Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

MIchelle Ringle-Barrett

Second Advisor

Scott Friesner

Third Advisor

Jane Ammeson


In 1911, Clydenia Jewett and her daughter, Bertha Martin, moved from Detroit to St. Joseph, Michigan. In 1995, 84 years later, Clydenia’s great-great-grandson, Brian, and his wife, Barb, moved with their three young daughters to the same small town on the lake. What the young family didn’t know was that they had a connection to their new hometown. Time had forgotten Clydenia and Bertha’s story in Saint Joseph. It wasn’t for another several years that the family found out about their lost family members.

Clydenia is my great-great-great grandmother. I am her direct relation through my paternal grandmother. It’s easy to see how family stories are forgotten and changed over the course of time, especially when you begin to dig into the past for the truth. However, the answers I found left me with more questions about their lives during this exciting time period.

I wondered if they could hear the sounds emanating from the amusement park in the summer, or if they ever sold a hat to Al Capone, a frequent visitor of the town. I wondered how they made their hats and whatever happened to the pieces they crafted and sold. After trying my hand at hat making, I had a new appreciation for their vision and skill.

Clydenia and Bertha were artists and progressive, resilient, women. I deeply admire them, which is what made this project so difficult. I wanted to honor them and their history, but also try to creatively answer some of the questions I was left with. Their story is one worth telling, and I’m grateful for the opportunity.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access

Martin & Jewett ppt.pdf (1858 kB)
Thesis Presentation