Thursday, May 31, 2012

Squint Shot 053112

Okay, now you are going to have to take a drive to North Street and check something out for me.  Following is a picture of the house at 121 North Street.  At the time of my road trip around the village with my friend, who was pointing out all sorts of houses and their former residents, he mentioned the house lived in by Ike Harris, the owner of the Orr Theatre.  But, now from my squiggly notes, I'm not sure it was 121 or 115 North Street.  So, if you want to take a drive, maybe someone can let me know which house he lived in.
Here's a 1959 picture of the Orr Theatre when it was located in the west portion of what is now Fowlerville Hardware:

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Squint Shot 053012

Hidden behind far-reaching branches of a crimson maple is the former home of Glenn Boussard, at 121 North Hibbard.  Mr. Boussard used to have one of the many meat markets throughout the history of the village.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Booking Signing at Curtis Grocery

Come see me today from 10 am until noon -- I will be selling and signing the above items at Curtis Grocery store, in the coffee nook. 

Squint Shot 052912

W. Bruce Campbell was a local Ford dealer in Fowlerville and this used to be his residence at 146 North Maple Street.

So often, when anyone advertised in The Fowlerville Review, addresses seemed to be unnecessary.  Therefore, I have not definitively figured out where the Ford dealership was when Mr. Campbell owned it -- was it basically where it always was at the southwest corner of the main four, until it was relocated south of the highway?

Monday, May 28, 2012

Squint Shot 052812

On North Maple Street, there is this long white ranch house.  At one time, this was the home of Stirling Douglass.  Some may well remember him, and his brother, Wendell "Bud" Douglass.  Bud passed away a few years ago.

While research for The Fowlerville Chronicles, I came across a notebook of pages and pages of reminiscing done by Stirling Douglass, typed up by the person that interviewed him, and provided a ton of information of the village during the mid 1900s.

 I also came across this picture of Mr. Douglass when he was a $100,000 lotto winner in 1983.
If anyone would like to add some remembrances of him, that would be wonderful!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

2012 Ghost Hunt

After a brief introduction in the old Coughran School, Saturday night, as the sun was setting, a group of us were led to the Kirkland House within the Livingston County Historical Village at the fairgrounds.  We were on the lookout for ghosts. 
We, or I should say "I" didn't have any luck seeing anything, although the hair on the back of my neck never seemed to relax.  Maybe it was the raccoons living in the upstairs of the house that kept making a scratching noise; maybe my imagination working over time.  After 40 minutes, we walked to the church just to the north of the church.

Infrared cameras, set up by team members earlier, were glowing red in each corner of the church.  We came into the sanctuary and sat quietly.  Some wandered around with "EMF" (electro-magnetic field) detectors while I just sat at the ready with my camera.  Some commented they could feel cooler air, while a couple thought they could smell oranges.  We were ripe for anything!

At about 30 minutes into our 40 minutes in the church, we were basically all staring at the EMF on the altar (leaned up against the vase in the picture below), when we heard a beep at the back of the church, in the vestibule.  Our "leader" headed back there and commented, fairly certainly, something was back there, hovering over the electronic equipment for the camera set-up.  No one could figure out why the beeping sound was happening at about every 90 second to 2:20 minute intervals.  And then it all stopped after a half a dozen times.
And then, our time was up in the church and we headed to the old Howell Depot building at the far north portion of the historic village.  By now, it was near dark.  One of the gals felt very uncomfortable by this desk in the middle portion of the depot, after she had walked into the building and getting the chills.

Another checked out this old cash register very closely.  And then there was quite a bit of excitement as we hovered around four old suitcases on a couple of benches in the same room where there is a beautiful display case with Charlie Gehringer memoriabilia.  One of the EMF detectors would got from green lights to yellow and then up to red, wildly blinking.  We took the chance of opening one of the suitcases, but found nothing interesting. 

By the time we were done, this was the evening view from the depot to the church steeple.

There was another group after ours that started the ghost hunt even later in the evening.  I wonder if there was more activity!  The ghost hunters have my e-mail and said they will be sending any sound waves or film they may have gotten last night.  If there is anything, I will add it to the website . . . that is, of course, if it doesn't cause a ghost to infect my machine!

Happy ghost hunting!

Squint Shot 052712

Across from the Methodist Church on South Second street, this cozy bungalow sits quietly behind bushes and pine trees.  At one time, this was the home of Nellie Gardner, a local piano teacher.

Are there any of her former students out there?

Saturday, May 26, 2012

2012 Last School Day for Seniors

A tradition I just found out about consists of the Fowlerville High School seniors driving (or riding) some form of farm equipment to school for their last day as high school students.  I didn't see the procession through town early in the morning, but I did drive by the high school parking lot mid-morning Friday.  There was everything imaginable from tractors to riding lawn mowers to cement mixers.  There was even one tractor that made me think of "Mater" from the movie Cars.  This is what I saw:

 Then, as we were driving through town, there was one of the tractors (and students) escaping!

Squint Shot 052612

This house on South Second street, which is going through a facelift, used to be the home of Sam Tomion.  Mr. Tomion was the manager of the Detroit Creamery.  The building that housed the Detroit Creamery was torn down in 1998.  By that time, it had sat unused for many years except to serve as a storage facility for old equipment.  Following is what the building looked like shortly before being torn down: 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Squint Shot 052512

I have done a considerable amount of research and have become very familiar with so many Fowlerville names.  According to my friend, this house was the home of Ford Grostic.  It is located on South Second street.

I do not know this name -- does anyone have information on Ford Grostic?  Possible spelling might also be Grostick or Grostik?  If you would like to leave a comment, that would be great.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Squint Shot 052412

Kiddy-corner from the house shown in the squint shot from two days' ago, this house stands at the northeast corner of South Second and East Frank streets.  According to my source, this was the home of Frank Burkhart at one time.  The Burkhart name may not really be found locally anymore, but years ago, it was associated with the grain elevator that used to stand at the east side of the railroad tracks on South Grand where the Fowlerville Feed and Pet store can now be found.

The grain elevator burned in 1960, for the most part because, reportedly, it was a winter day when the building caught on fire and the snow was so deep, the trucks were not able to get to this location in time to save it.  Following is a picture of the elevator, taken along about 1958, given to me by Duane Herbert.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Squint Shot 052312

Even though we have been looking at houses in the village, I did want to include this barn.  Yesterday's squint shot showed an old, beautiful house at the southwest corner of South Second and East Frank streets, which had once been the home of E.E. Walton and, in later years, of Thomas and Bessie Woods.  This barn stands behind the house, fronting on South Second.  It is weathered, still standing, and really quite gorgeous in its old age.  Makes one wonder if this barn held a horse and carriage and all of the extraneous equipment, and then maybe one of the early cars in the village.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Squint Shot 052212

This house is just way interesting!  It is at the southwest corner of South Second and East Frank streets, and its current owners are working hard to refurbish this house to its glory days.  Some information on this house can be found under the "Tour" tab.

This house has been around since the mid-to-late 1800s and, at one time, was the home of one of Fowlerville's dentists, E.E. Walton.  Dr. Walton had his offices on the second floor of the Harmon building, which was known as the Palmerton block many years ago.

At one point in my research, I came across the following article that might give a bit of a visual of what kind of dentist Dr. Walton might have been:
Another homeowner of this house was Thomas Woods, and his wife, Besse.  Many may still remember Woods Drugs.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Squint Shot 052112

Orville Dingman, some may remember, was the Pontiac dealer here in Fowlerville, at one time.  According to my friend, this was his home on East Frank Street.  If my information is correct, the Pontiac dealer used to be located about across from the old hotel -- which is now the parking lot for Curtis Grocery.   At one time, from the Baptist Church on South Grand Avenue all the way north to the intersection, there were buildings and even a house tucked in with the storefronts.  Following is a picture of "Merchants Day" sometime around 1914.  I believe Dingman's dealership was in one of the storefronts at the left side of the picture; only a few years later than when this picture was taken.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Squint Shot 052012

In my recent travels, I took more pictures of houses.  One of the houses indicated by my friend last summer was this house on Frank Street.  He mentioned it was the home of Freeman Curtis.  Now, I know there have been a lot of Curtises in Fowlerville -- and there still are -- but in all of my research, I haven't happened upon the name "Freeman" Curtis.

Does anyone know what kind of work Freeman may have done?

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Squint Shot 051912

Yesterday's squint shot showed the house lived in by Andrew and Lena Rudnicki, at one time, editors and publishers of The Fowlerville Review.  When Mr. Rudnicki passed away quite suddenly, their son, Dick, took over the operation of the newspaper and ran it until 1972, when he sold it to the Press and Argus.  For quite a few years then it was published as an insert in that paper.
Recently, I had the wonderful opportunity to have breakfast with Dick and he did a great deal of reminiscing while we ate.  We mostly concentrated on talking about what he remembers about the northeast quadrant during his growing-up years.  As I have time, I will transcribe some of my scribbled notes and get this information on the website.  Until then, I'm offering the above picture as the house Dick and his wife lived in during their tenure in the village.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Through the Eyes of a Country Editor

Through the Eyes of a Country Editor has arrived and is now available for purchase.  In this book, you will find Fowlerville (and some state and national) history from 1874 until 1929; the tenure of George L. Adams as he served as editor and publisher of The Fowlerville Review.  Fifty-five years of reporting that included just about everything that you can imagine.

As I described on the back cover of this book, it is 295 pages of:

"Through the eyes of an eighteen-year old, George L. Adams arrived in the village of Fowlerville in 1874, and found a community in its infancy and the need for someone to chronicle its life.  Over the next fifty-five years, everything found its way into The Fowlerville Review from devastating fires and the rebuilding of nearly every wooden structure to brick buildings, births and deaths, diphtheria and influenza epidemis, innovations and inventions, weddings and other celebrations, to the everyday activities of the village's residents and those in theh surrounding area.  And, what he wrote, he described with flair, humor, great detail, and even sometimes scolding.  G.L.'s life was an open book for his readers and this biography offers his writings from 1874 until 1929 and his life story from his birth in 1855 until his death in 1930."

Through the Eyes can be purchased for $30 plus $3 shipping through paypal or $30 pick-up.  I will also be planning some book signings in the very near future where I would love to meet you and (obviously) sell you a copy of the book.

Until my meager supply of The Fowlerville Chronicles runs out, you can purchase both books for $60 plus $5 shipping or $60 pick-up.  By buying both books at the same time, I'll even throw in a packet of six postcards of old-time Fowlerville.

1882 Fowlers Visit Old Hometown

I've been doing some research and came across this article published in The Fowlerville Review in 1882, five years before Ralph and Mary Fowler passed away.

Squint Shot 051812

As I continue showing houses and some of their former residents -- information as given to me last summer as a friend and I drove through the village and he reminisced -- today's squint shot is of a beautiful muted lavendar house at the northeast corner of North Maple and East Grand River.

Some of you may remember the Rudnicki name and some of you may even know Dick Rudnicki, the former newspaperman of The Fowlerville Review.  This lovely house was the home of Dick's parents, Lena and Andrew, when they were publishing the newspaper before Dick took it over.

This house was also featured last summer in the walking tour -- which you can read under the "Tour" tab -- and was built in the late 1800s by the Cook family.  Jared L. Cook, a Civil War veteran, was the hardware man in Fowlerville at that time.  His son, Fred, took over the business in later years.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Squint Shot 051712

A few months back, I found some information that mentioned when the brick building housing the M.E. church at the southeast corner of South Second and Church streets was built in 1916, the wooden structure was purchased by B.D. Grover and moved to a location on North Collins street.  At the time I read about this, I went in search but didn't feel like I had found any of the houses that might have possibly been a church turned into a home.  But directly across from yesterday's squint shot house, I noticed this house.  Could this have been part of that wooden church building?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Squint Shot 051612

At just about the north end of Collins Street -- #240, to be exact -- at the southeast corner of Collins and South streets, this beautiful bungalow makes me think of a summer cottage.  Years ago, it was the home of S. Walter and Flora Tomion, owners of Tomion's Dairy.

As many remember, Tomion's was located in the storefront that is now being used by a jewelry company just west of Shear Image.  If anyone would like to over some memories, please feel free.

Also, if you search on Tomion's in the search box in the upper right hand corner, just below the main header, you can find all sorts of posts for the Tomion activities.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Squint Shot 051512

This house has a long history, and may well have been used by some of the Fowlers, but in my travels last summer with a good friend who is a life-long resident here, he told me J. Gordon and Gladys Harmon had made this their home.

As a bit of history, Gordon Harmon, along with Andrew Rudnicki, was a co-owner of The Fowlerville Review a few years after G.L. Adams had sold it.  They were in partnership for about a dozen years before Mr. Harmon went into the real estate business and Mr. Rudnicki continued as sole owner.  This would have been in the late 1930s until the late 1940s.

I have been told there are gorgeous oak floors in this house -- anyone care to add a bit more info? 

1915 German Lutheran Church

As I continue to collect memoriabilia of Fowlerville, I came across another Holt & Hart photograph - this time of the German Lutheran Church before it was the brick structure to be found at the east side of the village.  In the early 1900s, it was a wood structure.  Following is the picture that was ultimately turned into a postcard.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Squint Shot 051412

Here is a well-maintained house on Church street -- at 305 -- and apparently it was owned at one time by the Robb family.  I don't really have any information on the Robbs other than I believe at one time he was involved with insurance or real estate.

Would anyone care to shine a little light on this one?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Squint Shot 051312

Still on Church Street.
This house, on the south side at 310 Church street, was the home of G. Douglas and Violet Burnie.  These would have been Doug Burnie's parents, our favorite hardware man.

From information found in various articles, it would appear Douglas Burnie was possibly a salesman that had come to town and found that the hardware store was what he was interested in.  As it turned out, Ernest Krause, then the owner of this store, was willing to sell it and so Mr. Burnie was in the right place at the right time.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Squint Shot 051212

As I drove along Church Street to catalog some of the homes my friend had pointed out to me (last summer), I took a picture of this house at 316 Church Street.  Years ago, it was the home of Frank and Frances Curtis.  Frank and Frances Curtis were the parents of Ken Curtis, and for years he had Frank's IGA grocery store where you will now find Curtis Grocery.

As a fun little trivia note -- in honor of Frank and Frances -- the restrooms in the grocery store are labeled as such "Frank" for the men's room and "Fran" for the ladies.

Friday, May 11, 2012

1926 Morgan Vaughn

A couple weeks ago, I had the great pleasure of one of my readers sending me a couple of pictures.  He also wrote me a wonderful e-mail full of memories.  Following are the photographs and the body of the e-mail he sent:

First picture is of (from left to right) Morgan Vaughn, his daughter Maurine Vaughn, and his wife Ada Coll Vaughn, and, standing in front is Marita Ione Pamment, also known as Marita Vaughn (reader's mother).

Second picture is the 1926-27 second grade class for Fowlerville Schools.
Following is the body of the e-mail:

Many of the photos that I have are so tiny in size that they don’t scan well.  The attached photo of Morgan was taken about 1926 or 1927.   Left to right in the rear we have Morgan Vaughn, daughter Maurine Vaughn, and wife Ada (maiden name Coll).   Standing in the front is my mother, Marita Ione Pamment although she was often known during her Fowlerville school days as “Marita Vaughn.”   Ada Coll and my grandmother Edna Pearl Coll (Pamment) were sisters.  Many of the Coll family came from Ontario and settled in Fowlerville.  When Edna Pearl Coll Pamment died in 1923, my mother went to live with Morgan and Ada who raised her alongside Maurine and Marguerite (who most likely took this photo) Vaughn.  When I was a young boy we knew Morgan and Ada as our grandparents.  Another sister (Noreen Pamment) came to live with the Vaughns later on, too.  BTW Maurine Vaughn (Powell) lived to the age of 97.

I may have mentioned this but my mother Marita (Vaughn) appears in the 1937 graduation photo with her sister Leta Bell(e) Pamment.  I think Leta may have been held back a grade, and my mother started school early.  Her story is that she boldly went up to the principal on the street and told him she was already to start school – so she did!   So she graduated at age 17 and 3 months.

They lived at 325 E. Grand River as I recall but of course you know that already.  Back in the late 50s/early 60s I remember the porch swing on the front porch.  When one walked in the front door you stepped immediately into a sitting room/living room with the big heating unit.  Off to the left was a parlor which had a bed placed in it when Morgan was dying and as I recall it stayed there.  Often this was where we kids played growing up and they kept the coloring books where we signed our art work for many years afterwards.  Directly through the sitting room was a bedroom and a bathroom.   The ground floor level was completed by a dining room and a kitchen.  I know that dining room was the scene for many family celebrations; in addition to Morgan & Ada’s 50th there were many 25th wedding celebrations and birthdays there.  Tables were set up in the back yard and we had graduation parties and other get togethers there.  Daughter Marguerite lived there after her parents died in 1958.

The things that I remember my mother telling me about Morgan and Ada were that Morgan had an absolute love of nature and would stop the car and have everyone get out so that they could admire the beauty that surrounded them.  Ada was remembered as a very stern woman.  I think it was wonderful, for the times, for them both to take two nieces into their home to raise as their own.  They both died when I was 6 so I don’t have many memories of them.

I also have the photo of my mother’s 2nd grade class photo in Fowlerville from the school year 1926-27 which I attached.  The names are on the back of the photo (I’m not sure how complete) but the teacher’s name is Miss Rita Sherman.  My mother’s name is written as “Marita Vaughn.”  Let me know if you want the names as they are somewhat faint.

Well, I have to run now.   Thanks again for the 1937 photo and it was a treat to peek at photos of Peter Iskra again.  Oh do we have stories about Peter!!!  He was a character but his friendship and companionship to Marguerite Vaughn certainly enriched her life.  I think she would have been a very lonely spinster if not for the excitement of hanging around with Peter.

Morgan Vaughn was one of Fowlerville's busy barbers.

Squint Shot 051112

At the southwest corner of Church and Hibbard streets, this beautifully-redone house used to be the home of Clarence Fuller.  Some may remember Mr. Fuller as Fowlerville's postmaster for many years.  In the 1970s, the post office was located on East Grand River where Shear Image can now be found, before the facility was moved to Second Street.  Following is a picture from 40 years ago:

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Squint Shot 051012

At the northeast corner of Frank and Ann streets there is a two story white house with brown shutters.  It was the first house owned by Frank and Ann Utter.  How cool is that!

Frank Utter bought the Blackmer's men's clothing and shoe store from Deo Blackmer in the late 1960s and changed the name to Utter's Men's Wear.  In later years, he added women's clothing to the stock and expanded from one storefront to two.  I'm sure many of my readers will remember Utter's store and I would love for anyone to leave a comment to keep these memories alive.