Thursday, March 31, 2011

1893 Milk Weed and Thistle


Allowing milk weed and Canada thistles to go to seed is a violation of law, and all persons on whose premises it is allowed are liable to 60 days in the county jail. Overseers of the highways are responsible for their own districts, and they are also required to go over the road at least twice a year and throw all the loose stones out of the track. How many do it?

After this short article was published in The Fowlerville Review in 1893, I wonder how many headed out to their property and took care of any errant weeds and/or stones.

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Over the past couple of years, I have noticed various buildings in and around Fowlerville where a former door or window have been bricked in -- something I like to call 'doorways to nowhere.' I thought I had pretty much searched them all out but the other day I noticed the second floor of the front of the old hotel on South Grand Avenue. From the look of the bricks' smoothness, it would appear this might have been a door at one time on the second floor. Out of curiosity, I dug up a picture from circa 1942 when this old building was known at Hotel Sumner. There's a balcony across the front of the building. Could that be when the door was used? Does anyone remember when this was Hotel Sumner?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

1879 Oddball News

G.L. Adams of The Fowlerville Review would sometimes make random comments in the Local News, such as:

The sausage grinder boometh . . . grease up the pancake griddle.

Other times he would report, The Council has ordered the Marshal to impound all cattle running in the street on and after the 15th day of November. I have to wonder where would these cattle be impounded?

And then,

Wm. Cole, of Conway, had his side filled full of shot one day last week while digging a ditch. He was mistaken by the hunter for a wild turkey. There ought to be a law prohibiting lunatics from going hunting.

Squint Shot 033011

During late January, I was taking care of some deliveries and happened upon this sight on the west side of town. Fowlerville has quite a few manufacturing plants -- across from the fairgrounds, on Garden Lane, out by the highway -- and sometimes it is interesting to see what is around the buildings. Obviously, this sight made me curious what they might be doing!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

1894 Ice Business

In the middle of the winter, blocks of ice would be cut and stored for the upcoming warmer season, and pretty much every year the editor of the local newspaper would make mention of this work being done. In 1894, I found it interesting that this article included the location for the ice storage. Here is the article: - The prospects for a good supply of ice in this village next season are very good. Fred Weller and Ernest Krause have rented the old shook shop and will put up a large supply and will run an ice wagon next summer. S.S. Abbott has cleaned out his fish pond and will put up a large supply of ice cut from the pond which he will dispense to the public next summer. - The "old shook shop" was probably the one owned and operated by the Starkey family. By now, F.C. Starkey & Co. dealt in lumber and a few years earlier some of the other Starkeys and the Palmertons were in business in the Flint/Fenton/Saginaw area and so that probably means the shop had been sitting empty and unused until Messrs. Weller and Krause made use of the building.

Squint Shot 032911

After being out of town for nine days, one of my first stops when I came into the downtown area was to see how the corner lot looked after the demolition of the house and office -- pictures of which we've been looking at over the last week or so. I took these three pictures on January 1, 2011. What a difference from when I saw it last. The first picture was taken on the south side of East Grand River, about where the Chase Bank parking lot is. This second picture was taken from the west side of the lot on North Second Street. And, this last picture was taken from the parking lot behind Save-On. Future plans for this lot include a few more parking spaces for State Farm Insurance as well as some landscaping to create a park-like atmosphere. The John Gilluly rock and plaque will continue to stand guard at the very edge of the sidewalk at the corner.

Monday, March 28, 2011

1990 Ciminelli's Pizza

"At Ciminelli's, we make our pizza the old fashion way . . . we take time making our pizza . . . we use all natural ingredients . . . because at Ciminelli's, quality and customers come first!"

They also served spaghetti, lasagna, veal parmesan, salads, subs, soups, breadsticks, chicken nuggets Italiano, and so much more.

"You've had the rest, now try the best."
Just reading the ad made my mouth water -- who doesn't love pizza?! This pizza parlor was located pre-Danny's Pizza at 146 North Grand Avenue. Danny's moved a few years back to West Grand River Avenue, next to the Waldecker Used Car lot.
So, my question -- does anyone remember Ciminelli's?

Squint Shot 032811

The next time I was able to get photographs of the demolition work, the brick building was nothing more than a messy pile and one pillar . . . . . . and the house was completely gone, only the foundation left . . . . . . and now there was a very clear view of the renovated house to the east of this lot where State Farm Insurance is now located.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Pasty Competition at Library

Another fun thing that has happened since publishing The Fowlerville Chronicles is how "infamous" I have become, especially in the area of helping out with events around town. I love everything that I've become involved with, and Saturday was no exception. The finals of the pasty competition -- semi-finals being held previously at each of the five Livingston County libraries -- was conducted at the Fowlerville Library this last Saturday. I was one of three judges given the opportunity to check out the tasty concoctions of the five contestants. The biggest thing I came away when it was all said and done, and the winner had been announced? It was difficult to make a choice. Each pasty was definitely delicious and unique in flavor, creativity was amazing (with the winning entry having U.P. on the top of the meat bun, made out of some of the extra crust), and each contestant was so enthusiastic, of course I wanted everyone to win. Following is a picture of the contestants. Cindy Salfate (second from the left) represented the Fowlerville Library. Well . . . drumroll . . . the gal in the middle won. Her pasty was a traditional upper peninsula pasty recipe, the crust was super flaky, and the ingredients were loaded with flavor. Afterwards, we spoke with her. She and her family happen to have pasty-making parties with friends and families were a large group gets together with all of the ingredients, spends the afternoon or evening putting them together, and then all leave with a supply of pasties for their family. What a great idea! Congratulations to our winner -- and thank you to the Fowlerville Library staff for asking me to help judge. I had a blast!

1847 A Banker Was Born

Yesterday's article addressed how the State Bank of Fowlerville, operated by John C. Ellsworth, became the Community State Bank in 1942. Shortly after setting this information up, I came across an obituary for Mr. Ellsworth, born in 1847. It follows, as published in The State Journal ~~

Fowlerville, Sept. 22~~John C. Ellsworth, president of the Fowlerville State Bank since its organization in 1904 and who had been engaged in the bank business here for the past 66 years, died early Friday morning. He had been in ill health for several years.

Born in West Berkshire, Vt., August 24, 1847, he moved with his parents to Greenville when a small child. He had often recalled playing with Indian children during his boyhood at Greenville. For a short time during his youth, he took up railroading and fired the first engine, the 'Buena Vista,' from Saginaw to Flint.

He obtained his business training in the banking office of his brother-in-law, Alex McPherson of Howell, where he served in various capacities from 1865 to 1872. In 1872, he and Alex McPherson opened the Rockford Exchange bank at Rockford. He sold out his interest in this bank in 1873 to Hyde and Company, and formed a partnership with Milo L. Gay and opened the Fowlerville Exchange bank. Following the death of Mr. Gay in 1884, he purchased his partner's interest and continued the business as the Fowlerville Exchange bank until 1904 when he organized the Fowlerville State bank of which he became president and continued in this capacity until his death.

Survived Panics~~The bank passed through the several panics of the past three score years and more. It was one of the first banks to reopen following the state banking holiday.

Mr. Ellsworth, for several years, was director of the Fowlerville Cornet band and, in later years, enjoyed a pipe organ which he had installed in his residence.

He is survived by two daughters, Mrs. Julia Griffin of Fowlerville and Mrs. Carolyn Edwards of Lansing, and two sons, Alex Ellsworth of Pontiac and Hanson Ellsworth of Mississippi.

Funeral arrangements have not yet been completed.

I added the following picture of the large house on North Grand Avenue, just south of the Family Impact Center. Although it is now owned by someone different, in the early 1900s, this house was known as Banker Ellsworth's house (and is still sometimes referred to that way).

Squint Shot 032711

The majority of the house was now demolished -- leaving only the brick office building. It was not a pretty sight. With this shot, I knew by the time I got back into town, it would be gone and the corner would look very different. Hopefully better.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

1942 Community State Bank

New Bank Holds Grand Opening~~Community State Bank of Fowlerville Started Business Today

Without causing depositors or other bank patrons the slightest inconvenience, the newly organized Community State Bank took over the business of the State Bank of Fowlerville which has completed 69 years of service in this community.

Mr. Herbert Boyes (see picture below), cashier of the new bank took over the duties of operating the bank with the assistance of Miss Hulda Euper, assistant cashier of the old bank, who retains that position in the new bank.Many changes of policy in operation of the new bank are planned by the officers for the benefit of bank patrons, and a new service, that of safety deposit box rental, is now available.

All patrons of the former bank as well as new friends are invited to attend the grand opening this week, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, July 1, 2, and 3. The bank will be closed on Saturday, July 4th, in observance of Independence Day.

The old bank's assets are being liquidated and patrons are reminded that no inconvenience will be caused to any depositor by the change-over. However, everyone is invited to visit the new bank and get acquainted with the new cashier, andn to inquire regarding the policies of the new bank.

Many interesting items are being related regarding the former bank which was founded by Mr. John C. Ellsworth and Mr. Mylo L. Gay, in 1873. Mr. Ellsworth bought Mr. Gay's interest in 1884 and operated a private bank until it was reorganized as the State Bank of Fowlerville in 1904, with Mr. Ellsworth as president.

One of the most widely circulated stories concerning the old bank is being told of how, when Fowlerville suffered a disastrous fire, Mr. Ellsworth continued his banking business on the street beside the old safe, and served the people without interruptions.

This article was published in The Fowlerville Review in 1942.

Squint Shot 032611

A day later, this was what used to be the back of the house on the northeast corner of North Second Street and East Grand River. The roof and second floor, the back porch and walls were all disappearing. The front still looked about the same as a few days earlier, but that would soon change.

Friday, March 25, 2011

1888 Decoration Day

This article was reprinted in The Fowlerville Review. The notation at the end of the article, '--Ex." indicates that it came from one of the other 'exchanges,' or newspapers, from around the state. G.L. Adams would reprint blurbs like this in the local news section -- which, in my opinion, was probably the most popular page of the eight-page newspaper.

Squint Shot 032511

I watched and marveled as the demolition team worked with cranes and bobcats and bulldozers to move pieces of this house off its foundation and crumble it to the ground. What once seemed so sturdy was turning into a pile of rubble. After a bit, I went to the parking lot behind Save-On, parked the truck, and walked over to the other side of the street to snap a couple of pictures. I sometimes wonder if people are going to start to question who that crazy lady is taking so many pictures!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

1961 Rural Carrier Retires

The 125th anniversary of the arrival of Ralph Fowler to this area was in 1961. There was so much going on with that celebration, other news seemed to take a back seat. But, the following article, published in The Fowlerville Review, might interest a few that knew some of the local rural carriers:

C. Glover Retires as Rural Carrier~~Carl Glover, who has been a mail carrier for over 36 years, has resigned from the U.S. Post-office Department as of July 1st, 1961.

During that time, he has worked under five different postmasters; Lewis Hart, Clarence Fuller, Enos Cole, Donald Lockwood, and Clarence Allen.

When he was appointed, there were five routes; George Knickerbocker, Samuel Thompson, Devillo Sabin, and Chris Ludtke drew the other four.

Starting as a regular carrier, the route covered 31 miles. Since that time, it has increased at different times until now it is double or 62 miles.

He has seen a big change over the years in the amount of mail delivered and the condition of the roads.

The roads have changed from mud and dirt of the horse and buggy days to good gravel and hard top of the modern automobile. Try driving a horse and buggy 31 miles over rutty roads every day. From a health standpoint, there has been a big improvement.

Although there were times in winter and spring when the going was very rough, the good people on the route were always more than willing to give a helping hand with a shovel or tractor.

Their kind words and deeds will always be remembered.

In future posts, I will show how the rural mail carriers began in the late 1800s, along with the trials and tribulations. The R.F.D. (rural free delivery) system has an interesting history, one of hardships but also one of many joys to those in the outlying countryside.

In the meantime, did anyone know Mr. Glover or happen to be on his route? I would love for you to leave a comment or two for all of my readers to enjoy.

Squint Shot 032411

Two days ago, I showed a squint shot of the roof to this house (which was from the second floor) toppled down. Yesterday's picture showed this same day looking from the southeast northwesterly. I pulled my truck over to South Second Street and snapped this photograph showing a now-one-story house, no roof. The initial parts of the demolition were fast and furious, bringing down large pieces of the building.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My Town Fowlerville Michigan

I take a lot of pictures, but so far I haven't experimented with videotaping anything in and around Fowlerville. That might be my next venture.

But in the meantime, I'm reposting this video, My Town, for your enjoyment.

1877 W.Z. Ball Photographer

We recently had occasion to visit the photograph gallery of our fellow townsman, W.Z. Ball, and were shown some work in the line of chromo-photography that for perfect workmanship and elegance surpasses anything we have seen lately. We were not aware that we had an artist of so much skill among us, and it is to be hoped that since we have, he may be liberally patronized by the people.

The above article gave great praise to a local photographer but another photographer must have come through town because a few weeks later, this article was published in The Fowlerville Review:

One day last week, a lady from the country stepped into Mr. Brown's photograph cars to have some work done. One of her eyes became somewhat irritable and noticing a dish setting on the stove containing what she supposed to be water, she applied some of the fluid to it. The supposed water proved to be a solution of silver which in a short time began to turn black and the probability is that by the time she reached home, she had a black eye that will probably stay by her for some time to come.

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I pulled my truck into the parking lot for the Zizka-Grand-Lockwood Insurance agency and marveled at how different the scenery already looks with the second floor gone. If you are just joining us, this house used to stand at the northeast corner of North Second Street and East Grand River, until late December 2010.Yesterday's squint shot showed the roof sitting nearly on the ground.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

1885 House Robbery

On Monday morning, Mr. John Denson, who lives alone, went to his marsh and worked there during the forenoon. When he returned to dinner, he found that his house had been broken open and $35 in cash stolen, also a certificate of deposit on McPhersons' bank, Howell, for nearly $400. He at once came to Fowlerville and notified the bank by telephone of his loss of the certificate. The thief or thieves gained an entrance to the house by prying open the doors with a spade. They then went up stairs and chopped open the chest containing his money and papers with an axe, after which they departed leaving no clue behind.

The above article was published in The Fowlerville Review.

As I continue to cull through information, if I ever come across if this robbery was solved or if McPhersons Bank made sure the certificate was not honored by anyone other than Mr. Denson, I will definitely do an update.

One bit of insight I do have to offer is when I was doing research for The Fowlerville Chronicles, I suffered under the illusion the early years of Fowlerville were crime-free -- mostly because I wasn't paying attention to those articles. But as I've been working on the biography for G.L. Adams, I have come across more and more articles where swindles, frauds, and break-ins were a common occurrence. It may have been a simpler time, but it may well still have been fraught with stress of other sorts.

Squint Shot 032211

Well, it was going to happen -- the house and office at the corner of North Second Street and East Grand River was scheduled for demolition -- by the end of December, 2010. As I was coming back through town one day, this was the first shot I was able to get. Major walls were already down and the roof sat on top of the rubble at a precarious angle. I knew it would take a few days so I snapped a few pictures and continued on.

Monday, March 21, 2011

1845 Livingston Courier

In 1884, an article was published in The Fowlerville Review as follows:

Mrs. Ben. Curtis has two well-preserved copies of the Livingston Courier, published at Howell by N. Sullivan, and bearing date November 12, 1845. It is a five-column folio and is very peculiar in its 'makeup' differing very widely from the journals of today. They are entirely without local matter, with the exception of the election returns, which are very meagre, and the census report of the county which had just been taken, giving Unadilla 945, Brighton 922, Howell 708, Handy 301, being the smallest population of any town in the county except Conway, which contained 269. It is democratic in politics and rejoices in the fact that Chas. P. Bush was elected to the senate by over 100 majority and that the state had given so far as heard from over 100 majority and that the state had given so far as heard from 300 majority for Alphens Fitch for governor, and winds up the article by saying that 'in the legislature, the democrats have elected 25 and the coons 12 members in the house. The coons will probably have 15 of the 53 members.'

Squint Shot 032111

The second of yesterday's squint shots showed a picture I took of the depot from across the tracks. Well . . . while I was standing there, inspiration hit. I thought back to a picture given to me by Duane Herbert, taken in 1958, looking eastward and being able to see the depot, the Burkhart Elevator (which no longer exists), and the Rounsville Elevator. So I angled my camera and took the following picture, hoping I was remembering the approximate look of the old picture. Here's my shot: Here's the one from 1958: Close . . . but then, I really didn't want to stand on the tracks!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

1955 Byerly's Manager

Does anyone remember Byerly's grocery store? It was located where Chase Bank is now housed in the southeast corner of the main four. It was one of numerous grocery and dry goods stores currently operating in Fowlerville in the mid-1900s -- Curtis Grocery was around the corner on North Grand and Miner's Groceries was across the street.

So, if you remember Byerly's, does anyone remember Chester 'Chet' Hall, the manager. During one of the months of the local newspaper celebrating businessmen in the village, the following article was published in The Fowlerville Review:

Chester 'Chet' Hall, manager of the local Byerly store for 12 years, has been selected as business man of the month.

Mr. Hall has been a resident of this locality nearly all his life, his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Hall living onlly ten miles from Fowlerville.

He was a graduate of Fowlerville high school.

Previous to operating the store here, he managed Byerly's Byron store for two years.

He is a volunteer fireman on the fire department, a member of the Commercial Club and the Masonic Lodge of Byron.

Mr. and Mrs. Hall, and two children, Jim and Peggy, reside at 512 East Grand River.

Now I'm curious -- was 'Jim', the Jim Hall the same one that had the insurance company so many years in Fowlerville?

Squint Shot 032011

Today's squint shot is actually two modern ones and three from years past. I have traveled past the depot more times than I can count -- even going inside and getting some squint shots (shown months ago) -- but recently I watched as they redid the roof of this old building. The first shot shows its eastern exposure . . . . . . and the second shot was taken from across the railroad tracks at the north end of the old Rounsville elevator which is now part of "Gladiator Junction."
And, now for an added bonus, following are three pictures -- the first of which has been easy to find over the years in other publications and reprints on walls of various storefronts. This would have been taken sometime around the turn of the century (1900, that is) when the depot building was a wooden structure. In 1917, the wooden structure burned down. The following article was found in The Fowlerville Review:
New Depot Completed~~The new Pere Marquette depot, in place of the one burned here nearly two years ago, is completed and agent Clack moved in Monday.
It is quite a modern affair with basement and is heated by a furnace and is equipped with ladies toilets, etc.
The space between the depot and track is paved with brick, which extends 360 feet east and west and a space is also roofed between the depot and track, giving it quite a citified appearance. Without doubt, the patrons of the road as well as the office force will greatly appreciate the new building and its equipment as an old freight caboose is a mighty poor substitute for a handy depot. We have waited long, and sometimes rather impatiently but we now have about the finest depot for its size of any place along the line.
The next two pictures were taken years later. For the first one, I was given permission to take a digital picture of this from the former owner of Docusen's. The date of this picture is unknown, but it was estimated to be in the 1930s or 40s. Eventually it was required that the portico be taken down because it was too close to the tracks.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

1978 Fowlerville Jaycees

There used to be a Fowlerville Jaycees group; in fact, they would meet on the second floor of the Harmon building. If you look up to the corner window of that building, you will still see lettering for their organization.

In 1978, the following picture was published in The Fowlerville Review, which at that time was being printed as a part of the Livingston County Press & Argus:
As noted in the caption for the picture, from left, officers this year are Bill Gregory; Art Currey, external director; Tom Zimmerman, external vice president; Joe Ridley, president; Ed Wicke, internal vice president; and Bill Call, internal director.

The caption also read, the Jaycees is not a businessman's club. It is more than Oktoberfests, Easter egg hunts, teen dances and ice rinks. It is made up of young men dedicated to community involvement and the desire for friendship.

Squint Shot 031911

Well, I figured at this point I had taken all the pictures I could think of inside and outside of the house and office that used to stand at the northeast corner of North Second Street and East Grand River. But then, as I was climbing into my truck, I noticed this gardener's shed at the back of the State Farm property. It had been mentioned to me this would probably come down also -- which it did. From what I understand, previous owners had worked this area into a small picnic-type area with a pond, flowers, and a walkway.

And now, over the next couple of days, we are going to take a detour to show some other squint shots before we get back to the actual demolition of the house.

Friday, March 18, 2011

1878 Ribbon Debacle

It would appear, in the late 1800s, arguments and disputes were played out in the local newspaper -- maybe instead of in court as so often happens in the modern world. The following letter was published in The Fowlerville Review and then a response was given the next week by Mr. Lambert Williams. The rebuttal:
Editor Review:

I saw in your last issue that one Miss Dora Washbourn, who lives, or makes her home at Lambert Williams, had, by cutting ribbon and paper, made a disgraceful appearance of Mr. E.D. Drew's dry good store. I have been in this place quite a number of years and never in my life had anything to do with such a display. But as my name is mentioned in it, I wish to say a few words in regard to it and hope the reader will bear somewhat with me.

This Dora Washbourn is a member of our family and was sent up town with a sample of silk ribbon to match in quality, but not in color. She found the color at Mr. Drew's store and supposing it to be the same quality as the sample, asked for five yards. The five yards was cut off and there was left from 1/8 to 1/4 of a yard, so the girl told Z.M. Palmerton that she would take that small piece as it would not any good to them and paid for it.

When she came home with it, it proved to be of a cotton quality of ribbon and wasn't of any use to us. She was sent back with the ribbon to see if they would take it back. But they would not take it back so the ribbon was left at the store. But the next morning finding my wife's name in large letters on exhibition in the showcase, I told Dora to go and see if Drew would exchange for other goods, if not she had better get it, and, as it was no good, to cut it up. She went to the store and Z.M. Palmerton refused to exchange other goods for it, so the ribbon was called for and she commenced clipping it up; but Z.M. Palmerton, clerk, thought the ribbon didn't make much of a show on the floor so he handed her paper to cut and, at the same time, using the most tantalizing language which provoked the girl to do what she never intended to do.

It does seem to me that Mr. Drew must want to have his goods advertised or he never would allow his clerk to put it in the Review. I wish to say that if any one should want to use any cotton ribbon, they will do better at Drew's store than at any store in town for I know that Z.M. Palmerton, clerk, with those beautiful smiles he puts on, will do all he can to make it pleasant and entertaining, especially for children, for he can hand them paper to clip to amuse themselves with, while doing up their parcels. Trade being light that morning, Zenes was sent out to ask a few friends in to see the elephant before it went to the Review office. Zenes thought he was doing a big thing in advertising that girl. After aiding her in her paper cutting and as the tail had been clipped off the elephant, I would have put my head between my legs and walked for the broom, and come to the conclusion that I had been beat at my own game. ~~Lambert Williams

Makes me wonder if there were any future apologies from Mr. Drew to the Williams for his clerk's behavior in egging on Miss Dora.

Squint Shot 031811

Well, the house and office building have now been torn down, but as of the end of December, 2010, this barn still stood. After taking a quick shot of it, I did peek in the door window -- nothing of interest -- but I have wondered how it was used in years past. If it was built shortly after the house, circa 1920 (see early March squint shot for the surveyor map), it may have housed horse-drawn buggies and then eventually early models of Fords or other makes.

Update: This barn-style garage was finally removed and is now temporary parking until the corner lot is reworked. The garage, barely visible at the right side of the picture, still stands.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

1892 Place & Gale

In one of the local newspapers in Fowlerville, The Fowlerville Observer, Mr. Peek, the editor, gave some synopses of various business in town in 1892. Place & Gale was a busy, well-stocked mercantile company on the east side of North Grand Avenue, just north of the intersection. The following gives a good over-view of this storefront:

In the matter of large and first-class dry goods emporiums and boot and shoe establishments, Fowlerville is as well equipped as any village in the state; and among the largest and most important a prominent position must be given to the representative and progressive firm of Messrs. Place & Gale.

These gentlemen are thoroughly practical business men, fully acquainted with every feature and detail of their business, and the requirements of customers. The premises consists of two large and commodious salesrooms, with entrances on both Grand River street and Grand avenue. In dry goods, the assortment includes silks, satins, dress goods of various fabrics, laces, ribbons, dress trimmings, gloves, house keeper's goods, etc.; also hosiery, linens, woolens, cottons, fancy notions, curtains, draperies, carpets, and everything usually found in any first-class dry goods store.

In boots and shoes, the stock is an exceedingly large one and has been carefully chosen from stocks of the leading factories, which places this firm in a position to offer the very best bargains and meet the most exacting demands of their patrons; in fact, nothing in the boot, shoe and rubber line can be called for that they have not in stock. They also carry a large and complete line of crockery, glassware, etc., and an excellent stock of staple groceries.

The Messrs. Place & Gale are among our most enterprising merchants, and are thoroughly identified with the interests of Fowlerville and this community.

Squint Shot 031711

After I wandered past the rock and plaque at the northeast corner of North Second Street and East Grand River, I took this picture of the house and office that were scheduled for demolition. The house was built sometime after 1916, once the Spencer House had been torn down. I have not come across when the brick office building was added onto it. Does anyone remember when that was built?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

1908 Nellie Glenn

In 1908, Nellie Glenn was employed at the Michigan State Sanatorium in Howell. According to an article and the picture, as shown below, by Chester Clark, published in the Fowlerville News & Views in 1992, the caption read as follows:

The first women patients in the first Women's Shack when the Michigan State Sanatorium for Tuberculosis opened in 1908. Located in Marion Township, this facility was designed to be unheated, open-air the year around, on the highest elevation in the lower peninsula. T.B. was finally stamped out. Longtime Fowlerville lady Nellie Lansing Glenn was the first and only secretary of MSS when this photo was taken in 1908.Reportedly Nellie Lansing met her future husband, Dr. Glenn, at the sanatorium. They made their home in Fowlerville and, as the years went along, she became the village's historian and kept some wonderful memories and information that is now safely stored in the village offices. This last January, numerous squint shots showed the house they lived in at the southwest corner of South Collins Street and East Grand River. Be sure to check out these squint shots -- it is a beautiful house, both inside and out.

Squint Shot 031611

Although I have shown this plaque in very early squint shots, I thought I would get one more picture of it. This rock and memorial plaque will continue to stand at the corner of North Second Street and East Grand River. It is in memory of John Gilluly, a Brighton teacher who fought hard and led a troop of soldiers from Fowlerville during the Civil War. More of him can be found on this site as well as in my book, The Fowlerville Chronicles.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

1963 Past Masters of Masonic

The following picture was published in the Fowlerville News & Views in 1991, dated ca. 1963, as the Masonic Temple past masters posed. As shown below the picture, the following caption was:

The Fowlerville Masonic Lodge, Past Master's Night, circa 1963. This photo is the property of the Lodge in care of Clyde Munsell. These men are, front row, from left, Colin Wallace, Delmar Davis, Robert Liddicoat, Walter Tomion, Heber Wilkinson, Earl Peckens, J.B. Redfield; center row, Clyde Yelland, Carson Allen, Robert Ruttman, Cecil Lepard, Andy Lovas, Robert E. Smith; back row, Laurence Kuehn, Irwin Glover, Glendon Redinger (Master that year), Clayton Damman, Gordon Harmon, and Lyle Glover.

While doing research for The Fowlerville Chronicles, I found the Masonic temple members to be the "movers and shakers" of the village, and to be highly respected. In the early years, when a member passed away a Resolution of Respect would be published in the newspaper touting the hard work and contributions to the community over the member's lifetime. Much of this information enhanced my understanding of the work, sequence of events, and how the community was built by these businessmen.

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After checking out the east side of the house, I came around to the street side. I had mentioned "Craftsman" styling a couple days ago -- maybe yes, maybe no. Does anyone have any thoughts on what this style would be? In a way, it could even have been called a sort of cape cod. Your thoughts? The house no longer stands, but you can look back over this month's squint shots and see what I saw before it was torn down.

Monday, March 14, 2011

1927 Mrs. Eugene Burkhart

The Burkhart Elevator was a thriving business at the railroad tracks; keeping Mr. Eugene Burkhart a busy man. Mrs. Burkhart, as shown below, was also as active, especially in community activities. In the late 1920s, she was involved with the Philomathean Club, serving as its president 1926-27.
For those unfamiliar, which included me until reading an article in celebration of the club's 100th year in 1998, the main purpose of the club (according to the article) was "to create homes and home town as havens of intellectual quality, compassionate concern, and dynamic service. The club has offered their help in library activities, assisting in the Red Cross blood drives, as well as offering scholarships to community-minded graduating females.

The Fowlerville chapter of this club began in 1898, with Mrs. Joanna Palmerton, daughter of Ralph Fowler, acting as the first president. The main purpose at that time was to form a literary club. By the time Mrs. Burkhart was president, the club included six-person formal debates in their activities.

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This particular squint shot shows the east exposure of the house that used to stand on the east end of the business district of the village on East Grand River. A few days earlier, I showed two pictures of a window on the second floor that had been split in half to create a division between the bathroom and kitchen. That window would have been the one slightly bumped out.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

1980 Harmon Building

Earlier this month, pictures were shown of the brick building at the northwest corner of the main four corners. It has been known as the Palmerton Block in the late 1800s, the Sidell Block in the early 1900s, and now I've told Paul Harmon we should start calling it the Harmon Block -- or otherwise known as the place where Harmon Real Estate is now located. These pictures were provided to me by Paul. The first one is looking northward on North Grand Avenue. Other than a different siding on the ground floor, from when Dillingham's Hardware was in business, the only other point of interest might be the sign for the Cedar Lounge. That location is now Lucky's Pub. The second and third pictures were particularly interesting to me, mostly because they are aerials. At the very end of my book, The Fowlerville Chronicles, there are current-day aerials, taken during the early summer of 2010. When I was snapping the photographs (which you can see many of them under November, 2010, squint shots), I tried very hard to replicate some angles of two 1956 aerial photographs, which are now safely stored in the Fowlerville Historical Collection at the village offices. Various close-ups of those 1956 aerials can be found in my book. It is fun to look at those and compare 60 years ago to today's Fowlerville. Which, of course, I had to of these 1980 aerials to the modern-day village. Things I noticed:
~~At the left of the first picture, the old used car lot is not a large parking lot, part of which was iced over for skating this last winter.

~~The hardware is now a different color of paint.
~~The sign for Keesler's furniture store can be seen at the right side of the picture. In a few years, it would be The Decorating Center until 2010 when Maria's School of Dance relocated to this building.

~~At the bottom left side, the old Ford garage is shown without its current rough-sawn cedar front, which was added in the late 1980s.

~~And, the gas pumps are no longer at the southwest corner.In this second picture, the only item that stands out to me is, at the upper left hand corner, a building for the Fowlerville Lumber Company stood where now a parking lot is located. Can anyone spot something I missed?

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As I continued to circle around the house that formerly stood at the corner across from the former Maria's location and also the laundromat, I snapped this picture of the rear of the house. Previous squint shots showed some of the detail of the windows in the room at the back above the back entrance. The styling of this house was certainly a mixed bag. From the front, it had certain "Craftsman" styles of the 20s and 30s, but from the back it was definitely the older styling from the early 1900s.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

1894 Joshua Dunn

Last Thursday was the 65th birthday of our genial Joshua Dunn. He was given a complete surprise and wasd very appropriately entertained by "Cal's Club" at Cal's pleasant residence on that evening. As usual, Joshua furnished his share of the pleasantry and is only sorry that his birthdays are a whole year apart. The Club presented him with a very fine pipe with which to solace his solitary hours to and from the village.

Joshua Dunn was the favored milkman in the mid-to-late 1800s. He was constantly being praised in the local newspaper for his genial demeanor and his generosity of always providing more like a "baker's dozen" when it came to milk delivery -- always a bit extra.

"Cal's Club" was a men's group that met on a fairly regular basis for an evening of good food, conversation, and companionship -- "Cal" being Calvin Lockwood.

A year later, the following announcement was made in the local paper -- We have noticed that the genial countenance of our veteran milkman, "Uncle Josh," has been even more smiling than usual for the past few days and an investigation leads to the development of the fact that he is grandpa to a brand new baby born to Mr. and Mrs. John Dunn a few days since. Whether this will lead to an increase or decrease in the price of milk, we have not yet learned, but we shall not be surprised to hear Josh shout grandpa instead of ringing his bell some day.

A much earlier article, in 1879, published in the newspaper showed how appreciated his deliveries were -- The work of publishing a country newspaper with its many disadvantages and discouragements is not always as pleasant as some night suspect. There are individuals -- and circumstances that frequently occur -- however, that lighten the burdens of such a life and the publisher of the Review has found that, among many others, that worthy personage who vends the bovinial fluid in this village, Joshua Dunn, belongs to that class of persons who delight in making others happy. He has our thanks for numerous favors.

What a wonderful public thank you!

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In December, 2010, the outside of the house at the northeast corner of North Second Street and East Grand River Avenue looked like this. This is looking at the west side of the building. Within a couple of weeks, this house was torn down and now an empty lot stands in its place.The second picture shows a shot as I stepped back to across North Second Street. The building at the right was a small brick structure used as office space. Who knows what was hidden behind the wooden fence! In an earlier squint shot, I showed a window and hinge in the room above the back porch and entrance to the house.

Friday, March 11, 2011

1873 W.W. Starkey

One of the earliest references I found of the Starkey Stave Factory was around 1873. It was listed in a State of Michigan Gazetteer and Business Directory as "Starkey, W.W., stave and heading factory, near depot." A great deal of the early history of Fowlerville centers around the successes of W.W. Starkey and the Palmerton family. In my book, The Fowlerville Chronicles, a lot of that has been shown. But by the mid-1890s both of these families no longer lived in Fowlerville.

The Starkeys and many of the Palmertons lived in Saginaw, but they would come back to town for numerous visits throughout the years.

One such visit was noted in several short articles The Fowlerville Review in the spring of 1896 as follows:

W.W. Starkey, of Saginaw, was the guest of friends at this place the last of last week.

Mrs. W.W. Starkey and Mrs. F.G. Palmerton, returned to their home, at Saginaw, on Monday, accompanied by Mrs. J. Palmerton (widow of Samuel Palmerton), who will spend some time visiting relatives and friends at that place.

And then, Mrs. H. Greenaway gave a very pleasant informal 'at home' on Saturday last in honor of Mrs. W.W. Starkey and Mrs. F.G. Palmerton, of Saginaw. Elegant refreshments were served to about 30 of her friends.

I've gathered a ton of materials on the Starkey enterprise and will plan on posting it at a later date.

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Still upstairs at the house formerly located at the northeast corner of North Second Street and East Grand River -- looking at a radiator again! A few days back, I showed one that was located on the first floor which was quite decorative. This one, by contrast was very stark looking and had been painted. It was ice cold to the touch, in mid-December, as the house had no heat in it as preparations were being made to demolish it.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

1883 Spencer Hospitality

There have been other posts regarding the Spencer House, also known as the Spencer Exchange when it was first built, but I thought a couple more items of interest should be added from an 1883 issue of The Fowlerville Review. The Spencer House was located at the northeast corner of North Second Street and East Grand River.W.H. Spencer is placing a pool and two billiard tables in his hotel. And,

The boarders at the Spencer House, as in token of the high esteem in which they are held by the landlord, Mrs. Wm. H. Spencer, received Monday evening each a china cup and saucer. They retaliated by presenting her with a beautiful pair of bracelets.
And since we are reading about the Spencer House, this is a gentle reminder that the squint shots for this last week and for a few more days are of the house that replaced the above building in the late 1910s. But of additional interest in the above picture, the house that can be seen at the far right of the picture was built sometime after the Civil War, from all information obtained. It has been recently updated and remodeled and now houses the State Farm Insurance business.

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Okay, now this was the strangest thing I have seen in a house in a very long time. Upstairs, it what appeared to be one of two apartments, a wall had been placed to divide the bathroom facilities from the kitchen and a living area. The strange thing? The wall cut the window in half! The first one shows the south part of the window and the second one the north side. One more day of inside shots and then we will head outside for some pictures of the house before it was torn down.