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

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

Maple Street in Hopkins, 1908

25 Years Ago — May 5, 1997

The Gun Lake wastewater plant has room to grow, but lean years may be ahead for the system as debt retirement nears.

Pat Kelsey, a Watson Township resident on 122nd Avenue, has been sickened by the odor emitted by dead animals dumped on the property.

Kim Higgs has been selected as Allegan County’s second administrator, succeeding the pioneer Joanne Jones.

The Watson Township Board has committed to spending lots of money on improving local roads this summer.

Oetman Excavating has been hired to do the $2.8 million project of an addition for Sycamore Elementary in the Hopkins Public Schools system.

A house at 204 W. Superior St., across the street from City Hall, was demolished by the city, which bought the building to pave the way for future projects.

Hopkins brothers Nicolas Ballard and Sean Stimac own about 150 Beanie Babies and are selling then as youthful entrepreneurs.

Freshman Kara Potter twirled a four-hitter in a 10-2 win over West Catholic, but the Wildcats lost to Hudsonville in the finals of their own tournament. Nicki Merchant and Angie Farmer both own averages of better than .500 as the ‘Cats have mounted a 14-2 overall record.

Coach Mark Austin’s Hopkins baseball team had its four-game winning streak snapped by a late rally by Comstock Park in a 14-6 defeat Tim Kiefer, Scott Williams and Brandon Williams have been carrying the offensive load for the Vikings.

Wayland claimed its first O-K Gold Conference win by edging Kenowa Hills, with Jason Hilaski picking up the save for Andy Graham.

Barb and Bob Golm of Gun Lake scored the unusual feat of husband and wife holes in one in Florida,

Coach Mick Francis has his Hopkins softball team at 7-2, with Jackie Rybiski providing stellar work on the mound.

Walt Smith captured the 100 meters and high jump firsts as Wayland moved out to a 4-0 dual meet record in O-K Gold Conference dual meets. The girls are 3-1, with Kim McCarty scoring heavily in sprints.

Bill Griffey, Todd Frazee and Chris Johnson were double winners in Hopkins’ huge win over Comstock Park, marking the Vikings as serious contenders for the O-K Silver Conference track crown.

50 Years Ago — May 3, 1972

Ramond France, administrative assistant at the City of Owosso, has been named new city manager at Wayland, succeeding John Hefner. France was mayor of St. Ignace for a four-year stint.

Mrs. Norma Hudson, elementary teacher at Baker School in Wayland, had her short story published in the  “Third Summer” creative writing workshop at Murray State Uiversity in Kentucky.

Donald V. Bugg, 34, of Dorr, was killed in a traffic accident on the U.S.-131 expressway near 144th Avenue.

A community band is being organized for the summer by Wayland High School band director Steve Working.

Mr. and Mrs. Robert Swartout and the Donald Shafers were selected to represent Wayland at Jonesville for Mayor Exchange Day May 22.

Citizens and school officials are leading an effort to have railroad signals installed by Penn Central at several crossings in Leighton Township.

Members of the Wayland High School Latin Club, under the direction of Brenda Dietiker, held a walkathon to raise money for cancer research.

James Pietrzak, severly burned in a fire in Dorr in December, died at the Burn Center in Ann Arbor. Fires damaged a house on Elm Street and nearly killed wheelchair-bound Mrs. Fred Commans in Hopkins.

Mrs. James Olsson of Holland was elected chair of the Allegan County Republican Party and Neil Ellinger of Wayland was elected treasurer, perhaps the youngest county GOP official ever in Michigan at 20 years of age.

Mr. and Mrs. Herman Lodenstein showed slides of their trip to the Holy Land to members of the Wayland Grange.

The Choralaires choral group of the Grand Rapids School of Bible and Music, under the direction of WHS graduate Robert Parks, will perform Sunday at the Calvary Church of Wayland.

The United Church of Wayland will be host for the annual mother-daughter banquet, featuring a vocal duet by A.J. and Mark Predum.

Former Wayland Congregational pastor Wayne Smith will preach at the United Church of Wayland. He is the brother of current pastor, the Rev. James Smith.

Nicolai Gulf was champion of the Wayland Bowling League, with rollers Ralph Mallett, Leonard Getty, Frank Rybiski, Ron Standish, Charles Middleton and Paul Swainston.

Jim Hendrixson won the coveted Louis Japinga award for being the outstanding scholar-athlete at Wayland High School. He starred in three sports, football, basketball and tennis.

Jon Wolcott, head varsity basketball coach, has accepted the same post offer from Coloma High School after being here for five years.

Wayne Thomas starred in the sprints and Elwyn Powers continued to shine in distance events as Wayland defeated Kelloggsville in a dual track meet.

Gib Goodwin outdueled Kelloggsville’s Dennis Kruizenga in a single baseball matchup while randy Mauchmar turned in some standout defensive plays in the outfield.

Roberta Flack continued in the No. 1 slot of the nation’s tunes with “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.”

75 Years Ago — May 9, 1947

Chaplain Fred P. Harris, who was assigned to a hospital in England just after D-Day June 6, 1944, will be guest speaker at the Wayland United Methodist Church next Sunday. The public was invited to hear “one who helped make life a little easier for the boys when things were darkest.”

Editor-Publisher Rollo G. Mosher wrote that while stalking the wily trout, he encountered Dr. A. L. Larson and Dewey Moore sailing along in canoes on the south branch of the Pere Marquette River. Larson has members of the local Boy Scout troop with him.

A Mother’s Day Dance will be held this Sunday at Sts. Cyril & Methodius Hall, Gun Lake. Walter Lemke and his orchestra will perform.

Roll call for the next meeting of the Wayland Garden Club will be be answered by “Ant Stories.”

St. Stanislaus in Hilliards will have a Mother’s Day Dance Sunday.

Six Grand Rapids men have been arrested for cutting telephone cables at the Walter Ritz orchard in Leighton Township. It was reported the men used hacksaws to commit the dastardly deeds.

The Audubon Society held a three-day workshop at the Chief Noonday encampment. The Bradley Post Office will go back into fourth class designation after being third class for two years. The end of the war resulted in decreased activity.

East Bradley Extension Club had a discussion on what members would like to see exhibited at Achievement Day May 13 in Allegan.

Wayland Congregational Church will be host for the annual spring rally of the Grand Rapids Association of Pilgrim Fellowship.

Now showing at the Wayland Theatre:

• Lynne Roberts and Warren Douglas in “The Magnificent Rogue.”

• James Warren and Nan Leslie in “Sunset Pass.”

• Loretta Young, Zazu Pitts and David Niven in “The Perfect Marriage.”

• June Allyson, Judy Garland, Lena Horne and Dinah Shore in “’Till the Clouds Roll By: The Songs of Jerome Kern.”

100 Years Ago — May 5, 1922

A feature from the Ladies Library Club insisted that cats are the biggest destroyers of birds and should be rid of or kept away from them. It asked, “Why shouldn’t we license the cat as well as the dog?”

The Wayland High School baseball team lost 3-2 to Otsego in a 12-inning affair.

The primary and grade room students will take part in the observances of Arbor Day.

Pauline Mason, Donna Luce and Frank Peet completed their Courtis Penmanship tests.

Topic of discussion for the next Grange meeting: “Should mothers’ interests be limited to home affairs or should they have time to do community work?” Also part of the meeting will be a “Poverty Social” in which those well dressed will be fined accordingly.

The United Methodist Church will have a union service and collection for Near East Relief for women and children of Armenia.

The Bradley school boys defeated Wayland 23-20. “Come again, boys.”

Mrs. Nolan of Hopkinsburg is seriously ill and true to the old saying, “Trouble never comes singly,” they had a sick cow and another injured by fence.

The Caledonia News suspended publication with its issue of last week. Lack of support from the businessmen was given as the reason by the publishers.

Village Council unanimously voted to have the milk ordinance strictly enforced and inspections of all cows to continue.

The new Cash Variety Store on West Superior has installed a new soda fountain.

Mrs. Libbie of Green Lake killed a large streaked snake with a carving knife while digging dandelions last week.

Now showing at the Regent Theatre: “In the Heart of a Fool.”

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