About Us


Thumb Newspaper Preservation Project (TNPP) is the brainchild of Mark W. Rummel, former owner and Publisher of the (Pigeon) Progress-Advance which later merged with the (Sebewaing) Blade-Crescent (owned by his brother Jim) to become The Newsweekly.

But Mark’s involvement with the papers of the TNPP begins much earlier.

His father, Walter J. Rummel, bought The Pigeon Progress and Elkton Advance in 1947. Four years later he had the opportunity to purchase his hometown Blade-Crescent, which he published for the next 45 years. He wrote millions of words and snapped thousands of photos about matters of importance to the Western Thumb between 1947 and 2009 (when he “retired”), a remarkable 62 years!

During his retirement, Walt still had ‘newspapering’ in his blood. There was always a story to write or a photo to caption.

Walt died in 2011 at age 93, and the Rummel family inherited a huge inventory of newspaper clippings, photographs and news copy.

And in his death, a legacy was born: The Thumb Newspaper Preservation Project.

Mark, along with his wife Sally, enlisted the help of friends and former co-workers Tamie Dell Cook and Bill Esch to bring the project to what you’re viewing today.

Stewardship of the archive has been turned over to a committee which includes the Pigeon District Library’s Boards of Directors and will provide oversight of digitization process as well as all financial obligations.

The TNPP is an ongoing project, expected to take upwards of 10 years to complete the digitization of the tens of thousands of pages of newspaper planned for the archive.