08-17-2017 Tri-City Area History

Benton Harbor Peach Market 1906

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

Getting high!

I recently had the opportunity, or perhaps a compelling reason, to visit the Emergency Room of an area hospital.  I was bleeding, and it scared me.  Scared the bejeepers out of the Chief Accountant too!  So we went.  First order of business was a check-in physical.  The doctor was a young woman, attractive, and a Doctor of Osteopathy… and I have a new found respect for them.  It was one of the most complete physicals I’ve had in years.  When she finished, she started out the door, then pulled a Columbo on me.  You remember that detective on TV… he’d start out of the room, then come back in and say, “Oh, by the way…”

That’s what she did.  She came back and said, “Oh, by the way… we didn’t talk about resuscitation!  How do you feel about that?”

“Of course,” I said, “I’ve still got places to go, things to do, and people to see!”  She smiled in satisfaction, nodded, and ducked out the door.

Well, they prepped me for a colonoscopy.  When the surgeon got me on the table, the bleeding had stopped.  So he removed a polyp and when I was back in the conscious world, he said, “Well it was just a diverticuli bleed, and is OK now.  I checked your whole system and you’re fine! You’ll probably never have to do this again!”  Good news, indeed!

So they kept monitoring my red blood count to see if it was coming up (I’d lost quite a bit), and the last night before my release they came in several times to check it.  Then they gave me a steroid cocktail… thereby hangs my tale about getting high!  This was followed by the on duty doctor telling me they needed to keep me another day to see if my red count would stop going down (the reason for the prep).  And they wanted to do another complete scan of my system.

Along about sunup, he came back and said, “Well, they’ve cancelled your scan… red count coming up now, and you get to go home today!”  Yea!!!!!!  And by now the steroids had me feeling about 10 feet tall… I’ve never taken anything like that before!  Here I was… all geeked up and no place to go!

I ate all my breakfast… bacon, French toast, fruit cup, juice, coffee.  Had a great talk with the young man from Food Service who brought it; when he left, we shook hands and were both laughing.  The steroids had me on a roll.

A nice lady from Housekeeping came to clean my room and we had a great talk about raising kids… she was in her 50s and most interesting.  Next came my night nurse to say goodbye… going off duty.  She was young, feisty and full of the juice of life.  I asked what her story was.  She said, “I’m a single mom with an 8-year-old daughter.”

I said, “You are so attractive… someday you will meet Mr. Right!  You’ll never find him in a bar… he’ll be at church, in a class you attend, or in some group with your similar interests.  You will find him, and when that little girl grows up, she will be your treasure; and when the time comes, she will take care of you… and don’t you ever settle for second best!”

When she left she hung onto my hand, and had tears in her eyes.  She said, “You will be in my prayers!”  I told her she will be in mine too.

The day nurse coming on got my clothes out and helped me get them on.  While we talked, she put my cap on her head at a jaunty angle and we talked.  I asked her what her story was… she said, “I’m 48, single, and I’m taking classes so I can get promoted.  I have a boyfriend, but somehow he is strangely reluctant… he’s just hanging back!”

I stopped dressing and said, “You tell him either to defecate or remove himself from the receptacle!”  She went into gales of laughter and told me she would tell him… and she would say I told her to!

My last seminar, and by now I was really flying high, was the on duty physician with a class of five residents following her.  Very attractive and in her 50s, she pulled up a chair in front of my recliner and sat there looking at me.  Her class was ringed around, sitting on chairs and leaning on my bed.  She had such a look of expectation, I figured she wanted me to do a seminar… so I said, “My thesis for today is that when you look at me, you shouldn’t just see an old guy in his 90s… I’m a real person!  And I’m not just retired!  My wife and I have been married almost 70 years.  She is an RN and does all of our family accounts.

“I was an Air Force pilot flying in Asia, I’ve taught writing and literature for over 30 years.  Now I have written several books and still do a weekly feature column for a newspaper.  We have yet a life to live, and you should look at us as real people!”  When they left, the doctor gave me a satisfied smile… guess I’d given them what she wanted!

Well, I made it home and back to the tender care of my Chief Accountant.  Next day I was back to my normal size, had landed gently, and hoping I hadn’t made a fool of myself!  Guess it’s just more threads in the golden tapestry of our lives in these storybook towns along the Paw Paw River!

Coloma Library News

Book Club

The Coloma Library Book Club is meeting on Thursday, August 31 at 5:30 p.m. The title to read before the discussion is “Shelter” by Jung Yun.  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 will be taking a break until after school starts, it will resume on Wednesday, September 13 at 10:30 a.m.

Watervliet District Library News

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

Third Monday Book Club

Aug. 21, 7-8 p.m.

Mothers, Tell your Daughters by Bonnie Jo Campbell.

Solar Eclipse Party

Aug. 21, 1 p.m.

You will not want to miss this rare and spectacular celestial show! A total solar eclipse last occurred on the U.S. mainland on Feb. 26, 1979. But Aug. 2017 will mark the first time in 99 years that the event will be visible to people from coast to coast. Special viewing glasses, hands on activities and snacks will be available.


Monday morning from 9 to 10 a.m.; Wednesday evening from 7 to 8 p.m.; and Wednesday evening at 6:00 to 6:45 p.m. is Chair Yoga.


100 years ago – 1917

Ronald Jones is the winner in the Big Pony Contest held for children. The son of Mr. and Mrs. Ernest M. Jones won a beautiful Shetland pony after earning 3,295,800 votes.

Provost Marshall General Crowder has issued regulation under which men of the national army will be called to the colors. Civilian control will be used in processing the men up to the gates of the military camps.

A large number of Coloma people attended services held at the Crystal Springs campground. Bishop Henderson gave an enjoyable address. More than 1,000 automobiles were on the grounds, proving that the gas buggies are being put to good use.

60 years ago – 1957

Coloma’s plans for a sewage disposal plant moved closer to reality when commissioners voted to purchase land bordering the Paw Paw River for $3,900.

Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Palmer of Jackson Court have returned from a trip to Northern Michigan. They have a cabin near Tecumseh and attended a family reunion.

Veteran mail carrier Harold C. Warriner will retire after 30 years of faithful service. He was surprised with many cards and well wishes he received while driving his route the final time.

Marvin Sellers and John Bellinger will replace Harold Nitz and Phillip Muenchow on Coloma’s auxiliary police force.

30 years ago – 1987

Susan Olney has been chosen 1988 Berrien County Apple Queen. She was the 1986 Coloma Homecoming Queen, Second Runner-up to Miss Coloma and the 1987 recipient of the Coloma Green & Gold Award.

Glad-Peach President Dale Stover wishes to thank all those who made this year’s festival a success. Thanks to the fire department for holding the street dance at the station while the rain was coming down.

Marjorie S. Wells enjoyed a visit from her grandson, Lt. Charles Andrew Wells.


100 years ago – 1917

Hartford’s pony contest came to a close last Friday, and when the millions of votes were counted Arthur Lamott, the little son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Lamott, proved the winner of the pony, saddle and bridle given away by a number of Hartford merchants.

Hartford fruit growers are just now marketing an excellent crop of Duchess apples. The Hartford Fruit Growers’ & Farmers’ Exchange will ship several car loads of the fruit, and are holding it at $5.00 a barrel.

75 years ago – 1942

In cooperation with the United States War and Navy departments, a new mail service known as V-mail has been established to conserve transportation space and to expedite the handling of messages to and from personnel of our armed forces stationed outside the continental United States. Special letter sheets are now available at the Hartford post office.

On August 15 sixty-one descendents of the Anson Obyron Adams family met at the home of Mr. and Mrs. John Dunn and Mr. and Mrs. Lytle Dunn south of Hartford for the 52nd annual reunion.

The 58th reunion of the George McGowan and Eli McGowan families was held at the Congregational church house in Lawrence. This is probably the oldest organized family reunion in Michigan.

50 years ago – 1967

The new sign and planter at the Hartford High School has been erected to hide four electric pole guy-wires on the school lawn. Indiana & Michigan Electric Co. paid for the sign in return for an easement to permit placing the guy-wires on the school lawn.

School Supt. Gary Waterkamp has announced that the high school cafeteria will be open for parents and students to buy and sell used books on Aug. 29, 30 and 31. Members of the student council will be on hand to help. The book store will be open the same three days, in the morning only, to sell new books.


90 years ago – 1927

F.H. Merrifield, veteran Watervliet merchant, was pleasantly surprised Tuesday evening by a party of friends who gathered at his home on South Main Street for a community dinner party to celebrate Mr. Merrifield’s 70th birthday.

A new roof has been put on the Van Wormer cement building, Lewis Addition, which been used for storage purposes for a number of years. The interior has been remodeled and put in first class condition for the storage of home goods, etc.

On Saturday, Sep. 3, 1927 the Watervliet Band gave its concluding concert of the 1927 season. These weekly programs as in previous seasons have been pleasing features of this city. A large crowd is expected. This is the first year that the expense of the concerts has been financed by the municipality.

60 years ago – 1957

Miss Patricia Keller, 17-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Maurice Keller, Watervliet, was selected as Apple Queen of Berrien County 1957. Miss Keller has been active in Farm Bureau work and was selected by the Berrien County Farm Bureau.

Mr. and Mrs. Richard Woodruff are the proud parents of their baby girl, born Aug. 19, 1957 and weighed 8 pounds.

Miss Karmena L. Lubays, daughter of Mrs. Erna Lubays, Watervliet, graduated from Bronson Methodist Hospital School of Nursing on Aug. 26, 1957.

30 years ago – 1987

Annie McGee, 10-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Michael McGee of Watervliet proudly displays ribbons won at the 1987 Berrien County Youth Fair. Annie took 6th place in Pony Pleasure Driving and 5th in Trail Class.

Paul Epple’s muskmelons just keep getting bigger. The Watervliet grower’s best effort for the 1987 year was a 16-1/2 pounder.

Mrs. Alice Johnson celebrated her 84th birthday with a ride on the back of Bruce Wright’s motorcycle. The Watervliet resident has been given a birthday ride for the past four years by friend Wright. This 1987 year’s destination was a picnic at Hayes Park.


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