ANNABELLA STONEGATE - The Story Behind Spirit of the North
In 1985, Tyler took a creative writing class in eighth grade at NMU. In that class he wrote his first story set in Upper Michigan: "The Ghost of Stonegate Woods." That story first introduced the character of Annabella Stonegate, the ghost of a young girl who died in a blizzard. Annabella's story continued to haunt Tyler for many more years. Discerning readers of The Marquette Trilogy will remember in Iron Pioneers that Jacob and Caleb talk about Annabella dying as a little girl. Later in The Queen City, Will Whitman tells the story of how he saw Annabella's ghost in Park Cemetery.
Now, Spirit of the North tells the full story of Annabella - in life and in death.
Some people claim Annabella was not real, but here is a photo of Annabella's grave, reputedly in Park Cemetery in Marquette.
In Spirit of the North, there is a reference to a photo of Annabella Stonegate at Christmas. The photo has not survived, but she may have looked something like this photo of G.A. Werner's daughter, taken by a local photographer in Marquette. (Photo Courtesy of Superior View.)
The photo was used to represent Annabella in the film of "The Ghost of Stonegate Woods" based on Tyler's short story, which appeared on the television show Upper Michigan Today in June 1986.
Prior to the television production, Tyler read the story on Public Radio 90's Morning Edition with host Dan Rydholm in the Fall of 1985. Below you can listen to Tyler reading part of the story from the broadcast.
Listen to Tyler read his short story The Ghost of Stonegate Woods on Public Radio (1985)
To find out more about Annabella Stonegate, read:
Spirit of the North: a paranormal romance