Grande du Michigan
The Society of 40 Men and 8 Horses











About the 40/8



Message from
the Grand
Chef de Gare

Message from
the Grand

Messages from
the Grand
Officers &





Locale News


Whistle Stop




Air Force


Coast Guard







Grande Promenade

August 7-9 2014




2650 South I-75 Business Loop, Grayling MI 49738

(989) 348-7611


Registration Form

Ad Contract

Booster Ads

Grande Call

La Grande Call




Voiture 1153

Is having a Smelt Fry


July 12th

5 to 8




James E. Yenor Post 193

11045 Harold St.

Luna Pier.




VAVS Grande Director

Gary Bourdeau

Cell 734-649-2041



Itís time to start working on your year end report.Remember if you didnít contribute to any VA Facility still send in a report showing no action.


This year the keep the wheel chairs rolling contest gave away 36 awards this year.Michigan got 6 of the awards.


If any one is interested in volunteering at any of our Veterans Facilities please let me know so that I can submit the paper work to get you qualified.





Carville Star Directeur


Voiture Locale Chef de Gares and Correspondants;


I have received #200 Carville Star Pins from Voiture Nationale with literature on all Carville Star programs.

All Voiture Locale Chef de Gare or Directeur please contact me

for pins? If information is needed on the program, e-mail me and I will get that to you as well. I know the pins are a little late, but we must support this important program.


Grand Directeur Carville Star

Alex Germany





POW/MIA Directeur


All POW/MIA pins are paid for.




Dave Webb

Grand POW/MIA Directeur




National Box Car Letter




Box Car Pins and Cards will be available at the Fall Cheminot in Oscoda, Michigan.


If your Voiture Locale wishes to take some, please see me there.



Doug Carignan

Grand Box Car Directeur, MI



Box Car Report -October Ė 2013





Child Welfare program


Thanks for selling all the 2014 Child Welfare pins this year.


Sorry for any mix ups that occurred.


David G Bunch

Grand Child Welfare Directuer

Grand Du Michigan






Michigan Merci Boxcar.jpg

Decorated with the colorful shields of French provinces and filled with thank-you gifts, this French Merci 40 et 8 boxcar arrived in Lansing, Michigan, on February 12, 1949. Forty-nine such cars were shipped to the United States by the French people in gratitude for a "Friendship Train" of food and other goods sent to their war-torn country by the American people in 1947. (The "40 et 8" refers to the capacity of the boxcar to carry 40 men or 8 horses.)

The boxcar was taken to Southern Michigan prison in Jackson, where it was opened on April 11. The disposition of the boxcar had been delayed while a committee of state government and museum representatives decided its fate. Its contents were unpacked and inventoried, then prison inmates prepared the boxcar to become a traveling museum for a selection of its contents. Other contents were distributed to named parties where indicated (e.g., items in box 38 were marked for the Archbishop of Detroit; a painting, for Kalamazoo) and to appropriate depositories (e.g., books to the Library of Michigan, seeds to Michigan State College). Some artifacts (such as the doll and medal exhibited in Thanks for the Memories) are held in the collections of the Michigan Historical Museum.

The Michigan 40 et 8 chapter of the American Legion provided the truck trailer assembly so that the boxcar could be hauled around the state. It also took on the responsibility of maintaining and displaying the boxcar. However, over the years the boxcar fell into disrepair. The 40 et 8 chapter is looking to reconstruct the boxcar on its original frame.

Two brief news items about the boxcar appeared in "Michigan News," a Michigan History Magazine column, in December 1949 (Vol. 33). These items are reprinted below.

ONGOVERNOR'SDAY AT THE STATEFAIR, September 7, 1949, Governor G. Mennen Williams turned the French Merci boxcar over to the Grand Voiture of the Michigan 40 and 8 for exhibition throughout the state. Attending the ceremony at the State Fairgrounds in Detroit were Mr. Donat A. Gauthier, French consul at Detroit; Governor G. Mennen Williams; his executive assistant, Mr. Lawrence L. Farrell; Mr. Chester W. Ellison, a member of the Michigan Historical Commission; Dr. Lewis Beeson, secretary of the Historical Commission; Mr. C. J. Sherman, director of the Historical Museum in Lansing; Mr. Charles Figy, director of agriculture; Mr. James Friel, manager of the State Fair; and representing the 40 and 8 organization were Messrs. Carleton L. Seaman, grand chef de gare; Joseph Heath, chairman of the Merci boxcar committee; Karl S. Warner; Andrew Stark; Thomas F. Harrison; Harold Riley; and Emanuel Christensen, vice-commander of the American Legion, Department of Michigan.

Under an agreement entered into by a committee of state officials headed by Dr. Beeson the Grand Voiture of the 40 and 8 have agreed to make the French Merci boxcar available to Michigan communities who officially request that it be exhibited on the understanding that the community requesting the boxcar may be requested to pay the reasonable cost of transportation and furnish adequate protection while the boxcar is on exhibition.

Since its arrival in Michigan January, 1949, the boxcar has been carefully repaired and equipped with display cases and lighting by the committee appointed by the governor. This committee consists of Dr. Lewis Beeson, chairman; Mr. Charles Figy; Mrs. Loleta Fyan; Mr. Earnest C. Brooks; and Mr. Norman E. Borgerson. The Michigan 40 and 8 furnished the truck trailer assembly on which the boxcar is transported.

Material in the boxcar was carefully inventoried by a committee consisting of Mr. C. J. Sherman; Mr. Henry D. Brown, director of the Detroit Historical Museum; Miss Margaret Brayton, director of the Children's Museum, Detroit; Mr. Alexis A. Praus, director of the Kalamazoo Public Museum; and Mr. Frank L. DuMond; director of the Grand Rapids Museum.

Gifts which were suitable for exhibition in the car were selected and placed on display for the first time at the State Fair. Other gifts which lent themselves to a traveling exhibit were selected and are available for exhibition in museums and elsewhere throughout the state. The first display of the traveling exhibit was at Kalamazoo where the Kalamazoo Public Museum had it for its feature exhibit during the month of June. Following the Kalamazoo showing the traveling exhibit was on display at Grand Rapids. The same material was shown at the Upper Peninsula State Fair at Escanaba, August 16 to 21. At the Upper Peninsula State Fair 40,000 people saw the exhibit.

The Merci boxcar exhibit itself at the State Fair attracted an unusual amount of interest. Crowds were lined up continuously to see the display within the boxcar. Since its showing at the fair the boxcar has been on display elsewhere in Detroit and was exhibited in Lansing, October 28 and 29, in connection with the seventy-fifth annual meeting of the Historical Society of Michigan (pp. 364-365).

THE TRAVELING EXHIBIT OF GIFTS from the French Merci boxcar was taken by Mr. C. J. Sherman, director of the Michigan Historical Museum, to Escanaba for the Upper Peninsula State Fair, August 16 to 21. The exhibit was arranged for by the Delta County Historical Society. They secured space for the exhibit in the exhibition building on the fairgrounds. This was the first showing of the French gifts on the Upper Peninsula.

Comments of the 40,000 people seeing the exhibit were interesting: "I wondered what had happened to the boxcar. I was in Lansing when it arrived." "I'm glad that I saw your sign out front and came in." "This is something to see. They're beautiful!" "Would I like to have those pins." "Look how pretty the faces on the little dolls are."

Mr. Ernest Tibergien, stopping to look at the portrait of General Foch, said "Why, isn't that a coincidence." Mr. Tibergien went on to explain. "The donor's card here below the portrait says 'Mons. Alfred Creinaud, 22 Rue Lemercier, Paris.' Twenty-six years ago I lived next door at 28 Rue Lemercier. At the end of World War I, I came to the United States." Mr. Tibergien's home is in Gladstone where he is employed as an engineer for the Marble Arms Company. After her husband's discovery Mrs. Tibergien copied down the names and addresses of other donors and said that she wanted to write and let them know that she and Mr. Tibergien had seen and appreciated their gifts (pp. 368-369).




The Grande Constitution has been approved by Nationale!

Grande Constitution






    Here is a good place to purchase flags