07-13-2017 Tri-City History Page

Old Coloma Township Hall

 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

Battle stations

There’s a war going on.  Yes sirree, and it has been going on ever since people have been on this earth! I’m talking about the war between men and women! There has always been this subtle battle… a contest of wills. Men are mostly stronger, and women use their heads, their wiles, their powers of persuasion to come out on top. Not very often does it erupt into bloodshed… fortunately! And this eternal contest is often sweet and adds some excitement to a relationship. Lately on the internet I have been receiving little stories about the battles in progress, and I have hereunto appended a few.

WOMEN’S REVENGE (Story told by a guy working in one of the big stores)

‘Cash, check or charge?’ I asked, after folding items the woman wished to purchase. As she fumbled for her wallet, I noticed a remote control for a television set in her purse. ‘So, do you always carry your TV remote?’ I asked.

‘No,’ she replied, ‘but my husband refused to come shopping with me, and I figured this was the most evil thing I could do to him legally.’


A man said to his wife one day, ‘I don’t know how you can be so stupid and so beautiful all at the same time.

The wife responded, ‘Allow me to explain. God made me beautiful so you would be attracted to me. God made me stupid so I would be attracted to you!’


A couple drove down a country road for several miles, not saying a word. An earlier discussion had led to an argument and neither of them wanted to concede their position. As they passed a barnyard of mules, goats, and pigs, the husband asked sarcastically, ‘Relatives of yours?’

‘Yep,’ the wife replied, ‘In-laws!’


A husband read an article to his wife about how many words women use a day… 30,000 to a man’s 15,000.

The wife replied, ‘The reason has to be because we have to repeat everything to men.’

The husband then turned to his wife and asked, ‘What?’


A man and his wife were having some problems at home and were giving each other the silent treatment. Suddenly, the man realized that the next day, he would need his wife to wake him at 5:00 a.m. for an early morning business flight. Not wanting to be the first to break the silence (and LOSE), he wrote on a piece of paper, ‘Please wake me at 5:00 a.m.’ He left it where he knew she would find it. The next morning, the man woke up, only to discover it was 9:00 a.m. and he had missed his flight. Furious, he was about to go and see why his wife hadn’t wakened him, when he noticed a piece of paper by the bed. The paper said, ‘It is 5:00 a.m. Wake up.’

And I have one from our own experience.  The Chief Accountant and I used to have a favorite restaurant when we went for a doctor’s appointment. We very often hit it at odd hours, and our favorite waitress, Evy, would sit down and talk for a moment. One day she said she just came from her doctor’s office and her regular physical. Evy said she came in the house and sat down in the kitchen to have a cup of coffee with her husband. “Well,” she said, “the doctor told me I’m in very good shape for my age!”

Her husband smiled, “Did he say anything about your fat ass?”

“No,” she replied, “Your name didn’t even come up!”

Well, Dear Readers, I hope you have enjoyed the above little tales of battles in the war between the sexes. And I’m happy to report that in our own lives we’ve had very few problems… you see, we have this relationship. Everything is 50-50. I make all the big decisions and The Chief Accountant makes the little ones. I decide if we are going to put more sanctions on some countries, whether we will confront an alien foreign power, etc. She decides the little stuff… should we trade cars, where will we vacation, how much we will spend on something.

It’s worked out pretty well for all of the years we’ve been together. And I must say, in matters of diplomacy and family relationships she has saved my scrawny hide from some embarrassments. And that’s the way it’s been in this storybook town along the Paw Paw River.

Coloma Library News

Joel Tacey “Book Builder Magical Comedy Show”

On Thursday, July 27 at 2 p.m. at the Coloma Library, Gear-up for Reading with Engineer Joel as he brings eight builder-rific books to life! Featuring goofy gadgets, dazzling magic, wacky stunts, and lots of audience participation, this wholesome youth program will have kids and grown-ups laughing out loud and crazy about reading. This is a free program and no sign-up is required. All children must be supervised and accompanied by an adult.

Book Club

The Coloma Library Book Club is meeting on Thursday, July 20 at 5:30 p.m. The title to read before the discussion is “Good As Gone” by Amy Gentry.  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.

Summer Reading Club

“Build a Better World…READ!!”

It’s not too late to sign your child up for the Coloma Library’s Summer Reading Club. The program is underway and is a great way to keep your children reading throughout the summer. Please call the library with any questions, 468-3431.

Watervliet District Library News

In Stitches Knitting Group

July 14, 2:30 – 4:00 p.m.

Bring your summertime knits or winter projects; we are always ready for a great knit-together! Limited supplies are available for beginners, too!

Third Monday Book Club

July 17, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m.

American War by Omar El Akkad

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

Summer Reading Program:

Build a Better World

Thursdays for all ages and Make it Mondays for K-6 graders and their families.

The events for Summer Reading Program:

July 13 – Upcycle, recycle & bicycle: Earth fest

July 20 – Build a Better World with Music Lady

July 27 – Pizza Party

The events for Make-it Mondays:

July 17 – Build it with Cups & Plates

July 24 – Inventor’s Box

This year, the library is pleased to partner with Watervliet Public Schools to provide free lunches for kids & teens, following each Thursday program.


Monday morning, 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.; Wednesday, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m.; Wednesday, 6:15 – 6:45 p.m. – Chair Yoga for people with limited mobility.


100 years ago – 1917

The local hive of the Lady Maccabees held their county meeting. The suffrage question occupied an important place on the program. Mrs. Ella Fritz and Mrs. Laura Umphrey were elected as officers.

We want help for picking black raspberries, gooseberries and cherries. Inquire of Friday Bros.

There are a few who have not yet settled for gravel. Will you kindly call and pay up at once? A.C. Stark

Wm. B. Goss has resigned his position as agent at the interurban station.

60 years ago – 1957

The city commission went on record of disapproving the proposed Church Street entrance to the new U.S.12 super highway. Residents fear the route would spoil their residential district.

Mrs. C.A. Marsh was a winner of a radio at Coloma’s Coast-to-Coast store. The drawing was part of their open house celebrating new proprietors.

Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Moore became parents of a daughter, as did Mr. and Mrs. Francis Barnes.

Mr. and Mrs. Ben Arra and Mr. and Mrs. Walter Waltin have returned home from a trip to Niagara Falls.

The cherry crop promises to be very abundant this season.

30 years ago – 1987

We Asked You… What changes should be made to the summer baseball program? Karol Cottier likes to travel and play other teams. Kelly Grove believes all teams should follow the same rules.

We remember those that have passed: Lilian Eltzroth, Gerald Still, Frederick Gruntman and Milton Therrian.

Coloma School Board officers are: Charles Nelson, Norma Somers, Jean Chandler and Kay Erickson. Meetings are held in the F.J. Merritt Administration Building on Boyer Road.

James Walter was honored with the “Columbian Club Man of the Year” award.

Coloma Green (11- to 12-year-olds) took second place honors during the girls’ softball tournament.


100 years ago – 1917

Mrs. Mary Hilliard was seriously injured in a fall on a cement walk on north Center Street this morning. She had called at the Mrs. Anna Parks home. Her head and arms were badly bruised. Dr. R.R. Lawrence was called.

The pony contest being conducted by a number of Hartford merchants will close about August 1. The merchants are now arranging for a good pony and saddle to be given to the boy or girl who has the largest vote.

The Hartford small boy and the adult who enjoys taking the boy to the circus had their season’s first outing last night at Freed’s animal show. Trained ponies and dogs furnished the greater part of the entertainment and they were excellently trained.

75 years ago – 1942

Three buildings on the Jay Johnson farm south of Hartford were leveled by fire. The basement barn held 20 tons of hay which spread the flames rapidly. A tool shed and a small bunk house also were burned to the ground. Hartford firemen saved a fourth building. Delay in discovery of the blaze which started in the bunk house, allowed the fire to gain considerable headway before the Hartford Fire department was called at 2 a.m. A passerby noticed the flames but was unsuccessful in arousing the Johnsons. He drove into Hartford and gave the alarm. The total loss including the buildings and several pieces of farm equipment and tools has been estimated at approximately $5,000.

The Hartford Garden Club will meet at the home of Mrs. Belle Mortimer, Friday, July 17. The subject of the day will be “Perennials For All Season,” by Mrs. Mildred Butcher.

50 years ago – 1967

A new fruit processing plant just east of Hartford by a growers’ cooperative, Cherry Growers, Inc., went into operation this week. Several hundred persons inspected the facilities Sunday at an invitational open house. The heart of the plant is the cherry processing equipment. Its two production lines include electronic sorters, as well as pitters and packing machinery. The electric sorters select perfect cherries for packing and divert the imperfect ones.


90 years ago – 1927

Miss Helen Goltra, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. E.B. Goltra, a Watervliet graduate, now a resident of Chicago, was admitted to the bar by the Illinois Supreme Court and has entered the practice of law as an associate of Mary Belle Spencer, who is the most distinguished woman lawyer now practicing in the Illinois courts. Miss Goltra is believed to be the youngest woman actually engaged in the practice of law in Chicago.

Hon. A.N. Woodruff, veteran Watervliet business man, former Michigan legislator and an early publisher of the Watervliet Record, observed his 77th birthday on July 22, 1927. He has been actively engaged in the civic and business life of Watervliet for nearly half a century.

A seven and a half pound girl was born to Mr. and Mrs. Robert B. Palmer on July 28, 1927 at their home on South Main Street.

60 years ago – 1957

Ronald J. Hurley, fire control technician seaman, son of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Hurley, Watervliet, is home after completing a 36-week course at the fire control school in San Diego, CA. The skilled nature of this highly technical rating is such that only personnel with high intelligence ratings are selected for this type of training. Ronald graduated 6th in a class of 35 and maintained an above 80% average throughout the 36-week course. His team has won recognition as one of the finest military precision drill teams in the country.

Pvt. Harold ‘Bud’ Lottridge arrived in Watervliet from Fort Carson, Colorado for a 14-day leave. He and his wife plan to leave for Huntsville, AL where he will attend school at the “Red Stone School.”

30 years ago – 1987

Thyra Jennings, a Watervliet woman, has been chosen as a finalist in the Michigan 150 First Lady Award Program. The award program looked for ‘unsung heroines’ who performed significant service that was not occupation-related. Thyra Jennings, a retired school teacher, has dedicated herself to years of unselfish service to her community. A 1921 graduate of WHS, Miss Jennings continued her education at the University of Michigan, earning a bachelor’s degree in 1926 and later a master’s degree from Columbia University. She was an organizer of the first Junior Red Cross in the area. In 1935, she started the Semper Fidelis (Always Faithful) Sunday school class at the First Methodist Church. She serves as treasurer for the Tri-County Nutrition Project for the Berrien County Council on Aging. Thyra Jennings is a past president of the Kalamazoo Business and Professional Women’s Organization, the Watervliet Forty-Year Club, and Secretary of the North Berrien County Historical Society. She is active in the Girls Scouts of the USA, Watervliet Civic Club and Delta Kappa Gamma.


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