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04-25-2019 Tri-City Area History Page

Alvin Ott and young son in 1944 Do you have memories of separation during times of war? Stop by the NBHS Museum if you have a memory you would like to share. 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 From the photo collection at the North Berrien Historical Museum 300 Coloma Avenue, Coloma

The Paw Paw River Journal

The Galloping Gourmet I haven’t written about food for quite a while. And it is such an important part of our life. We’re just fortunate that in this new residence we are getting good food. In our apartment we have a small kitchen… refrigerator, microwave, hot and cold water. Truth be told they are feeding us so well we don’t need to make much extra. Guess we should be thankful for that. When we were still living at home, we went out for dinner every night! I would go out to the freezer in the garage and find some dish that looked attractive. Our kids gave us things to stock that freezer, and we also bought things we’d like to try. In the frozen food section of your favorite market there are more dishes than you could possibly experiment with. No, that was not the problem… what really worried me was the long nights, and I would think, what would happen if we had an emergency. Guess I’d just have to call 9-1-1. That’s when we started seriously thinking about assisted living. And we found this new place just a little over a mile from one of our daughters. All of my adult life I have been fascinated by food. When I was a kid, it was not so important. But I spent over a year eating out of boxes and cans. Ever since then food, good food, has been an important part of my life. I guess for most people eating is pretty special. Else, why would we celebrate so many occasions by going out to eat? So what about all those meals that are not as important? We have to get through lunches every day. Some people spend a lot of money eating lunches out. Quite a bit of my working life I took a lunch with me. And that is the reason the lowly sandwich was invented. Either someone said, or I read some place the sandwich was invented by a titled aristocrat called the Earl of Sandwich. He was involved in an all night gambling session and didn’t want to stop to eat. So he had one of the servants put a slab of meat between two slices of bread so he could eat on the fly, so to speak. From that has evolved an American custom… when little kids are hungry; give them a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Peanut butter is not the only filling to go between slices of bread. When mom Kling was in assisted living, we got acquainted with the other people there. Some of them were real characters (one guy was still fighting World War II). Another little lady was close to 100 years. She was a vegetarian, and every night before bed time she would have a sandwich containing one thick slice of a huge white onion. That would’ve made my stomach turn flip-flops, but she ate it and calmly went off to dreamland. Almost anything combines well with peanut butter… slices of banana, onion, cheese. My favorite is sliced dill pickles. The sharp flavor of the pickles cuts the sticky ground peanuts. To me, just a wonderful flavor! I have never tired of it. All the years I took a lunch with me… of all sandwiches I ever tried… the best was peanut butter and dill pickles! Another universal sandwich favorite of mine is the cheeseburger. I don’t remember ever meeting one I didn’t like. Back in the days of Crystal Palace, we went to that marvelous place to hear the best big bands in all of our country. Guess we didn’t realize how lucky we were. Can you imagine anymore going Saturday nights, one after the other, to see and hear your favorite music groups? That’s what we did! And afterwards we always had to have something to eat. There were two restaurants called “Brownie’s”, one in Watervliet and one in Coloma. Quite often we would be at the one in Watervliet because it was on the way home. That place would be jam-packed with young people. Jukebox blasting out more of our favorite tunes… and quite often we would order a cheeseburger and chili. Didn’t keep me awake either, afterwards! All the years we traveled, Marion and I have probably eaten in hundreds of places. If we are not on a tight schedule, we like to investigate new eateries. How do we find them? One good source is truck drivers. When we were using CB radios, I would always ask them. Other good reference sources are policemen, firemen, people who work in downtown areas and go out to lunch. Also when we were traveling we would look for congregating gray-headed retirees. They would always be gathering at places that were not too expensive and had quality food that sat easy on their stomachs. So we would follow the crowds. Only problem, say at lunch time, if you’re on a tight schedule you can get behind caught up in the crowds of old geezers. Quite often we would order cheeseburgers. They are usually pretty safe and if you order them with the extras… you are sort of getting a complete meal! I can see one right now in my mind’s eye. And it’s starting to make me hungry. So maybe I’ll wander out to the kitchen and see what’s available. You know, not everyone in the world can do that! Aren’t we lucky to be living in a country where we can weave golden threads into the great tapestry of our lives? Yes, we can still do that in these storybook towns along the Paw Paw River.

Watervliet Library News Pinteresting Apr. 29, 5:30 – 8 p.m. Arts & Crafts for grown-ups, held the last Monday of the month. Sign-up is required. April – Plantable Paper Medicare & Medicaid May 6, 4 p.m. Jeff Armstrong of United Healthcare will present information and answer questions about these two fundamental insurance systems and the Dual Complete (HMO SNP) plan. Book a Social Work Intern! Tuesdays 1–4 p.m. Need help with on-line applications, unemployment or housing? Drop in or make an appointment for help with questions or problems. Yoga Mondays 9 – 10 a.m.; Chair Yoga – Wednesdays 6 – 6:30 p.m.; Wednesdays 7 – 8 p.m.; Fridays 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. Library Garden Park Purchase a Legacy Walk brick 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 Story Hour Coloma Public Library Story Hour is Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. Join Miss Amy for engaging stories, crafts, and songs on Wednesday, May 1. Story Hour is a weekly program designed for toddlers and preschool-aged children. Sign-ups are not required and the program is free. Book Club The Coloma Public Library Book Club is meeting on Thursday, May 2 at 5:30 p.m. The title to read before the discussion is “Every Note Played” by Lisa Genova. The book club regularly meets every other Thursday and gladly welcomes new members. Michigan Activity Pass 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. Learn Your History Did you know you can research your family history at the Coloma Public Library? They offer Ancestry Library Edition, an online database with genealogical records dating back as far as the 1400s. Stop by and they will show you how to start learning your history today!


100 years ago – 1919 Prospects are very bright that Coloma will be the hub of several good stone roads. The road leading from Hill’s hardware corner north to the Van Buren county line will be built this summer. Wm. Helbling demonstrates the Nightingale phonograph, which play all makes of records. This new machine is built on the Victrola style and concealed in a library table, and the Edison style machine. The machine is sold at Baker’s drug store. 60 years ago – 1959 Track Coach Don Pobuda’s team will enter the St. Joseph Pony Carnival. The locals participated in the Little Eight meet. Hopeful team members are Jack Morgan, Richard Timms, Bill Wilson, Bob Randall and Robert Clapsaddle. Mayor C.W. Hocker signs a proclamation declaring National Secretaries’ Week for Coloma. Secretaries Mrs. Martha Stevens and Miss Alma Arent look on. The junior class play, “Remarkable Incident at Carson Corners,” was presented in the school auditorium. Don Elzworth, Douglas Lombard, Toby Link, John Miller and Beverly McDaniels starred in the production. 30 years ago – 1989 Randy’s Amoco famous sign is back! At least temporarily, thanks to the Methodist Church for hosting the sign’s temporary location. David Kibler, a senior at Coloma High School, has been selected as the winner of the 1989 Whirlpool Foundation Scholarship. He was awarded the $12,000 scholarship. Newly-elected officers for the Coloma Area Chamber of Commerce are: President Dennis Palgen, Service Manager at Paw Paw Lake Sports and Marina; Vice President Barb Wolfram, owner of GB Printing; and Secretary/ Treasurer Carl Oehling, of Coloma Fabricare. We Asked You… would you use a recycling center? Jean Callendar, Lisa Truelove and Sheila Hardy say, “It depends,” “Sure” and “Yes,” respectively. Open House at Preschool Learning Center located on Curtis Drive. 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 The Mortimer & Hickey hardware store, one of Hartford’s oldest mercantile establishments, has been sold to Willis Page, conductor on the Fruit Belt and Mr. Page’s son-in-law, James Walker. They will commence tomorrow taking over the business which will be conducted under the firm name of Page & Walker. An unusually heavy spring frost last Thursday morning has been followed by three lighter ones, but fruit growers say the embryo fruit crop has not been injured. 75 years ago – 1944 Hartford’s first contingent of German war prisoners arrived at the Van Buren County Fairgrounds April 26. A company of U.S. military police have been building fences and revamping buildings into living quarters. Prisoners may be identified by wearing blue denim work clothes plainly marked with letters “PW”. Any person knowingly aids a prisoner of war to escape has committed a treasonable act, and is liable for the death sentence. The Hartford Mother’s Club met at the home of Mrs. Gordon Hawkins. During the business meeting plans were completed for the mother-daughter banquet, May 17. After the business meeting, Mrs. Katherine Vint took charge of the program. 50 years ago – 1969 The Hartford junior band received a Division I rating in the state band and orchestra festival at Jackson Saturday. The band received all I’s from the three performance judges. Some of the judges commented, “The majestic styling of this band is superb, and the precise controlled playing of this band marks this group with distinction.” The band is under the direction of Larry Fay. The Hartford Blossomtime float is close to half finished. The float which is being built by the Hartford Jaycees will carry out the theme “The Music Man”. It will feature the front porch scene from the hit play and movie with Miss Hartford sitting in a swing. The runners-up will sit on either side of the queen. The fore section of the float will include Prof. Harold Hill and a number of small children of River City. 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 May 7, 1929 marked the fifty-fifth wedding anniversary of Mr. and Mrs. W.W. Knapp, prominent farm residents of Watervliet Township. They are both 76 years old and both enjoy good health and are still active. With only 26 pieces and an organization only a little over a year old the Watervliet School Band went to the state musical contest series at Michigan State College and brought home the first prize trophy for Class C Bands. Two students who represented Watervliet High School in the All State Orchestra at Ann Arbor received special recognition in musicianship. High Parker won first chair in second clarinet section and Arthur Gilchrist played in the first violin section. 60 years ago – 1959 Printed in 1958: Clyde Scherer, well-known fruit grower, had his orchards dusted by plane with Frank Deaner at the controls. The dusting drew an interested group of spectators. However, Mr. Scherer regrets to report that a number of teenage youngsters endangered the life and property of the pilot and plane, by throwing rocks as the craft did the low dusting.

30 years ago – 1989 Mr. Bradley’s 7th grade advanced math class participated in the ‘Invent America’ program. First-place winners were Amy Eberhard and Krista Winkel for their ‘Flag Your Newspaper’, second-place winners Steve Torres and Corey Radesky for ‘Treat Release’ and Chris Kulick, third-place winner for his ‘Gate Safe’. Ken Kiernan and Daryl Skorupa both of Watervliet were among the 52 students who were inducted into the Lake Michigan College chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, national junior college honor society, on Apr. 20, 1989. Celena Hook is ‘Watervliet’s Student of the Week’. Celena is a fifth-grade student at North School. She has been the editor of two editions of her homeroom newspaper, written a Young Author book, represented her homeroom at Student Council meetings, achieved a place on the Honor Roll for two making periods and participated in Awanas at her church. 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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