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07-30-2020 Tri-City Area History Page

Did you ever frequent the Knotty Pine Tavern? Posing in tavern are Dick Zuhl and Mary Zuhl. We would love to hear any memories of the Knotty Pine Tavern. Please contact North Berrien Historical Museum at 269-468-3330, or with your memories. The museum is open for private tours only. From the photo collection at the North Berrien Historical Museum 300 Coloma Avenue, Coloma

Reminiscing with Pearl Playford

EDITOR’S NOTE … the recent passing of longtime columnist Roy “Bud” Davis necessitates adding local history columns. Going forward our popular local history columnists, Pearl Playford, Dorothy Cannell, and Roy “Bud” Davis will rotate through a 3-week cycle. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 18, 1959 With a telephone in every business place and in the majority of homes it is almost unthinkable that back in 1896 there was but one phone in Watervliet and one at Paw Paw Lake. But old records verify the fact. According to the story, the late Thomas Carmody, Watervliet druggist, Emilus Woolcott and Morris Wood organized the Watervliet and Paw Paw Lake Telephone Company and placed the two telephones in service. The one was in Watervliet and the other at Bowe’s Landing, on the east side of Paw Paw Lake. The telephone then was sort of a curiosity and many residents doubted its utility. The service in the ’90s was crude compared to modern operation, although the best then available. In many communities telephone wires were strung from most any convenient vantage point, even between trees and roofs of houses. A person had to shout into the mouthpiece to be heard at the other end of the line. Carmody was the first manager of the exchange, but a year after its establishment Mrs. Woolcott took over the management, and by the end of the following year she had the names of 13 subscribers on the little company’s book and that was considered a good showing. There was no such thing as all-night service in those early days of the telephone. The switchboard remained in service from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m., and long distance service did not come to Watervliet until 1899, when a long distance line was built by the Twin City Telephone Company to connect Watervliet with Hartford and Benton Harbor. Business increased, however, as the years went by and a larger switchboard was installed in the autumn of 1899. By 1904 there were 60 telephone customers in the community. In 1900 the Twin City Telephone Co. purchased the Watervliet exchange properties and 12 years later the Michigan State Telephone Co., now the Michigan Bell, began operating the exchange and the telephone has become a real necessity. In 1951 the dial system was inaugurated in Watervliet and the numbers of subscribers has increased until now there are some 1,100 phones in the Watervliet area.

Watervliet District Library News

Director Sharon Crotser-Toy joined North Berrien Historical Society’s Programs Director Peter Cook for a Facebook Live event featuring Watervliet History. The program, “Watervliet Paper: A History at Work,” was held Monday, July 20; the video can be seen through the library’s Facebook page, as well as through the Historical Society’s social media. The library’s Summer Reading Program continues through August 10. Free-to-keep books and craft packets are handed out each week at the Watervliet Middle School, from 11-noon on Mondays. Third Monday Book Club will discuss the Saroo Brierley memoir, “A Long Way Home”. Anyone interested in joining the conversation is encouraged to contact the library. Both print and online copies are available. The club meets either through Zoom or outside, weather permitting, Monday, August 17, at 7 p.m. Wellness Counts, a Census promotional event, will be held Wednesday, Aug. 19, from 4-7 p.m. in the library’s parking lot. Vital funding for the county and the community in the coming years is determined through Census counts. In addition to laptop stations in which to complete the Census, the Red Cross will offer Citizen CPR demonstrations. People are also invited to sign up for free smoke detectors. The library is offering several drawings and giveaways, as well. A rain date has been set for the following week, on August 26. Any change of plans due to COVID-19 recommendations will be conveyed through the library’s usual information channels. Curbside requests are filled 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Monday-Friday, 4-8 p.m. Wednesday, and noon-2 p.m. on Saturday. Please contact the library for more information at, 269-463-6382 or through Facebook.

Coloma Public Library News Special Access Services

The library is open for Special Access Services. Hours are Monday-Friday 12 – 6 p.m. On Saturdays, library staff is available from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. for Curbside Service only. Up to 20 patrons may be in the library building at a time. Visits are limited to 30 minutes when there are others waiting. As mandated by the State of Michigan, face masks are required. Social distancing is maintained for the safety of staff and patrons. Computers are available with limited assistance from staff. Faxing and printing is available. Be Counted at Coloma Library The Coloma Public Library is organizing a Census drive on Saturday, Aug. 1 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. for any families that have not completed the Census. There will be giveaways and drawings for prizes for families that register. Call or stop by for more information. Summer Reading Program This year’s offering is virtual – so children, teens, and adults can participate in fun reading challenges online! However, the library will also provide paper logs and craft kits through their Curbside Services. Craft kits are available while supplies last. Visit for details. Please call, email, or reach out to staff through Facebook for any questions. added at Coloma Library

In support of families in their community, the Coloma Public Library now offers access to provides online academic tutoring, homework help, and test preparation for kindergarten through 12th grade students, plus early college students, and adult learners. For students of all ages Students can get help with homework and test preparation including AP course-level work, ACT/SAT, practice tests for the GED, HiSET and ASVAB exams as well as for the following graduate school exams: GRE, GMAT, LSAT, and MCAT. The writing tutors help students improve skills by offering constructive feedback. Students can submit essays, reports, and even college applications and scholarship essays for live writing help in an interactive, online classroom, or for review through’s Drop-Off Writing Review service. For job seekers With the Career Center, job seekers can work one-to-one with professional tutors and get help with job searches, resume writing, interview preparation, and more. This service also includes 24/7 access to resources such as resume templates, cover letter samples, online job search tools, and local job listings. Tutor.Com is free to all Coloma Public Library card holders. Simply find the link on the Library’s website, click it, and enter in your library card number. Live tutoring is available from 3 p.m. – 10 p.m. on weekdays. Access to the SkillsCenter Resources is available 24/7. More information can be found on the website, or by calling 269-468-3431.


100 years ago – 1920 A big three-passenger Curtiss Hydroaeroplane has been the big attraction at Woodward’s, Paw Paw Lake. In addition, Arnold’s Annual Rustic Party was given. This special party was a duplicate of the big party given at Newport at the same time. Support Your Town – If a town is worth living in, it is worth defending and supporting in its efforts to advance with the rest of the world. Farmers interested in motor farming are invited to the Martha Black farm. 60 years ago – 1960 Ted Lenhardt resigns as head basketball coach. He has taken a position as assistant coach at the University of Kentucky. Miss Stephanie C. Mohar received a letter of thanks from Adler Planetarium. She aided in a search to recover a meteor earlier this year. Jack DeRosa will open Butterburger Drive-In on Paw Paw Lake Road. Currently he is liquidating his Surplus Center store. Big Day Coming Up? Always say it with Flowers. Midway Florist, Coloma It’s now vacation time at Paw Paw Lakes. Lake Shore Tavern, Rose Inn, Crystal Bait & Marine, Coloma Recreation and Wil-O-Paw Inn 30 years ago – 1990 The Coloma Varsity Cheerleaders attended Cheerleader Camp at Central Michigan University. The squad took second place. Stern-Wheeler steamboat cruises begin on Paw Paw Lake. A variety of cruises are being offered: general, dinner, sunset and starlight. Come for a sneak preview and launching at Paw Paw Lake Sports & Marina. Rising young family stars are guest celebrities in the 23rd annual Glad-Peach Grand Parade. Lisa Zane, Lisa Collins and Billy Zane are entry #61. Bob Howell is #27 with his 1981 Delorian car. Marion “MOM” Smith, #5, will be in an 1890 Carriage. Coloma Hagar’s 10-year-old All-Stars won in the Minor League Tournament. Top hitter was Mike Faultersack. Submitted by volunteer Sandi Musick Munchow at Coloma Public Library from the Coloma Courier newspapers donated by the Tri-City Record. Special Access Services are Mon-Fri 12-6; Curbside Service, Sat 10-2. Phone: 269-468-3431


100 years ago – 1920 Shoplifters, who pay annual visits to the rural villages during the resort season, have put in their appearance in Hartford again. The G.T. Chamberlin drug store is the first local store to report a loss. Monday an expensive thermos bottle was taken from the showcase there, and a couple of days before two bottles of perfume were carried away. Hundreds of bushels of apples, mostly of the Duchess variety and other early varieties, were whipped from the trees by the high wind last Friday. Many of the orchardists gathered and shipped the windfalls. Peaches also suffered to some extent. Friday’s gale was an unusual one in this section. 75 years ago – 1945 An experiment in shipment of cut flowers by air will be conducted at Hartford by J.C. VanLierop. VanLierop recently purchased a five-place Cessna twin-engine plane which arrived at Leach Airport here a few days ago. Hartford sweltered this week in the first heat wave of the season which sent temperatures soaring past the 90 degree mark and caused a heavy load on the village water system. In the sun, the mercury shot up well past 100 degrees. A thermometer in the sun on the front of the Hartford Cream station registered it maximum of 120 degrees Tuesday afternoon. Aviators now can identify Leach Airport at Hartford by the washing machines in the field. Boundary markers and an airport marker at the intersection of runways now have been installed. To make them, washing machine tubs discarded by the manufacturer as defective were painted a bright orange for boundary markers and white for the circular airport markers. 50 years ago – 1970 Dan Bohle, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Bohle, is featured in the 1970 edition of Who’s Who in Baton Twirling. He has been drum major of the Hartford junior band for two years and won 27 trophies in twirling competition. He will be competing this weekend in the youth of America pageant at South Bend. Van Buren Saddle Club will hold a double-point horse show August 15 at the club grounds. The show is approved by both the American Quarter Horse Association and Michigan Quarter Horse Association. Submitted by Librarian Stephanie Daniels at Hartford Public Library from microfilm copies of the Hartford Day Spring. Revised Hours: Mon – Fri 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Phone: 269-621-3408


90 years ago – 1930 Frankie Pflugradt, amateur boxer, was acclaimed the victor in his contest at Edgewater Beach. This was Pflugradt’s third tryout in an amateur contest and Al Shrosbree, who has been training him, declares the Watervliet boy has a boxing future. One of the most enjoyable and the largest in attendance of the annual reunions of the “Forty Year Club” was held at the home of Mary Bowe Pierce on Main Street. 47 members and guests were present. It is the earnest desire of the members of this club that the reunions will be kept up for years to come and old ties and friendships never be forgotten. The Watervliet Milling Company has been buying old corn of local farmers, paying $1 per bushel for the grain and hauling it. Local buying price for wheat today, Aug. 15, 1930, is 78 cents. Baled hay is reported scarce and high. 60 years ago – 1960 Acknowledging his four decades of service, the Watervliet Paper Company held a “coffee” in honor of Robert E. Carmody. A large proportion of the mills 520 employees stopped by and extended their personal congratulations. Mrs. Henry Norman, Watervliet, well known photographer, recently won 13 ribbons out of 16 entries in competition sponsored by the Roseland Camera Club in Indiana. Mr. and Mrs. Ross Polizanno, Watervliet, are the proud parents of their baby girl born Aug. 2, 1960 and weighed 8 pounds. 30 years ago – 1990 Howard O. and Marilyn Mundt were honored on Aug. 11, 1990, at an open reception in celebration of their 50th wedding anniversary. Howard is retired from Whirlpool, where he worked for 32 years. Each year the tournament gives a Most Valuable Player award called The Gary Coburn Memorial Award, to the outstanding player in the Babe Ruth Competition. Umpires and division directors make this selection based on ability, leadership and sportsmanship. This year the award went to Watervliet’s pitcher Brian Reeves. On the mound, Brian pitched 11 innings and recorded 20 strike outs while going 11 for 17 and batting .647. Watervliet’s Mark Epple won the 1st place trophy after leading his teammates to the Pony League Championship game. Epple finished the tournament with big numbers when he went 12 for 17 from the plate to average .706 including 3 home runs and 4 doubles. Submitted by Sally Q. Gonzalez from files at Watervliet District Library of the Watervliet Record newspapers donated by the Tri-City Record. Curbside hours: Mon – Fri 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.; Wed 4 – 8 p.m. and Sat 12 – 2 p.m. Phone: 269-463-6382


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