11-12-2020 Tri-City Area History Page

Paw Paw Lake Rotary… Can you identify the men in the photo or the occasion that it was taken? Have you ever been a Rotarian? What were your experiences if you were? If you can identify these men, contact North Berrien Historical Museum at 269-468-3330, info@northberrienhistory.org. North Berrien Historical Museum is open for private tours, Tuesday through Friday 10-4. From the photo collection at the North Berrien Historical Museum 300 Coloma Avenue, Coloma


Reminiscing With Pearl Playford

Millburg, located between Watervliet and Benton Harbor, is credited with being one of the oldest communities in Berrien County and in the state and in 1935 celebrated its 100th year of existence. It is a thriving little town, surrounded by rich farms which once were grown to forests in which this part of the county chose the Millburg region for their homesteads and long before Benton Harbor came into existence Millburg was an important community. It was a stopping point on the early stagecoach lines between Detroit and Chicago via Territorial Road, and its early inns were the gathering places for weary travelers who sought rest and refreshment while teams were changed. Millburg was one of the earliest shipping points in the county and years ago long lines of interurban freight cars, loading for transfer to waiting steamships in Benton Harbor were a familiar sight. Millburg had a bad fire in 1935 when the Wittenkeller fruit package plant and feed barn caught fire from unknown causes and burned to the ground with a loss of $10,000. Both buildings have, however, been replaced.

Thursday, September 10, 1959 I doubt if there is anyone who has been a reader of The Watervliet Record longer than the family of Mrs. Louise Hall Mutchler of Grand Rapids, a former Watervliet resident whose brother, J.M. Hall, is credited as having published the first newspaper ever to be printed in Watervliet. According to Mrs. Mutchler, who, by the way, has a wonderful memory, Mr. Hall, remembered as Matt Hall, came to this community about the year 1878 or 1880 and started the publication of The Record. He was a young man of 21 or 22 years and had only a limited experience in the newspaper line, but he was ambitious. His father had died seven years previously and Matt was strictly on his own. He began to see the beauties and advantages of the little town and wanted to make the most of it. So, each week the subscribers saw a well-written article on the beauties of this community and he also stressed the grandeur of Paw Paw Lake. And each week Hall printed 100 extra copies and mailed them to all the surrounding towns and to friends, and that was really the beginning of the popularity of Paw Paw Lake. Mr. Hall also praised the advantages which could be obtained from the beautiful Paw Paw River, and never was there an issue of the paper that did not contain a front-page story, six or seven inches in length, telling about Paw Paw Lake. “We girls took great pleasure in looking up items for him, which he appreciated,” said Mrs. Mutchler. But before he could see many of the results of his ambition, his health failed and he sold out and went onto a farm where he died quite young. Mrs. Mutchler said that W.W. Allen, early-day Watervliet merchant, said to her: “Your brother’s newspaper built up the town, long since dead.” Mrs. Mutchler, who will observe her 93rd birthday anniversary November 29, has a keen mind and is in excellent health. She is a charter member of the Watervliet Forty Year club and makes an effort to attend its annual meetings every August. She resides with her daughter, Mrs. Sarah Nicholson, at 2425 Michigan Rd., N.E., Grand Rapids. She is a sister of the late Arno Hall, who spent most of his lifetime in Watervliet.

Hartford Public Library news Children’s Center dedication

Dedication of The Pokagon Children’s Learning Center will be on Friday, Nov. 20 at 3:00 p.m. at the new Hartford Public Library at 12 Church Street in Hartford. The Pokagon Fund sponsored the creation of the library’s new children’s center through a generous donation of $40,000. The center offers two exceptional literacy computers and a literacy touch play table, which can be used for up to 4-6 children, giant LEGOs, plus an extensive library of children’s books. Mr. Marcus Winchester, Director of Language and Culture and Mr. Dan Petersen, Executive Director of the Pokagon Fund will be unveiling the dedication sign. The public is welcome to attend the dedication. New phone number Please be advised the Hartford Public Library has a new phone number. Staff can be reached at (269)588-5103. They will still maintain their fax number of (269)621-3073. Their email address is hartfordlib@ yahoo.com.

Coloma Public Library news