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 21, 1997

The Gun Lake Tribe of Potawatomis is very close to earning federal recognition that will allow the group to win certain privileges as Native Americans. When asked if this will lead to establishment of a casino, a tribal official replied, “We’re not driven to gaming, but realistically we’ll have to have it.”

Area Road Commission managers are criticizing the state’s recent gas tax hike, insisting it’s too little, too late.

Hopkins and Allegan County are reopening the issue of naming and designating a part of the Rabbit River as a drainage district.

The Globe published a feature about Bulgarian immigrant Olganin “Ogi” Yanakiev, who has been teaching Shelbyville area people how to make grasshoppers out of junk.

Wayland High School varsity softball coach Cheri Ritz has created a new summer league in which high school girls can learn the fine points of the game. Other teams include Hamilton, Middleville and Plainwell.

The Allegan County Road Commission held a public hearing on a proposal to designate 133rd Avenue should be designated by the state as a natural beauty road.

Property owner William Wroblewski penned a letter to the editor taking issue with the Globe’s story, “Residents tired of living behind a barricade” on a private road in Wayland Township.

Allegan County Prosecutor Frederick Anderson told the Board of Commissioners there has been an increase in crime cases because urban problems are coming to rural areas.

Former Wayland High School secretary Denise Hermenitt of Delton has agreed to make restitution after pleading to charges of misdemeanor embezzlement.

The Barry County Board of Commissioners has gone on record as opposing the proposed Paul Henry Trail.

50 Years Ago — July 18, 1972

The Wayland Board of Education denied grievances from two high school faculty members. One was from social studies teacher Rick Tokarchick, who protested the way he was removed as cross-country coach, learning about the development by reading it in the Globe. The other was from language arts instructor Gene Washchuk, who insisted teachers be provided with school board agendas prior to meetings. Supt. James Thomas said the agendas can be picked up by coming to the administration office. Both teachers plan to appeal.

Wayland observed Phil Reno Day Saturday, July 15, honoring the former village president and the city’s first mayor before retiring this year. Guest speaker at the banquet was Dr. Gordon Thomas, professor of speech at Michigan State University. Other guests were State Rep. James Farnsworth and State Senator Gary Byker.

“Mrs. Tonto,” Mrs. Joseph Bauer, widow of Scott Williams, the first actor to portray Tonto on the radio version of “The Lone Ranger,” plans to visit the Wayland Grange and visit her husband’s grave in the Bradley Indian Cemetery.

Maynard Guy of Hopkins will perform on the baritone horn with the National Future Farmers of America band at the convention in Kansas City, Mo., Oct. 8-14.

Joanne Grzeszak and Suzanne Blain of Wayland this week are attending the State 4-H Youth Week Convention at Michigan State University.

The Road Runners have compiled a 4-0 record in Wayland’s first-ever summer recreational softball league, followed by the Ding-A-Lings, Teddy Bears and Sluggers.

Gerald Arnsman will be ringmaster for a neighborhood carnival at his home north of Monterey Center in Hopkins Township, with proceeds going to Muscular Dystrophy.

75 Years Ago — July 25, 1947

The Rev. Malcolm R. Cronk will be guest speaker July 27 at the official dedication of Calvary Church on South Main Street. Work on the structure began in the fall of 1946.

Members of the Wayland Rod and Gun Club were guests of the Kent County group for a smoked carp dinner. Most of the fish were caught at Gun Lake.

The Michigan Aeronautics Commission agreed to have funds allocated for a construction project at the Wayland Airport.

John Rybicki, 80, died at his home west of Wayland. He was born in Poland and he and his parents settled in Hilliards. He had been a farmer and was employed by Pet Milk.

Tom Radinovich died in a Kalamazoo hospital after a long illness. He was born in Yugoslavia and had been a Wayland resident for 27 years.

The annual Southwest Michigan Jersey Parish Show will be held Aug. 19, at the Barry County Fairgrounds in Hastings.

The Allegan County Fairgrounds will get repairs and renovations done this summer, including new rest rooms and a big stock barn. Returning this year will be auto racing.

Twenty-eight men have registered to compete in the Wayland Golf Tournament. Coordinator Walter Gillett suggested, “Perhaps it can be made an annual affair.

A horse pulling contest will be held at the Moline Recreational Fields July 30, with 20 teams. No admission, but the hat will be passed.

Fred Collier and Vernon Weick were elec ted to the Hopkins Board of Education.

The Sts. Cyril and Methodius Church annual chicken dinner and summer festival is planned for Sunday, Aug. 3, with a dance in the evening.

Jim Schumaker hurled six hitless innings for the Dorr Merchants in an 11-0 victory over Wyoming-Beverly. The Merchants will play next in Baldwin over the weekend.

The Gun Lake Robins swept a doubleheader and Frank Bush struck out 12 batters in the first game.

Now showing at the Wayland Theatre:

• Richard Denning and Catherine Craig in “Seven Were Saved.”

• William Boyd and Andy Clyde in “Unexpected Guest.”

• Alan Ladd, Gail Russell and William Bendix in “Calcutta.”

• Gregory Peck and Jane Wyman in “The Yearling.”

100 Years Ago — July 21, 1922

A fire at the Wing home at Nelson’s Corners north of the village Wednesday morning summoned area firefighters. The blaze was started by a defective oil stove. The home was occupied by Asa Johnson and family.

Peter Suritick, fell through the roof of the barn at the farm two miles south of Bradley, and suffered a skull fracture. “The outcome will be uncertain even with the best of care.”

The Moline chapter of the Odd Fellows will have its annual picnic at Green Lake.

Now showing at the Regent Theatre downtown: “Where Is My Wandering Boy Tonight?” and Norma Talmadge in “The Woman Gives.”

“If anyone notices a strange young man about town, we wish to say it is only Irwin Waite, who has parted company with his moustache.”

Thelma Smith and Daisy Palmer both suffered bruises when “their car turned turtle” on the cement road north of Wayland.

Beall Brothers was having a sale that was so big the Globe published a story about it. The Brothers are unloading dry goods, groceries, shoes, overalls, pants, hats, caps and men’s furnishings.

The five-day Redpath Chautauqua series is approaching next month. Featured will be Friendly Enemies comedy, the All-Star Male Quartet, Nevin Concert Company, Gretchan Cox and Company, Kublick Company and Bernice Van, special children’s programs and “notable lectures on timely subjects.”   

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