Thursday, October 31, 2013

1995 Baseball

I absolutely love when someone walks up to me, hands me either photos or memoriabilia, and wonders if I would like to add it to the website.  The answer is always yes!  Yesterday, I was given three photographs, which will be added to the Fowlerville Historical Collection at the village hall, but first, I wanted to show you, my readers.
After doing a little research, the first is a baseball card for Al Kaline.  The second picture is how he looked in 1993 when he came to Fowlerville.  If you check out the photograph, you can see "Gehringer Field" hooked to the chain-link fence.  That field is where the Fowlerville High School baseball team plays their games.

The next photograph is a young Tom Brookens when he was a Detroit player, and following that is a more current-day photograph.  Not much has changed!

And then, the last picture given to me had a bunch of markings on the front and then the following on the back:
~~Feb. 1999 Tiger Fantasy Game, Marchand Stadium, Lakeland, Florida, Leon Vercruysse, Batting; Mickey Lolich, Pitching; Alan Trammell, Catching.
~~Rare Picture:  Lolich and Trammell never played together (different eras) (besides Trammell is a SS, not a catcher); Darrell Evans, 2nd Base; Jason Thompson, 1st Base; Al Kaline, right field; Pitch fouled off homeplate.

How cool is all of this!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

2013 Olden Days Storefront

Saturday morning, we had a late breakfast, or an early lunch for some, at Olden Days.  As we munched away, two men worked hard at the front of the building, painting and detailing.  When we were finished, we headed out the back entrance and walked around to the front, where there's still no traffic on North Grand Avenue because of the construction, and we were able to check out the progress (while the three kids with us danced and twirled in the middle of the road).

The first two pictures show where the door, to the left of the storefront, was open and we could peek up the staircase to the old Bell Opera House (you can search on this name and find all sorts of articles).  

 This picture shows the awesome new front to Olden Days.  What a great update:
And now, head back up to the first picture.  As I snapped the digital, I jumped back and laughed, saying to the young fellow with us that I saw a ghost.  He shrugged nonchalantly, but stepped back a bit.  We laughed a bit more about it and went on our merry way.  But, lo and behold, as I'm posting these pictures, check out the first one -- do you see a ghost?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

2013 East Grand River Sidewalk

Work progresses on the East Grand River, northeast quadrant, sidewalk work.  The following two pictures were taken Saturday morning, as the construction workers labored away, but we were able to get a close enough look.

In the late 1800s, wooden plank sidewalks lined the sides of the main streets up to the storefronts.  Into the early 1900s, those planks were being replaced with cement sidewalks and always heralded as much-needed progress.

I might be getting a little ornery, but as some complain of the mess and traffic hold-ups, and anything else they can think of, I like to start blabbering on about progress and infrastructure upgrades and, I'm pretty sure, some stop listening.  But I think this is grand!!  The village council and staff are working hard to find grants and extra monies to improve the downtown area.

Just remember, in a few weeks, the mess and inconvenience will be a fading memory, and we will be enjoying new brickwork and asphalt.

Monday, October 14, 2013

2013 Coal Chutes Uncovered

Thanks to a local business owner, following are additional pictures of the coal chute in from of both Maria's and Edward Jones:

If you search, in the upper right hand box, on Edward Jones, you will find additional squint shots I posted of the basement below the offices.

And, by the way, there is caution tape around the coal chutes, so don't get too close!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

1898 Phineas Stewart

I received a call recently, the woman asking if I knew anything about a Phineas Stewart, b. 10.8.1794, d. 7.27.1898 -- 104 years old at the time of his death.  The name did not ring a bell with me, even if it seemed I got to know so many that came before us, through their names, while doing research.  

But with so much information gleaned from one headstone, along with the curious question of so many females preceding him in death -- five wives and two daughters, to be exact -- I couldn't resist doing a little extra research.

Phineas Stewart died a year before the West Howell Cemetery was established, but his monument stands. 

 On the front of the pillar, his name along with his first wife's name are etched in the stone:
 Then on the south side of the monument, two more wives:
 On the north side, another two wives:
 On the backside, or east side, his two daughters:
My curiosity was definitely aroused so I headed to the Howell Library for a dual purpose; family research and to see if I could find anything on P. Stewart.  As it were, I had luck on both counts.  When I reeled through microfilm from the Livingston Republican, I found the following article:
Curious, no mention of his five wives or of what he may have done for employment.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

2013 East Grand River Work

The work continues at the main four corners and I happened along an interesting moment on my way into Sweet Sensation for a chocolate fix (and a gift).  

I got into conversation with two of the village's DPW workers.  Old shut-off valves--corroded and barely usable--were being replaced with new ones.

Asphalt has been removed in the areas where there were recently parking spaces along East Grand River.  Eventually, bricks will be laid same as have already been placed on North Grand Avenue.  I can hardly wait to see all of this finished.

Friday, October 11, 2013

2013 Olden Days

North Grand was opened for Homecoming but then immediately closed again for more work.  On Tuesday morning of this week, there was an eight-foot hole in the center of the intersection and all of this equipment for the work at hand.
After checking out the construction, I also noticed the owners of Olden Days Cafe are doing something with their storefront entrance.  Old, and very dry, shakes were being thrown to the ground by one of the workers.  I asked what the change might be but got a noncommittal answer.  Guess we will just have to keep an eye out for what's happening.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

2013 Main Four Corners Work

As promised, following are three pictures taken the other day.  The first one is looking west from the front of the Edward Jones' storefront toward the intersection.
The second one is looking eastward from the same spot, showing how the road is closed and some of the asphalt has been removed.  (Note: Wayne Copeland, village president, can be seen at the far left as he inspects some of the sidewalk.) 
And then, another westward picture -- obviously the sidewalk is closed, or should it say "sidewalk missing"! 
Tomorrow, a couple of pictures looking southward from about the front of Olden Days on North Grand Avenue.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

2013 Coal Chute Hole

As work progresses in the downtown area, an interesting moment arrived for the workers.  While tearing up the sidewalk in front of Edward Jones and Maria's School of Dance, a sinkhole appeared.  As it turns out, it's not the Florida-type sinkhole, but one that is man-made.  

Below the sidewalk, a no-longer-needed coal chute was covered up.  Between the coal chute and the concrete sidewalk, there was a layer of plywood and some steel poles, but that was pretty much it.

I happened to be talking with Wayne Copeland and Kathy Arledge, from the village, and was allowed to sneak a bit closer to get a couple of pictures.  There's not much to see, but I can tell you, it would have been about a six-foot drop if anything gave way under my feet!  Here are the two pictures I snapped:

Tomorrow and the next day, there will be pictures of the intersection, both from East Grand River and from North Grand.

Friday, September 27, 2013

2013 Brickwork on North Grand Avenue

Tonight is the Fowlerville High School Homecoming and the work being done on North Grand Avenue has been temporarily suspended so the parade come travel this route.  According to reliable sources, this initial layer of asphalt was laid down, covering everything including the manhole covers.  

After tonight's parade, the roadblocks will go back up and work will commence next week, uncovering the manhole covers and eventually applying the final layer after whatever work needs to be done.

For now, here are a couple pictures of the new brickwork and the initial layer.  Progress is a wonderful thing!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

2013 Flag and Mini-Me

Check out the flags at Champion Chevrolet -- Flag and Mini-Me flag!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

2013 Farmers' Market

Sometimes, one happens to be in the right place at the right time.  I was heading south on South Grand when I found traffic to be backed up a bit.  Cones and workers were in place, directing our every move, so they could install a banner over the road.  I had no idea what it was for, but figured I'd find out soon enough.
After a few quite errands and deliveries, I came back, heading north, to see the Farmers' Market being touted.  Very cool. 

If you have not made it to the market, head there soon as the season is quickly coming to a close.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

1944 Honor Roll Dedication

The Fowlerville Library recently received a small envelope with a note and the following piece of paper: 
I am wondering if any of my readers might know of this kind of a ceremony.  It sounds like the scouts were quite active in the community and you might recognize a few names, especially if you've read any of this website.  Deo Blackmer was the son of S.T. Blackmer, the founder of the men's clothing store in Fowlerville that eventually was bought out by Frank Utter and became Utter's Menswear.  Betty Woods was the wife of Tom Woods, owner of Woods Drugs.

If you search on any of these names (upper right hand corner), you will find any articles written about these residents of Fowlerville.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

2013 Crooked Bayou Restaurant

Fowlerville has a new restaurant -- the Crooked Bayou.  As of August 13, they have been opened; something they have called a "soft opening."  Right now, the chef is offering a limited menu and seating is at a premium, so figure on take-out.  
It is well worth the visit!  My husband and I stopped there Wednesday evening and enjoyed a couple of "po boys."  I had a shrimp po boy that was delish and my husband had a "dibris" po boy.  Dibris, you ask.  Basically what that means is the sandwich is made from roast beef that falls into a pan gravy and then is served on a roll.  It was so very worth being so full afterwards! 
I took a few pictures but you need to head there to see what the new owners are putting together.  Some of the original brick walls are exposed and they've used barn wood and repurposed pallets to create a bayou, old shack atmosphere. 
Fowlerville is certainly becoming a destination for some "good eats" -- as Alton Brown used to say on the Food Network.  We've been lucky for many years to have Olden Days on North Grand Avenue, and now we have both the Grille in the Ville and the Crooked Bayou across from each other.  Dueling goods, so to speak.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

2013 Northwest and Northeast Quadrants

I was in town yesterday morning and it seemed so strange to see the large, long arm of a digger reaching into the main four-corners intersection.
And then, later in the day, after 5 pm to be exact, the work continued:
My husband and I had just finished having sandwiches and gumbo at the newest restaurant in town.  I'll post pictures and comments in a day or two.  Be sure to check back, or head to the Crooked Bayou, located in the southeast quadrant, between the old BeeCharmer building and Chase Bank.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

2013 North Grand Roadwork

I stopped by this morning to grab a few pictures of the continuing work on North Grand Avenue.  The block between Power Street and Grand River Avenue has now been cleared of old asphalt and sewer and water work is to commence.  

Following are three pictures I took while standing in the crosswalk area:

Friday, July 19, 2013

2013 Water Main from 1927

Work continues to progress on the water and sewer construction on North Grand Avenue, and I'm pretty sure some of the workers are beginning to wonder about me.  The other day, for instance, I was making a delivery to the Carpet Depot (right in the midst of all the chaos) and I noticed a number of the men standing around a rather large hole.  Just looking in, talking, contemplating, I supposed.

So, of course, after I made my delivery, I crossed the street to join them gazing down into this 8-foot (at least) deep hole.  A couple of the village DPW workers were there (and recognized me) so I got into conversation with them.  

At that point in the day, the guys digging had exposed a major portion of the 1927 lead (I believe) watermain and were in the process of capping it off to stop any water flow from about in front of Kim's Barber Shop to South Street.

Me, being the crazy lady I've become, asked if there was anyway I could get a chunk of the old main for our historical collection.  After a few puzzled looks from those not knowing me, one of the guys deep in the hole asked, "how big?"  

Below is what he then easily tossed up onto the grass between the road and the sidewalk.  It didn't look nearly as nice as this, as it has since been power-washed and dried.  So, this is what a watermain looked like in 1927 and was still very operational 86 years later.  And, by the way, this little chunk of 6" (inside diameter) by about 2-feet long watermain is heavy -- not something I could easily toss up from a deep hole!

Eventually, when we can put together a display, this will definitely be available for a close-up look.

I did some cursory research for around 1927, looking for information on the watermain work and possibly of the old water tower that used to stand in the northwest quadrant (behind Fowlerville Lumber) but couldn't find anything.  I did find an article, though, of a watermain break on East Grand River, which follows:

The lead pipe to the water main in front of the Novara store sprung a leak Saturday and a hole had to be cut in the new pavement and a tunnel dug under for some distance to make the repair.

The Novara store was located in the northeast quadrant about where Edward Jones is now located.

Monday, July 15, 2013

2013 Michigan Rock

Driving back from Lansing today, I finally got a good look at a painted rock on Grand River Avenue, between Webberville and Gaston's garden center.  I pulled over to grab a picture and thought I'd post it here.  Pretty cool:
Next time you are traveling that way, look on the north side of Grand River Avenue and check it out too.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

2013 North Grand Avenue Construction Progress

Good morning, all.  It has been a while since I've posted--lots going on with a project I'm working diligently on.  But . . .

I did have time to stop by the North Grand Avenue construction and talk with Larry Davis.  I had heard something about wooden planks found once the workers had dug down into the viaduct under the road at about the northwest corner of Centennial Park.  He didn't know of any planks but said some old trees had been found that were possibly supports for the road.

I did grab the above picture of the viaduct as the men worked away.  I'll get back in a day or two to see the finished look.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

2013 Community Park

I like to walk the Rotary Mile at the Community Park a couple times a week for variety, and the other day I finally slowed down to read a sign posted on a fence by the path, about in the southeast corner of the park.  It reads:

This is a blackberry plant.  The fruit is not ready to be picked until it is black.  If the fruit is red, please do not pick!  If the berry does not 'fall' off with a slight pull, it is not ripe.  Be responsible . . . enjoy a few as you pass by.
Here's the bush -- I'll be watching to see when the berries are black! 
Isn't this just the coolest thing!?

Monday, June 17, 2013

2013 Work from North End

My husband and I were in town Sunday morning to take a two-mile walk at Community Park (twice around).  Before our exercise, we stopped at the north end of the road work on North Grand Avenue to see equipment and mounds of dirt, and mud from the rain during the night.  It looks like all of the old sidewalk concrete has also been torn up and new walks will be installed.

After our walk?  Olden Days, of course, for a yummy Father's Day breakfast.