A glimpse of village businesses

Published 2:22 am Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Chamber of Commerce pamphlet that described Edwardsburg as the “hub of Michiana” told the story of the village in the 1960s.

Here is a glimpse of the village businesses according to the ads in the pamphlet.

All of the businesses had a Neptune telephone exchange followed by a six-digit number. Neptune seemed to be an appropriate abbreviation since there were so many lakes in the area, but it was changed in 1963 to the present 663 and 699 with four additional digits.

All the businesses in the brochure were probably Chamber of Commerce members and this was their way to advertise and to pay for the printing of the pamphlet.  This gives you an example of how diverse the area was and how much employment was present in Edwardsburg

John M. Pillow and Don Pillow advertised property management and business opportunities and R. W. Mehl a licensed broker for residential, lake and business properties with Carl Davis, as the salesman was one of the first realtors.  Insurance could be bought from A. C. Kairis who would do complete insurance service and appraisals.

Next was Terrace Shores Subdivision along with Terrace Lanes with 12 modern AMF Automatic pin spotters and Terrace Lounge and Ballroom with dancing every Saturday night. Colbert Lake Bar had good things to eat and a fish fry every Friday and dancing. Eddie’s Place owned by Katie and Eddie Burch was on M-62 and served beer, wine and food. Christiana Lodge was an American Plan Family Resort on Lake Christiana with adult and children rates, which included three meals, lodging and mail service. Fishing, boating, shuffleboard, tennis court and horseshoes were available.  A playground and counselor for children was one of the attractions.

“Playing golf for that smile of health” could be found at Four Lakes Country Club with 18 holes, dining room and 19th hole. Guests who were invited when accompanied by a member.

For construction there was Frank Welter who did cement and masonry work, with brick, block, and fireplaces. M&M Construction on Rural Route 2 and R. S. Andrews was an electrical contractor for residential, industrial and commercial services. Kenneth L. Martin was also a building contractor.

Of course with the lakes in the area you would expect a marina. Don’s Pontoon Sales advertised new and used boats and outboards on Eagle Lake. Cy Bennett Boats Works also was on Eagle Lake. “See Cy for boats, motors, Owen, Crestline, Dorsett Boats, Johnson Motors and complete marine service.”

Retail sales were evident with Cavern’s Tri-Bar Clothing, Infant and children’s wear along with men’s and women’s apparel, western wear and riding equipment, square dance clothing & accessories — “Duds for Dudes” and men’s formal wear rentals. “Gifts that are different for every occasion”

Louis B. Duck offered Frigidaire Appliances, Fedder Air Conditioners, RCA, Motorola, Sylvania radios and televisions.

Manufacturing and light industrial could be found at Eljon Plastics Corporation, Planet Tool and Engineering Co, which made Tools, Dies, Fixtures, Jigs, and Special Machinery owned by Ken Gard.  Querry’s Tool, Die and Engineering also were manufacturers of Precision Tools, Dies, Fixtures, Special Machinery and Small Sheet Metal Stampings. The owner was Harold W. Querry.

Charlie’s Welding and Manufacturing did Custom and Production Work.  Arc, heli arc, ACET, jigs, fixtures, fabricating, steam cleaning, industrial and auto and was a dealer for Reese trailer hitches.  Charlie Eltzroth also advertised a wrecker service.

Superior Pattern Works was serving the Foundry business for 10 years with Wood Metal Pattern Equipment, Plastic & Cast Iron Patterns and Coreboxes.

James W. Cain Sr. had a General Pest Control service.

Additional services were evident with the First Commercial Savings Bank and Pifer-Mayhew Funeral Home, Inc. with an emergency ambulance to serve you.

Edwardsburg, the “hub of Michiana” is surrounded by Niles, Cassopolis, Elkhart, Mishawaka and South Bend. If you don’t believe that Edwardsburg is the “hub of Michiana” in a recent article in the Detroit News Edwardsburg was included in a story about Michiana and Edwardsburg’s claim of being the “hub of Michiana.”

The Chamber pamphlet is a useful and great way to promote Edwardsburg and needs to be updated with present day information.

Now that I have listed some of the businesses of the 60s which ones are still here?

If you guessed the Mayhew Funeral Home you would be correct. It is the oldest continuous operating business in the area. People are dying to get there.


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