CRYSTAL FALLS—The great granddaughter of a Crystal Falls pioneer has named an orchid after the city that has given her many happy memories.
“My years in Crystal Falls are some of the most special memories that I have,” according to Nancy Smith Stwalley. “The town still reminds me of the special people: the immigrants, that founded the community.”
Stwalley’s grandfather, Gottlieb Urban, emigrated from Germany to the United States, settling in Crystal Falls, where he worked on the Iron County Courthouse as a mason. By the time Stwalley was born in 1936, her parents had moved to Indiana. But Iron County was their retreat.
‘They took me up to the cottage when I was three or four weeks old,” Stwalley said. “Then we came back in the fall for deer season. One of the hunters told my parents I was the youngest deer hunter he’d even seen.”
For the past 30 years, gardening and raising orchids has been a passion for Stwalley. “I’ve had eight orchids awarded,” Stwalley said. “They’ve been recognized by the American Orchid Society.
“I chose to give it the clonal name ‘Crystal Falls, MI’ in honor of my family and all who still have roots in Iron County. My memories of Fortune Lake and our white cottage have always been special. And no one ever made a kolache like Mrs. Holkup.”