Jan and Rochelle offer their skills as a way to pass on traditional knowledge. Arrangements for classes can be made by contacting them directly or by checking this page for updates of available classes. They attend numerous events throughout the year, displaying their trade.

CUSTOM DESIGNED LIVING HISTORY PROGRAMS

Description: Jan and Rochelle are able to tailor classes for schools, museums, and civic groups according to preference. For example, Marquette Regional History Center requested a children's program. Jan and Rochelle set up hands on display pieces and taught about the fur trade era, providing clothing and trade goods from the 1760's for the children.

BIRCH BARK CANOE BUILDING

Description: In this class, students will cover the basic skills and gain the hands on experience needed to build a traditional birch bark canoe. Students will learn how to handle the bark; peel, split and stitch with spruce roots ; split ribs and planking from a cedar log using traditional tools; finish the ribs and planking with a crooked knife; construct the gunwhale assembly while learning the properties of different woods. Students will also have the opportunity to purchase the canoe after completion for a discounted price.

Time: This is a 14 day class, but students may elect to take either the first or second week session if 14 days are not an option. The first week will cover rolling out the bark, shaping the canoe, cutting gores, preparing roots, stitching side panels, and preparing ribs, planking and gunwhale assembly. The second week will put it all together. In week 2 we will lash the gunwhales, finish the ends, place the planking, bend the ribs, pitch the canoe, and take it out on the water. The dates for the 2018 canoe class are TBD.

Costs: The cost for a one week session is $650.00, which includes tuition, 3 meals a day* except for Sundays, and a place to set up a tent. For those who register well in advance, you may also choose to stay in a wigwam on location. The cost for both sessions is $1200.00.

*Please let us know in advance of any special dietary needs. We can accommodate most special needs but not all.

Application and Registration: Please mail a letter to Jan Zender and Rochelle Dale at P.O. Box 13 Big Bay, MI. 49808 and let us know which session or sessions you will be attending. Include a $100.00 nonrefundable application fee that will count toward the final cost. Be sure to include your name, any dietary information, or special interests we should know about. Mail your applications before ****. The class is limited to six people per session. Half of the remaining fees are due before **** and the remainder will be due on arrival. No refunds after ****.

Location: Classes will be held at our homestead on the Yellow Dog River in Michigan 's Upper Peninsula . This is an isolated area, about 3 miles from a maintained road. The nearest town, Big Bay , is about 8 miles away. Marquette is 35 miles away. From the canoe building site, you will have easy access to trout fishing, hiking and exploring. The Yellow Dog River has magnificent waterfalls to play in and to photograph.

BRAINTANNING

Description: In this class, students will dehair, scrape and tan their own deer skin from start to finish. (Hides will already be off the animal.) Hides will be provided. We will use the wet scrape method. All tools and necessary components will be available. At the end of the process, students will have a hide to take home.

Time: This is a three day class. The dates for 2018 are ****.

Cost: $400.00 covers tuition, materials, and 3 meals a day. Please inform us of any special dietary needs. Most but not all needs can be accommodated.

Application and Registration: Please mail a letter to Jan Zender and Rochelle Dale at P.O. Box 13 Big Bay, MI. 49808. Include a $50.00 nonrefundable application fee which will count toward your final cost. Be sure to include your name, any dietary information, or special interests we should know about. Mail your applications before ****. The class is limited to six people. Half of the remaining fees are due before **** and the remainder will be due on arrival. No refunds after ****.

Location: Classes will be held at our homestead on the Yellow Dog River in Michigan 's Upper Peninsula . This is an isolated area, about 3 miles from a maintained road. The nearest town, Big Bay , is about 8 miles away. Marquette is 35 miles away. From our home, you will have easy access to trout fishing, hiking and exploring. The Yellow Dog River has magnificent waterfalls to play in and to photograph. May is also a good season for birding.

Lodging: Bring your own tent and sleeping gear and set up on the grounds (no costs), or you may choose to stay at a hotel or bed and breakfast in Big Bay . You will be on your own to make hotel accommodations.