Wednesday, May 10, 2017

2017 Future Home of the Fowlerville District Library

Big things are happening in the community of Fowlerville!

As of May 10, 2017, the Fowlerville District Library now owns the building former used by Curtis Grocery at 130 South Grand.  The board has bought the building with the intent to renovate 10,330 square feet of it (doubling the current building) for library use, another 3,000 square feet for storage, and an additional 3,000 square feet to be renovated at a later date.

In addition to having all the same wonderful services, the historical collection will now be housed in the library and available for patrons to access much easier.  Larger rooms, more space between stacks, improved children programming facilities, even a fireplace, will be included.

It will take time to accomplish all of this.  At current estimates, it will take about a year.  Maybe this time next year, we will be announcing the move.

As the Library Board President, I had the great honor of signing the purchase papers.  I'm pretty sure 10.10.17 at 10 am will be etched in my memory forever!  What a privilege.  But, as I'm beginning to think, purchasing the building was the easy part.  Now comes the real work.

I've created a Facebook page entitled "Future Home of the Fowlerville District Library" where updates will be posted on a regular basis.  Check it out by clicking here.

Also, checked out the upcoming issue of Fowlerville News and Views.  I sat down recently with Steve Horton and he has written an informative article.

Be sure to check back here for updates but also be sure to head to Facebook.  Check out the excitement.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Temporary Intermission :)

Hang in there - I am out of town for a couple of weeks and unable to access information for posts.  I'll be back adding information later this month.  Thank you to all my readers for continuing to check out this blog.  I'll be back...

In the meantime, feel free to check out my facebook page here.

See you in a bit.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

1937 Hee Haw News

The Fowlerville Lumber Company had an interesting way to advertise.  I've noticed when I post these from the 40s and 50s, I get a few comments and more interest.  Here's one, found in "The Fowlerville Review," in January of 1937.

Friday, March 31, 2017

1936 Centennial Park Part 2

A couple days, an article showed the schedule and some information for the dedication of the land behind the library, to be known as "Centennial Field."  The following article, found in the November 11, 1936, issue of "The Fowlerville Review," spoke of the celebration:

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

1936 Centennial Field

Some still call the park behind the library "Centennial Field," although in 1998 it became Centennial Park.  In 1936, the land was dedicated by the Board of Education for use in sporting events, etc.  Following is the article found in the November 4, 1936, issue of "The Fowlerville Review."  

The next post will show more information.

Monday, March 27, 2017

1883 Judd Horses Loose!

And now, like a time traveler, we have gone back to 1883, the early days of Fowlerville when horses, carriages, and buggies crowded the dirt roads in the downtown area.  

A couple days ago, an article showed 1953 and the opening of a gas station at the corner of Ann Street and Grand River.  Today's article, from a very early issue of "The Fowlerville Review" in 1883, the horses and wagon belonging to Seth Judd ended up on the north side of Ann Street.  
The tree the horses ran into may well have been apple since Ralph Fowler had an orchard along in this area.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

1952 Gulf Gas Station

Well, we are back in 1952 Fowlerville, long before I96 was constructed, making Grand River Avenue the main thoroughfare between Lansing and Detroit.  I96 was proposed in 1958 and finished by 1962.  So, ten years earlier, the Gulf gas station was opened up at the southeast corner of Ann Street and Grand River.  Following is the article announcing the "formal" opening, found in the October 8, 1952 issue of "The Fowlerville Review:" 
If you happen to park across the street, in what some call the DDA lot, and look over at that corner, you can still see the outline of the building.  It has been resided and all windows taken out (as well as the pumps), but the building is still there.  I believe it has been incorporated into the automotive service building it is attached to.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

1971 Hair Salons

I love to randomly pull up issues of "The Review" (1972-1984) and "The Fowlerville Review" (1874-1971), do a bit of scrolling, and then clip out an article, advertisement, or compilation of local news.  In a 1971 issue, I came across this ad.

Would love to hear from anyone knowing of any of these salons and where they were located.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

1928 Local News

The editor of the local newspaper, G.L. Adams, was truly a gossip -- in a good way.  Today we have social media to keep us informed of what our friends and neighbors are doing.  Local residents received the paper once a week for that kind of information.

Here's a section from the June 20, 1928, issue of "The Fowlerville Review:"
Part of the reason this caught my eye was due to the fact I've been doing a little research for one of my readers on N.P. Jensen, a local photographer.  His name leaped off the page -- "Have your Kodak films developed and printed in Jensen's Studio."

When I was doing research for my novel, "Tilly Loves Johnny," I needed a photographer.  Mr. Jensen became my main man!  I've even included him in my third novel, a work-in-progress at the moment.

Another reason I like to post this local news is for the names you can read about.  So m any of them become like old friends.  While I was researching for Fowlerville, I felt like George L. Adams became my "invisible" friend.  I would have loved to have met him.  I have noticed a comment by one of my readers that he might be a great-grandson.  I would so love to have you contact me through this blog.  :)

Sunday, March 19, 2017

1928 New Lutheran Church

Back to our regularly-scheduled local information!  I just got myself stuck in 1928 and over the next couple of days, there will be some posts during that time period.  

The following article, found in "The Fowlerville Review," June, 1928, reports the old Lutheran Church building being razed and gives a bit of history.  In 1909, a "cyclone" came through Fowlerville, overturning the Rounsville grain elevator as well as destroying the St. Agnes Catholic church, when it was located on Maple.  It appears it had also done damage to the Lutheran building.

The tornado, as we would call it today, followed the railroad tracks over South Grand, eventually turning northeast into town, before traveling eastward and disappearing.

In 1928, the known Opera House was located above the current-day Olden Days restaurant (one half) and the other half above Maria's School of Dance.  As you face the restaurant, there is a wooden door to the left, where a narrow staircase leads up to the second floor.

In my novel, "Juniper and Anise," a temperance meeting is held in the old opera house and, at the podium, is Ida B. Wise, the leader of the movement in the midwest area.  Some loved her while others didn't, including a few that threw ripe tomatoes at her!

Friday, March 17, 2017

2017 Secondary Characters

Thought I'd do a little self-promotion today.  It all goes along with Fowlerville, though.

When I was doing the research for "The Fowlerville Chronicles" and "Through the Eyes of a Country Editor," I used much of what I learned to write my two historical fiction novels (a third one is in the works).  I changed the name of the town to Cedartown but it certainly looks a lot like Fowlerville in the early 1900s!

So, promoting my books on social media takes quite a bit of extra work.  Basically, books don't just sell themselves as there are so many out there.  To that end, I do a great many blog posts for other bloggers.  My latest for my two books can be found by clicking here.

I wrote about my favorite secondary characters -- Izzy in "Juniper and Anise" and Rita Mae in "Tilly Loves Johnny."

If you are interested in purchasing my books, you can head to my website or search on Amazon for both the ebook format or paperbacks.  They are fun reads involving hooch, rumrunners, bootlegging, blind pigs, and a ton of other stuff.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

1953 Orr Theatre

The old newspapers for Fowlerville are an absolute wealth of information and, to be quite honest, fun to browse and getting lost looking back through all this history.  Today I was looking at some of the movies advertised as showing at the Orr Theatre in 1953.  I found this ad in "The Fowlerville Review," along with a ton of other ads for new cars, furnaces, clothing, farming equipment, groceries.  You name it, there was an advertisement.  Does anyone remember the Orr Theatre and/or seeing these movies?
As I've mentioned before, feel free to email me or leave a comment if you are looking for something in particular.  At the moment, I'm also doing some research on early photographers in Fowlerville -- around 1900-1930.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

1900 Nicholson Shooting

We were on the road for a couple of weeks so I was unable to post any new articles.  One of our stops along the way included a tour of the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio.  The location for the filming of "Shawshank Redemption," starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman, filmed in 1993.  

The reason I bring this up is because of anecdotal stories we heard during the tour.  One in particular of how the wife of the last warden and his family to live at the prison residence.  She was shot in the stomach by a rifle, as it supposedly fell off a shelf and fired, killing her.  It could never be proved whether it was an accident, intentional by her husband, or suicide by her.  

So now, as I'm browsing through some articles in "The Fowlerville Review," dated October 19, 1900, I happened up the following article.  This one does appear to be an accident but I'm prone to wonder how often things like this happened over the years.
By the way, if you ever get anywhere close to Mansfield, Ohio, I highly recommend your heading to the Ohio State Reformatory.  You can choose either a guided tour or a self-guided one (which we took).  After seeing all there is, we came away so very thankful for so much.  Following are a few pictures from our tour:

~~The centerfront of this massive reformatory, formerly used to house up to 1900 inmates.

~~A shot of the stairway heading up to the warden's living quarters.  I'm pretty sure the light flare at the bottom of the staircase is an "orb" -- they say the place is haunted!
~~The west cells, the first to be built between 1886 and 1896.
 ~~The east cells, built a few years later, with caging bars closing in all six floors of cells so inmates would not jump or be pushed to their death to the concrete floor below.
~~The shower room, which the inmates dubbed "the carwash" as they'd walk down the line of the piping, letting the water spray over them.
~~The chapel, where every Sunday all 1900 inmates were filed into this room for their weekly dose of reforming.  Now the place is overrun with pigeons!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

1884 Fowlerville Cornet Band

The cast of characters:

James G. Blaine (from Wikipedia) was "an American Statesman and Republican politician who represented Maine in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1863 to 1876, serving as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1869 to 1875," and etc. and in 1884 was nominated by the Republican party to run for President, ultimately defeated by Democrat Grover Cleveland in the election.

John C. Fremont had a huge life, which you can read all about here.  After this stop in Fowlerville, he lived six more years and died quite suddenly from a case of peritonitis (abdominal infection).

General Russell A. Alger was just plain rich, being "an army officer, financier, lumber baron, railroad owner" and holding high government offices, according to Wikipedia.  Supposedly, he was a distant relation to author Horatio Alger.  A bit of trivia -- Alger County in Michigan is named at the general.
Quite a group stopping by Fowlerville and being serenaded by the Fowlerville Cornet Band.

Note:  All information on the three men was found at

Monday, February 27, 2017

1947 Fowlerville Lumber Company

Part of the Fowlerville Lumber Company's advertisement philosophy was to make the customer laugh.  Weekly, they would have this little "newsletter" published in "The Fowlerville Review" to keep their name in the forefront:

Saturday, February 25, 2017

1880 Opium Addiction

I did a little browsing through some of the 1880 issues of "The Fowlerville Review," looking forward something interesting to put on this blog.  Sometimes it is almost overwhelming, there's so much from medical and dental treatments for the time, store openings (such as by R. Fowler), council minutes, prices of dry goods and groceries.  

The following article grabbed my attention as I see more and more articles in the local paper of an opiate problem here in Fowlerville and its surrounding area.  I guess nearly 140 years ago it wasn't quite so different.
If anyone has a subject matter, era, names and/or businesses they would like me to research, let me know and I'll see what I can do.  

Thursday, February 23, 2017

1907 Grain Elevator Fire

On the 13th, I posted some information regarding the Rounsville house.  The other day, as I'm doing some research in 1907, this article caught my attention:
Two years later, a tornado came through this area and took off the top part of the grain elevator, no doubt some of being the newly-installed fire-proof roof.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

1965 Beginning of Community Park

This month, Fowlerville lost one of its leaders from long ago -- Irwin Glover.  You can find his obituary under the "Remember" tab on this blog.  His funeral was a celebration of a life well-led and I feel honored I knew him for these last 18 years.

Irwin was one of the first I met when I joined the Rotary Club in 1999.  He was kind, generous, and outgoing, and he was the reason we sang songs at the beginning of each meeting.  

So, I post the following article that happened to catch my eye this week as I was looking for something interesting.  In May of 1965, this announcement was in "The Fowlerville Review" to bring the community out to work together on putting the Community Park (large one on North Grand) in order.  Irwin, along with Frank Utter and numerous other Rotarians, worked hard to make this happen and aren't we all glad!
A few years back, the Rotary Club funded the paving of what is now known as the "Rotary Mile."  I love using that walk and hopefully many more make use of it -- and, for that, we can thank men like Irwin Glover.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

1963 Haire and Jackson

I've been opening up the digital version of "The Fowlerville Review," published from 1874-1972, randomly choosing a date and then doing some scrolling.  If something catches my eye, I save the article or picture and post here.

Please let me know if you would like me to look for anything in particular during those 98 years.  If you give me an approximately date, I can do some looking.

Today's picture was on the front page of the newspaper May 8, 1963.  This picture shows the North Grand Avenue view of the storefront for Haire and Jackson.  Years before, it was the location for Curtis Grocery and years later, the Decorating Center was located here.  Currently, it houses Maria's School of Dance.
Following is the ad from page 7:

Friday, February 17, 2017

1969 'Round the Town News

Thought this might be fun to post here.  

Every week, including the week of May 7, 1969, social and other events of some of the residents showed up in the news.  Some of you might recognize family names and what was happening in late spring of that year.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

1969 Advertisements

Here are some fun advertisements from a 1969 issue of The Fowlerville Review, published by the Rudnickis.  Some of you may remember these storefronts:

Howard's Market (where Sav-On is now located):

And, J.&D. Tavern:

I am wondering if J.&D. Tavern was located where DaShoe now resides.  Anyone remember?

Monday, February 13, 2017

1971 Rezoning Rounsville Property

In 1875, a very large house was built just south of the railroad tracks on the east side of South Grand Avenue.  It was built by the Rounsville family, also owners of the grain elevator across South Grand; the same one that was severely damaged in the 1909 tornado that touched down along the tracks.  For more information on the Rounsville family and/or the tornado, feel free to use the search feature.  There's also sections of the 1875 map you can search on.

But now, back to 1971.  The property was now owned by Tom McKane and he was looking to sell 66.9 acres.  The village council was considering rezoning the land and received a great deal of opposition from residents.  Following are the articles with that information.

I'm curious if anyone remembers when the house was still standing and/or this battle.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

1971 Proposal One

In 1971, the village dealt with an issue of being able to or not sell liquor-by-the-glass.  I found this totally intriguing since the Prohibition Era, fifty years earlier than this proposal, has held a great deal of interest for me.  Throughout Fowlerville's history, it was a "dry" town, sometimes even the entire county was dry.  

The following full-page advertisement was taken out by the Committee for Lower Taxes in Fowlerville, labeled, "What Wrong With Fowlerville?" and additionally to "Vote YES for Liquor By The Glass, Monday, March 8th."

I continued looking at this issue of "The Review" newspaper and found the Fowlerville Licensed Beverage Association as well as the Progressive Business of Fowlerville" ran full-page ads.  There were no names associated with the organizations.

In the next issue, Wednesday, March 18, 1971, on the front page, an article entitled, "Fowlerville Approves Liquor" read as follows:

Fowlerville residents approved liquor by the glass for the village by a margin of 58 votes.  354 ballots were cast, with 12 ballots spoiled, for a final count of 200 yeas-142 no.  

With no opposition, all incumbents were re-elected.  It was not known at press time if any write-in candidates had been placed on the ballots.

Re-elected to office were President T. Nelson Tobias, 274 votes; Clerk Murial Bohm, 275; Treasurer Treva Risdon, 273; Assessor Harold Robb, 267; Trustees Gerald Bohnett, 261; Robert Branch, 254; and Andy Linman, Jr., 261.  Library Board members re-elected are Marge Carlon, 264, and Marion Jackson, 260.

Election workers reported that the majority of the spoiled ballots were the results of voters pushing down the markers under the Democratic ticket, either mistaking the markers for the Republican party, or possibly intending to write in a candidate.

A note regarding the above article - the library was under the auspices of the village in 1971.  By 1994, the library became a district library, encompassing the same area as the school district.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

1875 Local News

The old-timey news editors were a hoot!  That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it.  Every issue, while G.L. Adams was the editor of The Fowlerville Review, contained a local section (and other columns) that now give us, the readers, a sense of what it was like all those years earlier.  The editors were gossips and, if you didn't want something to show up in the newspaper, you'd best keep quiet about it.

My favorite in this part of the local column is, "Our streets were enlivened on Saturday last by a lead pencil seller."  Of course, I have to wonder how many gathered around this traveling salesman, what was his set-up, and how did he hawk his wares.  Like a carnival barker?  
I wish I could personally thank G.L. Adams for all the information he provided in the newspaper.  Otherwise, the Chronicles and also "Through the Eyes of a Country Editor," "Juniper and Anise," and "Tilly Loves Johnny" never would have happened.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

1875 Council Meeting

Currently, I am the Fowlerville District Library board president and that means, occasionally, I need to attend or speak at the Fowlerville Village Council meetings.  The minutes for today's meetings are sometimes long and drawn out but, 142 years ago, they were quite simple.

While doing research for "The Fowlerville Chronicles," many of these names became so familiar to me.  W.W. Starkey was a businessman, having a stave factory and shipping barrel parts to India, to then have them put together and supplies shipped around the world.  Close was a store owner (see post from two days earlier).  F.G. Rounsville had the grain elevator and also served as a school superintendent.
The next post will be some fun local information.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

1875 Wm. F. Close Store

Over the next week, there will be little snippets from an 1875 issue of The Fowlerville Review, published by G.L. Adams, here in Fowlerville.  And now, this would be a perfect time to mention all the wonderful things in this blog.  This post is number 2300--meaning there's a lot of stuff to read if you have the time.  By using the Search box, you can also look up names, events, storefronts, even type in a year.  Yearbook pictures and mausoleum names are on this site.  Plus there are also numerous pages to browse.  Look for the tabs that run under the header.  

I would love to hear some feedback of what you would like to see.  I have access to newspapers and other historical papers and would be happy to look up items of interest.  I am more about the history but, once in a while, a modern-day post might show up.

While my first history book is now out-of-print for new copies, there are some available on Amazon.  Just search on "The Fowlerville Chronicles" or my name, Marion Cornett, and you will see what's available.  A case in point of why the Chronicles is a good book to own--these next few posts will be set in 1875.  In the book, there are maps showing the area and you'd be able to see where Wm. F. Close's new store was located.  

Wm. F. Close also built a house during this era and it is still standing.  At the northwest corner of South Grand and Frank Street there's a large white house--that was his.

Friday, February 3, 2017

1960 Recipe for Canned Meat "Magic"

So, for those that grew up in the 60s, does anyone remember a meal such as the one shown below?  Canned Meat Magic makes it sound a bit suspicious!  

Although this isn't really related to Fowlerville, I did come across a page of recipes in a 1960 issue of "The Fowlerville Review" and wondered how many women made these meals for their families.  I guess I do remember some mystery meals when I was growing up, quite often something covered with a gravy so we wouldn't question our mother too much!

Anyone care to comment of a meal they used to get served (or made) in the 60s and 70s?

Also, on another note, I got a nice email from a friend, giving me a bit of personal information on Hall's Mill (see previous post).   An earlier owner of the mill, George Monroe (who passed away only a couple years back) used to mow the library lawn in the 90s after the mill was taken down by an intentional burn by the fire department. 

Friday, January 13, 2017

1947 Hall's Mill

Seventy years ago this month, the following advertisement, along with articles and thank you notes scattered through the newspaper, showed up in The Fowlerville Review, January 8, 1947, issue:
Ken Tannar (as listed at the bottom of this ad) was a charter member of the Fowlerville Rotary Club.  Such a nice, caring man I had the great fortune to meet and know for a few years.  By the time I met Ken, he was retired from the elevator business as well as his appraisal company.  We worked quite a few Dawn Patrols together, him always manning the mixing of the pancake batter and me helping to either deliver the batter to the bakers or even sometimes being allowed the cook the pancakes.

If anyone has memories of Charles and Marion Craig or Ken Tannar, I would love to have you share and comment.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

1967 Stones in the Road

As I've been looking through some old files, I thought I'd search on items at 50 years ago, 40 years ago, etc.  Looking back 50 years ago, I found this article from The Fowlerville Review, published January 4, 1967.

Reading through this article, I wonder if Jerome Olrich and Mary Loughlin are still around.  Anyone know?

Monday, January 9, 2017

1914 Sinking of the Titanic

I decided, for a little change-up, to post some history away from the village.  The sinking of the Titanic in 1914 has been in the news a bit lately, especially as it always seems to be of fascination, since some new evidence has surfaced that the ship was having problems long before it hit the iceberg.  That the iceberg might have been the final death knell in staying afloat. 

The following article was found in the April 18, 1914, issue of The Fowlerville Review:

Saturday, January 7, 2017

1958 Frank's Golf Outing Champions

One more random article found in The Fowlerville Review regarding the Curtis family and their grocery story.  In 1958, Frank's team became golf champions:
As always, anyone wanting to make a memory comment will be greatly appreciated!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

1972 Frank's Silver Year

Continuing to look back at the Curtis Grocery history, I found the following article in a 1972 issue of The Review:
I'm sure for many of you it is a walk down memory lane -- so many names in this single article!

Monday, January 2, 2017

1967 Frank's Foodliner

As I'm sure close to everyone is aware Curtis Grocery closed a few weeks ago after reopening in 2010.  I am so sad to see the empty storefront and know I can't bop in there to see Ken, Craig, Larry, and Cate--have so enjoyed seeing them whenever I needed to resupply our fridge.

As I pondered the closing, I went in search of some of the ads from days-gone-by.  Below is an ad from November, 1967.
The next page of that particular issue of The Fowlerville Review also showed the winners of the "Let's Go To The Races" contest.  The picture on the left shows Frank Curtis, on the right is Gary Whitford.  Would love if my readers would leave a comment on either of these two men.