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Mason County Memories

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Tale of a Groceryman Article 232 History Column Dave Petersen One of the memories I have from my youth that still stands out were the times that my dad would stop up at the Tri Supermarket up in fourth ward to get some smoked chubs. He would get me a bottle of pop in a glass bottle, Now that was the way to get a pop, chilled in a glass bottle, so much better then these half cold plastic pretenders that just don't make the grade in my opinion. I loved the smell, and the taste of those greasy smoked chubs that you ate with your fingers. Its funny sometimes when you think about the things that stand out in your memories, how did some of those simple things get elevated to such a high plateau and earn such a prominent place in our minds and hearts? Arvid Carlson and George Hollick opened the Hollick and Carlson Grocery and meat store in 1917 at the location on 925 South Washington Avenue. Formerly this location and adjoining building was the Artists Market. As a sidenote back in the 1970's when Carl and Elanor Conant owned the Travellers II Artist Market Carl took me back to the smokeroom and you could still sense that smokey chub aroma. (maybe it still does?) Arvid had gotten his start in the grocery business a few years before, he had been born in Ludington in 1897 the son of Gust and Amanda Carlson. He had his first grocery job at the Madison Johnson Grocery and meats on South James Street, he also worked for the Abrahamson Grocery Store and at the Double Brick Store (which was recently razed) At the young age of 20 he found himself in a new partnership, a co-owner in his own store. Within 5 years he found himself a newly married man, to Catherine M Holmes and raised his young family during the years that he owned the grocery store. Arvid's daughter Helen recalled that her dad was a stern taskmaster that was devoted to his store, had a big heart and loved his customers. " He worked 7 days a week, from 7am to 7pm and never took a vacation. Back in those days semi trucks did not deliver groceries to the store, every Wednesday we would drive down to Muskegon to the warehouse to pick up groceries. After we left the warehouse it was off to the slaughterhouse for the meat and on the way back we would stop in New Era for Dairy products, this went on into the 1950's." Helen went on to say "I remember the delivery truck and going with my brother to Epworth, we would have to carry groceries up what seemed like 500 steps to the cottages on the hill. At the store his partner George Hollick was the meat man and my father was the everything else man." George Hollick retired in 1956 and at that time the name of the store was changed to Tri Grocery after Arvid took on two new partners. Bob Ptszenski and Desmer French who was the new "meat man" for the store. It was under Desmer's direction that the smokehouse was built and the store began selling smoked meats and sausage of all kinds. Arvid Carlson retired in 1962 and passed away in 1974. Thanks to Helen Kronelein for sharing her memories and photographs for this weeks column. If you have stories or photographs to share with our readers please feel free to contact me at davep@blackcreekpress.com 757-3240 or in care of the Ludington Daily News Po Box 340 Ludington Mi. Pic1 Hollick- Carlson Grocery & Meats (new store) about 1942 Pic2 A different view of the new location, you can see where the old store was relegated to storage. It was at one time a bar and has a very high ceiling and ornate tin ceiling. Pic3 Helen recalled that her father would deliver groceries in the old panel truck, and one customer in particular recalled that he would take the groceries in, unpack and out them away and sit down and have a cup of tea before heading back to the store. Pic4 The two men seen here are Arvid Carlson (left) and George Hollick (right) at the 30th anniversary of the store in 1947 Pic5 The original Grocery Store opened in 1917 you can see George Hollick (far left) and a young Arvid Carlson (3rd to right) Pic6 Helen Carlson Kronlein is shown here in front of her father's store in the summer of 1956 just after the store was renamed.

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