Updated: Mar 9, 2022
By Jennifer Chambers, The Detroit News
Published 10:19 p.m. ET Sept. 15, 2018 | Updated 8:37 p.m. ET Sept. 16, 2018
The State History Awards are presented by the Historical Society of Michigan.
The forgotten era of women’s bicycle racing, a history tour through a Petoskey graveyard and other unique projects are among 18 winners of the 2018 State History Award from the Historical Society of Michigan.
Announced on Sept. 10, the awards will be presented during the group's annual Michigan History Conference in Sturgis from Sept. 21-23.
The society presents the State History Awards every year to individuals and organizations that have made what the group said are “outstanding contributions to the appreciation, collection, preservation and/or promotion of state and local history.”
Karl Crawford, superintendent of Petoskey’s Greenwood Cemetery, won the society's award for distinguished professional service for creating a series of history tours that feature costumed actors standing at grave sites and speaking about the people who were buried there.
Karl Crawford, superintendent of Petoskey's Greenwood Cemetery, won the society's award for distinguished professional service for creating a series of history tours featuring costumed actors at grave sites, speaking about the people who were buried there. (Photo: Courtesy of Karl Crawford)
To accompany the tours, Crawford wrote a series of booklets entitled “Petoskey Stones Speak.” He also initiated a project to digitally scan newspaper obituaries and place them on the cemetery’s new website as a research source.
Crawford told The News he and his staff of six at the cemetery have collected and scanned 60,000 obituaries from local newspapers and 45,000 historical photos of the Petoskey.
“We are committed to having the best possible cemetery records we could. That’s where the project started, to make sure the records are the most accurate possible. We began collecting and became a resource and put in online. It kind of morphed," Crawford said. "When we started, we had no intention of being where we are now.”
A full list of winners can be found at hsmichigan.org