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02-13-2020 Tri-City Area History Page

Circa 1914 Could this be John Wolff, driving a vehicle with a front crank? Photo is reported to have been taken about 1914. Anyone know if this is indeed John Wolff? If so, please contact North Berrien Historical Museum at 269-468-3330,, or stop by Tues-Friday 10 am-4 pm, they would love to hear your stories. From the photo collection at the North Berrien Historical Museum 300 Coloma Avenue, Coloma

The Paw Paw River Journal

My Valentine to the world

Here we are almost at St. Valentine’s Day, and my thoughts turned inward, back, way back to when we were little kids we used to send or take Valentine’s cards to our friends. Not all the kids got cards. I can remember a few … and I felt very uncomfortable about it. But I didn’t know what to do, if anything. I didn’t realize that I could have provided a remedy if I had just sent a card to every kid in my class. Guess I just wasn’t that smart. How do you build empathy into a small child? Somewhere along the line I learned, and now I know. And I’ll just have to file that knowledge under ‘Regrets,’ or things I should have done but didn’t know enough to do! Thank goodness we had enough sense to build that into our kids. And the credit here goes to Marion, my Chief Accountant, who left a huge hole in my life when she departed. Our son Rob was a little kid in upper elementary when his birthday came up. Marion said he could have a party and invite his friends. So he very industriously made out little invitations to take to the school. That afternoon when he came home he still had not passed them out. When Marion asked him why he said somewhat reluctantly, “Well, I realized some of the boys I had not invited. I guess if I can’t have them all come I better not have the party!” Well, that was a new one on us, and Marion allowed as to how we could fix that! She helped Rob with more notes and they invited every boy in his class to celebrate with him. I was so pleased that Rob had developed a social conscience. And I’ll have to admit at an earlier age than I had one! Pretty well established is the fact that most generations try not to make the same mistakes their folks did when raising them. No, they’ll not make the same mistakes. It will be different ones! So now here are some of my thoughts as this holiday approaches. I’d like this to be my Valentine to the world … to all of you, and to my family. I have a debt of gratitude. My folks I know made sacrifices to bring my sister and me into the world and rear us to maturity. It was the depression years, and I never knew it. We always had three meals a day on the table, at what cost I’ll never realize. One measure of what it cost my dad … he had two greenhouses, and had the land next to us and the materials stacked thereon to build two more. He never finished them! But one unexpected benefit was a jungle for us kids to play in. We built forts, spaceships, and had adventures that Buck Rogers in the 25th century would have envied! The teachers I had in my formative years taught me more than I realized. I was a good student, albeit a lazy scholar. They were always pushing me to be better. One teacher I can pick out as an example was Miss Juanita Nye in the third grade. She made us learn the multiplication tables, which I have not forgotten to this day. We are still friends with her daughter, Roberta Woodruff, who is a real expert on wild birds. Miss Nye wouldn’t have weighed 100 pounds soaking wet, but she could buffalo the biggest, toughest kid in the class. The instructors I had in the Air Force were backed by their rank. Some were good; some were not. But I learned from all of them. For example, the one who taught me first to fly an airplane. He swore at me when I did something bone headed. And I learned! I will never forget the first day I took an airplane up all alone, all by myself! I was so excited I was singing! I learned from bad examples too! We had some officers we called chicken s—t. But not out loud! I ran into a few who were almost evil … and one or two even more than that. I learned from them all, if no more than when to keep my mouth shut. After that experience was passed, I learned immeasurably more in our marriage, from Marion, about the power of love to make things better. I spent almost 3/4 of a century in happiness. And the children we reared were the best investment we ever made. I have told them so! And I am no longer surprised that I learn things from them! To all the teachers I had when I was learning to teach … and the students I met … they changed my life! And the students and teachers from all the years I spent in the classroom … they all helped to make me what I am! All those years! They are sort of telescoped in my mind. My first days in the classroom feel like yesterday. Does that make sense? Sometimes in my mind’s eye I can see thousands of people out there, reading words like the ones I’m putting on paper now. Once in a while they give me some feedback and I love it! The editor and editress of this newspaper gave me my first real forum … a place to try my ideas on life, love, and the pursuit of happiness! I hope Karl and Annie Bayer feel they have given as much to me as I have to them. And now a new chapter in my life has opened up … assisted living at The Vineyard. I like my apartment, and the girls and guys all treat me well. I enjoy coming to the dining room and looking at the scenery outside. Brrrr cold, but we are snug and have a fireplace. The people in the kitchen are a joy. We are with friends and tell stories. Food is good, and I can almost always find something on the menu I like. So what’s not to enjoy? I’m spending these precious moments doing the best I can. And part of that is putting these words to paper and hopefully weaving more golden threads into the Great Tapestry of Life in these storybook towns along the Paw Paw River.

Coloma Public Library News

President’s Day Story Time Join special guest “Abraham Lincoln” for a President’s Day Story Time on Monday, Feb. 17, 1:00 p.m. at the Coloma Public Library. There will also be a fun craft as well as photo opportunities. Pre-K Story Times Miss Alicia will host Story Times Tuesday mornings at 10:30 a.m. This interactive story time also includes a craft activity. Registration is not required to participate. 2020 Census The 2020 Census will start in mid-March. Participating in the Census is important to the local economy. Stop in at Coloma Public Library to learn how the Census impacts residents. Book Club The Coloma Public Library Book Club is meeting on Thursday, Feb. 20 at 5:30 p.m. The title to read before the discussion is Glory Over Everything by Kathleen Grissom. This title is a sequel to Kitchen House originally published in 2010. Copies of both titles are available for checkout at the front desk. New members are always welcome. Michigan Activity Pass Got the winter blahs? The library has some ideas! Get free or discounted admission to hundreds of Michigan’s cultural and natural destinations including state parks, campgrounds, museums, trails, and more using a Coloma Public Library card. Visit the link on the Library’s website and follow the prompts to print a pass. Call 269-468-3431 or stop by the front desk for more details or assistance about the Michigan Activity Pass.

Watervliet District Library News

Teen Table Projects – February Friendship Bracelets – Make them, wear them, and don’t forget to share them! Reading Delights, Adult Reading Program – Jan. 20 to Feb. 29 Two Grand Prizes: $100 Harding’s Gift Card. Adults read two books per each entry. Free eats once a week, on the library! Since the program is all about food participants can bring in their favorite family recipe and be part of the WDL Scrap Cook Book, too. In Stitches Knitting Group Friday, Feb. 14, 2:30 – 4 p.m. The second Friday of every month, knitters can bring their current project or interest to learn! Arm knitting supplies and 1-on-1 instructions, too! Third Monday Book Club Feb. 17, 7 – 8 p.m. Great books, fabulous conversations! Ask for a copy at the desk. This week – Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens Family Movie Night Friday, Feb. 21, 6 p.m. Once a month, start the weekend off with a treat. Movies! Popcorn! Crafts! This month – Trolls Pinteresting Feb. 24, 6:30 to 8 p.m. Arts & crafts for grown-ups held the last Monday of each month. This month – Chinese Knotted Bracelet


100 years ago – 1920 Death claims many popular and well known Coloma residents: Mrs. L.A. Bass, age 73; Arthur Collins, age 25; Leroy Keigley and Mrs. Guy Condon succumbed to influenza. In compliance with the Influenza ban, The Coloma Theatre will be closed until further notice. When you think of the Influenza, let it remind you of Scott’s Pharmacy. We have well known preventatives and the best medicines. Fostoria electric light bulbs for sale at Coloma Hardware Co. 60 years ago – 1960 Chamber of Commerce officers for 1960 were installed at the Rose Inn over dinner. Installed were Dale Antes, President; Louis Geresy, Vice President; Bryce Dunlop, Treasurer; and Mrs. Jesse Murdock, Secretary. Acting Mayor Glenn Randall signed a proclamation making Boy Scout Week, Feb. 7-13. Witnessing the signing are scouts of troop 10: Robert Alexander, Billy Bohle and Milton Comitz. Coloma City Commission received preliminary plans for a subdivision. The Mamie Virkus property at Marvin and Park streets is the location for 34 lots. Brick houses will be built. Jerry Jollay, son of Mr. and Mrs. James Jollay, Pearl Street, will participate in the “Michigan Teen-Agers to Europe.” The program is sponsored by the Michigan Council of Churches. 30 years ago – 1990 We Asked You… “Do you thing a multi-party political system will succeed in Russia?” Paula Postelli and Ruthanne Broderick say “NO,” while Debbie Cowgill says “I don’t know.” City Administrator John Hodges submitted his objectives for street resurfacing, water lines and sewer service. Also, Lyn Scott was awarded with a plaque in recognition of 22 years on the Library board. Winter Festival activities concluded with the crowning of royalty. Queen is Christi Sutton and King is Jody Beebe. Senator Harry Gast awarded an economic strategy grant of $7,500 to Coloma City. The funds were made available through the Rural Business Partnership Program. Submitted by volunteer Sandi Musick Munchow at Coloma Public Library from the Coloma Courier newspapers donated by the Tri-City Record. Hours: Mon & Fri, 10:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Tue, Wed & Thu, 10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.; Sat, 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Phone: 269-468-3431


100 years ago – 1920 At a meeting of the Hartford board of education yesterday afternoon, the public schools were ordered closed for the remainder of this week and all of next week as a check upon the further spread of the influenza epidemic. The epidemic has claimed the lives of two school children this week. Alfred Engle is managing the Wheaton Bakery which was taken over by George Merriman at a chattel mortgage sale. Mr. Merriman will dispose of the business. A fire alarm called the department to the J.T.Coffey home on Maple Street where a furnace fire had ignited the woodwork around a wall register. The blaze was extinguished with slight damage. 75 years ago – 1945 Mrs. W.H. Fox was hostess to the Hartford Art Study class Monday afternoon. Mrs. Alice Bennett, a guest, was co-hostess. Mrs. Marie Finley is chairman of the committee on new programs. Mrs. Alice Hurry read a description of paintings by Miss Lauren Ford and discussed work of Mrs. Edith Clark Chadwick of Detroit, who is a painter and authority on American antiques. The Hartford Junior Mother’s Club met at the home of Mrs. Max Lee. Mrs. William Kozeling read an article entitled, “Children of other countries” and members of the club participated in a discussion of child teachings. After the meeting they played cards. The next meeting will be at the home of Mrs. Seward Lightner on February 21. 50 years ago – 1970 Nine solos and ensembles from Hartford High School placed in first division at a district six festival Saturday in Niles. Students from the senior high receiving first division ratings include: Mike Latus, Leda Frantz, April Robinson, Linda Ulrath, Judy Allen, Alice Wismer and Barb Latus. Junior high students winning first division ratings include Dave Newland, Kerry Laman, Stephanie Smith, Scott Smith and Denise Miller. Despite a first time rejection by the state board of education the Hartford school district is forging ahead with plans for a new school building. The state did not completely reject the district’s proposal, but asked for more details. He said the board voted unanimously to not take any action on a state suggestion that merger talks be started with Lawrence school district. Merger proposals have been defeated twice at the polls in recent years, the last time just one year ago when the proposal failed in both districts. Submitted by Librarian Stephanie Daniels at Hartford Public Library from microfilm copies of the Hartford Day Spring. Hours: Mon, Tue & Wed, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Thu & Fri, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Phone: 269-621-3408


90 years ago – 1930 One of the Lenert all metal airplanes built at Pentwater passed through here en route to St. Louis where it would be on exhibition at the automobile show. Mr. Lenert, the inventor of this plane, came through Watervliet and visited the Watervliet Chamber of Commerce. Mr. and Mrs. Allen Stark and daughters Dorothy and Alene spent the day at Pockett’s. It was Mrs. Pockett’s 70th birthday anniversary and they remembered her with a beautiful plant. 60 years ago – 1960 Watervliet High School gymnasium had one of the largest crowds of the year for the Donkey Basketball game, sponsored by the Literary Guild. The gym rang with laughter while the plucky participants tried their hardest to make their donkeys move. Some somersaulted off onto the floor and two of the players who hung onto the reins as they got off to get the ball suddenly found themselves on the floor being dragged by the donkey. High point man was WHS assistant coach Fred Klemm. Six Watervliet men received recognition for their work in scouting at the Golden Anniversary Leader Appreciation Dinner, on Feb. 6, 1930. Richard Bridges, Robert Flaherty, Art Johnson, William Roberts and John Woodruff, all received awards for five years of scout work. Mr. Harvey Harper received the Commissioner’s Arrow Head. 30 years ago – 1990 In Feb. 1990, Watervliet resident Teresa Saurbier was named to the fall semester Dean’s List at Belmont College in Nashville, Tennessee. Saurbier is a junior majoring in music education. Staci Unruh, a 9-year-old third-grader at North Elementary, is a straight-A student who enjoys school, especially reading, spelling and art. She will be participating in the Science Olympiad at L.M.C. and in the P.T.O. Variety Show in March 1990. The sixth graders at St. Joseph Catholic School recently finished an in-depth study of the Middle Ages. As part of their study, the students participated in a castle contest. Kevin Shultz and Kristen Barrick received certificates for the extremely well-built castles. Todd Chaput won first-place in the drawn castle category. Gregg Klopp and Keith Brinker placed second and third respectively. Submitted by Sally Q. Gonzalez from files at Watervliet District Library of the Watervliet Record newspapers donated by the Tri-City Record. Hours: Mon & Wed, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Tue, Thu & Fri, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Phone: 269-463-6382


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The Paw Paw River Journal

Published June 18, 1986 The funnel cake gang An entrepreneur is a business person, someone who owns and runs a business. The reason I know about that is because we were one for a couple of years, off


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