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

(Taken from the archives at the Then & Now historical library in downtown Dorr)

The Wayland High School choir and Director Mrs. Helen Gambee in 1966.

25 Years Ago — Dec. 23, 1996

The Hopkins and Wayland school districts took part in a cooperative holiday food can drive.

A group of students is taking up the cause of restoring the dilapidated former Wayland High School sign that used to grace the entrance, but gave way to an electrical device.

Vandals have been breaking into and damaging vehicles parked in the student parking lot at Hopkins High School.

Joe Miller is getting out of the gas station business at the expressway entrance of the city and is moving on to a new business venture, Railside Auto Service, on Railroad Street.

Wayland Union Schools have chosen Coca-Cola over Pepsi and as a result has collected $15,000 for using Coke products exclusively.

New Wayland Township Supervisor Jose Blanco has been advised to appoint a deputy because of his lack of experience, and colleagues on the board are suggesting he choose Randy Marklevitz, whom he defeated by just five votes in the recounted November election.

Karen Krulac wrote a letter to the editor suggesting the Wayland Township voting machines should be returned because they failed to accurately reflect the final tally in the supervisor’s race.

Diane Smith said in a letter the Christian Neighbors Food Pantry served 1,252 people with 12,551 meals in 1996.

Editor Nila Aamoth wrote in her Soapbox about Dorr Township officials, insisting, “They are working together to organize fine festivals and parades. In short they are working together.” She later commented, “We’d like to see Dorr’s attitude become contagious.”

David Kacson of Dorr penned a letter to the editor about privatization, “If they (private companies) fail to make a profit, they simply close their doors and go out of business. Their first concern will not be the safety of children, but rather how profitable the business is.”

A group of Newaygo County high school students presented several skits to Martin schools on the dangers of drugs and coercion by peer pressure to use them.

Senior co-captain Walt Smith scored 17 points and Keith Calkins added nine as Wayland improved its boys’ basketball record to 2-0 with a victory over Kenowa Hills.

Hopkins High School basketball coach insists his current group is “the best group of athletes in school history,” as the Vikings now are 3-0 overall.

50 Years Ago — Dec. 22, 1971

Local resident Dick Jager struck glass while digging on West Maple Street for the sewer installation project. He found bottles that were buried in town more than 100 years ago, including several milk bottles and medicine bottles.

Wayland High School athlete A.J. Predum lost an eye in a car-deer accident on old 131 near Bill’s Place in Wayland Township. Authorities said the animal kicked through the windshield and struck Predum.

Ann Bender and Mrs. Tim Tobolic, both of Wayland, graduated from Grand Rapids Junior College of Practical Nursing and will begin work soon at Blodgett Hospital.

First of Michigan Corporation was the winning bidder for the $3.868 million bond bond project for a new Wauyland High School. The interest rate will be just over 5.4% over 29 years.

Wayland City Council appointed Lt. Harold Ernst to the Planning Commission, succeeding Richard Worfel, who has moved from the city.

Winfield Adams has launched Adams Accounting Service after serving as credit manager at Kessler’s Undies & Woolies and as an accountant at Reynolds Metals in Grand Rapids.

The federal; government has awarded a $325,000 to the City of Wayland to help with improving the local water system.

City Manager John Hefner, in his column, tried to assure local citizens that trees are removed only when they are diseased or are obstructions and the city has a replacement program.

Shirley Postma, secretary of the Dorr Snowmobile Clin, penned a letter insisting that only a few “loners” are wreaking havoc with local property owners and wildlife and club members are respectful.

Max Monroe of Wayland has received an award for his heroism in saving the lives of a couple in an automobile accident in Battle Creek.

The Hopkins chapter of the Future Homemakers of America sponsored a special activities night at the high school, planned by Cindy Lenhart, Carole Weber, Kim Childs and Val Funk. They also had a Christmas party to honor their advisor, Mrs. James Parks, planned by Anne Deremiah, Annette Zerfas, Karen Wright and Karen Emmons.

Wallace Wakeman was in charge of the entertainment for the Hastings Mutual Insurance Co. Christmas party, so he invited the Terrible Troubadors, featuring Irv Helmey, Bill Mauchmar, Phil Reno and Ed Longstreet, to perform at the Mid Villa.

Tim Bala and Jim Hendrixson shared top honors in the fund-raising ugly legs contest at Wayland High School. Jon Carroll won the ugly teacher derby, with Linden Anderson as runner-up.

WHS graduate Tom Latondress was elected to the Michigan Youth Caucus Steering Committeee to urge college students to fight for the right to vote.

Green Lake Calvary Church was planning to show the Art Linkletter film “High on the Campus” at 1 p.m. Dec. 31.

Sophomore Paul Heckert dropped in 17 points and gathered 11 rebounds, but Wayland lost 83-64 to Hopkins. Tim Baugh scored 15 points and Bob Lehocky 12. The loss left the Wildcats with an 0-6 record at the holiday break.

75 Years Ago — Dec. 27, 1946

Dale Zumbrink crashed his brand new Mercury station wagon into the side of a car driven by Charles Walker less than a mile south of the village on U.S.-131. Walker’s daughter, Mrs. John Withrow, was taken to Butterworth Hospital.

The Sunday School of the Church of Christ is reporting at the end of the year an average of $40 per week in collections.

The Michigan State Rural College will visit Allegan County Feb. 19. The “Farmer’s Week on Wheels” show will carry the themes of planning the farm and the farmstead.

Thomas Ayers has announced he has purchased his father’s half of the service station on North Main and now is the sole owner. Charles Ayers has not indicated his retirement plans.

Weaver’s Hardware will be closed for the holiday season to enable workers to remodel and redecorate the store.

Hunters using guns have taken 37 antlerless deer in Allegan County’s special season offered Dec. 1-10.

The adult education program in Wayland schools is in full swing, and area farmers are encouraged to take classes during the winter under Agricultural Fieldman Edwin St. John. Miss Virginia Benson’s homemaking classes also will be available.

Mrs. Floyd Clark’s Hopkins girls’ basketball team used close cooperation and rapidly-moving offense to subdue Byron Center 26-9. Clara Hall scored 15 points.

A manhunt took place Saturday night in Leighton and Moline in search of suspects believed to have committed larceny in a Green Lake cottage and stole a car. The suspects are believed to be Howard Menzel, 26, and Mrs. Eleanor Meyers, 21.

Rembert Wall and his Green Valley Boys will continue with Friday night dancing at the Dixie on Division south of the village. Admission is 63 cents plus tax.

Now showing at the Wayland Theatre:

• Wallace Beery, George Raft and Jackie Cooper in “The Bowery.”

• George Raft, Sylvia Sidney and Margaret O’Brien in “Mr. Ace.”

• Lionel Barrymore, Lewis Stone and Edward Arnold in “3 Wise Fools.”

100 Years Ago — Dec. 23, 1921

Clyde Pierson was elected post commander and Wilbur Jost vice commander at the last regular meeting of the Forrest Lewis post of the American Legion. Plans are being made to install a billiards table at the meeting room.

The first six grades of the Wayland school united to present a special Christmas program at the Congregational Church.

The chicken pox epidemic continues to plague the school district.

Drs. Brower and Slater teamed up with two nurses to put together a child welfare clinic and Miss Kendall visited to present a splendid program on health for the children. Mrs. Charles Yeakey and assistants served them a luncheon. Drs. Slater and Hanlon held a baby clinic afterward.

Each member of the Ladies Library Club was tasked with bringing a gift for Indian children at the LLC meeting. Volunteers presented recitations, music and readings.

The Globe published a full-page advertisement of a Christmas card from President Warren G. Harding.

Arthur Brown of Moline died of diabetes at his home Monday. He had just turned 35.

Now showing at the Regent Theatre downtown: Vivian Martin in “The Third Kiss,” which features realistic motion pictures of a blazing tenement fire. Also showing is Shirley Mason in “The Lamp Lighter.”

Farm Bureau township meetings are being scheduled for the Leighton town hall, Wayland Regent Theatre, Martin Grange Hall, Watson Grange Hall, Lovall’s Hall in Hopkins, Dorr town hall and Monterey town hall.

Reports of 107 defective teeth were disclosed in the school dental clinic. There were 74 enlarged tonsils, 25 with defective vision and 32 overweight.

Camp Fire Girls held a bake sale with proceeds to go for Indian children near Bradley.

Eliza Ann Sage of Wayland Township died at Allegan hospital several days after she was taken there for an operation to remove cancer. She was 73.

The Moline Military band will provide musical entertainment at the Odd Fellows Hall Jan. 4. Admission is adults 25 cents and 15 cents for children under 12.

Leave a Comment