GLIMPSES FROM THE PAST….. Unidentified young woman sits on Santa’s lap at a Watervliet Paper Company Employee Christmas Party sometime in the 1960s. Do you remember sitting on Santa’s lap? Can you identify the young woman on Santa’s lap? If you have any information about the photo, please contact North Berrien Historical Museum at 269-468-3330, firstname.lastname@example.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
Thursday, October 1, 1959
According to an old newspaper found in The Record office, J.M. Hall did not publish the very first paper in Watervliet. This old, time-worn sheet, dated November 24, 1876, was edited by J.F. Sheffield, who was evidently Watervliet’s first editor. It is an 8-column sheet and was called the Watervliet Journal. The type is small and there is little of local interest.
Another sheet is the Weekly Record, published by Hall and dated April 20, 1882. This is a five-column paper and quite newsy. The following are examples of its “Local Department”:
“Those of our scribers who promised to bring wood, will please trot along now. Our fire is out and our devil says he never stole wood in his life.”
“Do. Randall is properly serving his country now. He is selling needles, all sizes from a hair to hand-spike – a large assortment for only 25 cents. Guess they are worth it.”
“J.J. Brooks is doing a smashing business. He employs about a dozen men on his timber land cutting heading bolts which he delivers on the bank of the river and receives a dollar a cord.”
“Water is scarce in this part of the village and the inhabitants have to carry it a long way. Mr. R.N. VanNatter is having a well dug, a good one, for it is to be cement lined, and when done we hope to see all our neighbors good natured.”
In this issue of The Weekly Record, which is wrinkled and worn, are advertisements for W.W. Allen & Son, dry goods, notions, boots and shoes; R.E. Wigent, groceries; H. Peirce, hardware; S.D. Walden, clothing, medicines, oils, etc.; Parsons & Baldwin, clothing; H.B. Bradt, wagon maker and blacksmith; S. Tooley, harness maker; J.F. Berringer, physician and surgeon; and R.N. VanNatter, notary public.
Another of Hall’s papers is dated July 24, 1885. This is a six-column, four-page edition. Among the two columns of Brevities are; General Grant is dead. Tooley has a new harness maker. Heusen is selling his new stock of lawns at 5 cents a yard. W.E. Conklin was in town this week and contracted to teach our village school the coming year. He has rented the Havens house.
A 64-year-old Watervliet Record was also among the findings at The Record office and this one, dated September 27, 1895, lists some astonishing prices.
For example, prices in an adv. of the Boston Store a man’s wool suit could be purchased for $6.50; a good suit for $3.50; boys knee pants for 25 cents a pair; ladies fine black hose, 5 cents per pair; ladies tennis oxfords, 60 cents; denim overalls for 25 cents and men’s straw hats for 10 cents.
In the grocery department one could purchase a 25-pound sack of flour for 43 cents; 25 pounds of sugar for $1.00; raisins, 5 cents per pound; Arbunkle coffee, 22 cents per pound; cream cheese, 12 cents a pound; and 7 pounds of oatmeal for 25 cents.
A market report quotes eggs at 11 cents a dozen; butter, 16 cents a pound; potatoes, 35 cents a bushel; wheat, 55 cents; and oats, 32 cents.
Among the local news is this item: “P.O. Bowe has contracted his winter apples, picked and packed ready for shipment to Richard Jarvis, of Belve