speaking of the need in this area for physicians and her words were well accepted as many physicians and dentists took up the call. Some came and stayed for a short time while others made Petoskey their home.
We focused on a few of those men and women who laid the groundwork for the diverse medical community we now enjoy. Among those featured were: Dr. George Reycraft and his brother, Dr. John Reycraft; Dr. Luman Ramsdell; Dr. George Nihart; Dr. James Cannon; Jesse Fairfield; Maud Miller; Edith Henderson; Elizabeth Schneider; Dr. Charles Gray and Dr. Dean Burns.
These men and women sacrificed much to protect the well-being of the local citizenry - while they may not always have been successful it was not for a lack of caring. That becomes obvious as we study their lives and devotion to their practices.