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10-10-2019 Tri-city Area History Page

Claude Mast service station… in 1929, located on Paw Paw St. in Coloma. One of the men is identified as Ernie Kittle although it is unknown which one is Ernie. If you can identify any of the men in the photo or have any other information, please contact: North Berrien Historical Museum, 300 Coloma Ave., Coloma; 269-468-3330; or find them on Facebook @northberrienhistory. From the photo collection at the North Berrien Historical Museum 300 Coloma Avenue, Coloma

The Paw Paw River Journal

Miss Lonely Hearts

One day some years ago I walked into Clark’s drug store. This was a teen hangout from clear back when I was in high school. In those days I was a real drugstore cowboy… some of us kept the pinball machine heated up with tournaments. Now I was back as a retired teacher and writing this very column! I had been down to the post office to check the mail. Marion was probably working on a piece of antique furniture. Beautiful morning sunshine and a soft summer day… on my way to the post office I walked past Harding’s parking lot. There were a couple ladies I knew standing by their car and talking. Camille Woolcott and Bev Friday were both premier Hartford citizens and known to have a keen sense of humor. As I passed them I said, “What are you girls plotting on such a beautiful summer day?” Camille answered, “Bud, we’re on our way out to the river to go skinny-dipping! Want to go along?” “Sure,” I answered, “Just wait until I go home and get my suit pressed!” And we were all laughing like fools as I continued on my way to the post office. After that was when I walked into the drugstore. All the smells that greet you in such a place… perfume, cigars, medicine… drugstores have their own unique odors. I was just about in time for the morning meeting of the Hartford Philosophers’ Club. This was an informal daily gathering of retired guys who met for coffee and conversation. I knew them all, and they met me with greetings of various kinds. The kid who worked there was behind the soda fountain filling a couple of Coke orders. He may or may not have been the one they told this story about… the first day he worked, someone said the druggist told him never to miss selling a product! If the thing the customer wanted was not available, fill the order with something as close to it as he could get. Well, a guy came in sneezing and coughing with horrible allergies. The druggist had stepped out for a moment, and the kid was almost wringing his hands in anxiety. The guy wanted a certain anti-allergy product… it was not in stock. The druggist came back in a few moments, and the brand-new clerk said with pride, “Well, I did it! A customer was just in for an allergy medication we didn’t have. So I substituted like you said. I sold him some of that new dynamite stuff… you know, the Pluto water!” This was a new laxative that came in a small green bottle with a picture of a red Devil with a pitchfork on it. It was guaranteed to work almost immediately. The druggist, taken aback, said, “Oh no! That’s not for allergies!” “Well,” the kid said, “He drank it right here. Look at him! He’s standing out front talking with some of his friends, and he doesn’t dare cough!” The Old Philosophers Club used to meet in the back of that drugstore every morning for coffee. The group contained some of Hartford’s premier citizens, and I could tell you some stories about every one of them. One was Vere Shindeldecker. He was our fuel oil man back in the day when we had a furnace that used it. For years he delivered several times a year, and when he retired son Vere continued. He has since retired but lives down our street with wife, Linda. One time they showed us some of the interesting pictures original Vere took of the war in Europe. He saw a lot of that! A couple of other regular philosophers were John and Evy Babcock. They lived in splendid retirement out toward Hartford’s southernmost suburb, Keeler. One day in Hartford, John told me a most interesting story. They had just returned from a western trip. He said they ran into a relative of ours at Denver, Colorado. Sunday morning and they had stayed in a nice motel. Then they found a large Methodist church to attend. The organist, John said, was most talented. They stopped afterwards to compliment her… a very attractive young blonde lady. When she found they were from Hartford Michigan, she exclaimed, “Oh, we have relatives out there… Bud and Marion Davis.” John said, “We’re just on our way farther west, and I brought along one of the books Bud wrote to read on the trip. I’ll leave it with you, and I know he will give me another one when we get back.” So he said to me, “Well Bud, your book is being read by a relative of yours out in Denver!” That girl, named Kathy is a grand niece of our cousins, Evelyn and Bob Spies, down Benton Harbor way. And with that let me close by saying small world indeed! And I must admit I haven’t gotten to Miss Lonely Hearts. Guess I’ll have to save that for next time! I’ll end by saying we never know where or whom our lives will touch, or influence. Like ripples in a pond spreading we know not where… the borders of our lives transcend time and space as we weave more golden threads into the Great Tapestry of Life in these storybook towns along the Paw Paw River.

Watervliet District Library News

Teen Table Projects: October Teen-Tober: Do-it-yourself activity for teens while at the library. This month – TP tube knitting; add to the library’s or make your own! STEM Kit Programs Snap Circuits – LEGO Robotics – Little Bits Electronic Inventions STEM kit programs designed for small groups to work together to make an endless number of inventions. New groups are set up with your schedule in mind. Interested? Sign up at the desk! For 8 years and up. In Stitches Knitting Group Friday, Oct. 11, 2:30 – 4 p.m. Take a current project or your interest: they’ll help you get started! Arm knitting supplies & one on one instruction, too! Family Movie Night Oct. 18 – 6 p.m. Start your weekends off with a teat! The third Friday evening each month this fall means: Movies! Popcorn! Crafts! Oct – Hocus Pocus; Halloween slime! Third Monday Book Club Oct. 21, 7 – 8 p.m. Great books, fabulous conversations! Ask for a copy at the desk. October’s book – The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris. Yoga Mondays 9 – 10 a.m.; Chair Yoga – Wednesdays 6 – 6:30 p.m.; Wednesdays 7 – 8 p.m.; Fridays 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. Call the library at 463-6382 for inquiries.

Coloma Library News

NOTE: Saturday closure The Library will be closed all day on Saturday, Oct. 19 to perform technology upgrades. Regular hours will resume Monday, October 21 at 10:00 a.m. Book Club The Coloma Public Library Book Club is meeting on Thursday, Oct. 17 at 5:30 p.m. The title to read before the discussion is “The Woman in the Window” by A.J. Finn. 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 always welcome. Author visit & book signing Join local author, Donna Gauntlett, for a lively discussion about caretaking and finding happiness. She will do readings from her book, “Unexpected Joys in Life’s Detours”. Following the program will be an opportunity to purchase signed copies of her book. The event takes place on Tuesday, Oct. 22 from 5:30-7:00 p.m. in the library’s community meeting room. Call 269-468-3431 or come by the front desk for more details.


100 years ago – 1919 Help raise funds during Boy Scout Week. Scouts are taught to be constructive, trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly and courteous. Governor Sleeper issues a proclamation to honor the late Theodore Roosevelt on October 27, the anniversary of Roosevelt’s birth. M. Steffen & Co. suffered a loss when it was discovered that a large cider vat was left open. Many hundred gallons of cider were allowed to go to waste, valued at $7,000. 60 years ago – 1959 Walter Gillice is crew leader for the 1959 Census of Agriculture. He will receive training and recruit census takers that will canvass all farms. Mrs. Harold Feury has been appointed chairman of the 1959 American Red Cross drive. She is looking for volunteer workers. John Walter was re-elected as chairman of the Berrien County ASC committee. He is an experienced farmer and will be involved with policy and decision making functions. Washington School eighth grade officers are: Ronald Dunning, president; Patty Meahl, vice-president; Vicki Barker, secretary; and Peter Biondo, treasurer. Advisor is Mrs. Maxine Brule. Mrs. Carl Hartman presided over the meeting of the Methodist W.S.C.S. A skit with costumes made from the Highlight magazine was presented. 30 years ago – 1989 Coloma’s Board of Education once again adopted a deficit budget. Superintendent Clifford Tallman explains that all costs are up, in spite of cutbacks. The board accepted the advice to seek a loan. City Administrator John Hodges and the Chamber of Commerce hold a meeting to consider ways of improving downtown Coloma. Glad-Peach Festival President Dale Stover kicked off a planning meeting for the 1990 festival. New faces are asked to join as many board members’ terms expire this year. 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 & Thur, 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 C.E. Kinney is moving the R.W. Stickney house from its location on west Main Street, where it has been a familiar landmark for forty years or more, to a lot in the northeast part of the village. Hartford stores were all closed on Thursday and Friday afternoons while the merchants and their employees took in the county fair. A number of the business places in Bangor were closed, and the business people of that enterprising village came over in force to attend the fair. 75 years ago – 1944 The Hartford Junior Mother’s club had its alumni party at the home of Mrs. Arthur Aiken. The ladies voted to sponsor the Brownie Girl Scouts for the coming year. Following the business meeting, a program was presented by Mrs. Frank Tollar Jr. The next meeting will be October 18 at the home of Mrs. Bert Dyer. The Hartford Art Study club met at the home of Mrs. Harry Burkholder on Monday afternoon with a full attendance present. Miss Marcia Corbyn gave the day’s lesson on the life of Suzanne Valadron. Mrs. Burkholder presented a talk on the original water-color paintings she has in her home. Mrs. Bert DuVal showed the members of the club her collection of reproductions of famous paintings. The Hartford Mother’s club had a children’s party at the home of Mrs. William Shoemaker. The first regular meeting of the club was held at the home of Mrs. William Clark on October 2. 50 years ago – 1969 The Hartford Fire Department is planning a number of activities in conjunction with National Fire prevention week. Highlighting the week’s activities is the annual fire prevention parade that will feature senior and junior school bands, an American Legion color guard, Boy Scouts and fire equipment from Hartford and other Van Buren County communities. Immediately after the parade Hartford firefighters will put on a demonstration at the intersection of Beechwood and Mary streets. The department is conducting a coloring contest for kindergarten students with prizes to be presented during the demonstrations. 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.; Thur & Fri, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Phone: 269-621-3408


90 years ago – 1929 DeWitt Robinson, vice president of the area Boy Scouts, presented Harold Renne with a silver cup for being the best all-around Scout. He was also presented with a gold medal for winning the most athletic points. Harold is a member of Watervliet Troop 61. Ray Bros. have completed the waterproofing of the exterior of the Woodruff building at the corner of Main and Short streets with Spanish stucco. The awing over the sidewalk will be removed later. The citizens of Watervliet collected $23.58 for the Blue Bird Tag Sale. The proceeds will benefit Sunnycrest School for Girls. There were 21 willing little workers who registered for work at headquarters to help their less fortunate little neighbors. 60 years ago – 1959 The official enrollment for Watervliet Public Schools for 1959-60 is 1,151. There are 698 students in the elementary schools. The high school has 453. Total increase over 1958 is 88. Mr. and Mrs. Robert Moore, Watervliet, are the proud parents of their baby girl, Niki Colleen, born Oct. 7, 1959 and weighing 8 pounds 6-1/2 ounces. Gale Lynn Arent and Joseph Leo Willmeng II, both of Watervliet, are enrolled at Howe Military School in Howe, Indiana for the 1959-60 school year. 30 years ago – 1989 With only five people, the Watervliet Equestrian Team has shown outstanding horsemanship and a competitive demeanor in its three Equestrian meets for the 1989 year. The team was led by senior, Dana Skidmore with her horses “Ahab” and “City Lights”. Dana made 83 points of the total 148 that were earned. Other members of the team are Stacy Kale, Tanya Reeves, Kellie Roberts and Tammy Reeves. The Watervliet riders finished fourth in the three-meet competition. Watervliet school board members for the 1989-90 school year are President Darrell Day Jr., Vice President George Shane, Secretary Mary Lou Long, Dennis Churchill, Don Weckwerth, Joan Banasik and Tom VanNiel. Sarah Larson has been chosen the Watervliet Middle School eighth-grade “Student of the Week.” She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Larson, S. Bainbridge Center Road. 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, Thur & Fri, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Phone: 269-463-6382


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