Romance of the U.P. Recalled in “A Tree Grows in Trout Creek”

Ancient Ojibwa burial grounds, Northern Lights, and the life of an iron miner’s family are looked at through the eyes of a spirited, sometimes somber girl searching out her wishes and dreams. Poignant and funny, A Tree Grows in Trout Creek celebrates the mystery and miracles of growing up as it follows a small town family through times of laughter, tears, and triumph.

Michigan’s rugged, isolated, and enchanting Upper Peninsula comes to life in, a new publication, A Tree Grows in Trout Creek, by Coralie Cederna Johnson, author of a previous book, The Wishing Years. While exploring the author’s growing up years in the ‘40’s and ‘50’s, this coming of age collection of stories also reflects the romance of Upper Michigan’s history, its traditions, and the unique cultural backgrounds of its people.

Johnson, whose Finnish and Italian grandparents came to the U.P. along with other pioneers from Poland, France, England, Sweden, Norway, Germany, and Croatia to work in the iron mines, discusses how they formed a diverse melting pot of “old country” religions, languages, and values. Though different in many ways, they shared a penchant for privacy, pride, and the wilderness of Michigan’s north country.

Johnson grew up in the Iron County mining community of Stambaugh, MI (now Iron River, Michigan) just a few miles from the Ojibwa Burial Grounds in Pentoga Park at Chicaugon Lake. Her stories and articles have been published in The Detroit News, McCall’s, Woman’s Day, Family Circle, Above the Bridge, The Porcupine Press, Peninsula People Magazine and Work Basket. She lives in Ypsilanti, Michigan, is retired from the University of Michigan and currently teaches as an adjunct lecturer for Eastern Michigan University’s Women’s Studies Program.

A Tree Grows in Trout Creek contains 320 pages with 35 black and white photographs, 21 ethnic recipes. Autographed copies are available from Wildwood Press, 1112 S. Durand, Jackson, MI 49203 or online: (Go to ORDER BOOKS on this website.)


  1. I loved your comment on my blog! Yes, it does sound like we have many things in common. Have a great day!

  2. Readers! Check out Karen’s fantastic blog: “The Pond!” Lots of interesting fun stuff to think about and share! Go to:
    Enjoy! Coralie

  3. Coralie Cederna – I would like to sell your books in the Ontonagon Herald. I have a review written by my reporter, ready to be printed – upon going to the wildwood press site I don’t see discounted prices for retail sellers.
    Please advise,

  4. Hello Maureen,
    Thank you for your inquiry! I would love to have you sell the books at the Ontonagon Herald!
    Both books, A Tree Grows in Trout Creek and The Wishing Years can be purchased by Retail Booksellers at a volume discount. Please contact me at for specifics!
    Many thanks!

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