Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Squint Shot 013112

Yesterday's squint shot showed the inside of the lid with a farm scene picture clued to it -- we were, once again, in the Harmon building, third floor. My curiosity about this suitcase keeps me wondering who it belonged too -- possibly a young gal. As shown in this picture, there's a comb and some buttons. Everything has a layer of dust and grime on it so I didn't finger anything.
I've about decided my curiosity comes from the fact the third floor of this building has always been used as a place for meetings but not necessarily a place where someone would stay overnight. So, how did a suitcase get here?

Monday, January 30, 2012

Squint Shot 013012

Another squint shot -- a picture, in fact -- as my friend and I continued our tour of the third floor of the Harmon building. A year ago, I showed some pictures of an old, very worn out suitcase that sits on the floor, collecting dust and making me wonder who carried this and how it ended up where it remains.

On the inside of the lid, this farm scene can be found. It makes the suitcase seem like it was for a child and even some of the items -- which will be seen in the next few days -- indicates it may have been used by a young lass.

I may have to get back up to the third floor to take a closer look at it to see if there's any identification on it. I just hope Paul Harmon doesn't get too tired of my asking! He has been great about it.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Squint Shot 012912

After looking at yesterday's squint shot of a window handle, I looked upward. There are some very interesting curtain or drapery hooks at the upper corners on the window trim. They nearly look a bit deadly!
I've looked at this picture for some time and cannot really figure out how curtains were held on this apparatus. Maybe the fabric was draped somehow -- any thoughts?

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Squint Shot 012812

A few days ago I showed a hinge located in a former office on the second floor of the Harmon building, formerly known as the Palmerton block. A friend and I were spending a late summer, very warm afternoon, wandering through the darkened rooms of this three-story building. There's no electricity, heating, or cooling so we were feeling the heat particularly hard that day. But it was still great fun.
As we were looking out the east windows, I noticed this hardware. Similar hardware can be seen in the old Nellie Glenn house at the southwest corner of East Grand River and Collins. If you search on "Nellie Glenn," you can find various squint shots of the inside of that house, and especially some of the hardware.

But back to the Harmon building. Along the east side of the third floor, it has been reported that some lawyers may have used these rooms as their offices years earlier. J.B. Munsell is one name that has been mentioned. Before that Judge A.E. Cole may have had an office here.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Squint Shot 012712

Yesterday's squint shot showed some old wallpaper on the second floor of the Harmon building. As my friend and I wandered through the rooms, her observations zeroed in on a piece of carpeting I had probably walked on in other visits but never truly looked at. The International Order of Odd-Fellows met on the second floor of this old building and this carpeting actually looks like it may have appropriate symbols on it -- could this be from that era?

This building was built in 1891 after a devastating fire that took out the entire northeast quadrant of wooden buildings and then jumped North Grand and destroyed this building. It is the third building at this corner -- the first one was wooden and burned in 1876 (no pictures available), the second one stood until the 1891 fire and had basically the same footprint as this third building. The ones reconstructing this building may have been able to use the foundation as a guide as the previous building had the corner cut at an angle also.

If you search this blog for the Palmerton block, you will see various old pictures.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Squint Shot 012612

There are layers and layers of old wallpaper peeling off the walls in the second floor of the Harmon building. There has been some water damage, making for quite a bit of mold on the walls. Unfortunately, since the second and third floors are not handicapped-accessible, they are not currently being used and so they continue to be kind of like a time capsule to an era long-gone.

But the interesting part of all of these layers -- as relayed to me by the my friend who is a bit of an expert in what wallpaper can tell us -- pointed out one of the parts of the wallpaper that created "archways." Imagine a room full of Greek or Roman columns and archways in the wallpaper and how it must have looked so formal, if not a bit daunting. Now, thanks to my friend, I will be looking for other layers of wallpaper, wondering what a room may have looked like.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Squint Shot 012512

As with yesterday's squint shot, my friend and I were checking out the canopy still attached to the south wall of the second floor of the Harmon building where members of the International Order of Odd-Fellows (and at one time the Masons) would meet. The front shade, which showed red on the outside when it was pulled down, was retracted and hid by the fabric hanging from the wood structure. The whole thing is basically being held to the wall by a few screws and guy wires. No other supports are visible. Years ago, when a member of either order passed away, a Resolution of Respect would be published in the local newspaper. There is no longer an I.O.O.F. order in Fowlerville but the Masons are still here. They are now located on East Grand River, in the second floor of the building just east of the driveway for the Niblack Funeral Home.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Squint Shot 012412

We are on the second floor of the Harmon building -- a huge ballroom where the International Order of Odd-Fellows used to meet. At one time, even, before the three-story building at the corner of North Grand and Power Street was built, the Masons would meet in this room.

While touring the room with my friend (whom I've mentioned helped me see more than I had on previous visits), she happened to look up and behind the canopy at the south end of the room. She pulled down a shade -- the red fabric -- to show how someone may have sat or stood behind the shade before a presentation. There were no shades on the sides of the canopy so I can only assume it was to shield someone temporarily.

I have to admit my imagination has been working overtime trying to figure out the real purpose for the shade -- if anyone has an idea of what kind of ceremonies would have been held by the I.O.O.F. or the Masons, I would love to have you leave a comment.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Squint Shot 012312

This is both a squint shot and a history lesson. This name -- Chris Ludtke, May 9, 1919 -- was written on one of the walls on the second floor of the Harmon building. My friend noticed it as we wandered through the upper floors on a late summer, very warm day. Quite seriously, I don't know how I missed it during other photograph-taking escapades! I love when someone has decided to make their presence be recorded.

The Ludtke name has been around Fowlerville for a very long time and I have come across it numerous times while doing research for the upcoming biography. I thought I would look back in my records around 1919 to see if I could find the Ludtke name. I did, but it wasn't until 1921 I recorded an obituary. It follows:

William F. Ludtke died at his home in East Handy early Monday morning after an illness of only a few days.

He was born at Gross Dallentine, Germany, August 13, 1848, where he spent the first 40 years of his life, and was there married to Miss Amelia Engfer in 1873, coming to the United States in 1888 and settling in this township, where he resided until his death, his wife having preceded him to the better land.

He was the father of 13 children, Paul H., Max, Chris and Pauline of Handy, Mrs. Edith Risch and Martha Hagerman of Howell, Mrs. Alphonso Bicek of Oceola and Mrs. William Veith of Cohotah, who survive hime.

He was a faithful member of the Evangelical Lutheran church for many years.

The funeral services will be held at the Lutheran church Wednesday, the Rev. J.B. Sause officiating.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Squint Shot 012212

The Harmon building has housed many different businesses, including being a hardware store, so I guess it should be no surprise to find a nail scale left behind! From the looks of this one, which was found on the second floor, toward the back of the building, it hardly looks used. At one time, there was an entrance at the back of the building, off of North Grand Avenue. The stairway goes up from street level for about half a floor, then turns 90 degrees and arrives at the second floor. This may well have been additional shopping area when it was a hardware store. As a side note, today marks the third anniversary of The Fowlerville Observer, originally named The Ville. On January 22, 2009, I began this website for a couple of reasons. I was looking for an outlet for wanting to write and I was becoming more and more interested in knowing about how Fowlerville came to be. When I set the website up, I also thought I would do more current reporting but that isn't always possible -- having a day job prevents me from spending much time "getting the story." But I have become fully-steeped in the history of the area and find it so rich.

Since that day three years ago, I have compiled and edited The Fowlerville Chronicles, took on the task of monitoring the historical collection and trying to help those with questions, worked the temporary museum for the 175th celebration, and am now in the final editing stages of the biography of G.L. Adams, editor and publisher of The Fowlerville Review, from 1874-1929. Whoever thought three years ago would start this snowball of events -- certainly not me -- but I sure have enjoyed it. I hope you do too!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Squint Shot 012112

I notice old hardware -- not because I do any sort of construction -- but because I find it interesting how intricate even door hinges were made. It was all part of the artistry and character of a building. While my friend and I were still on the second floor of the Harmon building, we looked at how walls had been added or cut away, noting especially where an archway had been filled in and a door added. The line of the arch can still be seen where the seam, whether it was wood or the drywall, has separated. But my friend also made sure we were looking closer at the doors -- thus today's squint shot.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Squint Shot 012012

Now here's maybe a rather strange squint shot but even old flooring has a story to tell. As my friend (yes, those are her toes) and I were wandering around the second floor of the Harmon building -- and, by the way, it was a very warm day and with no air conditioning for the second and third floors, we were "glowing" within minutes -- my friend picked up a scrap of old carpetingn to expose this vinyl flooring. I'm supposing the 1960s or 70s -- anyone's thoughts? Or did anyone have similar vinyl?
The rooms on the second floor were mostly made up of offices for doctors, lawyers, and dentists -- I'm thinking this may well have been in the dentist office.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Squint Shot 011912

Toward the end of last summer, I headed back to one of my favorite buildings -- the Palmerton block, maybe better known now as Harmon Real Estate. But this time, it was from a different viewpoint. I had a friend along with me that is very much into local history and has a great eye for detail. She noticed things I hadn't in my previous visits to the second and third floors where time has stood still.

Fluorescent lights have not been around since the building was rebuilt in 1891 after a devastating fire, so it would be fun to know when this light was installed. I took a picture of it because it has got to be old -- at least we don't see this kind of detail in the newer lights.

For the next couple of weeks, I will be showing squint shots of items my friend discovered and then will be moving onto some indoor shots of a very old, but very well-kept-up house in the village.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Squint Shot 011812

If you check out yesterday's squint shot, you will see the other side of this decommissioned cannon, dedicated in1898. Tomorrow, I head back to one of my most favorite buildings to explore -- the Palmerton block or as I like to call it, the Harmon block.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Squint Shot 011712

I've been going back through various photographs taken over the last six months or so and am going to post these as squint shots. Today and tomorrow's shots will be about the cannon that be found at the Greenwood cemetery. If you drive north on Cemetery road from Grand River avenue, go to the second entrance to the cemetery which will get you to the original location, turn right into the area and head pretty much straight away, the cannon will be in front of you.Today's shot shows one side of this cannon, dedicated May 30, 1898. It was a decommissioned weapon by the government and offered to anyone wishing to display it. The G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic) made it a project to get this cannon delivered to the village and then created a monument in the cemetery.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Squint Shot 011612

If you have been reading this website for very long, you may remember I have been puzzling over where that school might have been -- or even where Break O'Day was located. Local news items in the early late 1800s and early 1900s could be read about but I could never find a map that showed where this little burg might have been. The most I could come up with is what south of Webberville, in Ingham County.

Well, last month I had the pleasure of talking with someone that remembered reading some history on the area referred to as Break O'Day. The school was located on Howell-Mason road, west of Nicholson road but before you get to M-52. It is at the northeast corner of Howell-Mason and Risch roads, now a private residence. Of course, we had to drive by and snap a picture.

My friend also related that how this little area originally got its name was because the farmers in the area did most of their shipping of produce out of Stockbridge and they had to leave by the "break of day" to get to market. Isn't that just the coolest way to name a burg?!

He also mentioned the book where he came across this information; a book we happen to have stored in our historical collection. The next time I get that way, I'll look up any additional information and pass it along.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Squint Shot 011512

One more shot of a barn south of Fowlerville that is being renovated. The owners showed me pictures of this barn when they bought the property -- it was so bad! The previous owners had even scheduled it for an intentional burn by the fire department. For the sake of preserving our heritage, glad the flames didn't get to it!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Squint Shot 011412

As I was getting ready to head out from the farm, after taking pictures of the silo and some etchings, I looked toward the back of the barn where the wind turbine and now-partial silo stand. Check back to the last few days to see other squint shots of this barn and silo.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Squint Shot 011312

For the last two days of squint shots, you can read about my visit to a farm south of town where the owners are dismantling a silo built around 1919. I stepped back from the operation and looked up -- pretty cool shot on a cool January afternoon!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Squint Shot 011212

As I mentioned in yesterday's squint shot, I headed out to a farm, south of town, to take a picture of a date etched in a silo (shown at the right of this photograph). As I looked up, a former windmill is now equipped with a wind turbine. The cistern at the bottom of the picture fills with rain water off the barn roof and is given to the farm animals. Me being the self-proclaimed city-girl that I am, I found all of this quite intriguing.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Squint Shot 011112

I received an e-mail the other day from one of my readers letting me know they were dismantling a silo behind their barn. I didn't think to ask what would be going in its place but, after arriving at the farm, I could see they were in the processing of modernizing so I would hazard a guess something more efficient will go in its place. The barn is being restored and is being used.

But back to the silo. As the owner was checking out the silo a bit closer in working to dismantle it, he came across etched initials and date in one of the rectangles. Following is a picture of that: What we could make out was "J S" vertically, then the date of "June 14 1919" stacked at the right side. The family could trace back the farmland for quite some time back but didn't have any idea who J.S. might have been. Fun to wonder.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Squint Shot 011012

As with yesterday's squint shot, we had been out of town a few days so there was a lot of progress to see. But now I'm wondering, if it is a duplex being built on South Ann Street, what will this old building be used for? Any thoughts?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Squint Shot 010912

We were out of town over the holidays and when we returned I was curious to see if work had been done on the lot on South Ann Street, behind the BP gas station. It would appear a duplex is being built in place of the house that was so badly damaged by fire. Here is a picture taken December 31, 2011.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Squint Shot 010812

Isn't it odd in today's world, when a new-build is going up, it is so noticeable. But anyhow, the building on South Ann Street, behind the BP station, had one wall standing the other day. I couldn't get a clear shot of the whole lot because there were so many workers busy as could be. I'll get back and get more progress pictures, and maybe ask a few questions. I think it's about time I find out what is going on.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Squint Shot 010712

Yesterday's squint shot showed the levelled ground on Ann Street where a house had burned about six months ago. No basement was dug, but a foundation was in place a couple days after I took a picture of the graded dirt.

Friday, January 6, 2012

1940 Peter Iskra

Peter Iskra was a jeweler in the village of Fowlerville in the mid-1900s. His store was located in the G.A. Newman building (where the eye doctor and Shear Image are now housed). Following are two pictures provided by one of my readers (thank you very much). The second photograph was taken of him while dining in the Twin-Q Inn, formerly located where Save-On is now located. I would love anyone having memories of Mr. Iskra to leave a comment for all of us!

Squint Shot 010612

The next few days of squint shots will show a lot front on South Ann Street, behind the BP gas station. About six months ago, the house standing on this lot burned -- not to the ground but damaged enough it was torn down. I'm not even sure it was inhabited at the time of the fire, but the house was very old and may have cost too much to repair. So then one day, as I was leaving Curtis Grocery after doing one of my usual quick stops there, I noticed the land had been cleared of the rubble and levelled.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

1937 Lepard Saleslip

As I continue to wade through so many treasures that were loaned to our temporary museum this last summer, I will try to post as much as possible. I took pictures of everything with my trusty Nikon SX130. The following saleslip was particularly fun to check out. In 1937, the Kallek family bouth a Chevy for $765, getting a $100 worth of accessories, and it would appear not having to pay any sales tax. The salesman was "Doug" -- anyone know who that might have been?

Squint Shot 010512

We are still on our little summer walk, last year on an early morning weekend day after breakfast at Olden Days. As many times as I've looked at the storefront where you will find beautiful bouquets, plant arrangements, knicknacks, and cards, at Aleta's, I had never noticed the old coal shoot below the front windows. When this building was refurbished a few years back, how great this wasn't removed.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

1881 Round Schoolhouse

While doing research for The Fowlerville Chronicles, I remembered seeing something about an original schoolhouse for Fowlerville burning -- but then when I wanted to put my hands on that information, I couldn't find it. Well, lo and behold, as I'm finishing up some fine points of the biography of G.L. Adams (a book that is going to be over 300 pages long!), I found this small blurb that was published in his newspaper in 1881:

Wouldn't that have been wonderful if a picture had been taken of this schoolhouse before it burned -- was the building round or was it named after a family in 1880?

Squint Shot 010412

Today's squint shot shows a close-up of yesterday's picture of the radiator in the old Sozo's coffee shop in the old hotel. Isn't it wonderful how someone detailed sculpting with gold.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

1892 New Year Calendar

An early single-day page calendar -- now there are so many!

Squint Shot 010312

Two of the storefronts in the old hotel, across from Curtis Grocery, are empty -- the good news is three of them have businesses in them -- a photography studio, a hair salon, and an insurance office. The location in the center of the first floor had been a coffee shop for many years, with numerous owners, the last being known as Sozo's. I've noticed some refurbishing or maintenance being done in that slot but am not aware if anything is going in there. But, in the meantime, peak in the window and you will see this ornate radiator -- pretty cool.

Monday, January 2, 2012

1901 Miracle Cure

Do you need a miracle cure from "whatever ails ya?" It would appear in 1901, and through the early 1910s, Dr. W.C. Walker may have been the man.
The good doctor would show up at the Lockwood Hotel once a month, working 9 am until 8 pm, where consultations were free. You only had to pay if he could cure you -- I wonder how often that happened! He had "the most successful methods in the treatment of all chronic diseases known to medical science" and was "a friend to the afflicted."

Squint Shot 010212

As we continued a walk around the downtown last summer, on an early morning after breakfast at Olden Days Cafe, we wandered along the alley behind the building in the southeast quadrant. Anyone familiar with this site will know I'm always on the lookout for "doorways to nowhere" and even "windows to nowhere." Over the years, windows and doors have been bricked or cemented in and painted over. Another example of this is at the back of what was the Blackmer's Clothing store and then Utter's Menswear, back in the day -- early to mid 1900s. Take a minute and notice -- and then maybe do like I do and wonder what those times were like.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012 Happy New Year

I love the inter-webs! There are so many creative things to do. In taking a moment to step back from the history of Fowlerville, I would like to wish all of you a very prosperous new year in 2012 and show you the card we are sending to our friends and family. Hope your New Year's Day is a wonderful one and that all those resolutions you dream up are do-able!

Squint Shot 010112

Last summer, on an early Saturday morning, my husband and I had breakfast at Olden Days (which we like to do quite often, by the way). The morning was sunny, refreshingly comfortable, and the downtown was mostly quiet of traffic. We decided to take a walk around the downtown, and of course, I had my camera in hand. Part of our walk took us to the backs of the buildings in the southeast quadrant.

Anyone reading this website for very long would know I'm always looking for "doorways to nowhere" and the following picture fit that bill -- although this was more likely a window at one time that is now bricked in. I suppose it could have even been a larger doorway then what stands there now. Does anyone remember?

Over the next few days of squint shots, I'll be showing more pictures from that nice summer morning. Also, while we were taking that walk, I was formulating a creative thought which became some artwork. If you look under the page tab for "Artwork," you will see how I was able to spell out "Fowlerville" using architectural and other sights found around the downtown. If anyone is interested in purchasing a one-of-kind piece of artwork, please feel free to contact me. I am also muddling around the thought of doing postcards and notecards -- I would love some feedback as to whether anyone would be interested in purchasing such items.