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Mason County Memories

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History Column 287 Oceana County History I spent Wednesday down at the Oceana County Historical Society looking through their archives and doing some personal family history research on our Oceana County connections. Its been awhile since I have been down there and I can tell you that just about everything they have is indexed and easily accessible. If you have been putting off doing your family research on Oceana County take a Wednesday afternoon off and spend the day down in Hart, you won't be disappointed. So naurally when I got home I looked through my archives to find some images from different events and areas in Oceana County for this weeks column. If you have photographs to share with our readers please contact me at 757-3240, e-mail to davep@blackcreekpress.com, or mail in care of the Ludington Daily News, P.O. Box 340, Ludington, MI, 49431 Pic1 This is an incredible view of a harness shop in New Era around 1910. Take a close look at the goods being offered for sale here. At that time the owner probably did not have a clue that the horseless carriage was about to put him out of business. Pic2 A view of a wreck of a Pere Marquette Train in Shelby about 1910. It looks like everyone had to come over and get in the picture. Train wrecks were a much more common event 100 years ago, as were accidents such as slipping under the wheels of a train which never turned out well for the passenger. Pic3 This is an excellent view of a horse drawn hearse in Shelby circa 1910. This team of horses would have to be well trained and mannered to handle crowds and the confusion in the streets during the trek to the local cemetery. Pic4 A slack wire artist and a juggler too is performing his craft to the delight of the crowd around 1915 in New Era. On a side note I had a Great Uncle Percy who was a slack wire artist, ran away with the circus when he was a youngster is the story that is told. New Era was established in 1872 and was almost named New Erie after Erie Pennsylvania. Pic5 Hesperia Michigan is divided with half in Oceana County and Half in Newaygo. I can't say which half that the McCollum Brothers Big Corner Store was in but this is a great view by the regionally acclaimed photographer Harlo Elliott. His postcards are identified by an E within a circle. These are always very collectible and prized by their owners as he was an excellent photographer. Pic6 A 1914 view of the annual Sunday School Convention in Crystal Valley in northern Oceana County. Crystal Township was organized in 1865 and the village platted in 1875. The township includes a portion of the Indian Reservation that had been set aside for the Grand River Ottawa Tribe from the treaty of 1855.

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