LANSING, Mich. — Award-winning Michigan historian, author and storyteller Larry B. Massie and his wife Priscilla donated about 7,000 copies of books he has written to the Historical Society of Michigan (HSM).
“We are incredibly grateful for Larry Massie’s generosity in sharing his work with HSM, which will help expand the reach of our Michigan history education mission.
“Larry has the ability to bring history alive in person and in the pages of his books and this allows him to continue to connect with people of all ages,” said HSM executive director and CEO Larry J. Wagenaar.
Throughout his career, Massie assembled a 45,000-volume library focused on Michigan history near his home in the Allegan State Game Area.
In 2007, Massie received HSM’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
In 2021, Massie received the Library of Michigan’s Author Award, which recognizes significant authors in the state.
The Massie couple has also made significant book donations to the two Portage high schools and South Haven Historical Society.
The Larry J. Bell Library Foundation of Kalamazoo bought about half of Massie’s antiquarian book collection and the couple donated the other half of the books to the foundation.
Massie has lectured frequently on Michigan history topics at schools, libraries, universities and festivals throughout the state and has written 22 books about a wide variety of Michigan’s history.
“I have enjoyed telling the story of Michigan’s past for decades. Putting some of my books in the hands of the Historical Society of Michigan will ensure that people in our state and beyond will have access to those stories for a long time to come,” said Massie.
The inventory of titles Massie donated to HSM include:
- “Copper Trails & Iron Rails (Trains and Railroads),” published in 1989
- “On the Road to Michigan’s Past,” published in 1995
- “Pig Boats & River Hogs: Further Voyages into Michigan’s Past,” published in 1990
- Potawatomi Tears and Petticoat Pioneers: More of the Romance of Michigan’s Past,” published in 1992
- “The Romance of Michigan’s Past,” published in 1991
- “Two-Tracks to Michigan’s Past,” published in 2009
- “White Pine Whispers,” published in 1998
Massie was born in Allegan in 1947 and graduated from Allegan High School in 1964.
He is a disabled veteran and has three degrees from Western Michigan University.
Massie worked as an archivist at WMU before becoming a freelance historian and shifting his focus to writing.