10-06-2016 Tri-City Area History


90 years ago – 1926

 Dedication of the new paper mill addition was celebrated on Oct. 29, 1926. The structure is approximately 100 feet wide by 160 feet long, being a continuation of the present coating mill plant. The fire department took over in order to let the locality come in to inspect the new building.  Unknown parties harvested F.M. Keasey’s grape crop for him on Oct. 18, 1926. Mr. Keasey is said to have a suspicion that it was the same outfit that looted the Lee State Bank in another city.  Mayor F.W. Brown and the city commission recently sold the old pumping equipment for $300. The equipment consisted of a suction pump, motor and automatic control that had become of no use to the local plant when the new wells and pumping plant opened.

60 years ago – 1956

 Mr. and Mrs. A.F. Lyman quietly observed their 65th wedding anniversary on Oct. 11, 1956 at their home on County Line Road, where they have resided for the past 51 years. Mr. and Mrs. Lyman, who are 88 and 86 respectively, are enjoying good health except for taking things a little slower.  Pvt. David S. Castle, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Castle, Watervliet, is attending a Guided Missile school at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. David received his basic training at Fort Hood, Texas.  Specialist Third Class Henry G. Zass, Watervliet, participated in Organization Day activities with the 25th Infantry Division on Sep. 29, 1956, in Hawaii. Zass is a driver in company A of the division’s 89th Tank Battalion.

30 years ago – 1986

 On Oct. 13, 1986, the Panther Pride Band traveled to Niles to participate in the SWMBOA District 6 Marching Band Festival. The band received a Div. 2 rating for its most commendable efforts.  Amy Zandarski is the Watervliet Public Schools’ “Student of the Week”. Amy represents her class on the Student Council and is vice president of the group. She plays trumpet in the 6th grade band and is editor of the school’s student newspaper.  Watervliet High School Principal Kenneth Bannen accepted a $900 check from the Lioness Club. The contribution will be deposited in the Gene Bednarowski Scholarship Fund. The money represents proceeds from the Gene Bednarowski Run sponsored by the Lioness Club.


100 years ago – 1916

 A team owned by Fred Wing, a fruit grower residing southwest of the village, indulged in a runaway on Maple Street Saturday evening. The principal damage resulted when they collided with a Ford automobile owned by Ora Makyes of Sister Lakes, the car being heavily damaged.  Hartford is taking a partial holiday this week, while her people are enjoying the pleasures of the county fair. A majority of the stores are closing every day from Noon to 5:30 p.m. in the afternoon, and the fair is the center of attraction for the village folk as well as for people of the countryside for miles about.

75 years ago – 1941

 A little coal black spaniel dog was running frantically about the intersection of Main and Center streets Thursday noon, obviously lost. The excited canine was paying no attention to men but dashing back and forth across the street to accost the ladies, turning from each one disappointedly. “It’s a woman’s dog, looking for its mistress,” said Mrs. O.J. Wells as the friendly little fellow ran up to her. Mrs. Wells, who lives just north on the Keeler-Hamilton town line, befriended it. She drove around town to restore it to anyone that this skipper could suggest, but all of the little black dogs were at home. Mrs. Wells did not want to turn it loose to be killed in the traffic so she took the dog home. On Monday, Mrs. Miller called the Day Spring newspaper to insert an advertisement for her lost black spaniel and was advised that Mrs. Wells had her. Mrs. Miller drove to the Wells farm to claim her dog.

50 years ago – 1966

 The Hartford Fire Department has purchased a rescue truck, which is being financed entirely without tax funds. The department ordered a GMC van from E.V. Godlew, Bangor. Money for the down payment came from events the firemen have sponsored; the balance will be paid by firemen donating a portion of their pay each month.  At a dinner last night the firemen honored Reginald Moore and Edward Ison by presenting certificates recognizing the efforts of the two men in trying to save Leon Spencer, who burned to death in a cabin fire west of Hartford last April.


100 years ago – 1916

 Miss Frances Enders, piano instructor, will be at the home of Mrs. Sim Hawks. Those desiring lessons may telephone 71-J.  Earl Walters will be the auctioneer at the sales of M.D. Grant and Lester Van Ocker.  The Methodists of Coloma and Watervliet will be favored with a good minister, Rev. C.E. Pollock. He will succeed Rev. Floyd L. Blewfield, who has been appointed pastor of the Methodist church of Three Rivers.  Say goodbye to black hands and bruised knuckles. The Universal Premier Range is black porcelain enamel baked into the metal. Coloma Hardware Co.

60 years ago – 1956

 A head-on collision claimed the lives of David Immoos, 19 and Richard E. Kinzler, 18. Injured was Virgil Taylor, 19 and Richard Erwin. The accident occurred on the curve at MyKoloma.  Norman L. Stokes is serving with the Airborne Early Warning Squadron in Newfoundland. Larry Gillet enlisted in the army and is in basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, MO.  A son was born to both Mr. and Mrs. Jerome Cullitan and Mr. and Mrs. Lowell Siver.  Deer Forest open on Sat. & Sun. through Oct. Children 25 cents Adults 60 cents.

30 years ago – 1986

 Police Chief Robert Cottier shows the AAA Pedestrian Safety Citation that was awarded the township.  “Larry’s Broasted Chicken” has changed hands. New owners Larry and wife, Marty Fent, desired to operate a family-owned business. The specialty is chicken and fish.  Coloma Junior High offers three curriculum changes. Industrial technology, Spanish and an expanded Math Lab program are being offered.  Attention Coloma: All former Goldblatt’s employees are cordially invited to a reunion. Enjoy an evening of fun with former co-workers.  Coloma’s girls basketball lost to Lakeshore in the Alwood Gym, reports Scott Bower. Principal players are: Alison & Emily Fournier, Roshanna Kelley and Tammy Rodell.

Paw Paw River Journal

Paw Paw River Journal

At the crossroads

 I’ve been voting in presidential elections ever since I was old enough.  When I went into World War II I was eighteen years old.  I came of age while I was stationed over in Asia.  Ever since then I have voted, and I am now 92!  That’s quite a few elections.  And I don’t mean to be boasting… but I do have some experience.  My only point here is that I think this may be the most important national election in all that time!  I cannot stress too much the importance of our upcoming vote.  And you, Dear Readers, are going to decide the direction our country will take from here on!  All those years ago when I started writing this column, I also decided that I would be apolitical.  In other words I would never try to persuade readers to my political point of view.  I also feel that anyone who reads all of my columns would probably know more about me than I would wish to be published.  Can’t be helped!  A great early American thinker, Ralph Waldo Emerson, said that if he talked with a man for a few minutes, he would know what his biases and beliefs were!  So, mine are probably apparent.  I am admittedly more conservative than liberal.  But I have always refused to follow a political party line.  I’ll vote for the best person for the office, no matter what their party.  And I have crossed party lines to do that!  But I am not a reporter!  I am a columnist, so I have no obligation to hide my preferences.  Too bad many of the major news reporters have forgotten that… or they never knew it!  Or, worst of all, they don’t care!  All those same years I have written this column, at the newspaper office they have been open minded.  I have always liked and respected all the people who work hard to get this paper out every week.  I also know that our views do not always agree.  But they are fair minded, and we get along very well.  So the final word for me on elections is that it takes more than one horse to have a race!  I’m not (at this late date) going to try to tell you how to vote.  But I would like to delve into a little history… and talk about where we came from… admittedly from my point of view.  I’ve gone into it before, and it seems to me very important.  Where we’ve been and where we are going!  Our country was born in a blood bath.  We were just lucky to have a bunch of guys who were smart.  And they cobbled together a document that has served us well all the years since… The Constitution!  We were thirteen colonies, groups of refugees, indentured servants, adventurers, and ne’er-do-wells.  Yes, even a few criminals!  We banded together and took on what was probably the most powerful nation in the world… England.  And we won our independence.  Ever since then it has been a tug-of-war between two philosophies… who should be more powerful, the central government or the individual states.  I don’t mean to over simplify, but The Civil War (which was not very civil) was a continuation of that… could the federal government abolish slavery, or could the southern states keep it.  Slavery was the very life blood of their agricultural success.  Isn’t it ironic that the federal government was Republican, and the states were Democratic!  How that has changed!  And I’ve noticed that some thinking African-Americans are now saying that they traded one form of slavery for another form.  Back on the plantations “Old Massa” kept them, fed and housed them, and told them what to do.  Now they have ghettos, unemployment, poverty, and less than adequate education.  And someone still governing, overseeing them, handing out stuff, and not really helping them to become more independent.  No wonder they are becoming more open to change!  Americans have always been independent minded.  Back in the early days, farmers found one of the crops they could grow well was corn.  But how to get it to market… One of the easiest, cheapest, and most effective ways was to turn it into liquor.  People will buy and drink alcohol, come hell or high water.  They tried prohibition, but that didn’t work.  Best way was to let people distill alcohol, and then make them pay a tax on it!  Aha!  More money for the federal government!  This gave rise to the illegal stills and the whiskey-runners in the south and east.  Did you realize that this is also how stock car racing started?  Who had the fastest cars to market illegal whiskey and outrun the ‘revenooers’!  Well it’s always been a struggle between States’ Rights and the Federal Government.  It’s still going on.  Remember, I told you I might be over simplifying, but who is going to win out?  More federal handouts?  What will we do when the bills come around.  I fear for our grandchildren, and the staggering debts we are incurring.  We have always been fiercely independent.  It’s so easy to take government handouts… but there behind all the free stuff is ‘Old Massa’ (the government), who will be telling us what to do.  There is no free lunch!  And perhaps I’ve overstayed on this subject, but I still say this may well be the most important election of our lives!  Do you really want to give up your freedom?  I can remember the great feeling we had when my Chief Accountant and I paid off a thirty year mortgage!   “Free at last,” in the immortal words of Martin Luther King Jr.  No, we’re not free at last!  Freedom is something we will have to keep on fighting for… the war is never over.  That is the price of being the greatest nation on earth.  I’m not going to tell you how to vote, but I cannot stress too much that WE ALL HAVE TO GET OUT AND VOTE!

Watervliet District 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 is a 30 minute class every Tuesday at 10:30 a.m.  Story Hour is on Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. or Thursdays at 1:30 p.m. Bring your children ages 3 to 5 for fun and educational times; stories, show and tell, and songs and games.  Yoga is at 9:00 a.m. every Monday morning and Wednesday evening at 7:00 p.m.  Adult Coloring Night is the last Monday of each month.  For anyone interested in having another class on handling smart phones, laptops or other mobile devises call the library at 269-463-6382, or come in.

North Berrien Senior Center Calendar of Events

Monday, October 10

Medicare Supplemental Program, 2:30 p.m.

Thursday, October 13

Arthritis Program, 1:00 p.m.

Thursday, October 20

Funeral Preplanning, 1:00 p.m.

Thursday, October 27

Atrial Fibrillation Program with Dr. Brooks from Watervliet, 1:00 p.m.

The center is located at 6648 Ryno Road, Coloma. Their hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Call 269-468-3366 for more information.


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