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 — June 30, 1997

Shelbyville Tavern today.

Gov. John Engler has proclaimed Allegan County a disaster area after a serious summer wind and rainstorm June 20 that cut power to an estimated 18,000 homes and damaged trees, roads and farm crops all over this area and prompted floods. The declaration means that the area will be eligible for government assistance for repairs and cleanups. Flood damage was particularly bad in the Village of Hopkins.

Dick and Rusty Dutkiewicz of Dorr praised the neighborly efforts of teenager Ray Ugianskis during the rainstorm and their trip to witness the appearance of Three Men & a Tenor.

The storm also ruined a fund-raising auction for the Hopkins track, so it was rescheduled for Saturday, July 5.

Bruce Schwartz of Wayland wrote a letter to the editor praising the conduct of the Drain Commission meeting regarding the Cuddy Drain question and exhorted commissioners not to tax people not affected for the cleaning of a drain that actually was a diverted stream.

Steven Anderson was hired as middle school principal and James Smith will be the new assistant principal.

The Globe published a double-spread color photo spread of the June 20 storm and the damage it left behind.

The Fontana Festival of Music & Art will begin its 18th season at the Shelbyville Art Emporium, featuring the three Bs — Beethoven, Bach and Brahms.

Longtime Wayland Township resident Willis Button, father of the “Three Sisters” food catering service proprietors, Lois, Bonnie and Mary Ellen, died at his home. He was 83.

50 Years Ago — June 27, 1972

Bids for construction of the new high school east of Wayland on 135th Avenue will be opened July 11.

Former Wayland residents Mr. and Mrs. Michael Mutschler escaped serious injuries in a flood in Rapid City, South Dakota, but they lost their trailer, car and personal belongings in the disaster.

Elgin R. Smith of Wayland has been elected a member of the Golden Eagles Society of emeritus at Ferris State College.

Allegan County Commissioner Ellis C. Wykstra of Martin has announced his candidacy on the Repub lican ticket for 55th District State Legislator. The district includes southern Allegan County and all of Barry County. Another candidate is Barry County Commissioner Monty Joe Bennett.

Incumbents seeking re-election to county offices in the primary include Register of Deeds Howard Strandt, Sheriff Robert Whitcomb.

Linda Alflen, daughter of the Edwin Alflens of Wayland, has returned home after successful open heart surgery and hopes to return to Ferris State College in the fall.

Gary Wahl of Hopkins and Linda VaderVeen of Wayland have returned from a Youngs People’s Citizenship Seminar at Ferris State College in Big Rapids, sponsored by Michigan Farm Bureau.

Neil Diamond moved into the No. 1 slot among the nation’s tunes with “Song Sung Blue.”

75 Years Ago — July 4, 1947

In the wake of reported troubles with sea planes of Gun Lake, State Senator James Gardner of Flint has introduced a bill to close all inland lakes to sea plane use, but it doesn’t appear the move has a lot of support.

The Wayland Garden Club plans a picnic at Gun Lake July 8.

The Vets have jumped to the lead in the Wayland Softball League standings with a 4-0 record and Calvary and Leighton are both 3-1.

Wayland Grange will have a discussion about the advantages and disadvantages of grain farming and stock farming.

Wayland merchants are planning to add an ox roast jamboree on Saturday, Sept. 6, to succeed the Cowbell Carnival that was held in the earlier months of the summer. Coupons will be given out for free prizes.

Stanley Mrozkoski has sold his Buttercup Dairy to Harold and Gordon Brower of Holland. Besides Wayland, the dairy provides pasteurized milk to people in Shelbyville, Bradley, Hopkinsburg, , Hopkins, Dorr, Hilliards and part of Gun Lake.

Vernon Weick, E.B. Arehart and Fred Collier are the three candidates running for two seats on the Hopkins Board of Education in the annual school election July 14.

Jager’s General Store in Bradley was selling Borden Instant Coffee for 45 cents a jar, Del Monte cannded corn for 18 cents apiece and packaged candy for five cents apiece.

The opening of the new softball park in Moline showed off 20 new floodlights for the games between Dorr and Moline Christian and Leighton vs. Hopkins.

Now showing at the Wayland Theatre:

• James Ellison and Edward Everett Horton in “The Ghost Goes Wild.”

• Gene Autry and Sterling Holloway on “Twilight on the Rio Grande.”

• Don DeFore, Gale Storm and Ann Harding in “It Happened on Fifth Avenue.”

• Dick Haymes, Vera Allen and Cesar Romero in “Carnival in Costa Rica.”

100 Years Ago — June 30, 1922

The Epworth League of the local Methodist Church has begun a new series on “Social Prophets, Ancient and Modern.”

The Allegan County Farm Bureau has launched its re-enlistment campaign under the leadership of the James Nicol. The object will be to carry on and develop the cooperative services of the Farm Bureau organization.

The Regent Theatre downtown will present “Rip VanWinkle” Sunday, July 2. Also showing will be Hobart Bosworth in “The Cup of Life” and Jackie Coogan in “Peck’s Bad Boy” July 6 and 7.

Lynn Adams, Lillian Knapp and Ardis Dean have left for Kalamazoo to attend Western State Normal School.

Lela Tooker was married to Harold Reinhart and the young couple will take up residence in Wayland.

The local Masonic Lodge published a Resolution of Respect for the late Judge David Stockdale.

The diphtheria quarantine for area children, institute after one girl’s death, now has been lifted and it is believed that all danger has passed.


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