Looking back at the 1960s

Published 9:50 am Friday, September 25, 2015

When the Edwardsburg Museum opened this year it began the season with a Civil War display to coincide with the Anniversary of the Civil War.

Then in June it opened its regular yearly topic “the 1960s” with rooms in a 1960s house.

In July,  an added  display was News and Events of the 1960s. In September, clothing of the Flower Children were added and on Sept. 17 Michelle Black gave an oral history of her life as a teenager in the ‘60s and ‘70s describing her hitchhiking across America with her boyfriend from California to New Hampshire and back.

On Oct. 8, Mary Ann Crete will relate her experiences in California during that time period.

But the question “What was happening in Edwardsburg was asked. With credit to  Otis Montgomery’s book “Edwardsburg, The First 150 Years” it was used as the source. He researched the Argus from that time period and this is what he found.

John Iwaniak and Lee Boothby opened a law office in the Ham Building on M-62 in January of 1960. That same month the Wendt Grain Company was sold to Max and Nelson Cleveland after the Wendt family had owned the business for 20 years.

The school building project (new high school) was begun with George Dobrich and Russell Leach turning the first shovel of dirt.

The intersection of US-12 and M-62 had long been a problem for the Michigan Transportation Department. M-62 was designated as a through street requiring the traffic on US-112 to stop to yield to motorists on M-62. Failure of traffic to observe the stop signs on US-112 resulted in frequent personal injuries and property damage accidents.

In April, it was made a three-way stop with only east bound traffic on US-112 as a through street. Accidents were significantly reduced.

The A&W opened a Root Beer drive-in on M-62 managed by Barney and Doris Barnhart.

The guidance program in the High School was announced with Donald Fox as the first guidance director funded in part by a grant of $4,407.50.

The village hired Jack Snyder as the second full time police officer with Ray Westphal as part time. All expenses were paid by fees and fines with no money coming from the Village general fund.  The police station was moved from the Village Hall on US-112 to the Township Hall on north Cass Street.

In November the Edwardsburg development Association, a division of the chamber of commerce, purchased 40 acres just south of the village as an industrial site. The area was divided into 10 lots of 200 by 600 feet.

Forty-five students were enrolled in the first offering of an Adult Education Program with Kenneth Dunnuck as the principal.

Dr. Foley left the Village to open an office in South Bend.

The Village Market, located on US-112 originally known as Walters Store was changed to Bowers Foodland.

Local resident Jack Kubish was appointed Deputy Director of US Operations Mission in Columbo, Ceylon. He lived in the big white house between the Primary school and the Junior High,

If you find these facts interesting, read next week to find the “rest the story”


Jo-Ann Boepple works at the Edwardsburg Area History Museum.