John Baptiste Soucie Papers

Summary Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections
Creator -
Lavigne, Guy
Creator - Donor
Oliver, Vera E.
Creator -
Soucie, John Baptiste
John Baptiste Soucie papers
Date [inclusive]
0.25 Cubic feet , 4 folders, 17 photographs

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: "Item title, Collection title, Collection Identifier, Michigan State University Archives & Historical Collections, East Lansing, Michigan."

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Biographical Note

John Baptiste Soucie was a professional cook from Oscoda, Michigan. His mother emigrated from Ireland, and his father emigrated from Quebec. Soucie's early jobs included head cook at various lumber mill camps in the Au Sable-Oscoda, Michigan area. He later owned a variety of eating establishments, including the Tivoli Restaurant, the Rendezvous Restaurant, and the Tourist Café. Soucie married Ada M. Alton in 1918. Upon retirement, they worked as cooks at YMCA Camp Nissokone.

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Scope and Contents note

The John Baptiste Soucie papers contain three versions of Soucie's autobiographical manuscript, Forty Years a Cookin'. There is an original, unfinished handwritten copy as was told to Soucie’s friend, Guy Lavigne, a typed version of the handwritten version, and a printed bound version that was completed by Soucie's daughter, Vera Oliver. There is also a copy of a news article originally printed in 1897 and reprinted in 1991. The article announces the closing of the Pack, Woods, & Company's lumber mill. Also included in the collection are photographs of the Alcona Dam Big Wheel preparation, chore boys in the camp kitchen, Coline Dam Mess Hall and staff, Cooke Dam, Five Channels Dam, Greenbush Inn, a horse drawn cart carrying lumber, Lost Lake building, lumberjacks walking into the cook shack, a mess hall at Coline Dam, Oscoda Fire, Soucie blowing the mess horn, a street scene, and a winter road scene.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections November 2005

Conrad Hall
888 Wilson Road, Room 101
East Lansing , MI, 48824

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Legal Status

Copyright: Michigan State University. Property Rights: Michigan State University.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

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Controlled Access Headings


  • Photographs

Geographic Name(s)

  • Michigan -- Biography


  • Cooks
  • Lumber camps -- Michigan

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Collection Inventory

Forty Years a Cookin' 


Handwritten Manuscript 1950s 


Typed Manuscript, Undated 


Printed Bound Volume 1996 


Revised edition 1996 


Newspaper Clipping 1991 




Alcona Dam 

SC Box 5

Coline Dam. Mess Hall 

SC Box 5

Cooke Dam 

SC Box 5

Five Channels Dam. Construction 

SC Box 5

Greenbush Inn 

SC Box 5

Lost Lake 

SC Box 5

Lumbering camps 

SC Box 5

Oscoda, Michigan 

SC Box 5