top of page

10-24-2019 Tri-City Area History Page

Bill Goff’s pile driver on Paw Paw Lake, circa 1960 Was your dock installed using this equipment? Do you have any information or a story about this pile driving vessel? If so, please contact North Berrien Historical Museum, 300 Coloma Ave., Coloma; 269-468-3330; email or find us on Facebook @northberrienhistory. From the photo collection at the North Berrien Historical Museum 300 Coloma Avenue, Coloma

The Paw Paw River Journal

You can do it! Suppose there’s something you really want to do! You think about it and think about it… and worry. And finally you end up saying, “Oh, I’d never be able to do that!” And you quit trying. I know the name of that tune. And so you go on through life never having done that, whatever it was. On the other hand, sometimes people do extraordinary things, just not realizing they couldn’t do it so they went ahead and accomplished what they wanted. I’ve been there a few times too! I was almost 60 years old when I began writing this column. Here now, I’ve been at it ever since. When I look back on it, I’m a little surprised. Not at the quality of my work… I’ll have to leave that to others to judge. No, it’s just the fact that I’ve been doing it this long! There were two factors that got me started. One was Don Cochrane, editor and publisher of the old Hartford Day Spring. It was a weekly newspaper, much like this one for which I write. Don always had a column therein which he titled Around Town and Elsewhere. In it stories about local old-timers, native Americans, the coming of the railroads, he would even sometimes include a little gossip. As a kid I read his column. And I guess somewhere lodged the idea that someday I’d like to do that. I knew he enjoyed poking gentle fun at the town’s characters. Locally famous people were not immune to his barbs. If you look back over the years of my writing, you will see that I wrote about all the old-timers I could find. Only trouble is… I ran out of old-timers before I got to them all! And now I find I have become an old-timer myself! I don’t think the ink with which I write has quite the acid content that Don Cochrane’s had. By that I mean he was apt to poke people a little more sharply than I am. I really would not want to hurt anyone’s feelings! And I know people love to see their name in print. So I always get a kick out of mentioning someone when I can. And there was one of the major influences in my life for doing what I’m doing now. The other major influence is my love for writing. And the stiffness in my hands that keeps me from holding a pen just keeps it bottled up more. Somewhere in my teaching career I started having all my students do journal writing. Every day every class I had the kids write in their journals for ten minutes. That gave me time to do all the record-keeping such as absences, etc. Then I decided if they had to write in journals, perhaps I should also! So, I started writing in a daily journal. I kept that up for perhaps thirty years. I have at home on my bookshelves 126 books of my writing. Yes, I finally ran down on that when it became too difficult to hold a pen. My writing looked like some form of hieroglyphics! Then I switched to typing my journal on the computer. That was too cumbersome, so I decided just to let my columns speak for me… as I am doing here! Yes, I love writing! And I’m afraid that cursive writing is not being taught in schools at all. Many kids if they are not typing are just using their thumbs on those little things they carry everywhere. If we were still in the family life today, I would make a hard and fast rule – no iPads at the dinner table! If I were teaching now, I would have my students practice cursive writing for ten minutes in class every day! So I just sort of slid into a writing career through the back door. When I called up the Tri-City Record to get a subscription I wound up writing a local column therein. And over the years, Dear Readers, your comments have rewarded me in ways I cannot express. Going back to something I said a couple of weeks ago… I had a column that started out to be advice to the lovelorn… I labeled it Miss Lonely Hearts. Then I got completely off the track. I wanted to show how remarks you make influence what I write. I was in the drugstore one morning, checking up on the Old Philosophers club. Someone in the group asked me where I got my ideas for stories. So I was holding forth on my usual sources which I’ve mentioned before. A young lady was working at the soda fountain… and listening in! I said, “… sometimes I even give advice to the lovelorn!” With a sigh, she said, “That’s me! I need some advice!” Everyone laughed and I thought about it since. We could all use some advice on affairs of the heart. Do we go through life trying not to hurt the feelings of others? I don’t think anyone of us is perfect in that regard! So there! At least I’ve gotten to the subject this time. And when I really think about it… it scares me! I am not qualified to tell somebody else how to live their life! I’ve had a hard time living my own, trying to do the right thing, and not always succeeding. At least I can say, “Always put the cap back on the toothpaste!” And try not to hurt others as we weave more threads into the Golden 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. Pinteresting Monday, Oct. 28, 6:30 – 8 p.m. Arts & Crafts for grown-ups; this month – Woodland Gnomes Potawatomi: Past and Present Monday, Nov. 4, 6 – 7 p.m. North Berrien Historical Museum’s Peter Cook presents a hands-on program about the Native Americans who have long called Michigan their home. Crafts to try, memorabilia to discover – for the whole family! In Stitches Knitting Group Friday, Nov. 8, 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! Author visit Monday, Nov. 11 – 6:30 p.m. Nationally renowned author Rosanne Bittner of Coloma shares her latest work celebrating the American west, plus details of the book-biz; book purchases and signings available – refreshments, too! 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 Public Library News

Book Sale The library’s giant fall book sale is on Saturday, Oct. 26 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. The bookstore boasts an extensive collection including print and media in a variety of formats. Purchases support literacy programs in the library. Storytime Weekly storytime for toddlers and preschool-aged children is on Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. Registration is not required to participate in this weekly interactive experience that includes theme books, music, and a hands-on activity with Miss Alicia. Call 468-3431 with inquiries on any library activity.


100 years ago – 1919 The new stone road from H.G. Krake’s corner running east and west has been completed. This should be a means of drawing trade from south Coloma into this village. It is suggested that schools be closed for Armistice Day Celebration. It seems fitting to give pupils a chance to witness this “Welcome Home” demonstration. The First Methodist church welcomed its new pastor and family. A fine program was given by Misses Winifred Smith, Helen Kremer, Genevieve and Ida Stonecliffe. 60 years ago – 1959 Firemen battle a blaze at the Roy Keller farm across from Otto Hingst on Becht Road. A defective lamp that was used to keep a litter of piglets warm caught fire. Mr. and Mrs. Fred Sahlin observed their 60th wedding anniversary. Their son and daughter-in-law Mr. and Mrs. Wendell Sahlin of Tinley Park, Illinois hosted the event. The Coloma Comets step out of the Little Eight conference to play class B Buchanan. The last meeting between the two schools was in 1945. Student body presidents for the Junior High are: William Powell and David Scheffler, 7th grade and August Pupedis, eighth grade. 30 years ago – 1989 The Commission states they are opposing the acceptance of out-of-county wastes and expansion of Berrien County landfills at its regular meeting. An interesting Halloween display is over on Mountain Road. You’ll see a ghoulish undertaker transporting his cargo of ghosts to the cemetery. All pint-sized ghosts and goblins are reminded to have a safe Halloween while roaming the streets after dark. Washington students learned techniques to keep them safe during a fire. Firefighters Dale Stover, Rudy Appel and Ken Churchill showed children the new fire truck following the presentation. 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 If you want to act as census enumerator for Hartford or any of the contiguous territory, for the United States census to begin on January 1, 1920, you will have the opportunity to apply for the appointment on November 1 when a test for census enumerators will be conducted by Postmaster W.H. Blashfield at the Hartford Town Hall. Hartford will face the immediate necessity of remodeling and enlarging its public school building, if the orders of the state high school inspector are carried out. He condemned the heating system as both obsolete and inadequate. 75 years ago – 1944 Plans for the annual Halloween party were announced by Mr. and Mrs. E.M. Smith, chairmen of the event, which is sponsored every year by the Parent Teachers Association. A parade, costume judging, bonfire, refreshments and a public dance at the high school gymnasium are among the events being planned by the committee. The airport issue went to defeat for the second time in Hartford Township when 916 voters, one of the largest numbers ever to ballot on a township issue, went to the polls and expressed their opinion on the proposition. 50 years ago – 1969 Commercial harvesting of some apples in this area is expected next season following tests this year of a mechanical apple picker developed by David and Philip Friday Tractor Co. The machine has been tested in area orchards and has harvested apples at a rate of 12 trees an hour, or about 2,400 bushels a day. It is estimated that the machine which will cost between $18,000 and $20,000, could replace two dozen or more pickers. According to David Friday, apples harvested by the machine graded 12 per cent major bruises. Bruising for hand-picked apples ranges from 5 to 20 per cent. Friday said that most of the bruises on machine harvested apples result from apples striking other apples or limbs as they fall from the tree. What is needed now is a machine to sort bruised apples from non-bruised apples. About 20 persons are now at work trying to develop such a machine. 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 Frank Runyan of Watervliet attended a school of instruction in Chicago for Region 7. The region area includes the states of Michigan, Indiana and Illinois. Prominent among the week’s social events was the breakfast party at which Mrs. Robert Smith entertained seven ladies at her home on Pleasant Street. Miss Lillian Volay of the Watervliet School will attend the All State Convention of grade supervisors at Coldwater. 60 years ago – 1959 Mrs. Laura Hammel was well remembered on the occasion of her 93rd birthday on Oct. 22, 1959. She was the recipient of three birthday cakes and more than 75 greeting cards. Among the 203 students who achieved an all-A record during the spring and summer terms at Michigan State University, was Miss Dora Jean Reed, Watervliet. Miss Reed was at the time a senior majoring in home economics. She is now studying at Cornell University. Two local Masonic brethren were honored by being presented with their Life-Membership Certificates. Thomas L. Budd and Woodbury Austin of Watervliet have served the Craft continuously for a period of forty years. 30 years ago – 1989 Knights of Columbus Council 4055 of Watervliet has earned the distinction of Star Council for the 1988-89 fraternal year. It recognizes overall excellence in the areas of membership, promotion of the fraternal insurance program and sponsorship of service-oriented activities. Stephen Bradley Tatter, Watervliet, received a Ph.D. degree from Rockefeller University. Dr. Tatter is a graduate of the University of Michigan; awarded a BS with high distinction, highest honors in cellular and molecular biology, 1982. His thesis work in virology centered on interleukin-G, a protein made by damaged cells as an alarm signal to activate a variety of the body’s defense mechanisms. With more than 15 research papers on this work, he now will continue his medical school training as part of the Rockefeller University-Cornell Medical College M.D. – Ph.D program. 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


Related Posts

See All
bottom of page