12-3-2020 Tri-City History

Glimpses From the Past

All I want for Christmas… two unidentified children share their fervent Christmas wishes with Santa Claus at a Watervliet Paper Company Employee Christmas Party sometime in the 1960s. Do you remember sitting on Santa’s lap? Can you identify anyone? Contact North Berrien Historical Museum at 269-468-3330 or 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

Thursday, September 17, 1959

The present generation knows little if anything about dried apples, but years ago when a kitchen needed more than a can opener, no housewife imagined she could do without dried apple pies. And the spicy dried applesauce, too, was a delicious addition to the dinner table.

The dried apple was as much a part of life 50 years ago as the prune is today; and I can still see, in my mind’s eye, those tasty dried apple pies that my mother used to bake in the oven of the wood-burning kitchen range. In those days every housewife dried apples and made mincemeat. I well remember when my grandmother had a rack over the kitchen stove on which she spread sliced apples to dry and later store in the pantry for winter use. And some even spread them out of doors, covered over with mosquito netting to keep off the flies, to dry in the sun. Little was allowed to go to waste in those days when a dollar was hard to get but went as far as three of them go today.

There were places, too, where apples were dried and packed in boxes for the retail market. They were called evaporators and such an industry was located right here in Watervliet on the present home site of Mr. and Mrs. Glenn Allen, near the Beverly Lumber Company yards. It was owned and operated by Hiram Peirce, early-day hardware merchant here and the father of the late Byron L. Peirce, and grandfather of Harold Peirce, and Mrs. Joseph Scheid, of this city.

The plant was in operation during the fall months and gave employment to a few men and women. The men peeled the apples on machines and the women faced the boxes with the dried rings of fruit in preparation for retail sale by stores. The workers put in 10 hours a day for which they received 75 cents and a dollar, then men, of course, drawing the higher wages.


100 years ago – 1920

“Grandma” Teeter passed on to her eternal home. Mary Caroline Brayton passed away at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Lowell S. Guy. She was familiarly known by the young people as “Grandma” and always had a pleasant word for the little ones.

Miss Esther Herbster attended a conference of the Michigan State Telephone company. Telephone service is at a very high standard and will continue, announced the president of the company.

60 years ago – 1960

The board of education put together an emergency measure to present to voters. Both elementary buildings are severely overcrowded. The high school’s locker rooms were built for a pupil load of 20. Today’s pupil load is triple. The coal fed boiler is pressed beyond capacity. Otto Hingst, 71, taken by death. He was a well-known florist, operating Evergreen Gardens Greenhouse. Davidson Funeral Home will handle the arrangements.

Mr. and Mrs. George Tutton are the parents of a baby boy, Brian Daniel. Mrs. Tutton is remembered as the Gladiola queen of 1954. A birthday party was given for Ralph Stanley. Mrs. Wm. Richard Veit and daughter Candy baked the cake.