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Peven’s store gave stamps for every dime purchase

Published 7:40pm Monday, November 8, 2010

Recently Sandy Springsteen gave me a little six-inch by three-inch booklet called “Customer Dividend Club Membership Book.”

gillIt was from an old business called Silver Creek Store — Dowagiac, Mich.

Each page in the book had spaces to paste the stamps in when they were given to you for your purchases.

For every 10 cents you spent at the store, you got a stamp for your book. Then when your book was filled with stamps, you could trade it in for $1.75 in merchandise.

The slogan on the back of the booklet: Banks pay you interest on the money you save — we pay you interest on the money you spend.

I had no memory of the Silver Creek Store in Dowagiac.

This gave my wife and I a nice research challenge, which is something we enjoy doing, to see where and what this store was.

In my 1948 Dowagiac city directory, under the listing of businesses, for groceries, listed at 901 Spruce St., this location would put you just past Indian Lake Road (M-62) and old M-40 South (now M-51 South) intersection.

Also in the listing of residents’ home addresses at 901 Spruce St. were Joseph B. Peven and wife, Sophie; he, as grocer, she as clerk in the general store.

Was this one of our old ma-and-pa grocery stores, as 901 was listed as residence and business?

Now in my mind, if I’m not mistaken, this had to be right about where Lou and Ann Loeser from up Decatur way built the large Lou Ann farm store at this location.

I remember trading in the Lou Ann store and I remember they had a large plastic steer on the roof over the front of the store.

Also on the front of the little booklet was an ad, “A railroad car of cold beer.” Quality meats and groceries, general merchandise, hot BBQ chicken and spare ribs, ready to go!

Looks like Mr. Peven believed in advertising, didn’t he?

The phone number for the store was State-2-2344.

Now I see how we get 782 for our Dowagiac number.

Boy, ain’t I the smart one? If any oldtimers from Dowagiac remember more about the Peven store, give me a call or an e-mail.

Also, does anyone remember, Jack Amundson, a Dowagiac student of the ’50s and have his address? I’d like to contact him.

“Cardinal Charlie” Gill writes a nostalgic weekly column about growing up in the Grand Old City. E-mail him at

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