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The Legacy of Marguerite Gahagan

Marguerite Gahagan was an early Michigan conservation journalist who founded The North Woods Call in 1953, following a career at The Detroit News. In 1959, Marguerite purchased ten wooded acres in Roscommon and moved herself and The Call to the site of today’s Gahagan Nature Preserve. She was known as a hard-driving reporter who made weekly visits gathering the latest news from field stations of what was then the Michigan Conservation Department. The view from her cabin inspired her regular column“Pine Whispers” which chronicled the daily events of her woodland sanctuary. In 1969 she sold The Call to Glen Sheppard. On January 5, 2011, Mr. Sheppard passed, briefly ending more than fifty years of Michigan's first and most enduring conservation newspaper. In 2012, Mike VanBuren resurrected The Call with both print and electronic formats before ending publication in September 2014.

When Marguerite passed in 1997, she gave her ten-acre property and her cabin home as a nature preserve. The property consists of mature pine forests, cedar swamps and the beginnings of Tank Creek, which feeds into the South Branch of the Au Sable River. The preserve is affiliated with the Roscommon Area Recreation Authority and includes another fifty acres, which were acquired later.

In 2022, Marguerite was inducted into the Michigan Journalism Halll of Fame in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the advancement of journalism in Michigan. Imagine Marguerite sitting at her typewriter, peering through the picture window of her small, remote cabin. This is how she saw the world. And now you can enjoy her writing while benefiting Gahagan Preserve. 

Pine Whispers: The Biography and Writings of Marguerite Gahagan

Marguerite Mary Gahagan (June 22, 1907 – January 4, 1997) was an award-winning journalist, author, and conservationist. She wrote, edited and published The Northwoods Call, a small weekly newspaper that quickly became an influential conservation publication in the state of Michigan. Marguerite took the approach of an investigative journalist when reporting environmental issues around the north woods of Michigan. She operated the paper by herself for nearly 16 years, and her dedication to conservation communications has been recognized by Time Magazine, the National Wildlife Federation, and the Association for Women in Communications. This legacy continues on in the form of Marguerite Gahagan Nature Preserve, located at Marguerite's former estate in Roscommon, Michigan.

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