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— Dec. 1, 1997

A private water system is being proposed by Dick Baxter of B & B Water Treatment of Moline for parts of Leighton and Dorr townships.

The Wayland girls’ basketball team captured its fourth consecutive district championship, the 17th in the last 22 years for coach Zack Moushegian. The Wildcats lost in the regionals to Lakeview, missing the services of sophomore star Kara Potter.

Sun Communities is proposing to establish a mobile home park in Leighton Township along 102 acres near Division (10th Street) between 144th and 142nd Avenues.

Wayland Township is going to court over the Gun Lake Community Center’s right to operate as a rental hall, so its doors have been closed temporarily.

Dr. John and Virginia White have been named Wayland Christmas parade grand marshals.

Just below the weekly Soapbox was a “Did You Know?” feature explaining that the combined five Great Lakes provides one-fifth of the world’s fresh water, with only the polar ice caps near Siberia providing more.

Dorr Township Board members decided against joining a national flood insurance program, mostly because of costs.

Freshman diver Ashley Freeman broke the Wayland school record at the regional meet at Plainwell.

Clyde W. Smith, a longtime Wayland resident who retired from the Michigan Milk Producers Association, died at age 88.

Trudy Groen has taken over the building that used to house Fenton’s Red Barn to start up Trudy’s Winner Circle Circle Café.

50 Years Ago — Nov. 28, 1972

The Hopkins Board of Education set a public hearing on a proposed site for the new Hopkins Elementary, which will be constructed for about $1.6 million at about 5% interest. Local businessman Leland Buck is leading a group protesting the location.

The Globe posted a front page photo of Nanette LaValley with artifacts she picked up during her summer trip to the Philippines.

Mrs. Ralph Marcott has been appointed Wayland Township Clerk, succeeding Mrs. Emelda Andringa, who is moving to the City of Wayland.

William Brandt, a Wayland High School graduate, has been chosen new police chief at the City of Allegan. He is the son of former Wayland State Police Commander Lewis Brandt.

Edward Alflen, former local farm implement and auto dealer, died at age 78.

Army Private Harold Doxey Jr., a graduate of Wayland High School, is serving in Germany.

Former Wayland man Alton Crofoot died of a heart attack at Battle Creek Community Hospital. He was 66.

Kelly McEwen and Dennis Kiser have been named co-captains of the 1972-73 Hopkins High School basketball team.

Sports writer David T. Young penned a column honoring the memory of teacher-coach Harry Multer, who died of a heart attack just before the start of the football season.

Moline Christian School will be host for a Christmas Coffee, featuring author Marian Scholland as guest speaker.

Wildcat senior Conrad Mauchmar was named to the O-K Blue all-conference team at linebacker and Jerry Langley won the same honor at defensive back.

Gib Goodwin has been tabbed as team captain for the Wayland varsity basketball team, which features many returning lettermen, including Bob Lehocky, the top scorer last year until he suffered a season-ending injury. 

Lt. Raymond Hendriksma, son of Mr. and Mrs. Adrian Hendriksma of Wayland, has graduated from Officers Candidate School at Ft. Sill, Okla.

The Hopkins chapter of the FFA earned its 10th Gold rating by the state organization at an event in Vicksburg. Phillip Lenhart, Maynard Guy, Ted Howard, Arlyn Coffey and Max Guy were pictured with the plaque.

Mayor Marshall Towne, City Manager Raymond France and Councilman Ted Green attended a Michigan Municipal League revenue sharing meeting in Kalamazoo to learn how payment to local governments will be distributed.

The Temptations took over the No. 1 slot for the nation’s top tunes with “Papa Was a Rolling Stone.”

75 Years Ago — Dec. 5, 1947

The Forrest Lewis Post of the American Legion is taking part in the “Gifts for Yanks” program that provides Christmas boxes for disabled veterans.

Mrs. Genevieve Snook presented a review of “Mr. Whittle” to members of the Ladies Library Club, with 51 present at then meeting.

Roger Holleman of Grandville is opening a new furniture store, Wayland Furniture and Decorators’ Supply, next door to the bakery in the Zumbrink and Shafer Building.

The grand opening will be Dec. 6.

Michael Radimak, a retired employee of the Gallman and Livingston foundry in Grand Rapids and longtime Gun Lake resident, died. He was 60.

Longtime practical nurse Mrs. Mary Van Orman died at age 80. She had lived in Hopkins for 50 years.

“Smiling Bill Hunt,” who broadcasts three times a week on the WKZO radio station the program “Hymns That Live” will be guest at the Wayland Methodist Church Sunday, Dec. 7.

The St. Therese Altar Society will have an all-you-can-eat ham dinner for $1 apiece for adults and 65 cents each for children.

R.G. Hines is enjoying in first one-week vacation in six years from employment at the Town Talk gas station on South Main Street.

Now showing at the Wayland Theatre:

• Albert Dekker in “The Pretender.”

• Alan Lane in “Marshall of Cripple Creek.”

• William Powell, Myrna Loy and Keenan Wynn in “Song of the Thin Man.”

• Gene Tierney, Rex Harrison and George Sanders in “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir.”

100 Years Ago — Dec. 1, 1922

The girls of the high school will give a Christmas Fair at Woodman Hall from 4:30 to 10 p.m. Dec. 15 for the benefit of the athletic association. Tickets are 5 cents each.

Roll call for the Ladies Library Club revealed that all members voted in the election last month. Miss Katherine Johnson Kalamazoo Normal entertained with a trio of songs.

Mrs. B.C. Gifford of Shelbyville was quite seriously injured Saturday night when she was kicked by a horse and suffered a broken collarbone.

Douglas Fairbanks was starring in “The Mollycoddle” at the Regent Theatre downtown Saturday and Sunday. Also showing during the week were “The Man Who Married His Own Wife” with Frank Mayo and Eddie Polo in “The Secret Four.”

Miss Lamphear resigned her teaching post at the village school, so her students will have a week off and then welcome her successor, Miss Muriel Thomas.

John Jordan has been in Ann Arbor for treatment for a leg injury he sustained in a football game. He is now able to walk without crutches.

Clayton Smith was elected master of the Wayland Grange.

Mr. and Mrs. E.S. Allen enjoyed a duck supper at the Gun Lake cottage of Mr. and Mrs. E.H. Tanner.

The Congregational Aid Society is planning a chicken pie supper and bazaar in the church parlors at a cost of 35 cent apiece.


  • Dave, I thoroughly enjoy the Bygone Days feature in the townbroadcast. If you would add descriptions to the photos you post that would be really helpful.

    • I agree with you on this one Mary Jane. I stared at the pic on the front of this article for like 5 minutes, making it bigger etc. until I could actually see a person working! Then I tried to tell if the person was my dad who was a brick mason among other things at the time the photo was taken. Making me crazy!! lol, I do think I figured out what it is though. Good one Dave!!

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