2017 Macomb County Heritage Alliance

MCHA was organized in 1996 by Madeline Page and Patricia Hallman under the auspices of the Macomb County Historical Commission.  This year’s annual meeting for the Macomb County Heritage Alliance (MCHA), a consortium of local historical and genealogical organizations located within Macomb County, was held at the DFAC (Dining Facility) on Selfridge Air National Guard Base.                                                                                                               The DFAC (Dining Facility) on Selfridge Air National Guard Base. The meeting was hosted by the

                                                          Selfridge Military Air Museum, Lt. Col. Louis J. Nigro (USAF, Ret.) and Executive Director of the Museum

                                                          with assistance from Lori Nye, Team Chief of the Museum’s Library/Research area.  A continental

                                                          breakfast was set up for attendees and box lunches were delivered at noon.  All food was catered by

                                                          the U.S. Army MWR’s Mulligan’s located at the Golf Course, Selfridge ANG Base. 

                                                          To the right is a photograph of the 

base's fairly "new" dining facility.  It sits on land that originally held 

Enlisted housing for E-5 and above.  

This year’s event hosted by the Selfridge Military Air Museum  and we had

a special guest, the 127th Wing's Commander, BG John “Odie” Slocum

to welcome and greet the attendees.  BG Slocum  highlighted the

major event to celebrate Selfridge’s 100th anniversary this year

(1917-2017), which is the air show on 19-20 August and discussed some of the changes he hopes to make to the base’s infrastructure in the

near future.  Pictured here is BG Slocum with Lt. Col. Nigro.                                                          Following BG Slocum’s welcome, Lt. Col. Nigro lead the group in the Pledge of Allegiance.  


                                                  ​Immediately following the                                                             pledge, Lt. Col. Nigro turned the meeting                                                           over to Lois Jackman,                                                                  President of MCHA for the business

                                                  meeting.  The minutes from                                                         the 2016 meeting were provided, previewed &

                                                  accepted; the Treasurer’s                                                           Report was not available to those in

                                                  attendance by projecting on                                                        the 'big screen' and had been sent via email

                                                 so not everyone in attendance                                                     had a copy of it to preview, but it was also

                                                 reviewed and accepted by                                                           a majority of those members in attendance.

Also in the general business section of the agenda was a presentation of the 2016 officers present at this year’s meeting by having them rise. Those board members missing were out-going treasurer, Chris Causley and Debbie Remer, Board of Directors.  Pam Lavers from the One Macomb Arts and Culture Committee provided screen shots of the website for the One Macomb Arts and Culture Committee and explained what the plans were to celebrate Macomb County’s 100th Anniversary in 2018.  Kim Parr, Director of the Crocker House Museum, spoke on the 2018 Macomb County Bicentennial and the Macomb County Historic Sites Google Map and Passport Program that is being sponsored by the Macomb County Historical Society and Culver's.  Alas, as there was no public Wi-Fi on Selfridge, access to Kim’s Google Map and Pam Laver’s website was not available for viewing by the attendees on the ‘big screen’.  Final agenda item before lunch was the presentation of officers up for re-election and those members running for office.  All motions were properly made and approved on all business-related items. 

                                                  As in the past several years, there were several tables packed full of prizes for the annual silent auction and a

                                                  group of tables holding flyers and other information available on upcoming events sponsored by the historical

                                                  & genealogical organizations in attendance, which actually took the first two rows of tables back to windows.

                                                 The silent auction generated proceeds of $249 for MCHA.  The final accounting and collection of monies for

                                                 the auction took place following the close of the meeting.     

This year’s attendance averaged just under 70 people from the various historical and genealogical organizations within Macomb County and nearby areas; a few notables were: Kim Parr, Crocker House & Macomb County Historical Society; Bob & Cherie Allen, Washington Township Historical Society; Sue & Ted Keffer, Warren Historical Society; Jon Beard, Richmond Area Historical & Genealogical Society; Ann Faulkner, Macomb County Genealogy Group; Anita Labinski and Tom & Sharon Cairns, Memphis Historical Society; Christopher Werner, Historical Society of Center Line; Patricia Chownyk, Roseville Historical & Genealogical Society, just to name a few .  Prior to the serving of lunch, presentation of the Alexander Macomb Historical Award was presented to this year’s honorees. Sue Keffer, out-going Vice President, Macomb County Heritage Alliance, did the honors of  announcing and presenting the Alexander Macomb Award honorees with their certificates.                                                    The honoree for the Individual award went to Tom Cairns (pictured at left) of the Memphis

Historical                                                        Society  located in Macomb’s northern-most section for his dedication to service to the  

Memphis                                                        community and surrounding area.  The honoree(s) for the Organizational Award were Roy Rivard and                                                     his team from the Chesterfield Township Historical Society for their outstanding work on rescuing the Kolping                                                    Chapel from Kolping Park, which is up for sale and is located on Sugarbush Road in Chesterfield Township.                                                      The Chesterfield Historical Society had several fund raisers to help defray the cost of relocating the chapel,                                                     which was estimated to be around $50K.  The chapel is now moved and part of The Historical Village on                                                       Sugarbush Road, Chesterfield Township. Roy & his lovely wife, Eileen, also celebrated their 50th Wedding                                                        Anniversary the day of our annual meeting.  Pictured below are photos of the Kolping Chapel and

                                                                      it's historical sign along with Roy Rivard accepting his award from Sue Keffer and he and his lovely bride, Eileen with the award.

Following the presentation of the awards and awaiting Mulligan’s delivery of our box lunches, our guest speaker, Dan Heaton, took those attendees that were interested out to the south porch of the DFAC for a brief history tour of the buildings in the immediate area of DFAC.  Once lunch was delivered, we all helped ourselves to whatever we had previously selected: delicious sandwiches with chips, cookies, fruit or fresh salads.  While lunch was being served and eaten, the attendees held an ‘open mic’ session, which allowed the members to get up and address the group on what was happening with their own organizations in the area for the summer.  Here are some photos from the ‘open mi’ part of the session:


                                                                                    After lunch, Dan Heaton gave his presentation on Selfridge – 100 Years.  He did an

                                                                                    excellent job covering the 100-year history of this wonderful, fine military installation,

                                                                                    which was built from land previously owned by Henry Bourne Joy, President of Packard

                                                                                    Motor Company, who purchased the land originally for use as an aviation field who

                                                                                    wanted a place to test planes built with the Liberty engines. The area was first known as

                                                                                   Joy Aviation Field and during/after World War I was purchased by the U.S. Government

                                                                                   as a military installation and renamed Selfridge Field (visit the Selfridge Military Air Museum to learn why it was named Selfridge Field). It carried that name until around 1947 when the U.S. Air Force became a separate branch of the service, when it was renamed Selfridge Air Force Base.  In 1971, when the USAF turned it over to the Michigan Air National Guard and it no longer served as an active-air base, it became known as Selfridge Air National Guard Base. Following Dan’s presentation, the meeting came to a close, the Silent Auction was wrapped up, and the attendees left for a tour of the Selfridge Military Air Museum.  A big 'thank you' to Dan for his presentation and donation of his books to the silent auction.  Dan wrote the following books about Selfridge's history:   Forgotten aviator: The Byron Q. Jones Story,  Forts & Fields: a history of Michigan's military past, and Selfridge & Collins: The life and times of military aviation pioneers Lt. Thomas E. Selfridge and Capt. Phelps Collins.

Hope to see you all and more at the 2018 Annual Meeting, date, time, and place to be announced later.  For write-up on past year's events, scroll down.

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