I recently had an opportunity to head to the Bentley Historical Collection and was able to spend a few hours browsing through some photographs and papers pertaining to Fowlerville. Although my main purpose was looking for additional information for the biography, I couldn't resist looking through some extraneous items.
Two eras in Fowlerville's existence have been lucky enough to have people interested in photographing the area. Holt and Hart, dry goods and grocery store owners, took numerous pictures during the period from about 1900 until 1915. They photographed houses, buildings, streets, and did an extraordinary amount of picture-taking after the 1909 cyclone that hit by the railroad tracks.
Another photographer was William Edward Beach. He lived and worked in Howell in later years, but at one point, he lived in Fowlerville. We are lucky enough to have pictures of Ralph Fowler's house, the Palmerton block, and the old Commercial Hotel because of him.
While I was at the Bentley, I discovered a box full of negatives, all filed safely away in envelopes and well marked. I came across a series of negatives taken during the 1936 Centennial celebration. Seeing as we just finished up the 175th celebration, I thought these might be of interest. Keep in mind, these are digital pictures -- fully allowed by the Bentley -- taken of the negatives so they aren't of finished picture quality but all the same fun to look at.
For the grand celebration of one hundred years after the arrival of Ralph Fowler to the area, North Grand was blocked off and a merry-go-round put in the street. Cotton candy was sold from a vendor at the corner in front of the Palmerton block.
South Grand was also blocked off and a ferris wheel stretched as high -- or maybe higher -- than the Hamilton building.