Monday, February 28, 2011

1895 Gossip

The Fowlerville Review was always ripe with information of comings and goings, but it also would sometimes be the place to squelch hurtful rumors and gossip. Following are a couple instances:

Mrs. J.C. Dickinson desires us to say to the gossips of this place who have reported that she recently went west to see her son hung that she did not go farther than Detroit and that the said son is still a resident of Silver City, Idaho, as letters of a very recent date written by him will show.


A Correction~~These are the days when the air is full of all kinds of reports, when one cannot believe 'anything they hear and half they see.' A man recently made a public statement that he would not trade with any merchant who advertised in this paper. He was told that A.R. Miner advertised in the Review and thereupon said he would stop trading with Mr. Miner. It so happened that Mr. Miner discontinued his advertisement that same week and the two incidents were connected together and the report went out that Mr. Miner drew out his advertisement because of the threat. While on this subject, for in all probability we shall not allude to it again, unless necessity seems to demand it, we will simply say that representatives of the liquor business in Fowlerville have been to one merchant that we know of and tried to get him to withdraw his patronage from this paper, without any success, however.

Mr. Miner desires to publish the following notice:

To whom it may concern:

Someone has circulated the story that the saloon men came to me and said unless I took my advertisement out of the Review, they should not trade with me. I wish it distinctly understood that none of them has said a word to me about such a thing.

A.R. Miner

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And now the best part of the whole tour through the old Nellie Glenn house. I was told before heading into the house to be sure to look in every cupboard. Not sure what that meant, I kind of dismissed it -- until I arrived in the back room. What appeared to be a laundry room/pantry. Then I noticed cupboards, floor to ceiling. My curiosity was aroused.

I opened a couple doors and found empty shelves. Then the third opened door revealed something very interesting, and even a little heart-rendering. In all the years and through all the renovations, repainted walls, and repairs, one rectangle of has never been painted over. Following is the full picture, and then the left side, and then the right side. Nellie Glenn, the wife of Dr. B.H. Glenn, became Fowlerville's historian over the years in the mid-1900s, passing away in 1975. The above etchings show her statistics recorded on the inside of a cupboard door after she had been widowed and remained in the area.

She was well-known for inviting those interested to learn and discuss Fowlerville history into her home, and the few I have spoken with that knew her speak very highly of her as a "true lady." I will always be grateful to her for her diligence in recording so many memories and facts, so many of which can be found in the Fowlerville Historical Collection in the village office.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

1885 Rare Coins

I happened across this article, published in The Fowlerville Review in 1885, regarding a visit by Harvey Fowler to this area from New York and found it quite interested regarding some coins in his possession. As my research for The Fowlerville Chronicles centered more around the businesses and the downtown area, I purposely stayed away from trying to figure out the genealogy part of Fowlerville. But, anytime I come across the "Fowler" name, I have to wonder if every Fowler in this area was related.

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Before leaving the second floor of the Nellie Glenn house, now rental property, at the southwest corner of East Grand River and South Collins Street, I photographed an old door stop, and some floor trim. This floor trim is definitely period work as I have come across it numerous other times, including some of the pictures shown of the renovated storefront one door in from the old Ruth's Resale building. That storefront is currently empty but had most recently housed Granny Greenthumbs, which is now located in the old Ford building. Once downstairs, I found another old doorstop.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

1880 Opium and Laudanum

Drugs are not a modern problem. In 1880, the following event, with near-dire results, was reported in The Fowlerville Review:

John C. Miller, of Conway, started for town on Saturday morning to obtain some opium, he being addicted to that habit, and on the road stopped at the residence of Jacob Billings, and asking if they had any in house was told they had had some laudanum, but was not sure they could tell in which bottle it was kept. A bottle was then given him and, after tasting and smelling, he pronounced it to be laudanum and proceeded to take about three-fourths of a teaspoonful. He came on to town and soon began to feel the effects of the dose, which proved, on examination, to be not laudanum but henbane, a rank poison. Dr. Cooper was called and as much taken from him as was possible. He was taken home soon after and at last accounts was in a fair way to recover. It came very near winding up his earthly career, however.

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So, of course, since I was on the second floor of this beautiful house on East Grand River, I took a moment to look out over the main street. The other day I had mentioned the State Farm house, formerly the Curtis home, and that can be seen at the center of this picture. A few months back, I showed numerous squint shots of the inside of the State Farm building.

The greenish house, only barely visible at the far left center, and formerly located at the northeast corner of North Second Street and East Grand River and is now gone. It was removed in December -- pictures of this house, inside and out as well as the demolition, will be shown at a later date.

Friday, February 25, 2011

1883 Buggy Robbery

At about three a.m. on Saturday last, two men drove into town with a span of horses and top buggy and stopped at the Commercial hotel. They put the horses in the barn, took a bed until morning, got their breakfast and boarded the east bound 10 o'clock train, stating to Mr. McIntosh that they would return at noon. But they failed to put in an appearance and have not been heard from since. A telegram was received on Monday, however, to the effect that such a rig was stolen from one Frank Brigham, of Holly, on Friday, and Wednesday Mr. Brigham sent a man who fully identified the stolen property and returned with them to Holly.
The above article was found in The Fowlerville Review. The Commercial hotel, as mentioned above, was a newly-opened hotel of only a couple of years at this point. In 1878, an early morning fire completely destroyed the Reason House, also known as "Independence Hall," which was a wooden structure located at the southwest corner of the downtown area. In 1880, a brick building, 2 1/2 stories up and 1/2 story down (see sketch below), was built in its place and eventually known as the Commercial hotel.When I first began this website, I started collecting pictures and information on Fowlerville. One of the pictures I came across was a photograph taken from the main intersection, looking south on Grand Avenue, with a young fellow standing in the middle of the road. As I looked closer at it, I realized I was looking at a building I had only heard about. It was truly then when my interest accelerated on finding out more of the history of Fowlerville, and especially why this building no longer existed. I eventually found out, but I'll leave that for another post (or you can check out my book, The Fowlerville Chronicles, and find out why).

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We are still in the second floor of the old Nellie Glenn house and, as I wandered around, I noticed how bare these four rooms proved to be; especially compared to the first floor. The shuttered doors in the bathroom had these delicate pulls -- no doubt newer than most things in the house, but still beautiful to the period of the house.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

1895 Head Cheese Poisoning

Some people love head cheese; others not so much. Now, for me, although I do enjoy a great many cultural foods of my nationality, fortunately head cheese is not one of them. I'm not sure I could stomach it.

My feelings were confirmed when I read the following article in The Fowlerville Review, published in 1895, of some head cheese sampled at a Webberville meat market:

F.J. Peek, editor of the Webberville News, Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Peek all ate head-cheese, on Thursday, of last week, purchased at the meat market at that place, which had become poisoned in some way by standing and were taken seriously ill soon after partaking. The two ladies ate sparingly and soon recovered, but the editor says he 'ate enough to kill a horse' and had a pretty hard time of it, but managed to pull through.

Now, if your curiosity has been aroused as to the exact components of head cheese, head to this link and read about it as shown on the Wikipedia site. Anyone willing to comment of their like or dislike?

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As with yesterday's squint shot and the common occurrence of landings on stairways, I also noted the trimwork at the landing window. In many of the older homes, a square is at each upper corner of window and door framing. This made it unnecessary to miter corners and made for a unique, finished look. A few squint shots earlier, I showed some of this trim on the first floor that had not been painted and had leafy etchings in the squares.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

1883 Arrival of Dr. Lamoreaux

In 1883, Dr. C.H. Lamoreaux, formerly of Linden, has moved into the Bignal house, in the eastern part of the village, and will practice his profession. A room is being fitted up on the second floor of the old Glenn store in which he will open an office next week.


Dr. C.H. Lamoreaux has swung his sign in the breeze and is comfortably situated in his office first door south of Loughlin & Schroeder's.

And so, with these two short blurbs published in The Fowlerville Review, Dr. C.H. Lamoreaux began a lengthy career in Fowlerville. Eventually, in later years, his office would be south of the newly-formed fire company, which was originally located at the southwest corner of Power Street and North Grand Avenue. At the right of the above picture, the Lamoreaux name can be seen printed on the front window.

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Yesterday's squint shot showed a picture of the stairway heading up to the second floor. As in many older homes, "landings" were popular. I showed a picture of one a few months back that is in the State Farm building on East Grand River, formerly the Curtis home. This house, the big red building at South Collins and East Grand River, has this landing, and pillar at the railing.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

1877 Nose Biting Incident

As I work away at what I am so enjoying -- reading old articles and cataloguing them while I work on the biography of G.L. Adams -- I routinely come across something I so need to share. The following is one such article I found in The Fowlerville Review, published in 1877:A.D. Cruickshank was an early attorney in Fowlerville and his name was prevalent throughout the paper during the mid-to-late 1800s.

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After checking out all of the first floor and peeking into the basement of the old Nellie Glenn house, corner of South Collins Street and East Grand River, I headed up to the second floor. The walls have been reworked over the years, but the steps were highly worn. At first I couldn't find the staircase to the second floor -- I wandered around the first floor of the house twice and finally started opening doors. In the front room, on the west side of the house, it turned out a normal looking door, with a crystal handle, was the way to the second floor.

Monday, February 21, 2011

1895 W.H. Peek

A year earlier, W.H. Peek began another newspaper in the area, known as The Fowlerville Observer. He also took on any form of printing jobs that were available and not already scooped up by G.L. Adams of The Fowlerville Review.

The two papers seemed to work in respectful co-existence, as shown in a few articles in The Review regarding Mr. Peek. At some point, I'll see what I can find out about The Observer and publish some of those articles. For now, here are a couple of some mishaps of Mr. Peek's:

As W.H. Peek was returning from Webberville on Saturday, the horse became frightened and commenced to kick and run. The reach broke, letting the rear wheels loose from the carriage and as Will did not like that kind of traveling, he rolled out and let the animal go. He was somewhat bruised, but nothing serious in its results. Editors are hard fellows to kill anyway.


Editor Peek met with an accident, at Howell, on Monday. He was passing an alley as a team was driving across with some gas pipe reaching quite a distance behind the wagon and Mr. Peek thought there was room for him to pass, when the wagon struck a stone and the pipe struck him in the stomach, giving him quite a blow.

Late in the year, W.H. Peek moved his office to the Bean Block.

In more hard times that befell Mr. Peek, it was reported in the Williamston Enterprise and then reprinted in The Fowlerville Review: As W.H. Peek, of Fowlerville, was riding into town on a bicycle on Monday returning from Lansing to his home, he met with an accident. He started to follow the walk in the west part of town and his wheel slipped, throwing him on to a picket fence, severely injuring him about the chest and arms.

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If you've been following this website at all, you already know I'm eventually going to check out the basement -- whether it is an old building or old house. Before heading up to the second floor of the old Nellie Glenn house, every footfall on the stairway creaked as I went downstairs to grab this shot. As it turned out, there wasn't much to see but always worth documenting.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

1891 General Custer's Horse

There is so much information to post regarding Fowlerville, years and years of articles, pictures, and miscellaneous tidbits will clutter this website -- but once in a while, it is fun to step outside of the village and show an article that catches my eye. The following is one such blurb published in The Fowlerville Review by G.L. Adams in late 1891:

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Doorbell? I didn't check any further than looking at it and tapping a fingernail on it, but my best guess is it is a doorbell -- any thoughts? This odd-looking chime is attached to the front door of the house we have been looking at. It doesn't appear the front door is used much anymore as the South Collins Street entrance comes into the kitchen and is much more accessible to the driveway and garage.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

2011 Fire in Handy Township

Last night, a devastating fire destroyed the M&A Automotive building, located in Handy Township on Converse Road. As it turns out, this business was practically in our backyard and, unfortunately, we had a front-row seat to the conflagration.

The wind was blowing hard and the flames were whipped high into the clear night sky, blotting out the full moon from our view with black smoke. Explosions could be heard from a great distance as barrels of oil, etc., burst under the heat and fire. Numerous calls were made to 911 and it wasn't but a few minutes, the Fowlerville Fire Department was there. There wasn't much they could do until a bit later in the evening when they contained the fire from spreading with large sprays of water. The next morning, this was all that was left. Being a bit introspective, as we stood by watching something of which we could be of no help, I wondered if that is how so many felt when major fires visited portions of the downtown area.

In 1878, the Reason House -- also known as Independence Hall -- burned to the ground. It was at the southwest corner of the downtown area. The Commercial Hotel was built in its place. In 1891, the wooden buildings at the northeast quadrant burned to the ground. The fire leapt across North Grand and also caused major damage to the Palmerton Block. At the turn of the century, the wooden Lockwood Exchange burned and the brick structure now standing at the northeast corner of South Grand Avenue and Church Street was built to replace it. The list goes on and on.

So how helpless did the residents of Fowlerville feel as they stood and watched buildings burn to the ground while flames shot high in the sky? We can be truly thankful there is now an organized fire department in Fowlerville; with both paid and volunteer firefighters. Before 1880, no such company existed.

I haven't heard yet if M&A Automotive will come back from this, but we are so very thankful that no one was in the building at the time.

1895 Phonograph

How far we've come!

The following announcement and then article were found in the local newspaper, reprinted from the Williamston Enterprise, regarding the new-flangled phonograph:

Frank Reason will give a phonograph concert at the M.E. Church on Friday evening, Oct. 25. General admission 15 cents, children under 12 years 10 cents.

The phonograph concert, given by Frank Reason on Monday evening, at the M.E. Church, was well patronized and highly enjoyed. Truly he has a wonderful singing, talking and whistling machine. It was plainly heard in all parts of the room. He has been invited to return in about two weeks with many other new selections, he will give two from Gladstone, one of which will be a part of his last address in Parliament so that his own voice will be heard.~~Williamston Enterprise

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As we continue checking out the large red house on the southwest corner of East Grand River and South Collins Street, today's squint shot shows some of the wood trim along the floor and below a front window. The windows on the west side of the house are tall, nearly floor to ceiling, and exquisite.

Friday, February 18, 2011

1894 S.A. Nichols

S.A. Nichols is the inventor of several ingenious machines but his latest invention promises to be one of the most successful of them all. It is a street sweeper that takes the dirt from the street without dust and loads it into a wagon ready for drawing away and only requires the use of two horses. We understand he has sold one to the city of Detroit for $1,000. We hope Seth has struck it rich this time.

Once again, I came across another industrious individual living in early Fowlerville as I culled all of the information I have found on microfilm of the old newspapers for the area.

The roads in Fowlerville were always a matter of frustration, with them either being muddy or rutted or nearly impassable. It would cause numerous problems getting product to market or for those wanting to come into town to do shopping.

In the late 1800s, did a street sweeper really make a difference or was it more for appearances?

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There is a beautiful artistry in the old-style radiators. In the old three-story, red house at the southwest corner of South Collins Street and East Grand River I photographed the radiators from different angles, far away and close-up. In some of these pictures, you can also see some of the beautiful wood trim-work at the floors and around the windows.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

1895 Near Tragedy

The Lockwood Exchange, a wooden structure located at the northeast corner of Church Street and South Grand Avenue, burned at the turn of the century, but a few years earlier, the following article appeared in The Fowlerville Review:

A Narrow Escape~~Fowlerville came very close to having a pretty large bonfire on the evening of July 4. Dr. C.H. Lamoreaux discovered a nice little blaze on the roof of J.A. Lockwood's hotel and on getting upon the roof it was found that the shingles had been burned off a space about a foot in diameter, but fortunately the fire was in the middle of a wide roof-board and none of it had dropped through into the attic or serious results would have no doubt followed. The roof was dry as tinder and it was thought to have caught from some of the fireworks that had been exploded earlier in the evening. Mr. Lockwood had been upon the roof but a little time before to see that everything was all right but did not discover any signs of fire.

So many fires occurred in the early days of Fowlerville, it only seemed evitable that eventually the entire downtown would be reconstructed with brick instead of wood.

This might be a good time to remind those reading these History Lessons -- if you are interested in a particular era of Fowlerville history, I am splitting these articles in 25-year segments. If you look under the Labels section, you will see such notations as 1836-1860 history, 1861-1886 history, etc. Click on any one of those labels to go to any articles that have been posted for that time period.

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One of the wonderful amenities of older homes are "pocket" doors -- these are doors that slide, and disappear, into walls instead of being in the way. This particular set of two doors, in the old Nellie Glenn house, divides the dining room from a living room, and when the doors were pushed into the walls, a very large room was created. Very seldom will you see "pocket" doors anymore because there are not the normal part of home construction.

On a side note -- while I was working on these posts for this intriguing hardware, I 'googled' 1896 door pulls and doorknobs. At one point, I came across a Sears, Roebuck & Co. catalog for that year and lo-and-behold these were shown. As you may have noticed in other squint shots, I've wondered what might be original to the house and what items might be replications. I believe these might be the original pieces of hardware put in the pocket door at the time the house was built.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

1838 Angeline Adams

According to research I found while working on The Fowlerville Chronicles, the first two teachers in the area were Michael Handy, son of Calvin Handy, and Angeline Adams, daughter of Amos Adams, the man credited with platting the area. This was in 1838.

While working on additional research, I recently came across the following short article, published in The Fowlerville Review, mentioning the death of Angeline Adams in 1895:

E.A. Metcalf received a telegram from San Francisco, Cal., on Tuesday, announcing the death of his aunt, Miss Angeline Adams, at her home in that city. She was a resident of this county for over thirty years, leaving for California in 1867.

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Just like the drawer pull in yesterday's squint shot, I wonder if this is an antique or a replicate of an old style. The house at the corner of South Collins Street and East Grand River was renovated in the mid-1990s and I wonder how much was preserved and how much needed to be replaced. The etching in the doorknob base is very similar to the drawer pull shown yesterday so I tend to think these might be replication. But, all the same, they definitely "fit" the house.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

1873 Charles Straws

Charles Straws was a highly-respected black man living and working in Fowlerville. According to history collected by Michael Grimm, and shown on his website (which you can find by clicking on the link to the right side of this website), Mr. Straws was a freed slave, coming to this area in 1873.
As I have been researching and cataloguing, I have found numerous references to Mr. Straws, and will plan on posting many of them in the near future. For now, though, I found this an interesting little blurb published in The Fowlerville Review in an 1895 issue -- 22 years after Mr. Straws came to Fowlerville:
Chas. Straws had his sign repainted. It bears the date 1873, the year Charley opened business at this place.
Another note indicated, Charley Straws has covered the floor of his barber shop with new oiled cloth which greatly improves its appearance.
As a side note, another barber that was well-respected and seemed to be quite popular was Morgan Vaughn. In 1896, this notice was posted in the paper:
Morgan Vaughn, of Kalamazoo, is assisting Chas. Straws in his barber shop. He worked for Mr. Straws a few years ago and is recognized as a first-class artist.
As a side note, pictures such as the one above of Charles Straws, as well as many other pictures of local businessmen, can be found in the historical collection stored at the village offices.

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As I continued my tour through the old Nellie Glenn house, now rental property, I searched for items that might be original to the house. Years earlier, in the mid-1990s, Patti Reis refurbished the house; even winning recognition from various groups in the village for her hard work. It would appear much of the wood was cleaned up and some pieces of hardware changed. But the following piece looked fairly old, including some patena from years of wear.

Monday, February 14, 2011

1894 Rounsville Elevator

The Rounsville name started appearing in the Fowlerville area sometime in the late 1870s (much of which can be found in my book, The Fowlerville Chronicles beginning with 1878) and by 1894, G.L. Adams reported on improvements being made at the grain elevator at the railroad tracks:

F.G. Rounsville is building a fine wheat elevator and storage building for wool, etc., just south of the railroad and in the rear of his office. The building will be 20x50 with 18-foot posts.

In 1909, a "cyclone" hit Fowlerville and ruined the top of the grain elevator. In my book, numerous pictures of the devastation at the railroad tracks can be seen, including the top portion of the grain elevator sitting upside-down by the tracks.

Mr. Rounsville's name can be found throughout numerous issues of The Fowlerville Review. Doing just a cursory look in 1898, I found the following announcements he would make for the Fowlerville lodge, F.&A.M.:

There will be a special communication of Fowlerville lodge, F.&A.M., on Tuesday evening next, August 9, for work.~~F.G. Rounsville, Master.

There will be a special communication of Fowlerville lodge, F.&A.M., on Tuesday evening, August 30, for degree work and for the transaction of very important business. All members are requested to be present as far as possible.~~F.G. Rounsville, W.M.
In addition, as I spent a great deal of time at the Michigan Library in Lansing, I found a small pamphlet that was published in 1936. One of the pictures in this booklet showed the following picture of "F.G. Rounsville and his pony when he was a boy." Unfortunately, there are two young lads in the carriage and we don't know which one is Frank.

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In the old house at the corner of East Grand River and South Collins Street there is artistry in the wood floors. Fortunately, as the years have gone along and the house has been updated and refurbished, the uniqueness of the floors has been saved. Both of these floors can be found on the first floor of the house.

If you head back a few days, you will see other pictures of this old house once owned by Nellie Glenn and her doctor husband. Mrs. Glenn promoted Fowlerville in wonderful ways by preserving the history of this village with type-written pages that are now safely stored in the village office's historical collection.

As with the usual schedule, I will be at the village offices this Tuesday morning at 9 am if anyone would like to check out what we have. If no one shows up, I usually bail around 10 am; if someone shows up, 10:30. Hope to see you there.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

1890 Lightning Strike

Last fall, either high winds or possibly a lightning strike took down a tree on Church Street, causing a branch to fall upon a passerby, knocking that person to the ground, and breaking one of her legs. It made the news, both print media and video.

In 1890, all news such as this was written up for the paper. Following are a couple of examples of lightning strikes in the village:

On Friday afternoon during the storm that passed to the east of this village, lightning struck a maple tree in front of the residence of Mrs. Ann Newman, and running down the tree, divided; one ball going under the sidewalk and out into the road and the other tearing up the ground in the yard. Mrs. L.S. Palmerton and her daughter had just passed the tree and Mr. J.A. Canfield was but a short distance from the spot. All three were considerably shocked but fortunately, not seriously.

As well as,

During the storm on Monday, lightning came down the stovepipe in the residence of Mr. Dewitt Melvin, about two miles west and a little north of this village and struck Mr. Wm. Dickinson, of near Ithaca, and two little girls who were visiting at Mr. Melvin's, as they lay upon the floor. Mr. Dickinson lay near the stove, and as the fluid left the stove, it struck him on the left shoulder and run down his side and down his leg, ripping off his pants and tearing open his boot leg and tearing off a part of the sole. A current from the other stove leg ran across his knees and out through the opposite side of the house. It struck one of the children, Francis Dickinson, in the back of the neck and ran down her spine and left leg to her foot, rendering her unconscious for about 20 minutes. Arvilla Gott was struck just at the edge of the hair and it ran down her left side and across her stomach down the left leg. Mr. Dickinson was unconscious for some time and his limbs were very badly swollen and he is still in a rather precarious condition. Dr. C.H. Lamoreaux was called and reduced the swelling by the application of a battery and the patient is doing as well as possible.After reading the above article, I went in search of an 1890 "battery." As it turns out, batteries (such as shown above) were used in various medical treatments, including sometimes hair removal.

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Another item I have photographed in numerous houses and buildings throughout the Fowlerville area, include wiring and gadgets such as today's squint shot. So, was this a door bell? It would appear to be if we can assume the left part of this picture shows the bell which would have been tapped and sounded off.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

1880 Brutal Assault

When I first started doing research for The Fowlerville Chronicles, somehow any articles on the brutality of the times passed me by. The late 1800s almost seemed idyllic -- but, of course, they were not quite what they seemed. Every era has its bullies and in 1880, it was no different. The following article was published in The Fowlerville Review:

A Brutal Assault~~On Thursday evening at about half past nine o'clock as Isaac Simpson was watering his cow, he having been absent from home until late in the evening, two men came along the road past his house -- two miles north and one and a half miles west of this place -- driving a single horse and buggy, and Simpson mistaking one of them for Ruel VanDyke, called him by name and asked him where he was going, and received the reply that, 'it was none of his d------- business,' whereupon he hastened to explain that he had made a mistake in the person. The party in the buggy then replied that, 'he wanted a d-------- good licking, and that he was the man that would give it to him,' when Simpson ran into the barn, closely followed by the other, who proceeded to kick, cuff, and strike Simpson in a lively manner. Simpson did little but yellow and hallow "murder" which brought his wife out of the house, and, picking up a club, started to help her husband, when the other ruffian caught her by the hair of the head and threw her down by a pile of rails. The rascals thinking that by this time their cries must have alarmed the neighbors, got into their buggy and drove rapidly towards Fowlerville. Geo. Horton, a near neighbor, hearing the cries, ran across the road and wakened Nelson Swarthout and both went to Simpsons together. The three then followed the parties to this place, where they learned that the parties who did the pounding were Eugene Mann and his brother Augustua. They were arrested the next day and gave bonds for their appearance before Justice Gould for trial for assault and battery on the person of Mr. Simpson on Monday. On Monday, the boys were tried, found guilty, and sentenced to pay a fine of $25 each and cost of suit or 90 days at Ionia. The fines and costs together amounted to $86, which they paid. Simpson then intended to take them for personal damages, and also for assult and battery upon Mrs. Simpson. They settled all further suit with Simpson by paying him $100. The boys have always been more or less engaged in fighting scrapes, and we hope this will learn them a lesson, for it has cost them over $200.

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Old or new? Here is another light fixture in the old Nellie Glenn house. I believe this one is a newer version of an old style, while I still wonder about the one over the kitchen sink (which you can check out by going back a few days' worth of squint shots). No matter what, it definitely looks nice in this house.

Friday, February 11, 2011

1894 Rail Fence

Inventions and patents were coming to the Fowlerville area fast and furiously -- and, in particular, by many of their very own residents. E.R. Brower had a few patents and he was also instrumental in helping out others with patents as evidenced by a couple short blurbs found in The Fowlerville Review in the early summer of 1894.

E.R. Brower has purchased the patent in the townships of Iosco and Stockbridge for building the 'best rail fence on earth.'


F.E. Wood is the patentee of a rail fence that seems to meet the approval of the farmers of this vicinity as several have already purchased farm rights for its construction. He has a sample of the fence near Brower's blacksmith shop and it may be well worth the time of our farmer friends to investigate its merits, as you can use your old rails to good advantage and at but very little expense.

A few weeks later,

Frank Dingman has purchased the patent for the township of Conway for F.E. Wood's wire bound rail fence, a section of which may be seen at Brower's blacksmith shop. The farmers are becoming very much interested. Mr. Wood still has other territory for sale.

And, it continued,

M. Luce has purchased the patent for the townships of Marion and Putnam for Wood's wire bound rail fence. A large quantity of this fence is being built in this township and it seems to just about meet the wants of the farmer.

Within a year, numerous brands of wire fencing came to the area; one of which included the Standard wire fence.

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As with other houses I've photographed, I've been intriqued by the window and door trims. Obviously the easiest way to cut the trim would be square cuts instead of mitered corners. Therefore, so many of the indoor trims show a square at the top corners -- sometimes with a circle inside (especially as found in the Harmon building upper floors as well as the old Bell Opera House) or as with these, floral carvings. Inside this house, some was left natural while other doorways were painted.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

1876 Lost Boy Scare

The Fowlerville Review reported everything from new storefronts to accidents to visitors to the antics of young children. This one caught my eye as I wondered how this little six-year old felt.

Considerable sensation was created on Monday evening at a late hour by the report on the streets that a little six-year old son of Mrs. Hendricks, who has recently arrived in the village, had come up missing. A thorough search was at once instituted. Bells were rung and parties with lanterns started in all directions to look for the little wanderer. After the close examination of numerous wells, cisterns, privy vaults, etc., the little fellow was found shortly after ten o'clock under the stairs leading to the second story of the building just south of the Corbett house. When found, he was so benumbed as to be utterly unable to give an account of his absence or to answer any of the numerous questions propounded to him. When last seen, he was with some other lads of his own age were playing with some burning rubbish in the rear of the Close block. Some of the clerks in sport told the boys at the time that they would have them put in jail if they did not leave and it is thought that he became scared and skulked away and, hearing so many men searching with lanterns, thought they were after him to lock him up and had hid, where he was found, for safety.

The Close block, which no longer exists, was located on the west side of South Grand just about a block from Grand River Avenue; about at the northeast corner of the Curtis Grocery parking lot.

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As I still stood in the kitchen of the three-story red house just east of the Zizka-Grand-Lockwood building, I photographed some of the cupboard units. On the other side of this "pass-through" is the dining room with a bay window looking out over the west side yard. The second picture shows a close-up of the drawer pulls.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

1894 Copelands

The Copeland name can be found long back through the history of the Fowlerville area, as well as in our modern day. Wayne Copeland, for one, is currently the village president.

In the late 1800s, there were numerous articles published in The Fowlerville Review mentioning various activities of Copelands, but this one in particular caught my attention:

Lawrence and Cleve Copeland caught four flying squirrels in the woods and took the young kittens from the family cat and substituted the squirrels. Mrs. Kitty mothered the squirrels as well as she did the kittens and does not seem to comprehend the difference.

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Heavy woodwork trim surrounds all of the doors and windows in the house we have been looking at and are now inside of -- if you feel lost, check back over the last few days! Anyhow, this house was refurbished about 30 years ago and no doubt has been repainted over the years. So now I wonder if this woodwork has layers and layers of paint on it or is some of the new trim.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

1909 Wickman Store

When I was doing research for The Fowlerville Chronicles, I came across this picture. Based on information and date on the back of the print, which referred to the picture being taken from the Wickman & Minkley enterprise, I placed it in the book at the end of the 1909 chapter. The view is looking to the northeast from what was then the Bell Opera House on the second floor of the building which now houses Maria's School of Dance. Now, with all of this explanation -- the reason I am posting this picture is due to a short article I found in The Fowlerville Review under the year 1895. I am now wondering if this picture was appropriately placed under 1909 or should have been shown earlier in the book. Here is the article:
A.J. Wickman has rented the vacant store under the Bell opera house, which he has made headquarters for the distribution of binder twine.

G.L. Adams would promote them in the local section, especially since they would run paid advertisements elsewhere in the paper. One such article, found in an 1896 issue, read, Wickman & Minkley have a new illustrated advertisement this week which will attract your attention. Their goods and prices will also attract your attention if you call on them. They would also advertise "hot weather shoes" -- whatever those were -- sandals?

I may find, as I continue to go through research materials, Wickman and Minkley went into further business enterprises and were still at the same location into the 1900s.

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After wandering around the outside of the house at the southwest corner of East Grand River and South Collins Street, I stepped in through the back door, facing the side street. I found myself in a 'mud room' of sorts with the kitchen to my right. That's where I decided to start my self-guided tour through the empty house. Over the sink, this old-fashioned light hung. As with a few previous squint shots, I'm not sure if this is a newer light with an old look or actually an old light. As the house was empty at the time, I chose not to turn on any lights; which may have given me a bit of a clue.

Monday, February 7, 2011

1895 Prepared Glue

In 1895, numerous debates, meetings, and opinion articles on the discussion of saloon closings cluttered the local newspaper; but in and amongst all of this controversy other blurbs spoke on progress in the village. One such article discussed another invention by a local merchant, G.D. Hamilton, furniture maker.

Almost everybody knows about G.D. Hamilton's prepared glue but there may be several of our readers who have not used it and on that account we call your attention to the fact that he has an advertisement in this paper setting forth its merits. He manufactures the article right here in Fowlerville and has worked up a large foreign sale of the glue just upon its merit alone, never havingn done any advertising. Ask any of the merchants about it and they will tell you that it will do all he claims for it. Take a bottle home with you and try it and you will find it so handy you will not do without it.

Who knew?!

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The east side of the red old house on East Grand River at South Collins Street used to look out at another house. That house was torn down in the mid-1900s to make room for a parking lot, which still exists. The trim above the window looked old -- whether it was really old or just made to look that way -- I couldn't tell for sure. From the inside of the house, the stained-glass window was very pretty.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

1875 Fire Issues

The Fowlerville Fire Department was officially organized in 1879, but a few years earlier, equipment was provided and talk of where to store it was on the table.

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Yesterday's squint shot showed some peak trim work on the three-story red house at the southwest corner of South Collins and East Grand River. It could well be some original woodwork. Today's two pictures show obviously new trimwork on the front porch of the house.