09-03-2020 Tri-City Area History Page

The Paw Paw River Journal


January 23, 1985 Hartford is a state of mind My father came in off a muck farm south of Bangor, with a few hundred dollars, and built his greenhouses on Linden Street. He met and married my mother, who had moved out to Hartford from Joliet, Illinois, with her parents. Their early struggles to get started in the greenhouse business must have been heroic. In later years they never complained about those times or the loss of their first child. My parents were florists at that location for over 30 years and, in 1946, when they sold the business and retired, they still had thousands of dollars on the books, owed for long forgotten birthdays, weddings and funerals. They never had the heart to dun people for money and I guess owing the florist was a little like owing the doctor, dentist, or even the undertaker back in those days after the need was past, those bills were not the first to be paid. At the center of Maple Hill Cemetery on high ground, my sister, Wilma, and I came with our father in the 1930s to plant flower beds for some of Hartford’s best known families. We sat on the great stone seat of the Warren monument, dangled our feet, and looked at the town spread out to the north. Recently I sat on that bench again. It is much smaller now than it was back then. When I walk along Main Street now, it reminds me a little of a news reel of World War II. Buildings and people gone, but then I talk with some of the old timers and Hartford is alive again. It is in my mind when I talk with old friends about the days when we were kids. It lingers in our home, which was owned by the Mortimers. One of my friends used to cut the lawn here when I was still too young to push a hand mower. Hartford is in our living room, where, as a first grader, I was part of a play presented for one of Mrs. Mortimer’s club meetings. Hartford is in the old school house (long gone) which was located one block east of here. Marion and I bought the Mortimer house in 1956. We still have flowering shrubs which my dad would point out and say, “There’s one Mrs. Mortimer bought from me when I was first struggling to get started. And I know she did it just to help us out.” I treasure those bushes now that their generation is mostly gone. When the huge shrub by our driveway drops its profusion of pink petals on my car, I smile to myself and think of my dad. Now, summers bring the same hot days as when I was a kid. Bill Galbreath, Jim Tollar, Bernarde Thomas and I walked to the grocery store and bought a can of kippered herring for 5 cents. If we were very wealthy, we might also buy a can of pork and beans to take out to Hog Creek and go fishing. If the dam hadn’t gone out, we would swim too, with school and next fall so far off the fine summer would last forever.

Coloma Public Library News Library hours of service

Currently, operating hours for the Coloma Public Library are Monday through Friday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. for both curbside and services by appointment. On Saturdays, the library is available for curbside service only from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. To make appointments, email readcoloma@gmail.com, call 269-468-3431, or message staff through Facebook. Mini book sale There is a selection of books and DVDs available for sale in the library lobby. Hardbacks are 25 cents, paperbacks are 10 cents, and DVDs are $1. Get Counted backpacks Coloma Public Library has free stuffed backpacks as well as gift cards for local shops including Dollar General, El Asadero, and Las Mongonadas to give away to families that make an appointment to complete the census at the library. “Let’s get that response rate up, Coloma! This is ongoing until we run out of backpacks and gift cards. Call us for more info today!” says Mary Harrison, Coloma Public Library director. Free online tutoring In support of patron families, the Coloma Public Library now offers Tutor.com. This service provides online academic tutoring, homework help, and test preparation for kindergarten through 12th grade students, plus early college students, and adult learners. Any Coloma Public Library card holder can connect with an expert tutor in a safe and secure online classroom. Call us at 269-468-3431 for more information. Little Free Carts Weather permitting, the Little Free Carts are still outside for patrons who want to browse and select materials without coming into the building. The library also still has the free table in the lobby. Materials are swapped out regularly. “Check out” what’s there and grab a freebie or two!

Watervliet District Library news Guessing game winner

The Eberly f