Bygone Days: A look at the history of NE Allegan County

(Taken from the archives at the Then & Now Historical Library in downtown Dorr)

25 Years Ago — Aug. 12, 1992

Representatives from Cellar Door Inc., developers of a proposed amphitheater in Bradley, got an earful of opposition at a special workshop of the Wayland Township Planning Commission held at Wayland High School. Neighboring residents made objections based on traffic, noise and alcohol and most seemed to be saying, “leave us and our lifestyles alone.”

The Wayland Board of Education denied a request from Jim and Dawn Losinger to transfer their son to Middleville Thornapple Kellogg Schools to enroll in a computer aided design course. Jim Losinger accused the board of caring more about the $3,500 potential loss in state aid than the education of their son.

Michigan State troopers from the Wayland post reported the harvest of more than 1,200 marijuana plants in Wayland and Watson townships in just the first week of their annual Operation HEMP sweep. Statewide, authorities indicated they had seized more than 50,000 plants in 1991.

Henika Library Director Lynn Mandaville wrote a letter to the editor thanking the voters of Wayland Township for approving a millage request Aug. 4 and she placed a prominent sign outside the library saying so.

Wayland Union Schools administrative assistant Tom Tarnutzer told the school board a state grant to fund the extension of the academic year by 20 days did not cover the local district’s costs, so plans were scrapped.

Acting Martin Police Chief Cora Goff and the Village of Martin are at odds over hiring and firing local officers. Goff the previous October hired Tom Hosteter as a part-time officer, but then fired him in May for missing too much work. Village officials overruled her and reinstated Hosteter, who also was work part-time for Hopkins. She suggested part of the problem was that she is a woman.

The Globe published a feature story about beach volleyball, focusing on Wayland High School graduate Diane Lubberts, who is a professional in the sport.

50 Years Ago — Aug. 9, 1967

Editor-Publisher Irvin P. Helmey ran a front-page editorial, saying that despite assurances school will start Sept. 5, “Because all bargaining meetings have been held in secret, we can only speculate about faculty demands. It is apparent that at least some of the demands are unacceptable to the board because complete agreement cannot be reached… The result is that a tax-paid state labor mediator has been called to Wayland to attempt to bring about a teacher contract settlement…”

A neighborhood threshing activity, recalling practices in days gone bay, was held in Hilliards at the farm of Edward “Speed” Wykoski.

Gordon Anderson has been selected superintendent for Hopkins Public Schools, succeeding John Andreason, who resigned earlier this year to take the business manager’s post at Grand Haven Schools. Anderson had been elementary principal at Gull Lake Schools.

A mandated change in the wage scale has delayed the project to build an addition at the Henika Public Library.

A front page feature article was published about Mr. and Mrs. Donald Amborski and family, who were back in Wayland on furlough after a five-and-a-half-year stint as missionaries to Zambia, Africa.

Edwin Belka was named as general contractor for the remodeling project for offices inside City Hall at a cost of almost $3,000.

The City Council officially adopted an ordinance reducing the number of voting precincts in the city from two to one in the wake of the recent change from a village to a city.

Paul Young of Wayland caught the home run ball clubbed by Willie Horton that was the game-winner for the Detroit Tigers against the Chicago White Sox July 30.

Aryln Ross was a awarded a $25 check and a gold rating for his achievements in dairy farming while an FFA student at Hopkins High School.

A Disney double feature, “The Shaggy Dog” and “The Absent-Minded Professor” were being offered this week at the Wayland Theatre.

The Rev. Oscar Wilson, pastor at the Congregational Church for the past two years, has announced he and his wife are returning to Connecticut, where he will teach Spanish next month.

Donald Smith, a 1963 graduate of Wayland High School, has completed his tour of duty with the U.S. Army in Vietnam and was awarded a Purple heart.

The Doors continued to top the nation’s musical charts with “Light My Fire.”

75 Years Ago — Aug. 14, 1942

Wayland area residents lingered on the streets in the village, consuming ice cream and pop, during the civil defense mandated half hour blackout Wednesday night. Editor-Publisher Rollo G. Mosher, in his “Observations Here and There” weekly column, said, “When the all-clear signal came on and the lights returned, the town was as lively as though nothing had happened.”
The Wayland Fire Department and Chief Cliff Averill served as hosts to the Allegan County Firemen’s Association, with about 50 in attendance. Spokeman for the evening was Harry Amborski.

“Little Toscannini,” 9-year-old bandmaster James V. Feter, will appear with 11 other children to perform music from Wagner’s “Tannhauser” at Moline Church Aug. 17.

Matt McGuire of WLAV radio, the Golden West Trio and Alligator Pete will be guest performers at the weekly Wednesday night entertainment session downtown.

Carl Swett of Morley sustained injuries when his car was struck by a Pennsylvania RR engine near the depot in Wayland.

A three-passenger Stinson plane was forced into an emergency landing near Wayland when one wing was damaged. Among the passengers was a man described as being dressed up as a Highland Canadian officer. The plane was taken to Cincinnati for repairs.

Norris Shuh’s brother Leon has been promoted to first lieutenant in the U.S. Army and now has 50 officers and about 1,000 men under his command.

Pvt. Malcolm Bartleson, formerly of Hopkins, died at Camp Claiborne in Louisiana. His funeral in Kalamazoo included a firing squad and Army chaplain.

Now showing at the Wayland Theatre:

  • Priscilla Lane and Robert Cummings in “Saboteur.”
  • Bette Davis, Olivia DeHavilland and George Brent in “In This Our Life.”
  • John Howard and Marguerite Chapman in “Submarine Raider.”
  • Frank Craven, Donald Woods and Mary Howard in “Thru Different Eyes.”

Editor-Publisher Rollo G. Mosher said he received a communication from a man in the service saying, “The general feeling that I’ve found amongst the military is that the civilian doesn’t give a cuss — just sit back and let all the guys in uniform do the whole job.”

100 Years Ago — Aug. 10, 1917

A total of 197 men failed to pass the physical exam for selective service in Allegan County, among 571 tested in the first round of calls. Among the 389 accepted, 237 have filed claims for exemptions.

John Kaechele of Leighton Township foiled an attempt to extort $500 from him under threat of death for him and his family. Ervin J. Steeby was arrested not long afterward after an investigation by the Allegan County Sheriff’s Department.

The Bradley Circuit of the Methodist Protestant Church held a successful quarterly regional meeting under the leadership of Rev. W. C. Harger of Detroit. He has been invited back for another convention year with a raise in annual salary to $700.

All owners of threshing outfits in Michigan now will be required to be licensed under state law and they must keep records of all grain and clover seed threshed and hulled.

The West Michigan Press Association will go on its annual trip by interurban to Holland and then by boat to Chicago. Wayland Globe staffers will be included.

The 11th episode of the film series “The Shielding Shadow” will be shown Wednesday evening at Frank’s Opera House.

Miss Martha Heydenbrink and Guert Fales have been attending teachers’ exam in Allegan Thursday and Friday.

Paul Wing of Wayland is among the camp leaders listed for the Aug. 13-18 YMCA Boys’ Gathering at Big Lake, Watson Township.


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