Old photo takes us back in time

Time seems to move so much faster as you age, as if we’re in a hurry to get somewhere but aren’t quite sure what that where is. Life gets much more hectic, as well, with the continuous advancement of electronics and the hurry-up lifestyle we all seem to fall into.

Then we run into something that stops us in our tracks and takes us back to a different era, one that was at a much slower pace and less complicated.

Most recently, that time warp came in the form of an old photograph dropped off at the newspaper office.

Jon Swanson, a summertime resident of Marquette, ran across the photo while looking through some old photo albums of a person who will probably be remembered by some of the older readers of The Mining Journal.

This person was Ken Lowe, who came to Marquette in the late 1940s or early 50s and went to work at the newspaper. He had become managing editor by the time he left the paper around 1970, becoming well known in the state for being the longtime editor of the Michigan Out-of-Doors magazine.

During his longtime association with the Michigan United Conservation Clubs, which publishes the magazine, Lowe also became known as one of the leaders in pushing for the state’s bottle bill, which we all know has been a great success.

While in Marquette, though, Lowe acquired a local girl for his wife, a marriage that produced three sons.

Swanson and Lowe married cousins and Ken’s son Scott recently sent Jon a half dozen of the elder Lowe’s photo albums, which contained a lot of old photos of mutual relatives.

However, Ken Lowe was also an avid outdoorsman, particularly when it came to bird hunting with his beloved English setters. In addition, he also put together the outdoors page for the newspaper and ran into all sorts of sportsmen and women, such as the two hunters shown in the photo that Swanson gave me a copy of.

They look like a seasoned pair of hunters who took a rather large bobcat on that day’s hunt. It’s difficult to tell in the photo, but I suppose it could be a Canada lynx.

There are a few other interesting aspects of the photo, including that they were wearing only plaid shirts – perhaps it was late winter or early spring.

The dogs, which appear to be blue tick hounds, look like real hunters, too. Then we have the guns, a pair of sawed-off 12-gauges, which indicate to me that they were hunting in close quarters, probably a thick cedar swamp.

There is some mystery surrounding the photo, as well, including who the hunters are, where they were hunting and when it was taken. Swanson said he is interested in solving the mystery.

One longtime resident of the area who looked at the photo thought it might be brothers Bruce and Wayne Schwenke, who owned and operated Richard’s Sport Shop in downtown Marquette for several decades and were avid hunters.

Bruce Schwenke took a look at the photo and said it was not him or his brother, so the mystery continues.

This is when Swanson got a hold of me and asked if I could help him get the photo in front of a larger audience, and this is where you come in.

If anybody has any information about the photo and/or the hunters, give me a call at 228-2500, ext. 270; email me at dschneider@miningjournal.net; or drop a note in the mail to Dave Schneider, The Mining Journal, P.O. Box 430, Marquette, MI 49855.

This little sojourn back to a different, simpler time brought on by the photograph is coming to a close and I’ll have to fast forward into the 21st Century again.

However, if anybody provides a little information about the photo I will be able to slip back in time and have a good old-fashioned discussion about a bygone era when I tell Swanson what I found out.

Editor’s note: City Editor Dave Schneider can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 270.