Author donates book inventory to Michigan Historical Society


LANSING, Michigan — Award-winning Michigan historian, author and storyteller Larry B. Massie and his wife Priscilla have donated approximately 7,000 copies of the books he has written to the Historical Society of Michigan (HSM).

“We are extremely grateful for the generosity of Larry Massie who has shared his work with HSM, which will help expand the reach of our mission to teach Michigan history.

“Larry has the ability to bring history to life in person and in the pages of his books, allowing him to continue to connect with people of all ages,” said Larry J. Wagenaar, Executive Director and CEO. from HSM.

Throughout his career, Massie amassed a 45,000-volume library focused on Michigan history near his home in the Allegan State Game Area.

In 2007, Massie received HSM’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

In 2021, Massie received the Michigan Library’s Author Award, which recognizes significant authors in the state.

The Massie couple also made significant book donations to Portage’s two high schools and the South Haven Historical Society.

The Larry J. Bell Library Foundation in Kalamazoo purchased about half of Massie’s antiquarian book collection, and the couple donated the other half of the books to the foundation.

Massie frequently lectured on Michigan history topics at schools, libraries, universities, and festivals across the state and wrote 22 books on a wide variety of Michigan histories.

“I have enjoyed telling the story of Michigan’s past for decades. Putting some of my books in the hands of the Michigan Historical Society will ensure that people in our state and beyond will have access to these stories for a long time to come,” Massie said.

The inventory of titles Massie has donated to HSM includes:

  • “Copper Trails & Iron Rails (Trains and Railroads)”, published in 1989
  • “On the Road to Michigan’s Past”, published in 1995
  • “Pig Boats & River Hogs: Further Voyages into Michigan’s Past”, published in 1990
  • Potawatomi Tears and Petticoat Pioneers: More of the Romance of Michigan’s Past”, published in 1992
  • “The Romance of Michigan’s Past”, published in 1991
  • “Two-Tracks to Michigan’s Past”, published in 2009
  • “White Pine Whispers”, published in 1998

Massie was born in Allegan in 1947 and graduated from Allegan High School in 1964.
He is a disabled veteran and has three degrees from Western Michigan University.

Massie worked as an archivist at WMU before becoming a freelance historian and focusing on writing.

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