Posted by John Ester on Oct 09, 2018
Heather Shumaker explained that Saving Arcadia is a work of narrative non-fiction--non-fiction that reads like a novel.
Heather said her book about the Grand Traverse Land Conservancy's acquisition of the Arcadia Dunes is a "stranger comes to town" story, the stranger being Consumers Power and the town being Arcadia.
In 1969 Consumers through a straw man started buying up property in the Arcadia area as part of a plan to create a reservoir at Dry Hill comparable to what Consumers had attempted to do in Ludington. The plan was to acquire a block of real estate running two miles along Lake Michigan from north to south and six miles inland. This plan never came to fruition, but Consumers sold its Arcadia property to a real estate holding company that cleared the path for a major real estate development in the area.
Saving Arcadia is about the real people who made possible the acquisition and preservation of the Arcadia Dunes. Heather estimates the number of people involved at 5,000, which includes Heather herself and her boss, Glenn Chown, as well as the head of the C.S. Mott Foundation and Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm. By the time they completed the acquisiton it was a $30 million project.
Following her presentation Heather fielded questions and was happy to sign books for numerous audience members desiring to purchase one.