Tuesday, November 30, 2010

1967 Secret Witness

Christmas Decorations Vandalized~~Secret Witness Plan Offers $100 for Information and Arrest of Vandals~~Vandals were busy during the past week ruining nearly all of the outdoor Christmas decorations in the Fowlerville area as well as throughout Livingston County.

This practice of destroying other persons’ property is very hard to understand, especially in this season when it is the time for the adoration of the birth of the Lord.

Hundreds and perhaps even thousands of dollars of damage has been done throughout the county, consisting of stealing the decoration as well as just outright vandalism in smashing decorations and lights and other fixtures.

The Fowlerville Review, in cooperation with citizens of the area, has decided that the apathy surrounding not only this but many other acts of vandalism that take place can no longer be tolerated.

Starting immediately, a secret witness plan similar to the one recently adopted by the Detroit News will go into effect.

Somewhere there must be a witness to all or at least some of this vandalism. Here is an opportunity for this person or persons to come forth and do his or her civic duty and provide the necessary information that will lead to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons committing these acts.

The person providing information leading to the arrest of these scoundrels will never be revealed to anyone what-so-ever. A $100 reward has been posted and will be turned over in cash if the information given is correct.

To qualify for this reward, the person may give his or her information to the Review by calling 223-9611 and asking for Dick. The person calling need not reveal his or her name.

Arrangements as to the details will be made at that time.

Dick Rudnicki was the publisher and editor of The Fowlerville Review.

Squint Shot 113010

Well, so long to an awesome month of "squint shots" from the air of the village of Fowlerville. We are heading west and this picture is taking looks somewhat east. There are experiences in life that you imagine will be pretty cool, but until I started looking through these pictures, I realized I did something that few have had the privilege -- that is what makes the internet so awesome. I am able to share all of these pictures. I hope you have enjoyed these aerials as much as I did -- not we are on to December. See you next month.

Monday, November 29, 2010

1923 Mausoleum Donated to Village

The mausoleum, located at Greenwood Cemetery, facing Cemetery Road, was built in 1915. The following article, published in The Fowlerville Review, explained when this building was donated to the village:

Village Gets Mausoleum~~The Fowlerville Mausoleum Association has deeded their property in Greenwood Cemetery to the village of Fowlerville. In addition to the grounds and building, all personal property and equipment connected with it were given to the village. The Association also turned over to the village cash and crypts in the amount of $1,000, the income from which is to be used in perpetual care and maintenance of the mausoleum.

The village acquires without expenditure a valuable property. The building was inspected for defects last fall by experts and pronounced in perfect condition. The interior walls were refinished at that time and all doors and windows were repainted both inside and out. It is insured against windstorm for five years in advance.

Much credit is due Fred Kuhn for consummating this deal. Mr. Kuhn has been chairman of the Board of Trustees since the mausoleum was built in 1915-16. Assisted by Geo. A. Newman, he raised from the crypt owners the necessary funds to provide for the perpetual care and the purchase from A.C. Grover of the receiving room for $250. This purchase was necessary as the council insisted that they obtain full control subject only to the rights of the crypt owners.

A number of the owners failed to contribute anything; however, they will receive full benefit of the change. Many were unable to pay their contributions at the time the transfer was made but the deficiency was made up by Mr. Kuhn who also advanced the money to purchase the receiving room and four crypts that were turned over to the village.

This excellent arrangement assures the owners that the building will be cared for and maintained forever without further expense on their part as the provisions of the deed brings it under the law governing the perpetual care of cemetery lots.

The village now has full control of property which is sorely needed when the weather makes it impossible to make internments in the cemetery.

The Cemetery Board has a limited number of the crypts for sale.

Squint Shot 112910

Today and tomorrow ends this round of November aerial pictures. I hope you have enjoyed seeing Fowlerville from the sky. I've been trying to decide if I like seeing Fowlerville in my close-up "squinty-eyed" view when I take pictures of bricks, door treatments, intriguing inner-workings, and all the other myriad of things that catch my eye -- or to see it from a distance. Maybe it is a wash. It is good to see our hometown both up close and personal and from a few steps (or many feet) back.
Tomorrow's shot will be of the west side of the village where I snapped one more picture before we flew farther west to see what our home looks like from the air.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

1875 Badger Issues

In a short article found in The Fowlerville Review in 1875, it would appear badgers were a bit of a problem to be taken care of. This was the first reference I came across to "Winer's museum" and I'm not sure what that was all about -- but if I come across more, I will post it.

Squint Shot 112810

As this month comes to a close, it is only fitting that it feels like we are flying off into the sunset. In this second sweep around the village, I yearned to have him swoop down to about 500 feet so I could get even more detail, but, alas, Scott, my willing pilot, had to climb to a higher altitude in order to keep us safely on our route. The item that stood out the most for me in this particular picture is of the old hotel on South Grand Avenue. It used to be a wooden structure, burning to the ground in 1901. This brick structure was completed sometime in 1902 and has stood ever since. It has gone through a few name changes and numerous remodelings, but it still remains over a hundred years later.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

1930 Custody Kidnapping

The "Sidell" name was well-known in the 1920s and forward, mostly because of their hardware and implement store in what used to be called the Palmerton block. In later years, a plaque would be installed on the building, renaming it the Sidell block. In addition to the family having a storefront in Fowlerville, there was also Deputy Sam Sidell. The following article, published in The Fowlerville Review, gave a recount of one of his arrests:

Detroit Kidnapper Arrested Here by Deputy Sam Sidell~~Was Shell-Shocked Canadian Veteran, Stole Boys From Their Mother~~Joseph Coughlin, aged 37, was arrested in Fowlerville Saturday evening by Deputy Sheriff Sam Sidell, who recognized him and two small boys with him from descriptions broadcast over the radio. He was taken to Howell where officers came from Detroit, accompanied by Coughlin’s estranged wife and mother of the children, and took him to that city and turned him over to immigration officers Monday for deportation to Canada.

Coughlin was a Canadian veteran in the world war and suffered from shell shock. Because of his mental condition, he had been confined for two years at Westminster hospital, London, Ontario. He is a Canadian by birth but his wife, from whom he has been separated for some time, is an American.

Mrs. Coughlin lives at 110 Eliot street, Detroit, in a basement apartment. Saturday afternoon, she left their two children, Jackie, 6 years old and Jimmie, 4, on the back porch while she went to get them some ice cream. When she returned, the boys were gone.

She reported to the police at once and stated that her estranged husband had threatened several times to drown the boys. It developed that he had been watching the apartment and when the mother left the boys alone for a few minutes, he kidnapped them. Detroit police immediately dispatched all available scout cars to guard streets leading to the water fronts and broadcast the kidnapping over the radio.

Earlier in the day, Coughlin had appeared at the apartment at 110 Eliot street, had beaten Mrs. Coughlin, taken $24 from her and again threatened to drown the boys.

Deputy Sidell saw the man with the two small boys just as he was leaving Fowlerville Saturday evening and recognized him from the description broadcast. He questioned the man and his answers were not coherent. He acted irrational and his bearing confirmed the deputy’s suspicion that the man was Coughlin so he took him to Howell to await action by the Detroit officers.

Coughlin has a sister, Mrs. George Dormire, living one mile west and one and one-half miles south of this village, but he had not been near her place yet when picked up by Officer Sidell.

Squint Shot 112710

This picture is very similar to yesterday's squint shot, except for the fact we had just crossed over South Grand Avenue. This is the photograph (although slightly cropped) on the back of my book, The Fowlerville Chronicles. If you check out the book's back cover, you will see more residential areas.When I had hoped and dreamed about this adventure, my one thought was to get a picture at this very angle in order to replicate a 1956 aerial I had found in the Fowlerville Historical Collection. I included that photograph in my book, which you can find on page 290. It is interesting to compare Fowlerville in 1956 to today's village. You can see many of the buildings of which I spoke about that no longer exist along South Grand Avenue.

Friday, November 26, 2010

1971 Billboard Destruction

In 1971, The Fowlerville Review was still being published locally but within a couple of years, the paper would be taken over by the Livingston Press and Argus and a section in that paper would be called The Review. At this point, the paper was published and edited by Richard Rudnicki. The following article highlighted the Fowlerville police department and related their quick action.

Two “Hick Town” cops showed six “Big City” slickers that small town police are up with the times~~As a result of a quick and thorough investigation, six teenagers, all members of prominent Ann Arbor families, were arrested early Saturday morning and arraigned in Livingston County District Court on the charge of malicious damage of property. The charge involved the cutting down of advertising billboards on I-96 between Howell and Fowlerville.

Sgt. James Martin and Patrolman Ken Wright were making routine rounds of the area Saturday morning, when they noticed a car parked behind the Nickerson Farms Restaurant at I-96 and North Fowlerville Road.

Checking the vehicle, they found keys in the ignition and the trunk open. Inside the car, the men found three wallets on the seat and two on the floor. After checking identification in the wallets, they radioed the sheriff department to see if the car was stolen, then locked the vehicle and continued with their rounds.

While patrolling the business district, Sgt. Martin and Patrolman Wright noticed four boys standing in front of Bob Smith Ford. They stopped to talk with the subjects and determined they were connected with the unattended car. After further questioning at the police station, the four told police they had just cut down three advertising signs along I-96 at Layton Road.

The boys were taken to the car, where a broken crosscut saw and a hatchet were found in the trunk. One of the suspects took Patrolman Wright to a spot in the woods where two saws and an axe were hidden.

Also found were duplicate maps of Washtenaw, Monroe, and Jackson county roads and schedules for rendezvous in the Ann Arbor area. The schedules included watching for police in a “rest area,” removing the phone, taking out lights, radioing “choppers” and what to do if the discovery of the phone disorder should lead to discovery.

The four boys were placed under arrest and taken to the county hail – within an hour the fifth boy was arrested. Howell Police apprehended the sixth subject, after the boy reached Howell, and called his father to come pick him up. The father was unable to find the location where his son was waiting, and stopped a Howell policeman to ask directions. He was sent to the sheriff department to ask for information, and while the father was talking to the deputy, a Howell patrol car was dispatched to pick up the boy and bring him in for questioning.

The six were arraigned Saturday morning in front of District Judge Hensick with bond set at $100 each. A hearing was held Monday morning at which time each boy entered a plea of innocent. Bond was continued and the boys released. A trial date has not been set.

The six teenagers, represented by Ann Arbor Attorney Peter Davis, were Stanley Pollack, George Scott, Russell Balch, Brandon Parker, and George Gibson, all 17; and 18-year old David Field.

Max Lorencen, the President of Central Advertising in Lansing, and spokesman for the Outdoor Advertising Association of Michigan, congratulated the Fowlerville Police on the arrest. “I think they are excellent and need a tip of the hat,” he said. Lorencen spoke on the legality of the signs, stating that the state had come through last year and cut down the signs that were supposedly illegal. He noted that according to Act 333 of 1965, a control zone of 660 feet from the highway had been established, and that some of the newly-cut signs were on private property.

Squint Shot 112610

This is another great shot of the downtown area from about 1200 feet in the air. Starting at the upper left hand corner, a bit of the wing brace is visible but then the empty lot front on West Grand River is shown along with the buildings in the northwest quadrant.

The northeast corner shows all of those buildings, the public parking lot, the fire department and library buildings, and something that no longer exists. Does anyone have any ideas? (Hint: It has been torn down recently and I will be showing squint shots at a later date of that whole process.)

Onto the southeast quadrant, you can see the roofs of the buildings fronting on Grand River Avenue as well as all of the other buildings around the block. In the block south of this one, you can see the village offices.

Across South Grand Avenue, Curtis Grocery building and parking lots are visible in the same block with the old Ford garage. Can you imagine what that block may have looked like with a 2 1/2- story hotel building right at the southwest corner, and then one-and-two-story brick buildings lined along South Grand Avenue, all the way to the Baptist Church parking lot? All of those buildings slowly disappeared from about 1935 until the last one came down in the late 1970s.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

1933 Blackmer Store Break-In

In the early 1900s, the downtown area was a busy metropolis, with every storefront filled. From reading numerous articles, it was “the place to be” when it came to socializing and shopping. It was also a place where break-ins seemed to be a common occurrence, keeping the nightwatch men busy and always on the look-out for any suspicious behavior.

This especially held true in the 1930s, during the time the nation was in a depression. The following article, published in The Fowlerville Review was one of many reports I came across while researching The Fowlerville Chronicles:

Burglars Break Into Blackmer’s Store~~Effect an Entrance Through the Front Door; Take about 24 Suits~~Sometime during Tuesday night, burglars broke into the S.T. Blackmer clothing store and carried off 24 suits of clothing. The cash register was not molested, nor were any other goods taken, according to the still incomplete check-up. The suits taken were all new goods lately received in stock and were all in one locker near the door.

The robbers made their entrance through the front door, which was iron-bound and had what was supposed to be an almost burglar-proof lock and bolt. They chiseled out the wood and then pried off the outer part of the lock and in some manner, were able to turn the bolt holding the door.

It appears that whoever did the robbery had made a survey of the store and knew just how to open the door and where the goods taken were located.

State Police were called this morning when the robbery was discovered and fingerprints were taken. The robbery was broadcast to all state police to be on the lookout.

Suspicion is directed to two strangers who were seen about town Tuesday afternoon. One of these men was in the store and looked at several suits of clothing on the pretense of buying.
Deo Blackmer waited on them but made no purchase. The men were seen separately in other business places and a fairly good description of them is known. An effort is being made to determine the kind of car they were driving.
The above picture shows Deo M. (Minto) Blackmer at a young age ca. 1929. His middle name of Minto was his mother's maiden name.

Squint Shot 112510

Ignoring the slight reflection off the glass (I didn't want to hang my camera out an open window as was suggested to me) and one of the braces for the wing, this is an excellent picture. It shows almost everything -- from the two churches on South Second Street (at the bottom of the photograph) to the now open Curtis Grocery store, west to the Waldecker Used Car lot, and the entire main four corners buildings. One note in particular, the "Lockwood Hotel," as it was called in the early 1900s is across South Grand Avenue from Curtis'. At present, all of the storefronts on the first floor are filled -- from Jazzercise, to a treasures store, Sozo's Coffee House, Bella Donna Hair Salon, and a photography shop. It is worth stopping and checking out.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

1875 Grand Avenue

Shown on maps before 1875, the main road going north from Grand River Avenue was known as Mill Street and the road heading south from the main intersection was called South Street. But, as shown in the short little blurb published in The Fowlerville Review, late in 1875, the north/south road would now be known as Grand Avenue. Various views of 1875 and 1895 maps can be found in my book, The Fowlerville Chronicles, where the street names are shown.

And, as a side note, yesterday's squint shot makes mention of today's Mill Street, where the Fowlerville Library now resides.

Squint Shot 112410

With the humid, breezy air, the second circle around the village did take us farther east than originally planned but this picture gives a great overall view of the main four corners and how West Grand River heads out of town.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

1875 Oddball News

So many times as I would be reading articles published in The Fowlerville Review, written by G.L. Adams, I would just have to giggle. These three short little blurbs make for a perfect example of why I've enjoyed his writing so much. My greatest hope will be that I can compile and publish numerous articles to be included in a biography of Mr. Adams, and have it printed in time for our 175th celebration. In the meantime, a great deal of his writings can also be found in The Fowlerville Chronicles.

Also, as a side note, can we presuppose that Mr. John Potts was how Potts Road was named? It is west of town, after all!

Squint Shot 112310

Two buildings that were hidden in yesterday's photograph can be found at the right hand side of today's. The Fowlerville Library and the Fowlerville Fire Department buildings can be seen on Mill Street -- did you know the grist mill (that stood three, maybe four, stories tall) occupied these two lots until into the late 1950s? It was eventually used by the fire department as an intentional burn, and then the buildings you see today were built in its place. At the center of the picture, the large empty lots can be seen. At one time, it was hoped to build more storefronts and office space, fronting on West Grand River, but those plans have been put on hold. These lots, though, carry the hidden ghosts of a rich history -- from being Fowler's Orchard in the mid-to-late 1800s, to the location of a roller skating rink (the place to be in the 1890s), to a lumberyard owned by numerous entrepeneurs, as well as the location for the old water tower and a used car lot.

As regards to Fowler's Orchard, I came across the following article, published in The Fowlerville Review in 1883:

Although the night was rather cold for ice cream, about 300 people gathered at R. Fowler's orchard on Wednesday evening in attendance at the lawn social. Several tents had been erected and the trees were liberally hung with Chinese lanterns, giving a very pleasing effect to the scene. The proceeds amounted to about $32.00.

And now for a commercial . . . if you are interested in reading more about the evolution of this land, be sure to pick up a copy of The Fowlerville Chronicles, either through this website or by giving me a call.

Monday, November 22, 2010

1946 Sex Education Film

The Orr Theatre, formerly located where the west half of Doug Burnie's Tru-Value Hardware store now resides, was the place for boys and girls to attend a movie informing proper hygiene and getting a bit of some sex education. I'm fairly certain, by today's standards, this movie was pretty tame. Following is the article that was published in The Fowlerville Review:
Picture Puts An End to Ignorance~~The special attraction, “Mom and Dad,” which is coming to the Orr Theatre for a limited engagement starting next Tuesday, puts an end to ignorance. It deals with all the delicate subjects of hygiene and the facts of life in a cold, honest, frank, outspoken way.

This film tells its story – a story that thousands of high school girls “lived” last year – and then it goes on to prove where, in most cases, the evil lies – who is to blame. But it doesn’t stop there – it keeps right on going – proves its point and suggests the solution.
“Mom and Dad” is more than a motion picture – in fact it’s three motion pictures in one – plus a hygiene commentator, Mr. Elliot Forbes, in person. It is a vital and tremendously important event in every community throughout the nation today.

Conditions which existed before the War, but which have increased manifold because of it – yes, shameful conditions – are its subject matter. “Mom and Dad” is powerful screen-fare, too powerful in fact for the sick, ailing or weak-hearted as nurses are carried by the attraction to aid any who faint.

Sparkling, new and full of modern 1945 zest and catchy language, “Mom and Dad” is first of all entertainment, secondly an impressive warning, and finally proof that immoral living doesn’t pay. It has its highly educational moments, in fact many doctors, nurses, health officials and educators throughout the country have driven miles to witness it because of their interest in just a single sequence.

Because of the nature of the story, grade school-age children are not admitted. It’s ideal educational entertainment for high school-age and older, however. In view of the fact that its medical sequences speak out the truth so frankly and boldly, so that all may see, hear and understand the facts of life, it is shown only to segregated audiences. There will be shows for women and girls only at 2 and 7 pm each day and for men and boys only at 9 pm each night.

Squint Shot 112210

Once past the school campus, Scott directed the plane closer to the downtown area than our first go-round. At this point, we were northeast of the main four corners. At the lower portion of the picture, the Senior Center is visible -- as the years have gone along, three different buildings have stood at or very close to this site -- the white, wooden school house, then the red brick school house, and eventually the North Collins Street school that some may still remember. A great deal of information can be found in The Fowlerville Chronicles regarding all three schools, including some interesting photographs when the last schoolhouse was demolished. But, I digress . . . back to the picture!

At the right hand side of the picture, the backs of the buildings in the northeast quadrant can be seen. This picture also gives a good reference point to how tall the township building is in relation to the Harmon building. At the far right of the picture, the Centennial Park gazebo can be seen.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

1933 Heavy Rain

In 1909, a “cyclone” (as it was referred to) swept through the Fowlerville area, causing considerable damage at the railroad tracks and to over 250 buildings. In my book, The Fowlerville Chronicles, the chapter on this storm is quite extensive, with weather maps provided for the day before, the day of, and the day after, as well nearly every picture I could find of the destruction and articles that were published in the local newspaper.

In my research for the book, I came across the following article that was published in The Fowlerville Review in 1933, after a particularly severe storm, although I never did come across any photographic evidence.

Heavy Rain Visits Fowlerville Sunday~~Severe Wind Causes Damage to Some Buildings and to Shade Trees~~A million dollar rain fell on Livingston county Sunday afternoon and night and Fowlerville and vicinity got their share. The ground was getting very dry from a long-continued drought and beans, potatoes, and corn were suffering for moisture.

Two heavy showers visited different sections in the afternoon and the one here at 5 o’clock was almost a cloud-burst, a great quantity of water falling in a short time. There was a strong wind accompanying the rain and great damage was done to shade trees and to a few buildings, and to power and telephone wires, mostly from falling limbs. It was the most severe windstorm seen in Fowlerville in several years.

S.T. Blackmer’s garage was badly damaged and two silos on Harry Calkin’s farm just south of town were caved in. Reports from other localities in the county tell of damage done to smaller buildings, but there was no severe loss in damaged buildings.

Many large tree limbs were broken off in this village. One fell and lodged against the Wm. J.B. Hicks dental office and residence and another fell across the roof of the Lasher house at the corner of Grand River and Ann streets, but no damage was done to the buildings. A broken live power wire on Grand Avenue in the north part of town caused that road to be blocked until repairs were made.

Another good shower came just before dark and a slow, steady rain fell for about an hour later in the night. Altogether, enough moisture fell to moisten the ground to a depth sufficient for immediate needs.

The rain came too late to help the barley, rye, and oat crops, but all other growing crops and pastures were aided immeasurably.

Squint Shot 112110

Earlier in the month, two squint shots showed both the high school and middle school from the air. As we made our second sweep around the village, I took this picture of more of the campus area.The only school missing in any of these shots is Kreeger Elementary. At the lower left corner, H.T. Smith Elementary can be seen. To its right, in the picture, is the former Munn Middle School, which is now being used by the parks and recreation program, as well as housing the Glad Center. At the right side of the shot, the school's track and part of the football bleachers can be seen.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

1948 Dawn Patrol Takes Off

At the recent Dawn Patrol, held at Maple Grove Airport, the question came up of when the first event took place. I thought I had posted it in The Fowlerville Chronicles, but could not put my finger readily on the information. As I was cataloguing all of the additional information I have, I came across the following article, published in 1948:

Dawn Patrol to Visit Fowlerville~~Arrangements are being made to welcome the Dawn Patrol at Newton Field, southwest of town, Sunday, October 3.

Invitations have been sent to fliers all over the country, and it is expected that a large number will participate in the event.

A breakfast will be served at the hanger from 8 to 11 am for fliers and spectators, under the sponsorship of the Fowlerville Commercial Club.

Various prizes will be awarded fliers, including prizes for the oldest, youngest, heaviest, and the pilot coming the longest distance.

Everyone in this vicinity is invited to come out for this event early. There will be many planes of various descriptions and visitors will be welcome.

The Commercial Club and the Fowlerville Rotary Club (chartered in 1947) worked together on various community functions. Eventually the Commercial Club ceased to exist and Rotary has taken on more responsibilities to helping out the community. This last September, at the annual Dawn Patrol, over 1200 breakfasts were served on Sunday the 12th. It was a beautiful, sunny day giving everyone an opportunity to see numerous small airplanes, the fire department's equipment, heliocopters in action, and to possibly win door prizes.

As has been the tradition for many years, the next Dawn Patrol will be held the Sunday after Labor Day, September 2011.

Squint Shot 112010

Beginning our second time circling the village in Scott Niblack's airplane, which you can see a picture of by heading back to the squint shot for November 1st, North Grand Avenue can be seen below at a slight diagonal from left to right. In the lower half of the picture, seen on the west side of North Grand, the new location for the Family Impact Center can be seen directly across from the high school parking lot. As I was doing research for The Fowlerville Chronicles, I learned a few interesting facts about that building. Did you know that building used to be the location for the Ford dealership? And do you know why? You can find the answers in the book, but if anyone would like to guess by commenting, I will confirm right or wrong.

Friday, November 19, 2010

1880 Stave Factory Accident

Throughout many of the issues of the local newspaper, activities at the Starkey stave and shook factory were reported. Many times, it would seem small fires were the highlight of the week at the factory -- most of which were extinguished before doing much damage. Rarely, though, in my research did I come across items about the men working in this factory such as the following article:

Edward Willet had a portion of two fingers amputated on Tuesday last by the stave jointer in W.W. Starkey's shook factory. Willet stood looking at the revolving wheel, when it suddenly occurred to him to feel if the knives were in place, when he satisfied his curiosity with the above result. Dr. Brown dressed the wound and thinks the fingers may be saved.

Makes one wonder what the conditions were like.

You can read more about shooks and staves in my book, The Fowlerville Chronicles, and some of the trials, tribulations, and successes of this particular factory. There was another shook factory, owned by F.E. Chapman, but in just a few short years, he relocated his business to the Grand Ledge area.

Squint Shot 111910

As with a few other photographs, the bottom of the wing can be seen at the top of the picture. This is a second shot of the Community Park as we flew along the north edge of it. The sledding hill, which can be seen at the right hand side of the shot, appears as nothing more than a bump, when at ground level it seems quite tall. How deceiving elevations can become from the air! The remaining portion of the "Rotary Mile," which was not visible in yesterday's show, can be seen as it winds along the tree-line at the north edge of the park.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

1930 Fuel Robbery

Many articles published in The Fowlerville Review during the Depression Era years showed a desperation by many, but not this one -- it would appear it was all about mischief.

Boys Caught Stealing Gas from Parked Car~~Last Friday evening, as a number of cars were parked on the school grounds while the alumni reception was taking place, Mr. Locey of Howell caught three young men about 15 to 17 years old, draining gas out of E.D. Benjamin’s car. Later, the same boys were stopped on Grand River street by the traffic officer for running their car with but one light.

The youths put up a hard luck story about being out of gas and wanting to get home and they were allowed to go. Later it developed that they belonged to a gang of young fellows from Owosso who have been in the habit of pulling off such deeds, and Deputy Sheriff Sam Sidell is investigating with the objective of finding out just who they were and if it is ascertained that they are the boys suspected, warrants may be issued for them.

Squint Shot 111810

The following photograph, taken the day Scott Niblack and I flew around the village (twice), is of the Community Park on the north end of town, just south of the new Family Impact Center location and not far from the high school. One of the older lagoons at the wastewater treatment complex can be seen at the bottom right hand corner. This picture gives nearly a complete look at the "Rotary Mile," except for the northern portion that skirts the park's boundaries. If you have never taken a walk there, try to get to the park before the snow flies. My husband and I, along with our dog, KC, have enjoyed many walks there and always enjoy the sounds of nature, watching KC delight in all the smells, and for us to have a mile-long conversation.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

1880 Random News

Every now and again, as I'm going through all of my research material, I will come across a series of short "Local News" items written by G.L. Adams, publisher and editor of The Fowlerville Review from 1874 until 1929. Here's a group of newsy items from sickness to a thank you to announcements and so forth. Enjoy . . . . . . I know I found these interesting -- especially the note about a lady looking for a husband.

Squint Shot 111710

It was a hot, humid day when we flew around the village twice. The air was very heavy and very little breeze, but all the same, it was a bit bumpy. This aerial is taken from a higher altitude -- probably about the time, Scott adjusted our heighth in order to have a smoother ride. From this view, it is easily noticeable how the downtown proper, which has so much asphalt, is surrounded by trees. At the bottom left corner, a small portion of the "Rotary Mile" walkway can be seen, which is located at the Community Park. In the upper right hand corner, I-96 is visible.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

1934 Rat v Sidell

The Sidells had the hardware store at the northwest corner, where Harmon Real Estate is now located, for many years, beginning in 1924. Ultimately, I came across a great deal of information in the local newspaper as I was researching the book. The following article is just one of many I will end up posting:

Hardware Merchant Will Now Shoot Rats~~Buster Sidell is limping around these days as the result of an entanglement with a huge rat Monday morning. It seems that the invader walked into the store with all the pomp and dignity that a rat can muster, and made himself at home. After a tour of inspection, the rat came right up to where Mr. Sidell was at work on his books, and attempted to occupy the same seat. Buster objected at this impolite intrusion and shooed him away. After scampering out of reach, the rat sat up and seemed to tell Buster a thing or two, and that settled it. Buster jumped out of his chair and made a leap for this sarcastic imp, with the intention of ending things right then and there. But, alas, Buster’s foot slipped against a display rack, a twisted ankle, a broken toe, and a general shake-up resulted. The rat gave Buster a most unsympathetic laugh and calmly walked away.

Squint Shot 111610

As we flew over the western edge of the village and the plane was turned eastward, I took this picture. I never had realized how the stream forked just north of Grand River Avenue -- one fork heading along the northern edge of the houses and the other alongside the fairgrounds -- well I suppose the flow is really that these two forks come together and head south. Anyhow, as we were completing this circle of the town, Scott began tightening the route so we would fly closer to the downtown. Be sure to check back each day through the end of the month for the next half of our fly-over.

Monday, November 15, 2010

1880 Body Snatching

The following article, republished in The Fowlerville Review from the Livingston Democrat, was not about something that happened in Fowlerville, but it was so strange, I couldn't resist posting it here:

Body Snatching In Marion~~Howell is in a state of intense excitement over a revealed case of body-snatching that has recently occurred within a short distance of this village. The victim is the wife of Morris Gates, who died on the 5th, and was interred in what is known as the Green burying ground, located in the township of Marion, nine miles from this place, on the 6th; and a few days later her body was found awaiting the dissecting knife at Ann Arbor.

This startling revelation was brought to light from the fact that a party of young people attending a singing school, held in the schoolhouse nearby, on the evening of the 8th, were returning from escorting a young lady home, when they passed the cemetery at about the hour of eleven o'clock, and one of the young ladies of the party noticed a vehicle with two horses attached to it, and a single buggy standing at the burying ground fence. In passing the burying ground the first time, which they had to do, these vehicles were not noticed, and it was supposed that the robbers were lying in wait for the dismissal of the singing school. These convenyances did not attract the attention of any other of the party, and even this young lady did not seem to take much notice that there was anything strange in the matter, and did not inform anyone of what she had seen until the next morning, when she told her father, who, thinking the appearance of vehicles at a cemetery at that hour of the night a curious occurrence, began an investigation, which resulted in the revealing of the horrible fact the grave had been robbed of its dead. Mr. Gates, becoming assured that the body of his wife had been stolen, which fact, however, did not come positively to his knowledge until last Saturday, on Sunday morning he departed for Ann Arbor, and with some assistance, found her body lying in the dead house with two others, in a nude condition and embalmed, but as yet untouched by the dissecting knife. The body was wrapped in cloths and encoffined, and brought back to this place, and has been placed where it can be closely watched. These are the facts in the case, as nearly as can be elicited from those interested in the affair.

Dr. C.G. Cruickshank, of this village, was arrested yesterday, charged with the crime, and gave bail in the sum of $600 for his appearance before Justice Bush for examination on the 24th -- Livingston Democrat

Squint Shot 111510

We ascended slightly higher just as I took this photograph. The wing is at the top of the picture and West Grand River Avenue runs straight through the middle. The car wash and Hungry Howie's are at the bottom of the shot.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

1969 Stormy Year in Question

I found this article, which was published in 1969 when Richard Rudnicki was the editor and publisher of The Fowlerville Review (a few years later the newspaper would be printed under the auspices of the Press and Argus), recapping the year 1969 in Fowlerville -- some good things and some bad things happened. If you were around in that year, maybe these will bring back some memories . . .

Stormy 69?~~The 1960s have been designated “stormy,” the time when people did not smile. A decade of riots, protests, marches, assassinations, and high crime rate. The storm continued right to the end of 1969, with trouble and unrest rampaging throughout the nation.

But what of a stormy 1969 in Fowlerville? Were smiles, or frowns predominant on faces of area residents? A recap of the past year reveals that good far surpassed the bad.

The year started out quietly with plans for the coming months being formulated by area organizations and groups. Farmer’s Night was held January 9th, with Sylvan H. Wittwer speaking to area farmers and local businessmen. January also saw the choosing of Fowlerville as the site of the Wolverine Futurity. Trouble? – a barn burned.

February opened with the establishing of a Coffee Hour to welcome newcomers to the area. Three area teenagers, Bonnie Miller, Brenda Russell and Karlin Tait were honored as “Outstanding Teenagers of America.” A lunch policy was established for needy children, and the Fowlerville Blood Bank collected 121 pints. Trouble? – none.

In March, Fowlerville voters put the parking meters back on the streets, five Future Farmers from Fowlerville received State Farmer degrees, and the Feast of St. Joseph, held annually by the Spagnuolo family, was well attended. Trouble? – fires topped the news, with 500 acres burning in Unadilla, the total destruction of an office and storage shed at Lott’s Elevator, and the loss of a barn owned by Glendon Hoisington. Unrest? – the bomb scares began.

The 50th anniversary of the American Legion brought April to a start, with 50 year pins presented by the Fowlerville American Legion to Arthur Kuttler, Wm. J.B. Hicks, Orin Don Risdon and Thomas G. Woods. Larry C. Coffey, a 24-year old Fowlerville soldier was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for Heroism. Trouble? – a kidnapping and a barn fire.

The agriculture program at Fowlerville High, facing extinction by a school board proposal, was reinstated when students began an intensive campaign to show school authorities just how much the program meant to them. Mayor Long of Potterville visited Fowlerville during the May Mayor Exchange Day and awards were given out at the annual Rotary Sports Banquet. Trouble? – none.

Fowlerville Elementary children benefited from the Fowlerville PTA Fair in June, when the successful event resulted in the purchasing of playground equipment for the Hibbard and Parkers Corners schools. Gordon Carbary and Wesley Dorin were elected to the school board, and 174 honors were presented at the annual Awards Assembly held at the high school. Charles Liverance, a 21-year old Fowlerville soldier received the bronze star for meritorious service while serving in Vietnam. Trouble? – the millage was defeated.

A new fire truck was delivered to the Fowlerville Volunteer Fire Department in July, the Fowlerville Fair opened its gates for the 83rd time and Raymond Slanker was named to head the Fowlerville Board of Education. Trouble? – the millage was defeated for the second time, a Holstein heifer was viciously shot by two area residents, and the body of an unidentified man was found on Sargent Road.

Robert Losie, former principal of Bloomingdale High School, was accepted as Fowlerville High principal in August, Sidewalk Sale days, and the Dawn Patrol were two well attended functions of the Commercial Club and Fowlerville High students painted the concession stand at the athletic field. Trouble? – a barn burned, vandals destroyed a bench and two jars at the office of Drs. Hauer and Higby, and arson was suspected when the old Grange Hall burned.

The biggest happening in September was the passing of the school millage. Area residents viewed the new cars and the Cohoctah Rupp Riders set a world’s record for mini-bike riding. Trouble? – a barn burned.

A fresh supply of water was given to Fowlerville in October, when a new well was officially put into operation. The District Magistrate’s office was closed down, windows were painted for Halloween, and area youngsters enjoyed the annual Commercial Club Halloween party. Trouble? – two children died because of a faulty furnace.

The second annual servicemen’s edition was published by the Review in November, a Day of Prayer was held for area servicemen, groundbreaking ceremonies were held at the Conway Free Methodist Church, and the go-ahead was given to a 32-acre lumber complex. Trouble? – mail boxes were vandalized, arson suspected in scales fire, bomb scares.

Rounding out the year, December came in with the establishing of the Helping Hands program, students jailed for bomb scares, homes offered to exchange students, and the annual Commercial Club Christmas party. Trouble? – vandals destroyed a real estate sign, bomb scares, peace marches.

Thus the year 1969 rolls slowly to an end. There was more good in Fowlerville than there was bad. People showed that they cares for one another, they smiled.

Squint Shot 111410

West Grand River runs diagonally from the left bottom toward the upper right side of the picture. Centennial Park is at the upper left hand corner. At this point in our fly-over of the village, we had just about completed our first circle. I was getting very excited to get even closer, hoping my trusty zoom camera wouldn't wear out its batteries too soon!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

1949 Robbery

As I continue sifting through all my research material left over from compiling and editing The Fowlerville Chronicles, I will occasionally add an interesting article or two of some of the events in Fowlerville – sometimes good and sometimes not so good. The following article, published in The Fowlerville Review in 1949, brought to light a robbery attempt of both the Tomion’s Dairy Store (currently a storefront for hunting supplies) and the post office (which was then located where Shear Image is found today).

Burglars Entered Two Places Here~~A total of about $102.70 was obtained by burglars in Fowlerville last Wednesday night, in a break-in at Tomion’s Dairy and the Post Office.

At about 12:30 am, Laverne Dibble, who has been substituting as night watch since Alva Christian was injured in a traffic accident, checked the rear doors along the south side of East Grand River and found that a window had been taken out at the Post Office and that a rear door at the Dairy was open.

Upon investigation, it was found that burglars had entered the Tomion Dairy through a skylight and knocked the combination off the safe. However, in doing so, they broke a tear gas bomb which drove them out. They obtained about eight dollars from the milk route bags and a petty cash box before they made their exit.

They then attempted to enter the Post Office building through the roof. They chopped a hole in the roof, tore down some metal ceiling, and then evidently decided against entry in that manner, and returned to the alley and took out a window. After forcing their way through two barred doors, they tore the safe open, took $94.70 and a vault which contained more money. The inner vault was found intact in a rear room of the Post Office building; it appearing that the burglars were frightened away before they had a chance to break it open.

It is presumed that the burglars were driven out of Tomion’s Dairy by the sting of tear gas, and probably would have returned later if the break-in had not been discovered.

State Police and the postal officials are working on the case, checking fingerprints found on both safes.

Squint Shot 111310

By the time I took this picture, the airplane was now pointing northward. At the very bottom of the photograph, a portion of American Compounding can be see, with Veterans' Drive running to the left of it. Even though the downtown is looking rather small from this vantage point, it does provide a good view of this part of the village where the VFW Hall, CarQuest, CRI, Waldecker Used Cars, and other businesses are located.
Of interest or curiosity to me is what is that circle at the bottom left corner? Possibly someone playing on a quad behind these businesses?

Friday, November 12, 2010

1933 Mystery in Conway Township

News of the surrounding area around Fowlerville was always of interest to check out while I gathered materials for The Fowlerville Chronicles. The following article spoke of a mystery that probably has never been solved.

Skeleton Found in Conway Last Monday~~”A Bone, a Rag and a Hank of Hair” all that Remains for Identification~~Monday afternoon, while Hugh Dryer, Arthur Chase, and another man, were working on a road just east of the Dillingham school house in Conway, they came across the skeleton of a man lying in the ditch and partly covered with dirt and muck.

The road leads across a swamp and was graded last fall in preparation for graveling which is being done this fall. The skeleton evidently was there then, as it is estimated that it has lain there for several years. Why it was not discovered last fall by workmen is a question, but it was probably covered then and rains have exposed it since. The road is one that was seldom used as it has not been in good condition.

Only the bones, shoes, belt, and a few pieces of the clothing remain; hardly enough to make identification. The shoes were No. 6 and the skeleton that of a small man. The skull appeared to have been fractured, whether in an accident or murder, and the body afterward hidden there, and will probably remain a secret.

None of the residents in the neighborhood recall any missing person from the community in the past several years. Coroner Claude Rounsville was called and viewed the gruesome remains. Officers are investigating but there is little to go on with nothing left of the clothing with identification marks, and no tangible evidence as to how long the body had been there.

Squint Shot 111210

Today's aerial is at the southwestern part of the village, looking northeasterly. Beginning in the upper left hand corner, Centennial Park can be seen (note the teal-patena roof of the gazebo), then the upper center portion is the downtown proper, on the right hand side, down about halfway, the village offices can be seen, then Frank Street is at the bottom of the picture, with the Planet Video building toward the left side.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

1879 Oyster Dinner

In the early years of Fowlerville, oyster dinners (church gatherings and "donation" meals), as well as oysters served in various restaurants for lunch and dinner, were of great popularity. The following article was published in The Fowlerville Review in 1879, announcing a benefit dinner to be held in the basement of the Palmerton block:

A couple weeks later:

In 1891, the Palmerton block burned and the building was rebuilt. Was the basement saved? Is the basement that can now be found in present day, the place where such things as tailoring, a news depot, and oyster dinners were conducted? I have had a chance to wander around the downstairs of this building, thanks to Paul Harmon, but I may just have to revisit it -- Paul willing!

Squint Shot 111110

The following aerial was taken has Scott Niblack and I took our first sweep around the village. At this point, we were about over the railroad tracks, having just passed South Grand Avenue. The horizontal (and slightly diagonal) street toward the bottom of the picture is Frank Street. Later this month, there will be a photograph similar to this angle, but closer to the downtown.

As a side note, and one that isn't very pleasant, the two long white buildings at the bottom of the picture is the former location of Boltec (if you drive by the front of the building, you can still see the name on the front door). As I did research for The Fowlerville Chronicles, I found a few articles along about the mid-1970s regarding this industry. There were some issues between the company and the village council, and eventually the owner of the business relocated in Howell. But, in the meantime, this location was designated as an EPA Superfund site (and can be found on the EPA website) -- in other words, there was some contamination that went into the ground. At this date, I do not know the status of this land, but it would appear it is still not being used.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

1923 Gypsies in the Area

The Fowlerville Review publisher and editor kept close tabs on any newcomers into the area; in particular, "gypsies." The following article gave warning to the local residents, probably long after the gang had moved on:

Gypsies Raise Hob~~A load of Gypsies struck Fowlerville Saturday, but so far as we have learned committed no special depredations; for one reason, no doubt, Marshall Fryant kept close watch of the women and several merchants who have had previous experience would not allow them to enter their stores. Other villages were not so fortunate.

Tuesday, the wires were burning with messages to
officers in this and surrounding counties, as residents of Cohoctah vicinity had been robbed by the Gypsies. While these messages were being relayed to officers, the very outfit under suspicion were in Perry. A citizen of that burg was touched for one hundred dollars. He gave the alarm, and the town marshal of Perry also bearing the badge of a constable, located his man in a hurry. The gypsy turned one hundred dollars over to the marshal, who in turn was so pleased in making the coupe he gave the gypsy a hearty hand-shake and god-speed on his way.

The outfit that spent a few days around this part of the state was composed of typical gypsies, excepting they have abandoned the horse and camp practice and are now riding in style in automobiles.

Squint Shot 111010

Later this month, there will be an additional aerial shot which will be a closer look at the downtown area. As we flew around the village, the first sweep was further out; the second circling was much closer. This particular show was taken shortly after crossing over South Grand Avenue, so we are looking slightly northeast.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

1876 All Things New

Following are four "Local News" items found in The Fowlerville Review in 1876 -- one new baby and three new buildings:

Squint Shot 110910

South Grand Avenue is at the left side of the picture, Second Street is just left of center, and Collins Street is just right of center; all heading north from where the picture was taken. These aerials were taken in the middle of summer, but can you imagine how much more we could see now that leaves are off the trees?

Monday, November 8, 2010

1879 "Whatisit"

As I cull through so many pages of research material I chose not to put in The Fowlerville Chronicles, every once in a while something catches my eye that doesn't make sense. Such as, Have you got the 'epizootie?' I had to head to Google and type in the word epizootie. It would appear it is a problem with livestock. So, mystery solved with that one. But then when G.L. Adams posed the following question a couple weeks later, I was really puzzled:

Did you see the "whatisit" on Wednesday evening?

I googled and came up with nothing, so I continued on looking at Local Notices posted in The Fowlerville Review in 1879. The following article was published a few weeks later in the paper:

The "whatisit," supposed by some to be a comet, seen in the southern sky on the evening of January 29th, was caused by the burning of a grist mill belonging to Mr. Ira Reeves, situated in the township of Putnam in a district known as "hell." The mill was situated near a large pond which was covered with clear ice and the reflection of the fire on the ice caused the bright light in the sky. This mill was built at a cost of $16,000 and was one of the best in the state.

So, in other words, a "whatisit" in 1879 can apply to something today that we cannot, at the moment, explain. I'll have to remember that one.

Squint Shot 110810

As my willing pilot, Scott Niblack, continued in the first circling around the village, we followed the railroad tracks toward South Grand Avenue. Hale Street is at the left side of the photograph, running slightly diagonal at the center vertically. Yesterday's squint shot showed a newer subdivision, of which one of the houses can be seen at the right side of the picture.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

1880 Heel Insert

According to research I found for The Fowlerville Chronicles, in an article published in The Fowlerville Review in 1879, G.T. Fisher patented a supporter that covered, a large surface on the side of the heel and is so arranged by having a long slot instead of a round hole in the side of the supporter, that it does not necessitate shoe dealers keeping a large stock of four or five different sizes on hand as one size can be made to fit and easily attached to any boot or shoe. By the following year, he "removed" to Detroit, with J.G. Gould taking over the shoe business.

It has been interesting how the term "removed" eventually became "moved" in our modern times. There is something rather formal sounding to someone removing their operation to a new location -- do you agree?

Fowlerville had numerous industrious and inventive people within its boundaries. More can be found in The Fowlerville Chronicles, such as Mr. Bowers who invented a piece of safety equipment for auto works -- check it out!

Squint Shot 110710

Just north of the railroad tracks, on the east side of South Grand Avenue (eastward a few blocks), there are some newer homes. One of the streets back in this area is Daily Street. It is a very nice subdivision -- if you've never been back that way, you might just want to take a drive.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

1919 House Fire

Fowlerville suffered numerous major fires within the downtown areas, specifically the main four corners. But also, in the late 1800s and into the early 1900s, there were many homes destroyed by fire. The following report was published in The Fowlerville Review in 1919. G.L. Adams would serve as the publisher and editor for another ten years for the Review and his reporting gave as many particulars as were available.

The Usual Sunday Fire~~About nine-tenths of the fires that have visited this village have occurred on Sunday, but very fortunately Fowlerville has been very fortunate in having them come few and far between.

At about 1:30 Sunday afternoon, the fire whistle sounded and it was soon discovered that the fire was located in the residence of Frank Lewis, in the extreme southeast corner of the village and that it was impossible to reach it with the hose. The first jerk on the pump by some excited person put it out of commission and no other pumps near the fire were in working order, and under such conditions, it was impossible to save the house.

The furniture in the lower part was nearly all removed, but nothing could be taken from the sleeping rooms on the second floor.

The residence of Mr. Bristol stood very near and all efforts were turned in that direction although at times it seemed as though that must burn, it was finally saved through heroic work.

Mr. Lewis carried no insurance and suffers a total loss of probably around about $700 although it cannot be replaced for that amount. Mr. Lewis had a long siege of illness a few years ago which left him with one crippled leg. Some time since, Mrs. Lewis had to go to Ann Arbor for an operation and after a lingering illness passed away.

He has been keeping house himself for some time and, after getting his breakfast Sunday morning, went away for the day and did not know of his loss until his return near nightfall.

It is not known how the fire originated.

Squint Shot 110610

As you can see, this photograph shows the bottom side of the airplane's wing. As hard as I tried to only take pictures of the ground, the humid air made the ride a bit bumpy and, at times, it was hard to hold the camera still. This particular picture shows Frank Street running diagonally across the bottom. A portion of the downtown can be seen just under the wing and brace in the upper left hand corner. We are now looking in a northwesterly direction.

Friday, November 5, 2010

1879 Bush Death Notice

I found the above death notice for Mrs. Hannah Bush to be particularly interesting once I read the part, "when there was but one house in Fowlerville, and only a few houses in the township." That line sent me searching through some early lists of residents where I found a Mr. Richard P. Bush and a John Bush on the first tax assessment rolls of 1838 for Handy Township.

Richard P. Bush bought 80 acres in section 1, worth $240. He also served as township clerk in 1838 and 1841, then becoming a Justice of the Peace in 1842. He replaced Ralph Fowler, after he had resigned this position.

John Bush bought 46 acres in section 2, worth $138. There was also a Charles Bush in the anecdotal information but I didn't find anything else, although I did find this article published in The Fowlerville Review in 1879:
So, who was she married to for 40 years? And what must it have been like to move to this area and see only one house?

Squint Shot 110510

Today's aerial shows the east portion of the village, with the Lutheran Church at about the middle (up and down) and right side of the photograph. Is your house in this picture?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

1916 Automobile Accident

In the early 1900s, automobiles were not part of the normal day lives of the people of Fowlerville -- or for that matter, anywhere in the United States. The sights and sounds of a car were foreign to most residents. I have a feeling, for that very reason, sometimes a pedestrian would step off the sidewalk into an on-coming car, fully unaware of what was happening. If it had been a horse and carriage, the snort of the horse and the clippity-clop of the hooves on the cobblestone would have forewarned of an approaching vehicle.

So to that extent, numerous articles were found in The Fowlerville Review newspaper, such as following . . .

Struck By Auto and Leg Broken~~While crossing the street at the corner of Grand River and Grand Avenue on Wednesday afternoon, Mrs. Bert Armstrong and daughter were struck by an auto owned by Dr. A.C. Spencer and driven by Otto Daniels. Mrs. Armstrong was knocked down and the auto passing over her bruised her head quite badly and broke her leg just above the ankle. The daughter was also knocked down, but very fortunately escaped very little injury. Mr. Armstrong was also with the ladies as they were crossing the street.

The ladies were taken in the auto to the office of Dr. J.A. McGarvah where the bruises were dressed and the fracture reduced and were then taken home by F.G. Rounsville in his auto.

Mr. Daniels often assists Dr. Spencer in some of his work and had been driving the auto most of the day. They were just leaving the store and were yet in low speed when the accident occurred and consequently were driving slowly.

Squint Shot 110410

Even when flying in a small, single propeller, four-seater airplane, it does not take long to get from one spot to another. As quickly as I could snap shots with my digital camera, I felt there was some area I was still missing. Yesterday's shot showed the junior high school, and in a blink of the eye, we were looking at the downtown area. This picture is looking directly west. To the far right of the photograph, the fire department and library can be seen. At the far left, the new Curtis Grocery Store. All else, I'll let you try to figure out!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

1876 Horse Blanket

Nothing seemed sacred when it came to reporting the news in 1876. Mr. G.L. Adams, publisher and editor of The Fowlerville Review, kept the citizens of Fowlerville informed of even the most embarrassing situations.

Squint Shot 110310

As we flew past the high school, the roof of the junior high building came into view. The administrative offices are now located in this building, located at the right-hand side of this picture next to the small parking lot at the back of the building. The view is looking toward the south, southwest.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

1879 Lost in the Mail

We've all heard stories of a piece of mail delivered 10 years, sometimes 40 years, after it was written. Well, it also happened in Fowlerville. Even way back in 1879, mail would end up in the strangest places and be found years later, as shown in the following article published in The Fowlerville Review:

When moving the post office case on Tuesday, a letter was found addressed to Mr. J.C. Ellsworth, of this place, laying in the aparture under one of the drawers. It is supposed that the drawer must have been full of mail and, upon pulling it out, the letter must have dropped down unnoticed. The letter was about three years old.

Too bad it wasn't reported who sent the letter or what it ended up being about.

Squint Shot 110210

This first "squint shot" aerial picture taken during my flight from Maple Grove Airport is of what is now the high school. For a few years, after it was built, it was used for the middle school students. The picture shows the community park in the upper portion, with Addison Farms to the left. The direction of the photograph is looking to the southwest.

Monday, November 1, 2010

1886 Spencer House Issues

The Corbett vs. Spencer case, involving the title of the land where the Spencer House now stands, has been occupying the attention of the circuit court at Howell during the past few days. A large number of witnesses were sworn upon both sides and the case went to the jury on Wednesday afternoon, they returning a verdict in favor of the defendant, Mrs. W.H. Spencer. This is the second time the case been tried with the same result.The above short article was published in The Fowlerville Review indicating some legal issues regarding the land where the Spencer House resided. The picture shown here was taken sometime around 1912, when the Spencer House still stood at the northeast corner of North Second Street and East Grand River (white building shown at just about center of picture). Within a few years, it would be taken down and a house built in its place.
There are numerous other photographs of the Spencer House at various ages in The Fowlerville Chronicles. As a bit of unknown trivia -- originally, it was called the Spencer Exchange.
As a side note, as you check out the photograph, notice the light that hung over the intersection of Grand River and Grand avenues. A few years later, a pole with four lights stood at the very center of the intersection -- a quick read of The Fowlerville Chronicles and you can discover its nickname!

Squint Shot 110110

This may look like a fairly odd squint shot, but what this represents is the beginning of 29 days of aerial shots of Fowlerville and the surrounding area. I'm still going to call them "squint shots" even though they were taken from at least 1500 feet. Nine of the next 29 pictures were included in, and can be found at the very back of, The Fowlerville Chronicles. Scott Niblack was my willing pilot and I hope I have thanked him enough for this opportunity to see the village from the sky. As I mentioned in the book, it was the "frosting on the cake" to be able to add these views to show our present day surroundings.

As a side anecdotal story to this adventure, the day Scott felt would work the best for this fly-over turned out to be a hot and humid day. He called around 10 am and informed me the cloud ceiling needed to be a little higher before we could fly. I was fine with that . . . otherwise these pictures would have all been fairly foggy. He then called at 11, 12, and finally about 1 pm, he said the time was "now." I jumped into my trusty truck and met him within the half hour at Maple Grove Airport. We got the plane out onto the grass strip, buckled in, and within minutes he had us cruising at the desired elevation. We took a fairly wide sweep around the village, then circled again in a much tighter circle so I could get more close-ups.

We were ready to head back to the airport -- me knowing I had gotten some awesome pictures -- but he wondered about flying over our house. Of course, the answer was a resounding yes. We flew over and I snapped a few more quick shots. That was fun.

But back to present day Fowlerville aerials. You will find the next 29 days with some interesting shots on this site. Maybe you will be able to pick out your house or business. I'll post the main streets, direction, etc. to help you out. In addition to these aerials, each day a "history lesson" will also be available for your reading pleasure. They are in no particular order chronologically but all very interesting.

So, see you tomorrow from the sky!