“Cardinal Charlie” Gill: 160-acre Village of Venice platted in 1836Published 10:00am Tuesday, September 1, 2009
1836: Orlane Crain platted the village of Venice, which is now the northeast section of Dowagiac. It contained 160 acres, but not a single lot was sold (I’ve also heard of a Singapore).
1851: Not long after Mrs. Henery (Ballenger) Michael came to Dowagiac, H. Bigelow brought his furniture store here. With him came the Bassetts from Lagrange. (Bassetts were my relations).
1889: A big turnout by the Dowagiac Dancing Club in the Round Oak Hall on Friday. Open today the new Dowagiac Coffee Shop at 103 Main St. Fried chicken sandwiches for 25 cents a specialty.
1906: The Benton Harbor College football team was defeated by Dowagiac, 12-0.
1908: A big muck fire out in Glenwood in the Peterson swamp had covered 160 acres and cannot be put out before a rain. Two miles north of Peterson swamp two other fires were burning.
1908: The Dowagiac Motor Car Co. product is to be delivery cars of “high wheel, hard rubber tire type,” similar to the Lindsley cars they manufactured.
1908: Edward LaPorte sold the Cassopolis-Dowagiac stage line to his brother, Johnson LaPorte (my grandfather). The stage line had been owned by the LaPortes, father and sons, for 20 years. Edward took up the business when the health failed of his father, William, my great-grandpa.
1909: The Ben Oppenheim store opened the “going out of business” sale today.
1910: Dowagiac has received three new sanitary drinking fountains to replace the old ones (I sure remember those little white fountains). One was set in front of Goodsell’s hardware store on Front Street, and one at the corner of Penn Avenue and Commercial Street next to the old Savings and Loan building.
1911: Irving Phillipson went from second lieutenant to first. The Michigan Central Railroad said Dowagiac can keep the hitching posts and the rails at the city park (how many like me remember ‘em?)
1918: Schools, theaters and churches were to remain closed. It was announced here that the death toll at Camp Custer had passed the 500 mark caused by the influenza epidemic.
“Cardinal Charlie” Gill writes a nostalgic weekly column about growing up in the Grand Old City.
E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.