Our History

1996 marked the 50th anniversary of Grandpa Shorter’s Gifts, as well as the renovation of the façade of the storefront to look like its original appearance. After a suggestion by my mom, Dad restored the historic look and put deed restrictions in place to ensure the historic preservation of the ...
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Categories:  Legacy & History

My grandpa, Carl, was a genius at marketing his business through all his years. He used billboards all over northern Michigan. He even had one painted on the top of a barn! He held in-store events with Native American artists and stamped their art with “Ottawa Indian Made”. He used moccasin ...
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Categories:  Legacy & History

The second branch of Shorter’s Gifts opened in Indian River in 1960 in a log cabin building. This was a seasonal shop that operated from May to December and was run by many of my family members, including my dad. The Indian River store closed after the 1983 season. The Shorter’s franchis...
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Categories:  Legacy & History

In 1950, the shop acquired more space in the building and more than doubled in size. Two years later the Petoskey Evening News reported that “Shorter’s Indian Craft Shop, here seven years, is one of the few summer businesses that operate solely in this city. Carl Shorter, who spends his win...
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Categories:  Legacy & History

The site Grandpa chose for the store, 301 East Lake Street, is steeped in Petoskey’s history and importance. An article in the Petoskey Evening News from 1948 written by Ethel Rowan Farquelle tells her childhood memories of where “Bazil Petoskey’s store was on the corner of Lake and Petoskey ...
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Categories:  Legacy & History

Carl started as a Pharmacist’s Apprentice and then was a very successful manager of Teysen’s Gift Shops in Mackinaw City in the summer seasons of 1940, ‘41, and ‘42. Even though the country was still in the Great Depression, Carl was able to double the sales of Teysen’s Gift Shop! There w...
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Categories:  Legacy & History

Carl Shorter, Homer’s grandson, and my grandpa attended school at Pellston High School, in Pellston, Michigan. When he was a senior, a girl named Ruth transferred to Pellston after the Levering High School was closed, and it was then that Carl and Ruth met. Carl was the class president and a bask...
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Categories:  Legacy & History

This is the story about Grandpa Shorter’s Gifts and, believe it or not, it all starts with a grandpa. My grandpa’s grandpa in fact. I'm Jennifer Shorter and this is the story and legacy of Grandpa Shorter. Homer Shorter moved to Northern Michigan in 1860, just a few years after white settler...
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Categories:  Legacy & History