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 fire in the 100 block of North Main Street in Wayland that leveled Herb Chevrolet and half a business block in the summer of 1965.

25 Years Ago — April 21, 1997

Wayland Union Schools are implementing transition classrooms to help Baker Elementary elementary first- and second-graders who are struggling to keep up with academic assignments.

The Martin Lions Club’s biweekly bingo games are creating parking problems in the downtown area of the village Wednesdays and Saturdays.

A facelift is being planned for Maplewood Cemetery in Hopkins Township before residents and citizens attend the annual Memorial Day ceremonies.

Former Wayland City Manager Harmon “Pete” Stull has been hired as village manager at Caledonia.

The Dorr Township Fire Department is spearheading local efforts to have all houses add clearly seen house numbers in the interests of public safety.

Editor Nila Aamoth had some choice words for Gov. John Engler’s plans for legislation on land use mandates, insisting it reflects on Engler’s passion for privatizing virtually everything.

Chief Noonday Road, or A-42, or Bradley Road, soon will change to a state-controlled highway to be known as M-179.

Bradley-based Ampro Industries is launching a project to recycling old newspapers into biodegradable pellets that can be starter products for lawn care.

A photocopy of one of the burglars’ faces at the old middle school may be a break for authorities in catching the perpretrators. The lad also had his middle finger extended as part of the hijinks.

Bill Griffey, a big guy, tossed the discus 140-7 and the shot 46-8 to lead the Hopkins track team to an impressive showing in the O-K Conference Relays at Comstock Park.

Wayland High School graduate Ann Iciek broke the Hillsdale College school record for career assists and three-point baskets, concluding her four hoops career.

Wayland High School’s softball team won its first six games consecutively to start the season, but then lost to state-ranked Hamilton.

Derek Button pitched a four-hitter at Allegan to gain a doubleheader split and the Wildcat baseball team is off to a 6-4 record overall.

50 Years Ago — April 19, 1972

New Mayor Marshall Towne announced to the City Council that the city’s sewer project was nearly complete and the streets and alleys damaged by the work will be repaired.

Wayland High School winners at the West Michigan Regional Science Fair were Toni Cheyne, John Ernst and Bob Grafford.

Cindy Weber was presented with the Wayland Nightingale Award for her vocal talents during the Band Boosters’ Variety Show and Cowbell Queen Cindy Browand was a special singing guest.

Charles Yeates of Allegan announced his resignation as chairman of the Allegan County to devote more time to his job as administrator at Allegan General Hospital.

Mrs. John Baker penned a letter praising the efforts of the people behind the Variety Show, saying it really was a “Barrel of Laughs.”

The eighth grade, ninth grade and high school bands will perform in concert at the boys’ gym April 20.

The Wayland Grange will have a special meeting featuring pioneers, grandparents and great-grandparents April 21.

Michigan State University agriculture observers predict there will be many fewer dairy farmers in 1980 than there were in 1960.

Mr. and Mrs. Walter Gillette, former Wayland High School teachers, will present a program on Native Americans at the Wayland United Methodist Church.

The Martin Band Boosters will put together their annual Variety Show at the school gym April 21.

Roberta Flack took over the No. 1 slot among the nation’s top tunes with “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.”

75 Years Ago — April 25, 1947

The Wholesale Division of the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce stopped in Wayland as part of its tour.

Editor-Publisher Rollo G. Mosher wrote an “Observations” piece about he and his wife visiting a trout festival in Baldwin.

Work has begun on grading the Memorial Field under the direction of Fred Hilbert and Julius Andringa.

The ladies adult homemaking class will take up the problems of cutting children’s garments from old adult clothes at the homemaking room at the high school April 28.

Children’s Bible Hour staff members will be special guests at the Moline Congregational Church Sunday, April 27, featuring Uncle Bill, the Three Nieces and Charlotte.

The Formal Spring Musical, a cantata, will be held at the Wayland High School gym Friday night, April 25.

The American Legion Auxiliary will have a rummage sale at the Boggs Building on West Superior, the former site of the bowling alley.

Steve Kaczanowski of Dorr and his orchestra will provide music for a dance Saturday evening, April 26, at Sts. Cyril & Methodius Hall, Gun Lake.

Mrs. George Murphy of the local PTA penned a guest article on the upcoming father-Son Banquet and presented information about the problems of raising money for educational programs. She noted, “There were no graduates last year from Wayland planning to teach and as far is known none from this year.”

Donna Jean Blue, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Clayton Blue of Wayland, is concert master for the Western Michigan Symphony Orchestra. She also will be part of a string quartet that will perform later this spring in Ann Arbor.

Mrs. Addie Peck had the misfortune of suffering a fall last week at her front porch, but had the good fortune it was her right wrist that was injured. She is left-handed.

Now showing at the Wayland Theatre:

• Kent Taylor and Dona Drake in “Dangerous Millions.”

• Monte Hale in “Out California Way.”

• Wallace Beery, Dean Stockwell and Edward Arnold in “The Mighty McGurk.”

• Mickey Rooney, Lewis Stone and Bonita Granville in “Love Laughs at Andy Hardy.”

100 Years Ago — April 21, 1922

Wayland school students Faith Dell and Dorothy Jordan have completed the 20 lessons for the Courtis penmanship course.

Wayland took a 14-0 victory over visiting Middleville in a baseball game halted after three innings by rain.

R. G. Smith, 101, of Martin, died at the home of his son at Gun Lake April 14. He came to Gun Plains Township in 1837 at the age of 17 and cleared land for his farm in Martin Township. He was engaged for a time in the mill business in Wayland and he ran a general store in Bradley. He also served as a justice of the peace. He was described as “an active promoter of moral, social, intellectual and religious interests of the communities where he lived.”

The Wayland baseball team pushed across two runs in the 11th inning to edge Martin 2-1. Pitchers on both sides reportedly struck out many batters.

“A new style of wearing the hair is in evidence among the girls’ in schools.

Mrs. Cogswell led a drill in the pronunciation of flower names in the most recent meeting of the Ladies Library Club and R. J. McCaslin sang two songs.

H.G. Wells’ “Outline of History” has arrived at the Henika Library. “It is doubtful is any recent publication has caused more comment than this history… For  time the book will be kept from circulation.”

Village President H.F. Buskirk appointed John C. Devitt marshal, F. J. Leggett street commissioner, Charles Nelson water commissioner, Dr. I.L. Slater health officer, S. J. McCaslin fire marshal, C.A. Ryno tree commissioner and John B. Stockdale attorney.

Showing this week at the Regent Theatre downtown: Mabel Ballin in Pagan Love,” Katherine McDonald in “The Notorious Miss Lisle” and “Black Beauty.”

 Postmaster General Hubert Work has designated the first week in May as Postal Improvement Week.

A Dort touring car with an Indiana license plate was destroyed by fire Sunday evening just south of Nelson’s Corners on Dixie Highway.

The Corning Community Club members heard presentations on “Alarm Clocks” from several area pastors who suggested America needs to wake up to her privileges and responsibilities. Mrs. Otto Finkbeiner led in the community singing and the Farmers’ Quartette performed.

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