05-18-2017 Tri-City Area History Page

Millburg baseball team with Principal Dean Foster

 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

Greetings for my Chief Accountant

Here we are in May and it is the month for celebrating the birthday of my one and only.  Yup, she is a Gemini, and I won’t say how many years or just when… that’s up to her!  She is truly twins, and over the years that has created an infinite variety of situations in our relationship (always interesting).  So, if you don’t mind, Dear Readers, I’d like to discuss that in my column for this week.

It seems strange to me that so much time has passed, never to return. Never again will I be a small child, playing in the sand pile just west of my father’s greenhouses. Never again will I be a teenager, deliriously happy to have the car for a date.  Never again will I fly across the Himalayas to China.  Never again will I watch our small children growing.  Never again will I teach years and years of classes of students.  And perhaps never again will anyone else care that I thought about these things.  We all inhabit our own lonely world.

No one can get inside another’s skin… ever!  Each one of us inhabits a unique universe.  Our own sun, moon, and stars wheel through our personal heavens.  And it is sometimes a lonely world. We are our own Robinson Crusoe, standing on a wide and empty beach, staring at the blank sand, wishing to see another’s footsteps imprinted there.

Once in a while one of us may approach within light years of another unique being.  We shout across inter-galactic miles to each other.  In reply we hear a distant shout… usually unintelligible.

Even two persons who have shared many years together cannot really inhabit the same skin.  We have laughed, cried, argued, and loved together.  We have lain in each other’s arms for most of whole nights.  She held my father’s hand through the night as he lay dying.  I sat and held her father’s hand until the doctor came and pronounced him dead.  I think we have as good a relationship as any couple could hope to have.

And yet, we are still destined to walk the lonely beach of our own inner existence.  Communication is very difficult, but we can and do comfort each other.  Somehow our universes touch and mesh.  We come together and comfort each other, and it is all somehow very worthwhile.

When I hold her, it pushes back the shadows.  It reaffirms my membership in the human race.  And as I walk on my lonely beach, a modern Robinson Crusoe, miraculously there are some other footprints in the sand.  Another human being is nearby.  I stoop and examine the prints.  They are size 7-1/2, feminine, and they were made by the woman I love.

Happy Birthday, Marion!

Coloma Library News

Memorial Day closings

 The library will be closed Saturday, May 27, Sunday, May 28 and Monday, May 29 to celebrate Memorial Day. Regular hours will resume on Tuesday, May 30. Have a safe and happy weekend!

Summer Reading Club

“Build a Better World…READ!!”

Readers of all ages are invited to explore how books can be used to “Build a Better World” during the Summer Reading Program. The 2017 Summer Reading Program is open to young people, babies through young adult, with programs, prize drawings, story times, a reading club and more. Registration for “Build a Better World” begins on June 5. For more information, call the library at 468-3431 or visit www.colomapubliclibrary.net.

Read with Spirit

There is one week left to read to Spirit! Spirit will be at the library on Wednesday, May 31 from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.; this will be the last time he visits before summer break. 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.

Book Club

The Coloma Library Book Club is meeting on Thursday, May 25 at 5:30 p.m. The title to read before the discussion is “The Basic Eight” by Daniel Handler.  Generally, depending on demand there are titles available for check-out at the front desk. The book club regularly meets every other Thursday and is always looking for new members.

Story Hour

Story Hour meets on Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. Join Miss Amy for a story, craft and song time. Story Hour is a free weekly program for toddlers and preschool-aged children, it does not require sign-up.

Watervliet District Library News

 The Library will be closed May 29, 2017 in observance of Memorial Day.

LEGO donations needed – any and all LEGOS you don’t use anymore. Bring them to the library.

Toddler Time – Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m. through May; thirty minutes of music, stories and activities for little ones age 18 – 36 months designed to inspire the love of books and learning.

Teen Table for May – Fridge Magnet Poems – noun, verb, article and adjective magnets at your disposal to create a poem on their metal slate, and share your awesome!!

Yoga – Monday morning at 9:00 and Wednesday evening at 7:00.

Michigan Notable Book Tour will grace the library on June 26, 2017 with Dustin M. Hoffman, author of “One-Hundred-Knuckled Fist: Stories” winner of the 2015 Prairie Schooner Book Prize. He brings to life the narratives of Midwestern blue-collar workers. Readers are invited to peek behind the curtain of the invisible, but ever-present, “working stiff” as Hoffman reveals their lives in full complexity, offering their gruff voices without censorship. Yet many will identify with the characters at the heart of these stories that work with their hands and strive to escape invisibility while never losing sight of their own human value.


100 years ago – 1917

Roy Leedy, Lawrence Silhanek, Horace Ryno and Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Cook were the victims of a bad automobile smash-up. Mr. Cook’s Ford touring car was just below cemetery hill when the collision took place. Mrs. Cook was thrown from the car and Roy Leedy was rendered unconscious. All are expected to fully recover.

The Coloma Home Guard and the Coloma band gave a patriotic demonstration. The boys gave a public drill and later will take the place of the National Guard.

60 years ago – 1957

Meetings continue about an area school re-organization program. Gray, Clymer and Washington greatly favor the consolidation. Ingraham may have to place their sixth and seventh graders on a half-day schedule.

Lynden Smith, high school senior, received the Arion award during the band concert. The award is presented by the band booster club to the most outstanding senior in the band.

Hagar’s oldest native, Thomas McCray, 88, passed away. He was born in Hagar Township and lived here his entire lifetime. The casket bearers were Lyle Furlong, Clifford Clapsaddle, Charles Farrell, Maurice and Stanley Fikes, and Howard Kittell.

30 years ago – 1987

We Asked You… Should the news media dig into the personal lives of politicians? Gerry Richardson, Henry Zanko, Janet Hurley, Karen Vanevery, Patty White and Gloria Kniebes all think they go too far and it isn’t necessary.

Coloma City and Douglas officials participated in Mayor’s Exchange Day. The Washington School’s Super Choir performed for the visitors.

Three German language students were named top students of Berrien County, reports German teacher Elli Maas. They are David Kibler, Tiffany Bailey and Jim Walke. The DANK (German American National Congress) hosts and sponsors the competition.

Christine Coble, Karen Reid and Chad Maniscalco have been named local winners in the America and Me essay contest.


100 years ago – 1917

Determined to rush the new addition to the building of the Hartford Manufacturing Company to completion in time to permit the beginning of operations next week, J.A. Schayer, president of the Reliance Picture Frame Company which will occupy the building, is spending a week in Hartford.

Noel Thompson has purchased the interest of H.N. Robertson in the service tire shop conducted by Mr. Robertson and William Olds; the firm will now be known as Olds & Thompson.

75 years ago – 1942

Monday evening, four young Hartford men received Eagle Scout ranking at the district court of honor at the high school. The honor was unique in that few Boy Scouts achieve this goal and seldom do so many members of a troop complete the tests simultaneously. The boys are Kenneth Pomeroy, son of Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Pomeroy; Donald Ishoy, son of Mr. and Mrs. Al Ishoy; James Colman, son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Colman and James Tollar, son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Tollar. Eagle Scouts are required to pass rigorous tests, including the winning of 21 merit badges, among them many of the most difficult to attain.

The monthly meeting of the Philharmonic Club was held at the home of Mrs. Lola Dewey on Wednesday evening, May 13 with fourteen members present. The History of the Philharmonic Club was presented by Mrs. Ruth Dowd, who gave a resume of the first two yearbooks, 1921 and 1922.

50 years ago – 1967

The John Phillip Sousa award for 1967 was awarded to Carol Remus at the annual band banquet. The Sousa award is presented to the senior who is the best all-around musician. Scholarships to summer band camp were given to Mike Pomeroy, Patricia Stafford and John Dowd; and Bruce Martens will be sent to drum major school this summer.

PFC Carl C. Davis, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jefferson Davis, is now serving with the Army in Vietnam. He is stationed near Quin Khan and is doing clerical work.

Robert E. Beam, son of Mr. and Mrs. Clare Beam, arrived home Monday from basic training at Lackland AFB, Texas. Having completed basic he will be home for two weeks leave and then will go to Florida for further training.


90 years ago – 1927

The nineteen members of the senior class of Watervliet High School, accompanied by Superintendent and Mrs. J.L. Adams and the class advisor, Miss Pease, enjoyed a motor trip to the state capital on May 27, 1927, on one of the fine Greyhound motor buses having been chartered for the trip. They visited the capital building and the Michigan State College and witnessed a ball game between the College and Notre Dame.

Milton Scherer, who is teaching in the public schools at Sioux City, Iowa, came home to spend a part of the Memorial Day weekend with his parents. The schools at Sioux City will close for the year.

Stanley Monroe of the Nu-Way Shop has just installed a beautiful new Knight soda fountain equipped with Frigid-Air compressor cooling system. The fountain is St. Urban marble and has a capacity for 20 gallons of ice cream. The different compartments are provided with different degrees of temperature and the fountain is equipped with seven syrup pumps and five crushed fruit jars.

60 years ago – 1957

Mr. and Mrs. Glen Allen were the guests of honor at a dinner to celebrate their 16th wedding anniversary on May 17, 1957.

Pvt. Raymond Burmeister, son of Mr. and Mr. R. Burmeister of Watervliet, is attending Quartermaster’s School at Fort Lee, Virginia. He expects to be graduated from this school in three weeks.

Mr. and Mrs. Robert Shiero are the proud parents of their baby girl, Cynthia Lee, born May 15, 1957 and weighed 6 pounds, 13 ounces.

30 years ago – 1987

Lynn Scherer, daughter of Art and Barbara Scherer, Watervliet, recently graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in personnel and human resources. She also completed studies in her field at the University of Stockholm, Sweden, including seminars with social and labor organizations and at Volvo Motors, OrreFors Crystal, SAS airlines, SKF Ball Bearing and Marabou Chocolates. She has accepted a position in the business administrative offices of Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN.

During a production of the play, “Rebel Without a Cause,” senior Brian Drake, on behalf of the cast and crew, presented Mr. Keech with a plaque that reads as follows: “James H. Keech – For your devotion and unselfish service to students, personal quest for excellence and untiring effort to bring quality and professionalism to the drama department at WHS for the last 25 years.” It speaks very highly of Mr. Keech that his students, acting on their own initiative, chose to honor him in this way.


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