08-01-2019 Tri-City Area History Page

Can you identify any of these 40th Coloma Reunion attendees? Or, have any information or stories of these reunion goers, please contact North Berrien Historical Museum at 269-468-3330, office@northberrienhistory.org, or stop by Tues.-Friday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. they would love to hear your stories. From the photo collection at the North Berrien Historical Museum 300 Coloma Avenue, Coloma

The Paw Paw River Journal

Family mantras A mantra is a saying or part of a verse that has special meaning. Do you have special sayings in your family? Well, we do in ours… they are tag ends of stories, punch lines that are so well-known that they have become invested with special meaning. I assume that all families have them, but I only know we have some in ours. I will hereunto list a few sayings, and then tell you the little stories that go with them…

You’ve just quit preaching and gone to meddling! Someone in the family gives advice that is either unwanted or goes a little too far. And this is a gentle way of saying, “Okay, no more, no more!” As in the story about the two little old ladies in the Kentucky mountains who were attending a revival meeting. The spirit was upon them, and the preacher was pounding the pulpit… really getting into it. Each point he made would be followed by “Amen, amen,” all through the congregation. Preacher (in a loud voice), “I say we will have no more gambling and drinking!” “Amen, Brother, amen!” “And I say we will have no more loud partying and carrying on!” “Amen, Brother, amen!” “And I say we will have no more carousing and late nights!” “Amen Brother, amen!” “And I say we will have no more dipping snuff!” The two little old ladies gasped and one said, “Listen to him! He’s just quit preachin’ and gone to meddlin’!”

That’s one… This is just a little more than related to the story above. Sometimes when there is a family gathering, one member may have pulled a boo-boo. That is, they have done something embarrassing and another family member will just not let it drop. Someone will say, “That’s one!” Which means, okay just let it drop! That’s enough!” It harkens back to a story from the old days. A young couple was driving somewhere in a horse and buggy. The horse reared and started acting up. The young man said, “That’s one!” They continued on driving until the horse did it again. He said, sawing on the reins, “That’s two!” Finally getting calmed down, they continued on their way. Then the horse did it again, rearing in the traces. The young man stopped the buggy saying, “That’s three!” He got out, walked around to the front, drew his pistol and shot the horse! The young lady stood up in the buggy, hand in front of her mouth, and said, “Oh, you shouldn’t have done that!” Very calmly he pointed his finger at her and said, “That’s one!” So, this should be self-explanatory.

Number 37! Again, sometimes at a family gathering when we are doing the rounds… that is taking turns telling stories or memories of the past (sometimes referred to as “Tales of the Old West”, with a nod to my mom who was famous for telling stories under that heading). Some stories have been repeated so many times that after the laughter subsides, someone will say, “That’s Number 37!” which evokes more laughter! This goes back to the old story about the governor of a state who was visiting its oldest and largest prison. The warden was conducting a tour of the place. The governor said he would like to eat dinner with the men. Well they did that, and at the conclusion of the meal there was a period of silence. It was broken by one of the inmates who stood up and said, “Number 37!” This was followed by general applause and laughter. Then another inmate stood up and said, “Number 85!” This was followed by laughter and even a few catcalls. The governor leaned over and whispered to the warden, “What are they doing?” The warden whispered back, “Most of these men are lifers. They’ve been here so long they heard all the stories many times. So now they have them numbered, and they just say the number. Everybody knows which story it is!” The governor said, “That sounds so interesting… could I try one?” The warden nodded his assent. So the governor stood up and proclaimed in a loud voice… “Number 49!” There was an embarrassing silence, amidst which he sat down, face growing red. Then he leaned over and whispered to the Warden, “What’s wrong?” The warden whispered back, “You didn’t tell it right!” There are more of these, but I just can’t think of any right now. I don’t know how it is with other people, but when our family gets together it is a joyous time. We leave problems when we come to the table… just as we leave all of those little thumb-exercising tablets. It is a time for fun and stories. We get together and tell those stories, each in turn. I call it, “Doing the rounds.” We have been doing thus since all the kids were little and we gathered for a meal. We asked a blessing and then as the food was passed we were all taking turns telling about our day’s adventures. No problems! This was not a time to bring up mistakes someone had made. I’d like to think that all of our children remember those days with pleasure. Even the littlest one got a turn, but then had to wait in silence while the rest told their stories. Those memories to me are golden threads woven into The Great Tapestry of Life in these storybook towns along the Paw Paw River!

Coloma Library News Summer Reading Program Kids, teens, and adults who have not registered for the Coloma Public Library’s 2019 Summer Reading Program still have time. Register on their site at www.colomapubliclibrary.net and pick up a packet from the front desk. Teen Movie Matinee Teens are invited to a showing of cult classic “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” on Wednesday, Aug. 7 at 1 p.m. Guests are welcome to bring blankets to sit on and a snack to munch. Campfire Stu Join the staff for a family fun variety program with interactive stories, music, and humor. The hilarity ensues Thursday, Aug. 1 at 11 a.m. Book Club The Coloma Public Library Book Club is meeting on Thursday, Aug. 8 at 5:30 p.m. The title to read before the discussion is “Dear Mrs. Bird” by A.J. Pearce. Depending on demand there may be titles available for check-out at the front desk. The book club regularly meets every other Thursday. New members are welcome. Coloma Public Library Book Sale The library’s summer book sale is Saturday, Aug. 3 from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. However, the library will be closed.

Watervliet Library News Area Agency on Aging Monday, Aug. 5, 6:30 p.m. Join Region IV Specialist Tara Gillette as she shares details of the many programs, services and opportunities available through this valuable local resource. In Stitches Knitting Group Friday, Aug. 9, 2:30 – 4 p.m. Held the second Friday of every month, knitting crafters or want-to-be’s, gather to work on their projects, share techniques and enjoy this informal social opportunity. Limited supplies are available for beginners. Third Monday Book Club Monday, Aug. 19, 7-8 p.m. Great books, fabulous conversations! This month’s book is a step back in time with Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice. Pick up a copy at the desk. Call 463-6382 with questions on any Watervliet Library activity.


100 years ago – 1919 Optimism reigns supreme among resort and cottage owners at Paw Paw Lake. All have bookings enough to keep them well filled until Labor Day. Better highways and transportation will be needed to accommodate travelers. Many store fronts have suffered the loss of plate glass windows. Automobile tires have hurled stones through the air, thus breaking the windows. It is suggested that teams hauling gravel for the paving job should stay off the paved district. 60 years ago – 1959 Nancy Lee Hyatte and Franklin D. Quigley were united in marriage at a double ring ceremony. They will reside on U.S.12 following a wedding trip through the east. The groom is employed at Clark Equipment and the bride will begin teaching duties at Shanghai School near Eau Claire. Edith Kremer was honored at an open house celebrating her 80th birthday. Winner of the second Silver Harvest Day drawing was Mrs. Robert Stowers. She was presented with $18 in merchandise certificates by Marshall Badt, master of ceremonies. Judges were James Fikes, Louis Geresy, Dave Faulkner and Walter (Bud) Reinhardt. 30 years ago – 1989 Glad-Peach Princess is Cory Beebe and Prince is Brandon Cattes. Youth Parade Chairman Julie Pupedis announced “Costumed with Pets” winners are Tonya Morris and Jessica Pearson. Coloma voters cast their ballots in the recall election in favor of keeping their Mayor and three City Commissioners. A total of 369 ballots were cast. Shingle Diggin’s site, located on Paw Paw Avenue just north of Coloma and owned by North Berrien County Historical Society, is about to be sold. The Roger Carter property has been deeded to the Society for museum purposes. After much consideration, Shingle Diggin’s will be “swapped” for a log museum to be built on the Carter property. 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 Fire last Wednesday afternoon destroyed the residence at the Thomas Doyle farm two miles northeast of the village, entailing a loss of $1,800 with insurance of $750. The house was unoccupied, although Mr. Doyle and his son who were working at the farm had eaten their dinner there at noon. A chicken house and a number of chickens were burned, but the other farm buildings were saved. Buyers are said to be offering to contract for peppermint oil at $5 a pound. The crop in the mint fields about Hartford is reported fair. Distilling has commenced and the growers will reap a good return at the prospective prices. 75 years ago – 1944 A program of community singing will be given in the Federated church Sunday evening, August 6. Designated as a singaspiration, the program will include special musical numbers, testimonies and Bible verses, besides the congregational singing of familiar hymns. Another in the series of parties for the soldiers stationed at the Hartford fair grounds will be at the servicemen’s center Wednesday evening, August 9. Sonny Kesterke’s orchestra will furnish the music. The Mothers of World War II are asking for donations of cakes, cookies or sandwiches for this party. Use of the penicillin drug in Van Buren County was reported this week by Dr. Clayton H. Palmer, who announced that Mrs. Don Olds, Hartford resident in the Lakeview Hospital has been administered the drug. 50 years ago – 1969 Construction is well under way on the new Immaculate Conception Catholic Church at Hartford. Estimated basic cost of the structure is $198,000 not including equipment. The building is expected to be completed by the end of the year. The new A&W restaurant on Red Arrow Highway just east of Hartford will hold its grand opening Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. Offering a complete menu, the new dining room is air-conditioned and is operated by Mr. and Mrs. Jack Becktold. 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 While this appears to be an off season for many crops, such is not the case with the much prized huckleberry. The bushes in the marshes are loaded with the luscious blue berries on account of the character of the soil that produces the huckleberry. Output is dependent only on the number of pickers. Berries in quantities sufficient though thousands of crates will go to waste for want of picking. 60 years ago – 1959 Interest generally was not too keen when, several years ago, Watervliet city purchased of the late Charles B. Hays of Kalamazoo a tract of land for a recreation center, but today Watervliet is proud of the development that has converted an idle 17 acres into an athletic field and public park that is a credit to the community. At the time of the purchase, few realized the value of the tract. It was plain that the portion adjacent to the highway was well adapted to the needs of an athletic field, but only a few were aware that at the rear of the tract and bordering on Paw Paw River, was a choice wooded area which when cleared had the natural assets of a recreation park. In the spring of 1934 another grant was obtained, which, with the aid of necessary material furnished by the city from the park fund the project was completed and on July 4, 1936 Hays Park was dedicated to a homecoming celebration. 30 years ago – 1989 The Watervliet Airport Board has decided to pursue the sale of six lots of airport property. Board members made the decision to list with a realtor when no sealed bids were received by Board Chairman Karl Bayer. Bayer noted that although several parties expressed interest in the land purchase, no bids were received in the terms the Board set. Board members agreed to list the land initially with Paw Paw Lake Realty keeping the minimum selling price at $3,300 per lot. The airport decided to sell the lots last spring after agreeing the lots, located on the south side of Orchard Avenue, had no future developmental potential for the airport. Money made from the lot sale will go toward airport improvement projects, such as hangar construction. 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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