Bygone Days: A look at the past in NE Allegan County

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

25 Years Ago — July 22, 1996

The Wayland High School varsity baseball team, 1905.

Wayland City and Township officials are finding disagreement in the arrangements for trading fire services for Elmwood Cemetery use. And now the Kubiak and Beeler funeral homes are weighing in on cost for burials and opening graves.

Member of the Gun Lake Protective Association, at their annual meeting, have learned that the lake’s water conditions are good, but improvements are recommended.

Hopkins Public Schools will seek a $21 million bond in a special election Sept. 21 for building a new high school and making improvements and renovations for Sycamore and Hopkins Elementary schools.

Dorr Township Clerk Dick Dutkiewicz wrote a letter to the editor praising Nila Aamoth for her previous week’s “Soapbox,” “Penny Wise, Pound Foolish.” The clerk added that he suspected Dorr Township was the target of her comments at times.

The proposed Copper Meadows 50-unit residential development would include an 18-hole golf course near the corner of U.S.-131 and 140th Avenue on a 162-acre farm parcel.

Wayland has decided to opt in for up to 15 students at the high school in the wake of the State Legislature’s passage of the “Schools of Choice” program. Hopkins and Martin both have opted out.

The 15th annual Wayland Summerfest celebration is being planned for three days, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 26, 27 and 28.

Michael Lee Burian, 41, took his own life July 16. A 1973 graduate of Wayland High School, he was the son of Mike and Jan Burian and the grandson of Harold and Leilah Dietiker of Wayland.

Cy Grinage of Wayland Township, owner of Grinage Refrigeration Sales, died at his home at age 86. He was a charter member of the Martin Lions Club and a longtime scout leader.

Donald Baughman, 73, a charter member of the local Veterans of Foreign War Post No. 7581, died at his home in Parchment.

50 Years Ago — July 21, 1971

Raymond Smith was appointed to a trustee’s seat on the Wayland Township Board, succeeding Eric Seymour, who resigned.

The Henika Library Circus Reading Club costume contest winners were announced and pictured on the front page of the Globe. They were Debbie Stora, Jack Hendrixson, Becky Hines and Mike Getty. Mrs. Henry Peterson, library director, oversaw the contest.

Wayland kindergarten teacher Norma Hudson attended the Jesse Stuart Creative Writing Workshop at Murray State University in Kentucky.

The City Council reversed its earlier decision on two liquor by the glass establishments, opting not to require the Wayland Hotel and Robart’s Tavern to serve food in order to be granted the license.

The 26th annual Wayland Community Fair, sponsored by the Garden Club, Rotary Club and Chamber of Commerce, will be held at the boys’ gym Aug. 20 and 21.

Longtime area nurse Mrs. Esher C. Morris, retired administrator of the Allegan County Health Center, died at Kent Community Hospital. She was 72.

Construction is proceeding apace on the Indian Acres mobile home park east of Bradley near Indian Hill. Plans call for two golf greens, a shuffleboard court, and a horseshoe court rifle and archery range,

This summer’s second concert in City Park is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. Friday, July 23. A variety of music will be offered, according to Wayland High School Band Director Steve Working.

Wayland High School graduate Douglas Door wrote a letter to the editor praising school board members who voted against spending more than $20,000 on lights for the football field. He reasoned that the money would be better spent on academic needs rather than for a facility that would use lights only a little more than a half dozen times in a year.

Paul Revere & the Raiders finally snapped Carole King’s long No. 1 streak by claiming the top spot with “Cherokee People: The Lament of an Indian Reservation.”

75 Years Ago — July 26, 1946

Editor-Publisher Rollo G. Mosher, in his weekly “Observations” column, explained that the biggest reason for inactivity of the Allegan County Road Commission in paving roads is the lack of asphalt, a direct result of some labor strikes in the area. He added that lack of repair parts and a labor shortage during the approaching harvest period also were to blame.

Mr. and Mrs. Marshall Towne are preparing to break ground on their new flower shop on North Main Street.

Walter Ellis, formerly of Wayland, recently was elected chaplain of the American Legion post in Jackson. He added that his son, stationed at Great Lakes, Ill., has joined the Blue Jacket Choir.

Nick Krulac, in an announcement to customers, asked them to return glass milk containers because they are becoming scarce.

The Leighton and Dorr teams are tied for first place at the end of the first half of the softball season.

Two Hopkins youths, both of whom recently returned after serving in World War II, were killed in a traffic crash at West Gun Lake near Wayland Landing. Driver James Collings failed to negotiate a curve and the car struck a pole, also killing passenger Harold Decker. Three other people in the car survived. A military funeral was planned for both men.

The Wayland Rural Grange members held a discussion on research to find ways to find new uses for food products. Participating were Mrs. Hughes, Mrs. Emmons and Mrs. May Smith and Mr. Edward.

The Hopkins Board of Education hired Donald Gottlieb of Curtice, Ohio, to teach agriculture, biology and shop at the high school.

Now showing at the Wayland Theatre:

  • William Gargan and Jean Rogers in “Hot Cargo.”
  • Gene Autry and Smiley Burnette in “Rancho Grande.”
  • Tom Breneman, Bonita Granville, Zazu Pitts and Spike Jones and his City Slickers in “Breakfast in Hollywood.”
  • Fred MacMurray, Anne Baxter and Burl Ives in “Smokey.”

100 Years Ago — July 22, 1921

Harold Culver, 16, was drowned in Selkirk Lake at the site of the old Indian Camp meeting grounds. He had gone blackberry picking at the back of the family farm and sank near a sand bar.

The Allegan County Farm Bureau’s annual picnic at the fairgrounds attracted about a thousand attendees. Included were presentations by several top-notch experts and music was provided by the Chicora Band.

Elmo Lincoln will reprise his Tarzan role Sunday at the Regent Theatre downtown in the sequel “The Romance of Tarzan” in seven installments. Also showing during the week will be “A Shocking Night.”

Wayland Rural Grange members were being asked to respond to roll call with “your favorite animal” for men and “your favorite flower” for woman. All are asked to describe characteristics of their choices.

The Gilbert & Sullivan light opera “The Mikado” will be presented during the third program of the Redpath Chautauqua Aug. 13-18. Admission will be free.

Members of the Epworth League of the Methodist Church had a discussion about putting up a tennis court and net nearby.

John Satterly came up with a three-pound, two-ounce black bass taken from Gun Lake.

The Globe reported, “A band of gypsies struck town again… this time traveling different style, in a Packard, Cadillac and a Dodge.”

A gas engine backfiring and igniting a nearby gas tank is blamed for a massive fire at the Jake Haveman farm, east of Moline. The blaze spread quickly and claimed a barn, a garage, stays of grain and hay, but the animals were saved.

Fay C. Wing and Dr. H.N. Baker met with the State Highway Commissioner in Lansing to ask that the hard turn a mile north of Wayland be eliminated because it is too close to the Nelson School and presents a safety and traffic hazard.

The cement road along South Main Street in Wayland has been completed as far north as Sycamore Street. “While is has been disagreeable to have the street shut up during construction, everyone seems to think that it will all be well worth all of the trouble.”


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