03-21-2019 Tri-City Area History Page

1936 Watervliet Football Team. Do you know any of these players? North Berrien Historical Museum is always interested in photos, stories or information sharing. The museum can be contacted at 269-468-3330 or by email to info@northberrienhistory.org. From the photo collection at the North Berrien Historical Museum 300 Coloma Avenue, Coloma

The Paw Paw River Journal

Nature’s children Oh so many times I have written about our favorite places. One of the most important: the mountains of East Central Pennsylvania. We spent more wonderful vacations there than almost any other place. Aunt Hope had a summer home there for years. An old house, it was in pretty bad shape when we later sold it to friends who live nearby. It has since been rehabbed to the point you would hardly recognize it. Beautiful! We also made many friends out there. Those of Aunt Hope’s generation have all passed on. Some younger friends have passed on too. One who was a contemporary of our own gang is buried in the Benton Cemetery. A beautiful spot on the side hill. His name was Chris, and he was a veteran of Vietnam. Someone in the group would have the radio on, and one frequent sound was Jim Morrison and the Doors. Chris told his girlfriend he wanted a line from one of the Doors’ hits, “break on through to the other side…,” on his monument. She got it wrong, and now forever that headstone where he is buried says, “Come on over to the other side…” Which is something altogether different! One of our girls looked at it and said, “I hope Chris doesn’t mind!” One of the most attractive features of that area is the wildlife. We would go out at night with a spotlight just to see the night creatures out and about their business. One evening we came over the top of the hill just out of the little community of Grassmere. There in an open field two male deer were fighting. Bang! Those bucks would come together, butting heads! They paid us no mind. We have a friend out there in one of those small communities. Connie Hatch, of Forksville, loves books and recipes… especially recipe books. She publishes an online newsletter full of pioneer food ideas. I have contributed to that newsletter, and I have also quoted her in my column. Just recently she wrote a little essay that I will share with all of my readers. With her permission I have quoted below:

A Peek of Winter in the Shadows The doe carefully stepped across the asphalt, head down, nose to the pavement. Her gaze wasn’t on me specifically, but on the vehicle I was driving. She wasn’t alarmed: her tail hadn’t shot up, the white normally an alarm for companions – but she was alone and her tail remained down. Twilight had settled, not yet dusk when all light for the evening was quickly vanishing. Darkness spread by the second across the narrow valley cut in half by a small creek for some six miles. Fiery autumn colors were gone – not there was much to show this autumn. Only the evergreens retained their green. Any and all colors were lost in the seasonal transition from fall to winter: trees devoid of leaves were dark vertical strips across the snow. Seemed like a pale moon shone but it hadn’t yet appeared above the east line of mountains. Artificial yellow lights reflected across the snow: long stretching rectangles with blurry edges reached out into the darkness. Hunters were finished for the day and warming up in cabins that occasionally dotted the woods along both sides of the road. As soon as hunters exited the woods and fields, as soon as twilight took hold, deer by the hundreds moved down the mountains to fields and streams from which to eat and drink. Their heads snapped around in unison when they heard motorized vehicles. I’m not sure where this small doe had hidden for the day, perhaps she had holed up behind a tree or log or in bushes, but here she was… a survivor of the day’s hunt, stepping carefully across the road, her eyes riveted on the lights of my car. She wasn’t giving me the deer-in-headlights look. Her gaze was more curious than alarmed, and she didn’t show any fear. Perhaps as small and young as she appeared, this may have been her first “season.” She was on her way to learning fear: when the leaves fell from the trees and that cold white stuff fell from the sky and two-legged critters carried instruments of death. I sat motionless, one foot pressing the brake pedal, the doe perhaps ten feet away. I carefully lowered the window and caught the soft click of each hoof on the asphalt. Hundreds of yards away, dark shapes moved in the mowed corn field that had lost the pale dusty yellow in the gathering shadows of the mountain as the sun disappeared. The doe stepped across the road, slowly, one hoof at a time, as though inventorying her surroundings, checking shadows, listening for her herd if they still remained. I sat and watched her until her brown body merged with and disappeared into shadow. I pressed the accelerator and headed home.

Nicely said, Connie! That captures the feeling of the wonder and glory of our natural world. I wish everyone could experience occasionally its quiet grandeur. We have gotten away from it so far… enough to make a bulldog bite his chain! I can just see some poor kid looking around at the ghetto wreckage and saying, “What it is!” Somewhere, somehow we were intended to keep closer to God’s natural world as we weave golden threads into the great tapestry of life in these storybook towns along the Paw Paw River.

Watervliet District Library News Teen Table Projects: March Do-it-yourself project for teens whenever they’re at the library; all supplies provided. This month – If I knew I couldn’t fail. Be inspired – be yourself! Add your brave thoughts to their call-out. Pinteresting Mar. 25, 6:30 – 8 p.m. Arts & crafts for grown-ups held on the last Monday of the month. All supplies provided; sign-up required. Fairy Garden Houses is this month’s project. Book a Social Work Intern! Tuesdays 1–4 p.m. Thanks to an LSTA grant through the Niles Library, they have a shared intern at Watervliet Library. Need help with on-line applications, unemployment or housing? Drop in or make an appointment for help with questions or problems. Story Hours: Wed. 10:30 a.m. & Thur. 1:30 p.m. Picture books, crafts and fun designed to inspire the love of reading! For ages 3 – 5 years. NO YOGA until March 27, 2019 Purchase a Legacy Walk brick for the Library Garden Park and celebrate a memory! Bricks are $75; 13 characters, 2 lines. Pick up a form at the library. Please call 463-6382 for more information on any Watervliet Library activity.

Coloma Library News Read with Spirit Spirit, a certified therapy dog will be at the library on Tuesday evenings from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Children may sign up for a 15-minute slot by stopping in at the front desk or calling the library at 468-3431. Reading to therapy dogs is a fun way for children to build reading confidence and fluency. Story Hour Story Hour meets on Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. Join Miss Amy for a story, craft and songtime. Story Hour is a free weekly program for toddlers and preschool-aged children, it does not require sign-up. Book Club The Coloma Library Book Club is meeting on Thursday, April 4 at 5:30 p.m. The title to read before the discussion is “Bitter River” by Julia Keller. Generally, depending on demand there are titles available for checkout at the front desk. Call 468-3431 with any questions.


100 years ago – 1919 Hooray for the Covert road act! Petitions have been filed for two roads that lead into Coloma. George and Jacob Friday have worked tirelessly to secure stone roads leading into town. Neva DuVall was chosen as the democratic candidate for township clerk at the caucus held at the Coloma Theatre. She is the only woman on the ballot. Currently, Miss DuVall is the deputy postmaster at Coloma. 60 years ago – 1959 The “Space Girls” chorus line will appear in the Feminine Fancies TV show. The line was trained by Mrs. Barbara Wells School of the Dance, Paw Paw Lake. Howard Walther was elected president of the Washington School PTA. Mrs. Allen Glynn is vice president and Mrs. Robert Potts is mother vice president. Coloma Township will offer a fluoride clinic to area children this summer. Chairman Mrs. Alan Glynn has the application required. Holy Week Services will be held at Midway Baptist Church. Services will begin Palm Sunday morning and continue nightly throughout the week. 30 years ago – 1989 Randy and Bonnie Schultz, owners of Randy’s Amoco, paid final tribute to their message center during the 9th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The message center was laid to rest by the Amoco Oil Company because it did not meet “image requirements.” All sign proceeds were donated to the American Diabetes Association. A hearing will determine whether recall action against the mayor and three commissioners will continue. A new biography has been presented to Coloma Public Library detailing the life and accomplishments of Dr. and Mrs. William A. Baker. Also, anyone interested in contributing to the cost of the microfilm reader-printer should contact Charles Dickinson, Coloma head librarian. 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 – 1919 Hartford experienced two fires within 24 hours, both of which resulted in the destruction of dwellings. The first alarm sounded called the department to the Mrs. D.B. Moore home on Edward Street. The second alarm was sounded for the D.W. Sias home on Pleasant Street. Mr. Sias saw the reflection of the fire in the window of a neighbor’s home. He thought his neighbor’s home was burning and calling his wife they began dressing. Just as they emerged from the house the ceiling began falling, giving them their first realization that their own home was burning. 75 years ago – 1944 The annual dinner and program of the Hartford Garden Club last Friday at the Methodist church featured readings by Mrs. Harry Bowman and vocal selections by the ladies ensemble. The theme of the program was nature’s growing season. The Southwest Hartford Club has had three meetings, one at the home of Mrs. Emma Brown. Mrs. Walter Conklin read a paper “A School for Post-War World”, written by Mrs. David Friday. Mrs. Charles Jennings discussed, “Our obligations to Returning Servicemen”. Wednesday evening, Mrs. Adaline Richmond was hostess to the club, and roll call was current events. On March 16, Elsie Gross entertained the club with “News from our Soldier Boys”. For roll call each member told the location of her relatives in service. 50 years ago – 1969 The garden club will meet on March 21 at the Elm room of First Savings. Hostesses will be Mary Lou Welty and Hertha Woodrum. The program will be “Visits of two Hawaiian trips” by Bess Barkell and Cathryn Meachum. Election of officers will be held. Trend Associates, a Kalamazoo architectural firm, was hired by the Board of Education last week to make a study of costs of two alternate school building plans. To be studied are, expansion of some existing school buildings or construction of a new building for junior high school and upper elementary grades. A shortage of three grade school classrooms is predicted by next fall. Two portable classrooms have been in use this year at the north grade school. 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 – 1929 On Apr. 8, 1929, Dr. F.W. Brown retires as mayor after serving Watervliet in that capacity ever since the town was incorporated as a city in 1925. Mayor Brown may turn the office over to his successor with the satisfaction that goes with work well preformed. Miss Mildred Carmody, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Maurice Carmody, was the unanimous choice as this city’s Blossom Queen candidate for the annual Blossom Week Festival to be held in April 1929. There was a family gathering for Easter dinner at the home of Mr. and Mrs. L.W. Disbrow on South Main Street. Those present included family and friends from as far away as Indiana. Twenty people in all had a great time. 60 years ago – 1959 The Air Force is now accepting applications from high school graduates between the ages of 19 to 26 for the Aviation Cadet, Pilot and Navigator programs as announced by S/Sgt. Dale Randolph of the Recruiting Office. Mr. and Mrs. Victor Vandervort are the proud parents of their baby boy, Thomas Victor, born Oct. 17, 1958 and weighed 8 pounds 3 ounces.

30 years ago – 1989 Airman William A. Parmer Jr. has graduated from the aircraft armament systems specialist course at Lowry Air Force Base, CO. The course provides instruction for students to load nuclear and non-nuclear munitions, explosives and propellant devices on aircrafts. Students were also instructed to maintain, install, modify and repair aircraft bombs and rockets. Students from WHS joined forces with the American Red Cross to provide members of the tri-cities with the ‘Gift of Life’. The Watervliet Health Careers class and the Berrien County Chapter of the American Red Cross sponsored the 13th annual blood drive at the high school. Local realtor Dona Sherman of RE/MAX Unlimited in Watervliet was recently honored with an award for her outstanding real estate sales record and service to her customers in 1988. Sherman received the RE/MAX President’s Club Award for having sold over one million dollars of real estate in 1988. 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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