County Seat Newspaper
of Clare County

Ringelberg Shares His Clare County Travels

New Clare County History Book


Jon Ringelberg isn’t afraid to crawl in old basements or trudge through woods and swamps in search of history.

His new self-published book Historical ‘Travels’ in Clare County: This & That highlight his adventures and discoveries and will be available in October. Ringelberg’s sleuthing and historical field trips are infamous among his friends and family.

Ringelberg describes his ‘travels’ and investigations as driven by his curiosity. As a former  lawyer and judge, Ringelberg also has a prove-it-me mindset about history leading him to pursue the real truth of what he calls “contrived fable of a historical story.”

Not all his featured stories sleuth out mystery. In this book he highlights the beginning of the Clare County History Society, the history of theatres in Clare County, and a listing of post offices in the county. It may surprise readers to know there were 32 post offices! He writes about their history and location and in some cases, even shows a postmark.

In This & That Ringelberg provides a history of the Long Lake Girl Scout camp (Camp Deer Trails) which now operates as a private venue offering cabin rentals, campsites, and more. In photos, newspaper clippings, girl scout memorabilia, postcards and firsthand accounts the properties history is interesting and nostalgic.

For more information about the current Camp Deer Trails visit

Often Ringelberg or other Clare County Historical members are the first contact for those looking to research their family history in the area. These relationships are almost always mutually beneficial. The historical society can provide the family more information from local resources and the family often has new photos and information about local people and places to share.

There is an interesting chapter about the descendants of George Dawson that led Ringelberg and fellow historical society member and author Robert Knapp to explore basements in downtown Clare. Dawson ran a pool room and cigar factory and was a professional gambler. Certainly, an interesting family member worth a trip to Clare for the family. 

 Ringelberg even sorts out the fact and fable of the legendary Doherty Hotel Ox-Bow. Read about all these fun investigations in his book.

This is Ringelberg’s 5th local history book, and he has also synopsized 4,000 Clare County Circuit Court Legal Cases from 1871-1945. Contact Jon Ringelberg at


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