09-08-2016 Tri-City Area History Page

rolling back the years


100 years ago – 1916

The Ladies Social Union of the Congregational Church will be entertained at the home of Mrs. C. Vogt at Cottage Hill farm in North Coloma. Ed Soper, manager of the Fruit Belt Canning factory is something of a farmer. His alfalfa has yielded an average three tons to the acre. Residents were shocked when news spread of the sudden death of Solon Ingraham, aged 67. He is survived by his widow; one brother, Lyman; and one daughter, Mrs. Myrtle Lockwood.

60 years ago – 1956

A record number of 571 students registered in Coloma High School. The junior high grades have a total of 60 students. The elementary grand total is 195. Finally, 362 registered at Washington School. Workers of the John Yerington Construction firm have been resurfacing Logan Street and Paw Paw Street south of Center Street. Racing activities at the Paw Paw Lake Yacht Club ended and trophies were awarded. Police arrested five men following a brawl at the Town Tavern. The fight broke out after Mrs. Richard Skelly asked to see identification.

30 years ago – 1986

New in the Tri-City Record: Look for the “TV Record” Television Viewing Guide. Norma Somers appointed to Coloma School Board. She will hold the office until the annual school election. Sewage Treatment Plant Superintendent, James Carpenter, resigns. In a letter written by Carpenter, he suggests the Board “be taken to the woodshed.” Water samples collected from Paw Paw Lake reveal very low bacteria counts. Several calls from concerned residents prompted the late summer survey. The Coloma Lions and Lioness Club and the Aid Association for Lutherans present checks to the Rory Becht fund. The money will help defray medical expenses in his fight against cancer. A benefit wrestling show is being planned.


100 years ago – 1916

Labor Day was generally observed in Hartford for the first time last Monday. A majority of the stores, the banks, the post office and other business places were closed after nine o’clock in the morning and a large crowd of local folk went to St. Joseph for the Labor Day celebration. The new brick paving on Main Street, from Haver Street west to the Pere Marquette tracks, will be completed and opened to traffic this week if the weather permits. The paving is now open west from Center Street, a distance of nearly four blocks. During the electric storm of Monday night lightning struck a hog house at the Charles Anderson farm northeast of town and killed twenty shoats. The building was badly splintered by the bolt, but no fire resulted.

75 years ago – 1941

Miss Marilyn DuBois, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. R.J. DuBois who reside five miles northwest of Hartford, was the first occupant of the new iron lung purchased last Wednesday by the Van Buren County Board of Supervisors. The new lung was delivered Friday at New Borgess hospital, where Miss DuBois has been a patient since last January 20. Miss DuBois was stricken with infantile paralysis last January while a member of the senior class at Hartford High School. At commencement time in May Superintendent B.W. Robinson and other school representatives and friends went to the hospital and conducted special graduation exercises for Marilyn, presenting her with a diploma at the same time that her 46 classmates received theirs. The first mishap among the members of Hartford High School’s football squad occurred yesterday as practice opened at the athletic field. Harlan Fredericks, son of Mr. and Mrs. Dewey Fredericks of north Center Street, sustained a dislocated shoulder. He was attended by Dr. F.N. Williams and his injury is not considered serious, although it may keep him out of the first scheduled game on September 19. Miss Dorothy Warren, member of the Hartford High School Class of 1941, will represent this community as a member of the queen’s court during the Paw Paw Grape Festival September 18 to 21. She will attend the queen’s dinner and ball and will have a part in the pageantry on Maple Lake.

50 years ago – 1966

The Hartford Jaycees, in cooperation with the state police, Conservation department and Hartford police, will present a gun safety program at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, September 27, at the high school. There will be discussions of gun safety, both new and old hunting laws, steps to take if someone is injured while hunting, and a safety film. Stanley Hayes, district conservation officer, will give a safety demonstration with a bow and arrow. The program is for all members of the family who hunt or use firearms.


90 years ago – 1926

Three generations eagerly awaited the birth of Marion Elizabeth, born Sep. 18, 1926; her mother, Mrs. Woodbury Austin; her grandmother, Mrs. Anna Deuel; and her great grandmother, Mrs. Mary Treder. Watervliet students leaving the week of Sep. 24, 1926, to enter Western State Normal include the following:  Raymond Moody, Keith Elliot, Rex Clark, Frank Runyan, Evelyn Brown, Retha Chamber, Ethel Callard, Irene Ray, and Elma Maikowski.  All but the last two mentioned are former students at the Normal.  Clark and Elliot are members of Men’s Glee Club and Miss Callard and Miss Brown the Girls’ Glee Club. On Sep. 22, 1926, Mrs. F. W. Brown was surprised by her daughter, Miss Evelyn Brown, when she made a three-course dinner for her and five of her closest friends in celebration of her birthday.

60 years ago – 1956

Miss Mary Beth Callendar, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Callendar, was a member of the graduating class of Mercy Hospital’s Nursing School.  Graduating Exercises were held on Aug. 31, 1956.  Konrad Lubavs will leave his work at the Watervliet Paper Company for registration of his junior year at the University of Michigan. Other young people from Watervliet who attend U. of M. are Max Rogers, Roger King and Bob Wingler. Mr. and Mrs. Rexwell Harper are the proud parents of their baby boy, Thomas Paul, born Sep. 5, 1956 and weighed 7 pounds and 15-1/2 ounces.

30 years ago – 1986

Mr. and Mrs. John Coon announced that their son, David, a senior at WHS, has been named in Who’s Who among American High School Students. Only six percent of all junior and senior class students from the nation’s 22,000 high schools are recognized and honored.  A total of 490 persons are on the official list of those who received degrees from Western Michigan University at the end of the spring session of the 1985-1986 school year.  Among them is Christine R. Schaffer of Watervliet. Student Athlete John Epple, a senior at WHS, received the school’s 1986 Student/Athlete Award.  Selection is by vote of the varsity coaches, athletic director and principal based on athletic participation, scholarship and citizenship.

Paw Paw River Journal

Paw Paw River Journal

Advice to a young couple

 You know, people of a more (ahem!) mature persuasion just love to give advice.  And I have found that everyone, and I mean everyone, listens more attentively if the nuggets of wisdom are few and far between!  So I have learned!  And when a real chance comes along, far be it from me to let it slide past!  I recently had a request for some advice from a young couple contemplating matrimony. Yup!  They are getting married and this very attractive girl asked me for my thoughts on the trip upon which they are about to embark.  So here goes… After 69 years of double harness pulling with the same girl, I do have some thoughts rattling around in there.  Those years have gone by in a flash.  In fact, I suspect it is going faster with each passing year.  Sort of like a roll of toilet paper… the closer you get to the end, the faster it unrolls! When we were first contemplating matrimony, Marion planned our wedding meticulously.  She had it all arranged. I was in college and working at a couple of jobs on the side.  My part was to arrange so that I could take a week off for our wedding trip to Washington, DC.  One of her friends from nurses’ training lived there, and she promised to show us the sights. So I went around to all of my professors at Western Michigan University to arrange to be gone for a week.  I remember two reactions in particular that I got.  One was from my math professor, Miss Ford.  She was a small, birdlike maiden lady.  Sharp!  And she didn’t miss a thing.  Steel rimmed spectacles and gray hair in a bun.  When I broached the subject, she looked over her glasses at me and said, “Young man, do you realize the awesome responsibility you are about to shoulder?” “Yes, Ma’am!” “You’d better think this over!”  And I left her, shaking her head sadly and wondering what was happening to the younger generation! My next stop was my Speech teacher, Dr. Blyton.  I entered his office and he invited me to sit down.  He was a handsome guy, laid back.  He tilted his chair and put his feet up on one of his desk drawers.   I explained that I wanted to be gone a week on our wedding trip.  He put his hands behind his head and thought a moment.  Then he said, “Well, it’s pretty simple.  I don’t have much advice, except for the following… Always put the cap back on the toothpaste!” I left his office in a quandary and thinking, I’ll have to sort this out.  I did, and it is really very simple.  If you always put the cap back on the toothpaste, it means you are putting the other person first.  We live now in an uncertain world.  Perhaps more uncertain than it has ever been!  Situation ethics prevail.  The entertainment world would have us think that there is no more honesty.  People drift into and out of relationships with little thought of permanence. What to do!  I can tell you what… be old fashioned.  Whatever you do, do it for the long haul.  In this case, make your relationship work.  Always be honest with each other.  The person you marry should be the most important person in your life! Speaking about honesty… I can remember the time when a witness would not think of lying under oath.  It has become pretty common now.  People are constantly getting caught in a tangled web of lies. But you cannot lie or dissemble with your partner.  If your relationship is based on honesty, you will always have a place in your world where you can go and be comforted.  I’m not saying you will never disagree.   There will be times when you have a clash of wills.  But you have to work it out.  Never take an argument into your bedroom.  Settle it before that, even if it takes all night!  And speaking of bedrooms… sleep together, never apart! That promotes togetherness.  When we marry, we are a team that faces all the problems the world can throw at us.  And I believe it extends to mealtime.  When it is time to eat, sit down around the table.  Eat together and ask for God’s blessing before the meal starts.  We may not always be aware of this, but there is a higher power than ourselves.  That is true… starting with the vows we take to cherish and care for each other.  Whatever kind of a ceremony we have, when we enter into a marriage, there is an unseen witness.  We are part of a wholeness that extends everywhere.  We are bound together by our humanness.  And this world did have an author.  And that entity, by whatever name, is real, even when we are not sure it is! Getting married is really pretty simple.  When we enter into a contract with another person, we have no knowledge of how our lives will end… or when.  But for sure some day we are going back to the place from whence we came.  When we reach that day, if we leave this world a little better than we found it when we came, we can feel some satisfaction.  Part of that feeling is how we treated the person with whom we have spent so many years.  It’s pretty simple… Just remember always to put the cap back on the toothpaste!

Coloma Library News

Story Hour

Story Hour will resume on Wednesday, September 14, 2016 at 10:30 a.m. Story Hour is for preschool aged children who are accompanied and supervised by an adult. There is no sign-up required, story hour is a free program. For questions, please call the library at 468-3431.

Book Club

The Coloma Library Book Club is meeting for a book discussion on Thursday, September 15 at 5:30 p.m. The title to read before the discussion is “What She Knew” by Gilly MacMillan.  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. Please stop in the library or call 468-3431 for more information

Watervliet Library News

 Buy a brick from the Watervliet District Library as a legacy gift to honor the cherished people in your life. Help create a new Garden Park for our community.

Toddler Time

A 30 minute class for toddlers is held every Tuesday at 10:30 a.m.

2016 Reading Challenge

There are 12 reading challenges, one for each month throughout the year. Completed challenges are entered to win a prize. Slips are due back on Dec. 30, 2016. Come in to the library for more information.

Other activities

Yoga is every Wednesday evening at 7:00 p.m.

Adult Coloring Night is the last Monday of the month.

If you are interested in having another class on handling your smart phones, lap tops or other mobile devices – let us know. Call the library at (269)463-6382 or come in.


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