Tim Younkman

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Tim Younkman

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       This is the place for readers to find the stories about both Jonathan Raines, a tough detective in Detroit during the 1930s, and equally rugged West Texas lawman Johnny Madrid, plus other memorable  characters in novels featuring a variety of historical settings. 

This also is the place for Just Yesterday, a column devoted to interesting local historical tales, and little known facts about the people who settled Bay City and the State of Michigan.  There also is My Times, a column with comments on current news events with a historical perspectives.    You can stop at the Writer's Desk for helpful tips on writing that paper, newsletter, article, or even the great American novel.

      The latest Tim Younkman novels published for tablets and other e-readers are available for purchase and downloading through most major distribution sites including Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.   You also can read the first few chapters for free and I'm sure you'll want to find out what happens next!  Just click on the book cover for a look.

      Thanks again, and happy reading!

 


 
Pecos Moon By Tim Younkman
If I Die Again By Tim Younkman
Detroit 32 By Tim Younkman

My Times

Just Yesterday

       LABOR DAY AND SAM GOMPERS 
  A few thoughts in the wake of the past weekend, noting that Labor Day is celebrated these days as a holiday, a break in the workaday world, but is a shell of its original intent and of how it was celebrated in the past.

   In Bay City, there is a legacy of worker activism, in attempts over the past century and a half of trying to uplift the lot of laborers, the backbone of the middle class.

   Getting to this point hasn’t been easy.  One of the biggest strikes by laborers occurred in 1885 when the men in the nearly 100 sawmills all along the Saginaw River from the bay all the way to Saginaw City were shut down.  The thousands of workers walked off their jobs, not as part of a labor union order since they weren’t members of unions, but by a spontaneous act of workers trying to get their work day cut from 11 hours a day to 10.

   Most of the mills were shut down for the better part of two months and a state law went into effect declaring the work day to be 10 hours.  The mill men proved they had the power to shut down the sawmills and never had to resort to that kind of act again.

   There were rail strikes, coal miner strikes, shipyard worker strikes, and later on autoworker strikes, but after all was said, contracts were signed and the middle class thrived.  It was the design foreseen by labor leaders across the nation.

   In February 1888, in the midst of the lumbering boom that created a “millionaire” class of lumber barons in Bay City, national labor leader Samuel Gompers appeared here for a speech in the packed Woods Opera House.

   The 38-year-old activist was then president of the American Federation of Labor (AFL).  He addressed the crowd with a series of ideas on reforming the working conditions, hopefully by negotiation rather than by threats and violence.


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   GO TO THE BEACH

   There was a time when people did not clog the highways bumper-to-bumper on the 4th of July Holidays.

    That was all before the automobile and if a family wanted to go on an outing for the day, preferably somewhere cool and fun, there was the beach.

   Wenona Beach, on the Saginaw Bay just north of West Bay City, was the destination of many, although it promised to be crowded.  One could get there by horse-drawn buggy, but then there was the problem of keeping the horse tied up, fed, and watered. 

   The best thing was the street railway which brought people to the park on regular runs throughout the holiday.

   But how about for those folks who wanted to avoid that huge crowd?  Well, there was Linwood Park.  Since promoters didn’t want to compete with Wenona Beach on the Fourth, the Linwood Park celebration would be on the Fifth.

    Wenona Beach Casino advertised two stage play renditions of “Wanted A Wife” and “A Trip on the Races,”  performed by the Morris-Thurston Stock Company.  The ad also advised folks that there would be motorboat races and 4th of July fireworks.

    Linwood Beach promotions pointed out  that the real enjoyment, minus the hubbub of all the rides and games at the big park could be had at Linwood Park.

   Special railroad trains would make runs from the Pere Marquette station in Bay City at 8:30 a.m., 9:40 a.m., 11 a.m., 2 p.m., 5:15 p.m. and 7 p.m. and trains would return at 10:58 a.m., 4:25 p.m., 6 p.m., and 10 p.m.


      
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