Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Michigan History Magazine Collection

The Fowlerville District Library Historical Collection has everything from farm equipment to uniforms to genealogy to maps to tons of historical memorabilia.  It also has quite a collection of the glossy, highly-informative "Michigan History" magazine.  

If you like going down memory lane or learning something new about this state, the magazines are available for you to peruse.  

The collection is under lock and key and it is best to call the library to make sure a time would be right for the staff to help you with looking at these magazines or anything else in the collection.  The biggest reason this collection is in a locked room is due to some items having gone missing when everything was stored at the old library on Mill Street.  It is a sad fact but these items are nearly irreplaceable.

But don't let that stop you!  Please feel free to call the library to check out this awesome collection.

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Carrie Nation and a Hatchet

In 1903, Carrie Nation arrived at the Fowlerville Fair, as scheduled, and spoke about the ills of drinking.  The article "Record Breaker" was found in an issue of "The Fowlerville Review."  Carrie Nation's schtick was (supposedly) going into saloons with a hatchet and chopping at the bar.  

I don't believe there were any authentic hatchets in view during her speech but, a couple years later, a wooden hatchet was given out as a promotional item at the fair.  Were the organizers inspired by Carrie Nation?  We'll never know but it does make one wonder.
Today is Wednesday, June 14, and I am at the library historical collection until noon if anyone would like to stop in to see the hatchet.  Or any of the other wonderful items we have in the collection.

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Labeled Items at Historical Collection

It is Wednesday, May 5, and I am in the historical collection until about noon.  Looking around at this organized room, I realized many may not be aware of some of our smaller displays.  Today, I've chosen a couple of shelves of memorabilia.  

The first picture shows a tile block from Woods Drug Store.  Some may still remember this business--especially their fountain area for ice cream and sodas.  The picture also shows a pocket watch, shaving equipment, a sharpening stone, and a tattling shuttle and hook.

The next picture shows a hanger from Utter's Menswear, old eyeglasses, hair accessories from the 1930s and 1940s, a silver mesh purse, and an 1848 penny.
This last picture has a promotional "hatchet" from the Fowlerville Fair, window weights, school books and a chalkboard, plus arrowheads.
It is quite an eclectic collection of items, plus there's more than shown.  In my opinion, it is just plain fun to look at the items in this room and think back to the day long before computers and iphones.

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

The Fowlerville Review 1977-1984

A recent donation of bound copies of "The Fowlerville Review," from January, 1977, to December, 1984, continue to round out the Historical Collection at the Fowlerville District Library.

On the front page of the January, 1977, issue, two young boys are shown skating on a pond near the Fowlerville High School (that would have been when the high school was located on Collins Street).  Breezing through that first issue, predictions were made for the coming year, a public works proposal was defeated, marriages, wedding anniversaries and obituaries were noted, six pages of want ads were found in the middle of the newspapers, school news and sports were reported on, and Steve Horton (editor and publisher of Fowlerville News and Views since 1985) was shown as a staff writer.  There were also numerous advertisements from the best car deals, to insurance and banking opportunities, to lumber supplies, and everything in between.  One notable ad, found on the back page (24th page) was a full-page ad for Frank's Foodliner IGA.  

~~Fryers were $.39/lb, bananas 5 for $1, $.77 for a large jar of peanut butter, a dozen large eggs for $.77.  

Oh how, things have changed!  The biggest change is that Frank's Foodliner (or Curtis Grocery) is now the Fowlerville District Library.  Has been since the building purchase in 2017, renovations conducted for the next year, then the grand opening June, 2018.  

And then, curiously, the December, 1984, issue has Larry Schmid along with two ladies shopping in Frank's IGA, to celebrate Larry's passion for being a part of the American Motorcycle Association's racing community as a "flag man" for starting and finishing races.

Looking through this issue, Howard's Market (where Save-On is now located since 1985) advertised fresh ground hamburger for $.99/lb, sliced bacon at $1.39/lb, and Vlasic Crunchy dills for $1.29, along with so many items for under $1.  The average price for a house ran about $70,000, with the highest noted at $139,900.  By 1984, you needed to head to Howell to see a movie (Orr Theatre had closed by then)--Pinocchio was on tap for viewing.
There are nine more volumes in this collection between the beginning and the end.  If you ever feel like going down memory lane or just researching what it might have been like in the 70s and 80s, these issues are a superb resource.  The paper is fragile but the bindings are solid and strong.


Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Fowlerville District Library Historical Collection


The Fowlerville District Library has a dedicated room, toward the back of the building, that contains a large collection of papers, photographs, artifacts, and some interesting memorabilia.  The door to the room is locked when not in use.  Two of the biggest rules of the room is that an appointment needs to be made to reserve the room and also that the room is monitored when in use.

It is a sad fact that when the collection was not under "lock and key" at the old building some irreplaceable items went missing.  Someone felt they deserved it more than the library did.  

As I have spent numerous hours cataloguing and organizing what is available for research, I have offered my volunteer time to be at the room on Wednesdays, from 10 am to noon.  For April, those dates are the 5th and the 12th.  I won't be available the last two Wednesdays of April but will start up again in May.  At this point, I am planning on all five Wednesdays in May.

The picture above shows part of the south wall of the room.  Nellie Lansing Glenn was a wonderful keeper of the history until her death in 1970.  She was also an artist and painted representations of some of the original buildings in the village from 1847 on.  They are a treasure and we're happy to have them for display purposes.

I hope you will come to check out what the collection has to offer as well as looking at displays by the fireplace and in the alcove at the back of the building.  In lieu of a museum, the library is being very generous to offer space for this collection.

Monday, September 12, 2022

Books, Books, and Torch 180

I recently had the great pleasure of participating in Torch 180's first Market Day, this last Saturday, at their location at 131 Mill Street in Fowlerville.  I had all of my books on display and for sale.  It was a fun day, to say the least.  

As I spoke with people and even directed them to this blog, it dawned on me I hadn't posted nor updated this blog in too long of time.  So now I am doing just that.  Since "A Soldier, His Brother, and a House" was posted on here, I've worked hard on a second edition of the commissioned "Mr. Smith's Forgotten Community," a memoir-of-sorts of past and present residents of Brighton Gardens in Brighton.  I will do a blog post when this revision is available on Amazon through their Kindle Direct Printing program.

For now, though, I'd like to tell you about "She Wore a Hat in Prison."

This historical fiction novel is the third in my collection of traditionally-published stories.  The Wild Rose Press published this one and "Tilly Loves Johnny" (a few years back).  Whiskey Creek Press published my first story, "Juniper and Anise," way back in 2014.

I am so happy with my latest novel and hope you will take a look at it.  It is available on pretty much every online book store but you can easily find it by clicking here.  "She Wore a Hat in Prison" is based on an event that actually took place in 1907 in California.  The woman wreaking Mayhem on her husband was Bertha Boronda.  She was convicted on this felon and served two years of a five-year sentence.  Here is are two pictures of her mugshots taken at the time of incarceration:
I moved this event to Cedartown--a village that looks a lot like Fowlerville--and highly-fictionalized her story because who really knows what happened in 1907.  I did a great deal of research to incorporate much of what happened in California but so much was pulled out of own imagination.

We didn't have cell phones, social media, nothing that would broadcast this story out to the masses.  So different than today's world.

I will be doing an author talk at the Fowlerville District Library on Thursday, September 29, 6:30 pm.  The book will be available for purchase but, of equal importance, I will be showing a power point presentation of Bertha's story.  It should be a fun yet a bit shocking evening.  

Hope you will be there.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

A Soldier, His Brother, and a House -- the Defendorf Story

Now available on in paperback format -- it is a great addition to your collection if you are history buff for either local history or Civil War letters.

Jacob Defendorf was a 15-year old soldier for the Union side in 1863 during the Civil War.  Some letters he wrote and some he received were found in a Fowlerville house.  They have now been transcribed for this book.  Timeline history and explanation of some things he wrote, as well as ancestry research, is contained in this book.

Get it by clicking here!