05-30-2019 Tri-City Area History Page

Who is the bumper ornament? Notice the 1940 license plate on the car. Stop by the NBHS Museum or give us a call at 468-3330 if you have information on this photo. North Berrien Historical Museum is always interested in photos, stories or information sharing. The museum can be contacted 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

Better than average

This world is run by average to better than average people! Now I don’t mean to eliminate rocket scientists or medical pioneers necessarily, although I wasn’t exactly talking about them either. One time when I was teaching, this really hard-working boy stopped by my desk. He said to me, “Mr. Davis, I’m tired of being a good strong B-plus. Couldn’t I just once in a while be a weak A-minus?” At that time I wasn’t experienced enough to explain to him the realities of life. Just look about you… who are the people that run everything? Do you think they are the geniuses? There wouldn’t be enough of them to go around. Who punches the time clocks in America’s factories? Those people get up every morning, go to work day after day, and produce all the stuff that makes us No. 1. But I don’t mean to shortchange the really smart people. We need them… and I have always felt it was a tragedy when I look at the countries with rigid social systems. I don’t want to start a fuss with Buddhists and Hindus. I admire them too much for that. But I also remember the time I spent in Asia. There were people of the untouchable caste who would never do anything in this life except clean public toilets and sweep up stuff. And I thought, perhaps there are little kids growing up there who, given an education, might turn out to be another Thomas Edison, or a Jonas Salk… one who might discover a cure for some of our dreaded diseases. There are gifted people in our own country who need to be nurtured. I know, because I taught them! Because I had so much education, I was often given classes of those kids to teach. They were for the most part a joy. They catch on so fast and if they are not ruined somewhere along the way will pay handsome dividends in the work they do. Were some of them smarter than I was? You bet! But that didn’t bother me… I always told them with a smile, “Old age and treachery will win out over youth and inexperience every time!” And they were almost always receptive to my humor and ideas. Because that’s part of being smart! I had all my students keep journals. When class started, they got their journals out and started writing. I told them if they would write one page every day for the 90 days semester, they would get an A in journal writing entered into my grade book. “Wow! Writing just anything?” “Yes,” I explained, “poetry you find that you like, song lyrics, ideas you have… and for goodness sake, anything I write on the blackboard. Or stuff I tell you that maybe will have some impact on your life later.” One boy asked me, “What if I just write my name over and over?” I told him it was his journal. And he did that for a couple of days. Then he stopped by my desk and said, “I’m tired of writing my name… guess I’ll put down some ideas!” I just smiled. If I were back there now one change I would make… I would ask them to practice in their journal some cursive writing. Nobody seems to be teaching that now. I’m afraid we will lose the ability! Nice writing is just beautiful to see, but the only time some kids use it is to sign their name, and a few can’t even do that. They just print! I believe now and I believed then in journal writing! People need to learn to express themselves on the written page. What better way to start a class whilst I did the housekeeping tasks? In fact, back in 1977 I started writing a journal myself! When I quit just a few years ago, I was on Journal number 126! They stretch out in a long line on my bookshelves! Another special group was the beautiful people. Some kids are just attractive… some are even beautiful. If they learn too early that they are, it can keep them from developing their other talents. I had students who traded on their good looks. They would sometimes gravitate towards activities that could showcase them… like cheerleading. And I don’t mean to disparage that group. They work hard and some of their routines approach the level of art forms! I never knew exactly how to get a beautiful but intellectually empty child to develop his or her mind. But I always tried! Sometimes their problems were at least partially caused by parents who exploited them. You know, child beauty contests, dance recitals, etc. And again, there’s nothing wrong with that unless it becomes the be all and end all. I always felt it’s like we have a bank account in our heads. We need to deposit a lot (reading, listening, taking in life) so we will have something to draw upon from that account! Here I am after a lifetime of depositing… still making withdrawals while trying to weave threads into the Golden Tapestry of Life in these storybook towns along the Paw Paw River!

Watervliet District Library News

The Watervliet District Library invites community members to help them celebrate Monday, June 3 at 3 p.m. at an award ceremony. The Library Garden Park is the recipient of the Michigan Nursery and Landscape Association’s (MNLA) Community Landscape Beautification Award, Plant Michigan Green! The MNLA recognizes outstanding communities for their excellence in improving the physical and aesthetic environment of their neighborhoods and in raising the awareness of the positive economic growth and environmental impacts that quality landscaping brings to Michigan’s communities. These projects are designed to enhance the visual image of the neighborhoods, improve livability, build civic pride and promote community spirit. Sensory Bin Blast Tuesday, June 11, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. For 0 – 5 year olds and their families. Read to Fabio Thursday, June 13 at 10:30 a.m. Children of all ages love reading to this beautiful dog Fabio and he loves listening. Come and join them. Summer Reading Program Thursday, June 13, 11 a.m. to noon Cad Peterson/ Acting up Theatre. Three reading clubs, prizes, activities! Third Monday Book Club June 17, 7 – 8 p.m. The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton. Yoga Monday 9 – 10 a.m., Wednesday 7 – 8 p.m., Friday 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.; Chair Yoga – Wednesdays 6 – 6:30 p.m. Call 463-6382 with questions on any Watervliet Library activity.

Coloma Public Library News Summer Reading Program

The Coloma Public Library is getting ready for an exciting 2019 Summer Reading Program. The theme is “A Universe of Stories”. They are lining up programs and activities for kids, teens, and adults. Visit their website, colomapubliclibrary.net, or stop in to see staff for more details. Book Club The Coloma Public Library Book Club is meeting on Thursday, May 30 at 5:30 p.m. The title to read before the discussion is “And Then There Were None” by Agatha Christie. What to read? The Coloma Public Library owns over 80,000 items for checkout. For patrons who need help finding their next great title, they offer Novelist, a database that can help readers select just the right title. Learn family history Ancestry Library Edition, an online database with genealogical records dating back as far as the 1400s is available to access census data, birth, marriage, death, and military records for free. Patrons must use the database within the Library. Call 468-3431 or stop by the front desk for more details or assistance.


100 years ago – 1919 The Lake Point post office, which served the thriving resort business, will be discontinued on May 31. Postmistress Mrs. Alice M. Baker tendered her resignation on account of poor health. John Peterson of North Coloma, died after a lingering illness. Funeral Services will be held from the late home. The death of Henry R. Nichols, a most respected citizen, occurred after a long illness. Funeral services were held from the Methodist church. 60 years ago – 1959 The Courier pays tribute to the 59 seniors of Coloma High School. This issue includes the Washington D.C. class photo as well as the senior addresses and Class Poem. Congratulations to the Class of 1959. The Self Culture Club library will be closed this Saturday because of Decoration Day services. The mobile X-ray unit was at City Hall, staffed by technicians and helpers from the Town and Country Club. Maurine King won another state championship in twirling. Maurine is age 7, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John King and a student of Gyl Johnson. 30 years ago – 1989 Recipients of the Green and Gold Award are Charles David Kibler and James Walke. This award was established in 1931. It is a traditional symbol of outstanding school citizenship, leadership and accomplishment. Coloma Fabricare – The Cleaners Next Door to Ruth’s Laundromat Gloria Ann Spiker and Vincent James Frazier Jr. were married in a double-ring ceremony. The groom is the owner of Vincent J. Jewelers in South Haven. Dick and Millie Krieger of Coloma North Road celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. A buffet-reception will be hosted by the couple’s children at the First Congregational United Church of Christ. Both are retired and very active with church activities. 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 Twenty-six graduates of the Hartford High School and six graduates of the Van Buren County normal training class will receive their diplomas at the commencement exercise to be held at the opera house on Thursday evening, June 19. The commencement date falls later than usual this year due to the late opening of the school last fall and the closing of the school during the influenza epidemic. Lieut. Wm. Cleworth and Rex L. Chamberlin have combined the souvenirs which they brought home from France, and have formed an intensely interesting display of war curios in the window of the G.T. Chamberlin drug store. 75 years ago – 1944 Hartford’s own circus, the Happy Harrison Merry Makers, returned to their headquarters here after completing a five weeks’ tour of the southern states. A unit of the nationally known Jaycee circuses, the Merry Makers participated in performances that include talented dogs, trick monkeys, ponies, mules and other animals. The Southwest Hartford club ended a successful club year on May 18 at the home of Mrs. David Friday. Ella Conklin, delegate to the county Federation of Woman’s clubs gave a detailed report on the Federation meeting. It was voted to establish a committee to remember sons and husbands of club members in the armed forces with cards & gifts on holidays. 50 years ago – 1969 A special Memorial Day stock car race program will be presented Friday night at the Hartford Motor Speedway. Heading the program will be a 30-lap feature race with a first prize of $400. Members of Stoddard Post of the American Legion will conduct traditional Memorial Day services here Friday, starting with a parade. John Dorkowski, parade marshal said the marchers will form at 9:30 a.m. at Olds Avenue and E. Main Street. The lineup will include the high school band, Hartford and Keeler fire departments, a drum and bugle corps from Benton Harbor, the Hartford float, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and war veterans. The parade will march west on Main street to Pioneer Cemetery, where a salute will be fired and the Rev. Smith will give a prayer. The marchers will then proceed to Ely Park for the balance of the program. 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 The “Resort Special”, Pere Marquette’s summer train between Petoskey and Chicago, may not stop at Watervliet for the 1929 season. For several seasons this station has been a regular stop for the train. A large number of summer home owners have used the train to reach their business offices in Chicago. A 9-pound son was born to Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Baker, June 8, 1929. He has been named for his father and grandfather – Arthur Daniel. The prayers of the tillers of the soil and the fruit growers, for a good rain, were answered when there were several good showers reported in all parts of the county. Following several weeks without a bit of moisture, crops had begun to suffer. 60 years ago – 1959 Kay Hupp and James Ishmael were named the outstanding girl and boy of the senior class for the 70th annual commencement exercises held at Watervliet High School on May 28, 1929. The two American Legion awards were presented in ‘recognition of high qualities of honor, courage, scholarship, leadership and service.’ Mr. and Mrs. Nelson Carpenter will observe their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary at an open house. Co-hosts for the affair are their two daughters, Mrs. Robert Baker and Mrs. Wilson Frazier. The history of Watervliet’s public schools dates back to the year 1832, when a group of men built shanties for themselves at a point midway between Watervliet and Coloma, now known as Paw Paw Avenue. They called the little settlement “Shingle Diggins” and it was on that site that the first school in this end of Berrien County was erected. 30 years ago – 1989 Columbian Man of the Year – Joe Gaipa, Watervliet, was honored at Knights of Columbus Council #4055. John D. Coon, Watervliet, was named an Albion College Fellow following the end of 1989 spring semester. Coon is a junior majoring in economics and management. Jordan Patzer is the Watervliet Schools ‘Student of the Week’. He is a kindergarten student at South Elementary School. 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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