Sunday, July 31, 2011

1896 Election Bet

It would appear sometimes the voting public agreed to disagree on who was the best candidate during an election. In the following article, published by the editor of the local newspaper, a friendly bet ensued and the winner had the pleasure of being pushed in a wheelbarrow through the streets of the village by the loser:

A Novel Sight~~The payment of an election bet caused considerable merriment upon the streets of this village on Saturday afternoon. James Reece and O.P. Laycox made an agreement before election to wheel the one whose candidate was elected from the postoffice to the Bean opera house and back, and in accordance with the agreement, Laycox appeared on Saturday with his wheelbarrow. Reece took his place on the carriage, carrying a banner bearing the words, "The pusher of this cart voted for Bryan," and the procession headed by the kid martial band, made the trip in grand style, cheered by the large crowd through which they had to pass, and arrived without incident at the starting point.

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This last day of July brings to you a bit of a "teaser" squint shot. I say that because this is a bit of a mystery to me as well. A friend of mine and I had the opportunity (and delight, if I may sound so strange) to once again head up to the second and third floors of the Harmon building. I have taken numerous shots upstairs in the past and posted the pictures, but there will be more! Heading to these two floors with another set of eyes, more things found their way into my camera.

Which now brings me to today's photograph. Tossed in an old wooden bin, my friend spotted this and pulled it out. My immediate thought was it looks like a peg leg. But we soon discounted that. We both have some thoughts of what it might be and are doing some additional investigating. If, and I truly hope when, we figure this out, I will let you know. As for now, your thoughts?

Saturday, July 30, 2011

1909 Wonder Worker

In my research for the biography, I find myself reading nearly every article and advertisement -- mostly because it is just plain fun. In the spring of 1909, I started noticing references made to the miracles of "Wonder Worker" so, of course, googling being my favorite source for information, I found this picture:

Look at the box label, it takes care of "sores, wounds, cuts and abrasions, harness galls, scratches and thrust." So, obviously, it is a wonder ointment for both humans and horses!

Following are some of the articles I found in the local newspaper:

The Wonder Worker is guaranteed to remove stains and dirt from any garment. 25 cents at the Racket (The Racket was now owned and operated by Holt and Hart. As another side note, Holt and Hart were also responsible for many of the early 1900 photographs that are now stored in the Fowlerville Historical Collection, with many of them being made into postcards in later years.)

And, Have you tried the Wonder Worker at Holt and Hart's Racket?

Squint Shot 073011

I have one more "then and now" squint shot. While I was working on the self-guided walking tour brochure, Mike Grimm provided the ca. 1910 picture of the the house (left side) which would eventually become the Vogt Funeral Home at 223 North Grand Avenue. Originally we were going to include a modern-day picture of this house -- which is now divided into apartments -- in the brochure, so I took a picture. So here are two pictures -- enjoy . . . Rumor has it -- and so far I haven't really found anything to substantiate this -- but a couple of long-time residents have mentioned this may have been a brothel at one time. I have come across articles in early issues of The Fowlerville Review of some goings-on, problems, and even some litigation, but never a location. If anyone knows when this house was built, I may be able to go back in old issues of the paper and glean a bit more information. Anyone?

Friday, July 29, 2011

1877 Eccentric Chap

The editor of the local newspaper had a wonderful way of describing the goings-on of a wandering man, getting slightly liquored up, and his weekend adventure in the village. Following is the article:

"Parshal"-ity~~Rather an eccentric chap arrived in town the latter part of last week, dressed quite well and in appearance would scarcely be taken for a tramp. He made application at the residence of W.M. Beach for something to eat but was politely informed that they did not keep a boarding house. He left remarking that he "thought the people of this town were pretty blamed poor." He wandered around town for a time and, after taking in a dose or two of aqua vitae, marched into the pantry of James Bean's residence and, planting himself in a chair, demanded "something to eat." He was told to leave and, without any seeming disposition to be ugly, stood not upon the order of going but went. The next place visited was the residence of Deputy Sheriff Parshal and intimated that he would like a place to board. Taylor, without the usual Parshal-ity shown such fellows, said he could accommodate him and immediately conveyed him to the hotel deCalaboose, where he was entertained with all the delicacies the establishment could afford until Sunday morning when, having sobered off, he was released under suspended sentence on condition that he leave town. He expressed himself that "this was a bad town and you'd never catch him here again." It's hoped not.

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The other day, while on assignment to take pictures for the walking tour brochure which was available during the celebration -- and there are still copies available -- I took a picture of the Centennial Park gazebo. As it turned out, this picture was not needed so it quickly became part of my squint shot collection. Enjoy . . .
The gazebo was used for the "Hometown Idol" event during the weekend's celebration. It made for a great stage, especially for us in the audience. People brought chairs and blankets and picnics while watching the enthusiastic participants.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

1912 Accidents and Injuries

Accidents and injuries would become common knowledge if the editor of the local newspaper got wind of them. From flying potatoes, to tripping on steps, to horse and wagon accidents -- this is just a sampling:

F.G. Rounsville, son of C.D. Rounsville, has recently discovered that he had a broken nose. A few days since, while at play, Kern Cunningham threw a frozen potato and struck F.G. on the nose. The injured member kept sore and swollen until he had the doctor examine it and discovered that it was broken.

And then a few weeks later,

W.H. Peek had a very narrow escape from a serious injury by a fall on Friday evening at the Vaudette. He was just going to the little room to operate the film for the pictures and, as he reached the top step, became dizzy and fell to the bottom, a distance of about six feet, breaking one of his ribs. He was taken to his home on a sleigh and Dr. J.A. McGarvah reduced the fracture. He had a very narrow escape and is congratulating himself that it is no worse.


As Scott Humphrey, accompanied by Ernest Reyhl, was returning home from attending the Masonic lodge in this village Tuesday evening, after the street lights were turned off, the carriage ran over a pile of gravel at the roadside, to be used for covering the oil on the streets, and was overturned, throwing the men ou t, but fortunatelly not injuring them. The horse made for home and S.T. Blackmer took the men home in his auto.

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In another miscellaneous squint shot, I zoomed in a bit on the second floor, east side, of the building just west of Sweet Sensations. The brickwork -- some vertical bricks -- is an interesting little look on an otherwise simple wall.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

1892 Electrical Storm

Much as been written about fires in the Fowlerville downtown area. Most of these fires began inside the buildings -- whether it was a result of a lantern or candle being knocked over or crude wiring or a stove fire -- but the community also dealt routinely with lightning fires. One such storm caused major and total destruction to two barns and the death of livestock. The following article was published in The Fowlerville Review and gives a good example of how quickly lives were changed:

A Terrific Electric Storm~~On Wednesday evening, at about 6:30, the most terrific electric storm ever witnessed in this vicinity, passed over and around this place. The fine basement barn of W.M. Horton, containing a large silo for ensilage, with its contents of hay and between six and seven hundred bushels of old wheat and a few agricultural tools, was struck by lightning and burned to the ground. Mr. Horton was about half way between the house and barn and was knocked down by the shock but was not the least injured. He looked over his shoulder toward the barn before he arose and saw the shingles flying in all directions. He ran into the barn and, at first, thought there was no fire but it suddenly burst into a flame and in a moment was enveloped in fire. Just a moment later, another crash was heard and the west barn on the Amos Barnard's farm, less than one mile north of the Horton barn, was struck and burned to the ground with its contents of hay and three horses. The horses were killed by the shock as they were found dead when they went into the barn after them. The loss falls quite heavily on both these gentlemen. We are unable to learn the amount of the insurance on either case. Several persons in the village were more or less shocked and two or three were knocked out of chairs in which they were sitting, although there were no serious results.

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As with yesterday's squint shot, I revisited a site which basically got my book, The Fowlerville Chronicles, started. If you've read any of this blog, you probably are well aware my curiosity regarding the rock at the corner of North Second Street and East Grand River helped to push me into researching the history of the village. This last December the house and office building at this corner was demolished (which you can find by checking out squint shots for that month). And now, this very corner is being landscaped as a grassy area and possibly some parking spaces. For now, it is looking pretty nice.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

1912 Snakes

The Tidings was a newspaper published out of Howell in the early 1900s. G.L. Adams, publisher and editor of The Fowlerville Review, would republish many of the articles that would pertain to the Fowlerville/Howell area. There have been other articles regarding the spotting and killing of moccasins and blue racers in this area.When the above article, regarding snakes, caught my eye, I tried to think back if I have heard of any snakes spotted in the area. I have to admit I haven't taken any walks in pastures -- they may well still be there -- so, now I ask, have any of my readers come across large snakes?

Squint Shot 072611

I started this website on January 26, 2009 with a "squint shot" that you can look at by clicking here. And now over 900 squint shots later, I decided to revisit my first picture with a summertime shot so you could compare it with how the park benches look in the wintertime. Enjoy . . .

Monday, July 25, 2011

1877 Attempted Robbery

Quite a sensation was created on the streets of our usually quiet village on Monday at about ten o'clock by an individual (name unknown) who came in from the east, representing himself to be an advertising agent, and reporting that he had been hailed when near the "hogback," about a mile and a-half out, by two men who attempted to stop his horse and demanded his money. Constable Collins, in comopany with a posse of men and boys started out, no doubt with visions of a first-class chase and a desperate struggle with a band of highwaymen. Arriving at the point above-mentioned, they found several young men from the village who were recognized by the more-scared-than-hurt advertising agent as the desperadoes. The boys were questioned and said they simply hollered to the man as he passed and said, "Save your money and buy a farm!" It amounts to nothing only this: The man says he understood the boys to say, "Let's have your money!" and was sure at the time that that was what they were after and if they had followed him, he would have fired upon them in which case it might have proved a very serious piece of fun for the boys.

The above article was found in an 1877 issue of The Fowlerville Review. A couple items caught my eye as I was reading this and deciding if I should post it:

1) "Hogback" was mentioned about a mile and a half east of town. I'm assuming that was how Hogsback Road finally got its name, and

2) The name "Collins" showed up. In a few years there would be a Collins Greenhouse and there is also Collins Street. I'm also assuming this may have been from the family that had a village constable.

My only wish would have been that the posse was so-named -- I wonder how many and who was willing to saddle up and ride out of town on a moment's notice.

As a follow-up to the above article, in 1912 a short obituary was posted for a William L. Collins. Could this have been the constable? It read, William L. Collins died at his home in Topeka, Kansas, on Sunday, Jan. 7, after many years of suffering with cancer. His wife is a sister of Mrs. H.C. Benjamin of Conway. The deceased will be remembered by many of the older citizens as a former resident of this village.

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Oh yea, another "doorway to nowhere."

As we were parking the truck one evening on North Second Street in order to get a "goatburger" at the Bloated Goat, I zeroed in on the east side of the red brick building at the northwest corner of the block.

It would appear two windows and one doorway were cemented in at some point. The last occupants was the Maria's School of Dance, but before that, among other things, it had been used as a car dealership. Does anyone remember when there may have been more openings along the east wall?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

1895 Rail System Map

Recently, while going over some research materials for the in-progress biography with a friend, she mentioned a website I had not heard of for additional information. It is called the Mardo Library, which you can access by clicking here.

And then, of course, I had to do some poking around on the site and came across the following map. It took me a few minutes, and a little help, to really decipher it and realize the lines between towns represented the rail system and the circles on those lines were the stops.

Most of the names are familiar even to today's maps, but is anyone familiar with "Pettys V." (just north of Hamburg)?

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In my continuing on-again-off-again series of "doorways to nowhere," I spotted another one; although this may have been a window at one time. This is located on the west side of the hardware store, and formerly the Orr Theatre. It would appear below the window/door, there might have been a ledge at one time. Any thoughts or memories? Through the end of the month, the squint shots will be a few miscellaneous pictures I've taken and then we will begin in August with a look through the mausoleum in the cemetery.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

2011 Milestone

This website continues to plug along strong and full of all sorts of information -- and, to that end, I wanted to post a bit that there are now over 1,500 posts for you to peruse, search on, enjoy, and read so much information regarding the village of Fowlerville and its surrounding area.

If you are looking for a particular name, type in that name in the "search" box; but, if nothing comes up, be sure to contact me. I may have information that I haven't had a chance to post as yet.

Each day, as time permits, I will post a "history lesson" but also be sure to check out the "squint shots." There is so much added to each post, even I'm surprised at times.

So, continue to enjoy, make use of, and maybe even consider supporting this site. :)

1943 Ration Book

There were so many items provided to the temporary museum that I never had time to add to the website during the hectic weekend of the celebration, so over the next few months, I will be adding as many items as possible.

The following picture shows a World War II ration book, provided by Ray Bessert. While doing research for my book, The Fowlerville Chronicles, I came across a number of articles of how the village residents truly stepped up during World War II, organizing metal scrap drives, meat and fuel rationing, making sure everything was followed during doing black-out drills (Deo Blackmer was the organizer of successful black-outs), writing letters to servicemen overseas, and collecting phonograph records to send to the troops.

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Since we just had a few squint shots of the old vault used by the Community State Bank, I figured it was time to head over to Harmon's to photograph the old vault used by Mr. Ellsworth when this was the Ellsworth and Gay bank. More gorgeous carvings . . . Both of these vaults are true treasures here in Fowlerville. It is a credit to the owners of these buildings that the safes are maintained in such gorgeous shape.

And, on a side note, the other day a friend and I were once again exploring the second and third floors of the Harmon building and found a few more things I had missed in previous visits. Those will be posted in a due time.

Friday, July 22, 2011

1912 Coca Cola Advertisement

In addition to loving to "google" for information, I also really find a great deal of trivia through wikipedia. So, when I first came across an advertisement for Coca-Cola in the local newspaper in 1912, I had to do that exactly. I found great information which you can read by clicking here.
As history goes, Spagnuolos were the first in Fowlerville to have a coke machine installed in their retail candy/ice cream store. That would end up being another dozen years after this ad first showed up.

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One more picture of the trimwork found on the front of the third building in from the southeast corner on East Grand River -- check back over the last couple of weeks for photographs of inside both floors.

Part of the reason I took the following picture is because of it looking somewhat like a fleur d'lis. If you look upward and around on many of the buildings in Fowlerville, will see similar carvings on the trimwork.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

1952 Rotary Athletic Award

In 1952, the Fowlerville Rotary Club awarded the first annual athletic award -- and the winner was Wayne Copeland, our esteemed and current village president. The award has been given every year since and, about ten years ago, a new tradition was instituted with one award and scholarship money going to a male athlete and one to a female athlete.

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This streetside entrance, which is no longer in use, served for those entering the Community State Bank as well as to head upstairs to Stirling Douglass' real estate offices. Over the last couple of weeks, numerous pictures show the rooms upstairs as well as the old vault on the first floor, which is also no longer in use. The facade was changed in the 1950s and was highly celebrated as making it very modern looking. At that same time, the procelain tiles covered the brick on the first floor of the Gormley-Johnson storefront.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

1906 State Bank of Fowlerville

The State Bank of Fowlerville was located in the newly-constructed southeast quadrant, after a devastating fire a couple years earlier which took out all of the wooden structures. As the nation went through its ups and downs with the economy, trust in banks may have been at an all-time low; thus the following article found in The Fowlerville Review:

A bank is simply a financial institution, a place of trust. Its safety and success depends entirely on the ability of its management, and its financial strength. Its financial strength is simply the financial strength of its stockholders. The following gentlemen are stockholders in The State Bank of Fowlerville:

Charles E. Dunston, J.S. Briggs, J.L. Cooper, J.B. Fuller, F.G. Rounsville, G.E. Hyne, S.L. Bignall, A.J. Wickman, G.A. Marsh, Alex McPherson, William Kuhn, L.F. Peet, John C. Ellsworth.

A short time later, a business card sized advertisement in the paper spoke of, We have money to loan on real estate security at 5 per cent per annum. We can arrange your loan without delay and on liberal terms of payment. When in need of money, give us a call. ~~The State Bank of Fowlerville

Squint Shot 072011

Yesterday's squint shot showed the East Grand River front of the second floor of this building. As I always like to do, I zoomed in on trimwork -- this time what runs along the top portion of the building. Interesting the workmanship put into trimwork that is so high up it is hard to see!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

1940 Reona Jane Blackmer

The Blackmer name has been well-known since the late 1800s, with S.T. Blackmer opening a men's clothing store with his father-in-law, Mr. Minto. Once grown, Mr. Blackmer's son, Deo Minto, took over the business.

With that little bit of history, I was delighted to have the following picture of Deo's daughter shown to be recently by a life-long resident of Fowlerville. His mother had kept a scrapbook that included numerous articles and pictures from around the state but also many things pertaining to Fowlerville. One was the following news item and picture:

Squint Shot 071911

I don't believe I've taken very many pictures of this building -- only because I have not come across a great deal of information about it. The former location of the Community State Bank and Stirling Douglass' real estate company is now the west portion of the Chase Bank. It is sandwiched between what used to be part of Ruth's Resale on the west side and the what used to be Byerly's on the east side. If you check back over the last couple of week's squint shots, you will find indoor shots of both upstairs and the first floor.

Monday, July 18, 2011

1908 MockingBird Whistle

As I was doing some reading through the 1908 issues of The Fowlerville Review, the following blurb caught my attention:

A new fire mocking bird whistle has been placed on the boiler at the electric light plant which will wake up almost anyone in case of fire.

I got curious what a mocking bird whistle could look like so I went online and did some poking around. I found a website that was selling, or had sold, antique whistles and found one labeled just what I was looking for. Here's the picture I found:

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A few days ago when I showed the top portion of the restored vault door, formerly used when this was the Community State Bank, I couldn't step back far enough in the narrow hallway to get the entire door -- so here is the bottom portion. Tomorrow we head outside.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

1930 Sumner Hotel Lunchroom

A few months back, I had a former Fowlerville resident come by to pick up a copy of my book. To my delight, he brought some memoriabilia that he allowed me to photograph so I could post here. His mother owned a restaurant in town; but before that, she worked in the Hotel Sumner's lunchroom in the 1930s.

Following is a business card from the hotel when she worked in that restaurant.

The next picture is of her standing inside the dining room of many may remember as The Home Restaurant -- when she owned it, Elsie's Restaurant -- and a few may even remember it when it was Stirling Douglass' Twin-Q Inn. This was located on East Grand River where SaveOn and the Bloated Goat are now located.

Cloth tablecloths and, no doubt, cloth napkins -- and it looks like quite a few things of interest to check out on and along the walls.

I appreciate when anyone offers up pictures of Fowlerville to add to this blog. Thanks again to the fellow that brought these along when he purchased a copy of my book.

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So, can we wonder if there were any safe-crackers that ever tried to spin the dial, listening for the tumblers falling into place before cranking the handle on this old vault door used by the Community State Bank? Makes one wonder. I'm sure as I continue to catalog microfilm from all of the old issues of The Fowlerville Review, I might just come across one such article. If so, you can be assured it will be posted.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

1910 Len Gehringer

Len Gehringer of Iosco, was bringing a cow to this village Tuesday morning when the animal pulled the rack in some way, throwing Mr. Gehringer to the ground and injuring him quite painfully, but fortunately not seriously.

This very short article was found in The Fowlerville Review and I am wondering if this Mr. Gehringer would have been related to The Flash -- Charlie Gehringer. I would almost imagine it is so but genealogy has not been my strong suit in doing all of this research. Within the Fowlerville Historical Collection, there is a large three-ring binder labeled with this last name. As I will be there at the village offices at 9 until 10 or 10:30 -- if anyone else would like to do research -- I may just have to take a few minutes and check out the Gehringer information.

Update later, unless anyone has some information they would like to comment on . . .

Squint Shot 071611

Two days ago, I showed the full vault door, then yesterday one of the lion heads, and now today's squint shot shows the top right hand corner of the vault used by George Tait when it was the Community State Bank. It appears to no longer be used as Chase Bank has a modern, high-tech, don't even try to break into it, vault -- but how fortunate this door has been restored and maintained. There are so many hidden treasures such as this in the village and I am feeling very fortunate that I've been allowed to photograph items such as this vault door.

Friday, July 15, 2011

1908 Niles Bros

Niles Bros. was a local merchant of dry goods in the early 1900s.  They advertised heavily in the local paper, and prompted further comment in the local section with contests such as the following:

Niles Bros Co placed a huge candle in their show window last Saturday, which they will light on May 22.  Between now and that date all who care to do so, whether purchasers or note, are invited to register a guess as to how long the candle will burn.  One guess each day can be registered until May 22.  The one that guesses the nearest will be given a fine cabinet which is also on exhibition.

A few weeks later,

The candle in the store window of Niles Bros Co lighted on Friday of last week, burned until Wednesday evening, 133 hours and 33 minutes.  John Finlan proved to be the best guesser, coming within three minutes of the actual time of its burning, and carried home the parlor cabinet.  It was a novel method of advertising.

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Yesterday's squint shot showed the vault door in what used to be the Community State Bank -- today's shows a close-up of one of the lions (I believe) gracing the doorway. High-glass black paint reflected the lights in the hallway and a deep red paint accented the raised squares on the trim. Quite a work of art.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

1908 Advertisements

Following is a sprinkling of advertisement I found interesting in the local newspaper in the early 1900s. Silas Fowler seemed to be a jack-of-all-trades, this time advertising the sale on shoes, but other ads would show groceries and other dry goods. Grover and Finlan had the latest and greatest in washing machines and the Studebaker wagon, while Dr. Ford E. Smith would advertise the latest equipment and procedures available in regards to dentistry. Enjoy . . .

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The owner of the old Community State Bank building mentioned a surprise once we had toured the second floor -- and, oh, what a surprise it was to me. We headed toward the back of the first floor to a small hallway and there, absolutely glistening in the bright lights, was this work of art. It is the massive door to the vault used by the bank years ago. High gloss black paint was used in refurbishing this door and trimwork. More pictures tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

1930 Tomion's Dairy

More reminices from Walt Tomion's grandson --

While Walt was attending Alma College, he spent summers working at the Detroit Creamery and really liked the work. To continue,

He liked the business so much that he apparently had expressed the desire to his dad that he might like to start his own dairy business given the opportunity. Following up on Walt's comment about starting his own business, he dad called him at school sometime during the following year (Walt's junior year at Alma) and told him that a couple of buildings were becoming available in Fowlerville (his father owned a lot of commercial real-estate in Fowlerville at that time) and that if he really wanted to start his own business he could use one of those buildings, but he would have to make a decision right away otherwise he could proceed to lease the building out. After considering the opportunity offered by his father, Walt accepted the deal but asked his father if he would wait another 6-8 weeks so that he could finish out the school year. His dad agreed and that was the beginning of Tomion's Dairy in Fowlerville Michigan. Although he never regretted starting the business, Walt often expressed regret to his kids that he didn't finish his senior year at Alma and earn his Bachelor's degree.

The above picture was labeled as being taken behind the store.

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Before we got to the bottom of the staircase, my gaze went upward to this glass with "Real Estate, Alex J. Tait, L. Harold Crandall" painted on the glass, backwards to our view. If my information is correct, Alex Tait was the son of George Tait, who was the president of the Community State Bank. The first floor of this building served as the bank's location for many years. I am curious how this sign was visible to those on the street, if only for the fact the facade of the building was not flush with the other storefronts. Looking back at old photographs, it would appear the first floor had different windows and an indented doorway, which may have made this visible. Does anyone remember?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

1896 Frank Tucker

An article caught my eye, partially due to the fact so many traveling performance troups and groups came through Fowlerville, which was published in The Fowlerville Review, mid-summer, 1896. It follows.

According to the Tuscola County Advertiser, Frank Tucker, the actor, whose company has appeared many times in Fowlerville, died a few days ago on the operating table while a leg was being amputated. It will be remembered that he broke one leg badly at Howard City two or three years ago by slipping from a high sidewalk, and the amputation was deemed necessary to save his life.

So I got curious. With a very quick search online, I came across the following excerpt taken from the Kalamazoo Public Library website:

Frank Tucker and his Big Stock Company~~By the age of twelve, Grace (Tyson, a child actor from Kalamazoo) had begun performing professionally with Frank Tucker's repertoire company, and was soon the star attraction. Tucker was a Kalamazoo native who managed a circuit of theaters throughout the midwest and Canada. According to Ethel Tucker, who booked the talent for the company, they 'practically owned' Michigan, Indiana, Ontario and Wisconsin at the time, which prominently placed young Grace in front of large influential audiences.

And, then curiously, I came across a follow-up article in The Fowlerville Review, published a month later:

The story that Frank Tucker, the actor, had died from the result of the amputation of a leg a couple of weeks ago, appears to have been a hoax, as we see by a Manistee paper that he and his company were there last week.~~Portland Observer. C.J. Tucker, of this city, is a cousin of Frank Tucker, and the news of his death was a surprise to him, so we conclude the above is correct.~~Grand Ledge Independent.

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So our tour was completed of the second floor of the old offices of Stirling Douglass, when he had a real estate business located in these rooms. We decided the long staircase to the first floor; the treads of the steps deeper than what we normally find in modern buildings. Looking to the top of the photograph, that is the hallway leading to the two rooms at the front of the building. At the bottom of the steps, a glass door served as the entrance to this second floor. One thing I did not take a picture of was the polite "Walk In" sign painted on the glass.

Monday, July 11, 2011

1922 A.E. Cole

The following picture, taken in 1922, shows starting at the left, A.E. Cole's son-in-law Roy T. Sprague, daughter Ada Sprague, Arthur E. and Ruth Cole, and daughter Inez Cole. According to an article found in the Fowlerville News and Views, February 4, 2002, this family was vacationing in Florida at the time this picture was taken.

The first time I came across Judge Cole's name was around 1900 when he was listed in the business directory as "A.E. Cole, Attorney and Counselor at Law and Solicitor in Chancery. Office in Drew Block." "Chancery" -- there are a couple of definitions that probably fit him; 1) a record office for public archives or those of ecclesiastical, legal, or diplomatic proceedings, and 2) a court of equity in the American judicial system.

Roy T. Sprague and his wife, Ada, were involved with the Ford Garage by 1917, although earlier Mr. Sprague worked for the telephone company as lines were being installed in the village.

Inez Cole was a teacher in the area.

At time permits, I will post articles on A.E. Cole's career as there is a slew of information on the cases he worked.

Squint Shot 071111

As mentioned in yesterday's squint shot, this is the large room, taking up the middle and back portions of the second floor of the building. The walls have been scraped of any semblance of what they may have been, but the woodwork of the doors, trim, and portions of walls is rich and smooth to the touch. The ceiling also is made entirely of bead-board -- just beautiful.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

1906 F.J. Cook Hardware

So much has been written about F.J. Cook and his hardware store. His father, J.L. Cook, a Civil War veteran actually began the store (directory listings as early as 1873 for Cook and Loughlin, hardware).

The following article was published in The Fowlerville Review in 1906:

New Hardware Firm~~B.B. Kraus of Detroit, and F.G. Horton of Fowlerville, have purchased the hardware stock of Fred J. Cook and will continue the business under the firm name of Kraus & Horton. Both of these young men are quite well known to the people of this vicinity. Mr. Horton is entirely a Fowlerville product, having been born and reared in this village and the immediate vicinity and is known to all as a young man of the highest character and integrity in whom all have the utmost confidence. Mr. Kraus came to this place when about five years of age and remained here during his school life, his father having spent many years in the employ of Hugh Loughlin as his tinner and clerk. Mr. Kraus worked with his father in the hardware store at Gaylord for about seven years and for the past nine years has had charge of one of the department of one of the large wholesale hardware stores in Detroit, thus having experience inboth the wholesale and retail trade. Both of these young men are full of push ad energy and will no doubt secue their share of the future business. Mr. Kraus will remove his family to this place as soon as a residence can be secure.

Mr. Cook purchased the business 16 years ago and by faithful attention to busines personal energy and liberal advertising, he succeeded in building up one of the finest hardware business in the county and his retirement from the business will be regretted not only by this customers but by the business men generally of the village.

He still owns the lunber business and wil continue that busines for the present, but we understand that he has some interests in the weset that will sooner or later draw him to that country of greater opportunities.

It wasn't long before ad blurbs started showing up in the local news section, such as, Go to Kraus and Horton's and get a granite dish pan, 33c. And then, No. 8 Granite Tea Kettle 55 c at Kraus and Horton.

Also, once F.J. Cook was free of the hardware business and could concentrate more in the lumber area, the following was found in the local paper:

Fred J. Cook left on Monday for St. Louis, Mo., where he will represent the Michigan lumber dealers association at the national convention of lumber dealers. And then, Fred J. Cook left on Tuesday for a trip to the coast where he expects to locate and engage in some kind of manufacturing, probably furniture. He will spend some time looking up the best location and will then decide whether it will be California or Washington. His family will remain here until his location is definitely settled.

Squint Shot 071011

The heavy trim around the doors and windows are accentuated with equally hefty hinges and doorknobs -- located in the second floor of the third storefront in the southwest corner facing East Grand River. The layout of the second floor has two rooms at the front of the building, what appears to have been a storage room at the west side, a hallway to these three rooms to the back of the building which is one big, wide-open area. The rooms have 9-10-foot ceilings giving it a larger than what it is feeling since this is not a real wide building.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

1909 Love Postcard

There are so many wonderful pictures in the Fowlerville Historical Collection, and too many of them have no names listed on the front or back. But this one caught my eye because it was made into a postcard -- picture on the front and a typed message on the back.

Enjoy . . .

As I was steadily working on the biography, lo and behold, I came across a blurb in The Fowlerville Review, reprinted from the Tidings newspaper out of Howell, regarding one Willis Lyons. This was the first time I had ever noticed his name. It read:

When Willis Lyons was a soldier in the 34th Mich. Inft. in Cuba, he was detailed with others to bury six comrades who were dead. Their friends have been trying to locate their graves and have written the County Clerk to know if he could find them. He is sure he could do so and said when he left for Grand Rapids, for the State Republican convention, that he expected to go to Cuba before he returned.~~Tidings

And then I came across:

Willis Lyons is out with a communication to the Livingston Republican in which he announces he is not a candidate for renomination.

And then I came across the following published in a Howell newspaper:

Monday, Willis Lyons returned from California with the remains of Mr. Ranseler Drew, who dies in San Francisco, April 15, 1910, aged 72 years. Mr. Drew, having no relatives there, lived alone and when taken sick went to the home of an old neighbor where he died after a sickness of two weeks. Mr. Drew was born in Marion, the son of Townsend Drew, but for many years, has lived in California. He leaves property appraised at $7,000 or $8,000 consisting of $4,000 in bank, two or three houses and some vacant lots. He is a brother of Sheridan Drew of Marion, and other relatives live here.~~Republican

In 1910, Mr. Lyons then ran for public office, with William E. Robb running against him as the Democratic candidate:

Willis L. Lyons~~Republican Nominee for the Office of P rosecuting Attory. As a candidate for Prosecuting Attorney, Willis L. Lyons comes before the people as no stranger. His manner of working his way through school is too well known to need repeating. His admission to the bar came as the result of five years of hard study. He was compelled to make proof of three years' study a certain number of hours per day, before being permitted to take the examination. The State Board of Law Examiners at that time were L.T. Durand, former Democratic candidate for Governor, R.C. Ostrander, now Justice of the Supreme Court, Professor Lightner of Detroit College of Law, Judge Brown of Big Rapids and Wesley Hyde of Grand Rapids.

His record as a student, a soldier, an official and a lawyer, in fact the manner of young man he actually is, speaks for itself.

Up to six years ago, Mr. Lyons' health was affected some by the fevers he had in Cuba, but since then he has hardly missed a single day because of sickness.

He has had considerable experience in the courtroom; in fact, he has assisted as clerk of court or attorney in all the trials in the Circuit Court for the last ten years besides being more or less connected with the general legal affairs in all the county offices.

He has had cases in all the different courts of the state; some of these cases in the Circuit and Supreme Courts, viz: Hoyt vs. Garlock, Keil vs. Township of Hartland; Allen, Admix vs. Telephone Co.; North vs. Telephone Co., in R. Would's Estate; Phelps vs. P.M.R.R.; Bristol vs. Bristol and many others.

He took the nomination for Prosecuting Attorney, there being no other candidate in the party, and it is up to the people to say whether or not it was a mistake.~~Brighton Argus

Ultimately, Mr. Lyons lost to Mr. Robb.

Squint Shot 070911

I can't hardly remember the last time I saw one of these pencil sharpeners! As I continued to wander through the second floor of the old offices for Alex Tait and Stirling Douglass, both in real estate at different times, I came across this well-used sharpener in a back room which also served as a bathroom of sorts, all though it looked like it had also been used as a storage room.