Jack Hobey, author of "Lost Boys: The Beulah Home Tragedy," will speak and sign copies of his book at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 22, at the Carnegie building, 451 E. Mitchell St., Petoskey. The Friends @ The Carnegie speaker series is sponsored by the Petoskey District Library and Friends of the Library. Admission is free.
Hobey grew up in Midland, Mich., and graduated from the University of Michigan and Harvard Business School. Since retiring from a career managing manufacturing companies, he has been researching and writing books dealing with Michigan history and involving a level of mystery and intrigue.
"Lost Boys: The Beulah Home Tragedy" revolves around the life of Herman Swift of Boyne City and his efforts to provide a home and guidance to orphaned and cast out boys. In 1902, Herman established The Beulah Home for Boys in a cavernous old hotel building in north Boyne City. A resulting scandal, which gripped Michigan and garnered front page newspaper coverage across the state of Michigan, led up to the closure of The Beulah Home in 1913. A criminal trial in Charlevoix County, and the case of the People vs. Herman Swift, became one the most sensational cases to ever go to the Michigan Supreme Court. There it was reviewed on appeal by governors Chase Osborn and Nathaniel Ferris. The story touches on area towns including Charlevoix, East Jordan, Harbor Springs and Petoskey and notable historical figures, including Ephraim Shay, Joseph Hudson of Detroit and Bay View's John M. Hall.
Hobey's book is the story of the Beulah Home boys and their courage. Most arrived at The Beulah Home when they were 8 or 9 years old. Some were delinquents, sent to the home by juvenile courts. Most were given up by mothers who lost husbands and could no longer provide for their families. The boys farmed The Beulah Home's large acreage, worked for area residents and sang and danced to earn their keep. They didn't hesitate to take the opportunity to hop a train in Boyne City, travel to Boyne Falls and then on to Petoskey.
Hobey dedicated the book to the boys who lived in the homes Herman Swift operated in Buffalo, Chicago, Leoni Township (Jackson County, Mich.) and Boyne City.
For more information, call the Petoskey library at (231) 758-3100.