The ’burg 50 years ago

Published 7:48 pm Wednesday, December 21, 2011

This week is a look back at what was happening in Edwardsburg 50 years ago.  In the Argus of Dec. 28, 1961, the highlights of the year were summarized in a front-page article.  This may bring back some memories, spark some ideas or give you a glimpse of life here 50 years ago.
In January of that year everyone was talking about the oil drilling on the farms east and north of town. The first crude oil was hauled from a well in Jefferson Township. The county might lease the county farm to the oil drillers.
Eighty people watched the 1961 Parade of Roses on color TV sets at the Louis Duck’s appliance store. He opened the doors and set up chairs so they could watch in color, provided refreshments and his son says he went home for dinner leaving the store open for anyone who wanted to come in to watch.
Dr. Foley moved to South Bend to open a practice there.
The new high school was dedicated and 68 seniors were graduated.  The high school received four-year accreditation by the U of M board. The high school enrollment for the 1962 school year was 1,700 students with school starting on Sept. 5.
The PTA honored Hazel and Mary Westfall on their retirement from Edwardsburg Schools.
Jerry Stanley was the 1961 Bausch and Lomb honorary science winner and Karl Zetterholm was a National Merit finalist for 60-61.
George Monaghan was selected as the new principal of the Junior High School. The school district had to borrow $20,000 to meet its $18,200 payroll and other bills.
The village had 15 mercury vapor streetlights installed. They approved a $34,000 operating budget without increasing the 10-mil levy. A new-lighted blinker sign was installed at the intersection of U.S. 12 and M-62.  $8,600 was the estimated cost of street improvements for the village.
Thirty-two girls entered the Miss Edwardsburg Contest with Barbara Littman selected to represent Edwardsburg with runners up Donna Claire and JoAnn Streicher.
A $200,000 telephone improvement was planned for Edwardsburg and the lakes by the General Telephone Company.
Steve Toth was elected township supervisor and Jim Winter was elected as Village President.
Several prominent local residents were lost during the year; L.M. Walter, owner of the local grocery store, Dewey Annis, Million Township clerk; Bert Adams at the U of M Hospital; Boyd Smith, a building contractor and Mrs. Earl Bishop died in her home in Mason township.
A rattlesnake bit a Christiana Lake resident.
A new tool and die plant owned by Kenneth Gard and Stanley Ely began operation.
Bowers Foodland owned by Dorman and Wayne Bowers advertised pork roast at 35 cents a pound and an 11-pound canned ham for $8.25.
The United Fund was set at  $4,400 and 97 percent was reached by September.
The Rev. Dale Heaton built a fallout shelter in the basement of the Presbyterian manse.
The William Meredith home burned.
Bennett Boat Works at Eagle Lake wished everyone a happy new year as did the Cupboard Restaurant and owner Grace McCall, Loretta’s Beauty Salon and Manchow Hardware. Bowling and dancing were planned at the Spanish Terrace on New Years Eve.
Pictured in the greetings from the First Commercial Savings Bank were Joe Herreman, Kim Padgett, Katie Noonan, Nancy Barany and Marge Sefcik.
Kay Fetters was collecting taxes at her home and 1962 license plates could be obtained if you brought the title.
Harold, Leon, Cecil, Gene, Don and Phyllis at the Edwardsburg Lumber Company wished everyone a Happy New Year. Others adding to the new year wishes were Four Square Tavern, A&W Drive-In, (Galen and Doris Barnhart), Cavern’s Dept. Store, Morry’s Supermarket, Harp’s Standard Service, Couch and Son Plumbing with Jim and Jo, and Ontwa Standard Service with Frank, Joe, Carl and George welcoming in the new 1962 year.
In the Community Calendar an Eagle Lake Yacht Club annual New Year’s party was planned and on Jan. 2, the Village Council would meet as would the BPW Board at Mrs. Harry’s Calleja’s house.
Fifty years ago this village was just as busy as it is today.