Friends of Historic Meridian kick off spring lecture series

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By Jackie Dumbleton
Meridian Times staff writer

MERIDIAN –The Friends of Historic Meridian Society kicked off its spring lecture series on Thursday, March 22.

The kick-off lecture, led by guest speaker Jane Rose, executive director of Meridian Historical Village, focused on the role of southeast Michigan during the War of 1812.

“I’m fascinated with the War of 1812,” said Rose. “Last fall I did a segment strictly on the war that happened up at Mackinac Island.”

According to Rose, the lecture series has been a part of the Friends of Historic Meridian for 22 years.

“The purpose of the lectures is to share the history, primarily of Meridian Township, but also the state of Michigan.” Rose said. “There’s a whole lot of things that have gone on in this area and (the lectures) provides us an opportunity to share the information with the public.”

The lecture series, held every spring and fall, are combined with the society’s monthly meetings, and are open for members and non-members. The typical audience is society members, who come together over an interest in local history.

“I’ve always been interested in history,” said Renee Tierney, a member of the society for 8 years. “Not only that, but I’m a former teacher, and I like teaching, so it was a natural transition.”

Friends of Historic Meridian President, George Grettenberg, joined the society to learn more about the life of his ancestors in the area.

“My great-grandfather had a great-uncle that was staying with relatives down by Ann Arbor and they heard there was some good, cheap land up by Okemos,” said Grettenberg. “So in the 1850’s they walked up here and bought the land where Meijer now sits.”

Due to the popularity of the lectures, a daytime lecture will be held Sunday, April 15 in the Historical Village chapel, which will cover “The Rich History of Haslett.” The next regular lecture will take place Thursday, April 26 and feature guest-speaker Howard Tanner from the Michigan Land Trust Fund.

For more information about the Friends of Historic Meridian Society, or the lecture series, visit their website<a