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Mason County Memories

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Article 303 Dave Petersen This week we will continue with some vintage views of Oceana County courtesy of the Oceana Historical Society. They have some wonderful resources and an excellent collection of photographs, ephemera, and other items to aid in historical and genealogical research. If you have not taken the time to see what they have to offer it is a must see if you are researching family history in the Oceana County area. 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 a great picture of the Crystal Valley School house, in Crystal Township. The Township is located in an area that was once part of the reservation that was originally set up in 1855 for the Grand River Ottawa tribe. The first permanent settlers of European decent in this area was Jared and Catherine Gay who came in 1861. Pic2 Elbridge Township was named for Elbridge R. Farmer in 1858. This is a circa 1910 view of the Elbridge Baseball team all decked out and ready to hit the field. Every community had their own team it seems regardless of the size and they played regularly during the season with some friendly neighborly rivalry. Pic3 The Grange was a fraternal organization that played an important role in farming communities throughout the Country. Farmers banded together to fight for their rights and at its peak had over a million members. They also provided a social outlet for the community and held women and teens as equal members at all levels. Pic4 The New Limited ran between Hart Michigan and Camp Houk also known as Reunion Grounds. The camp was the site of Civil War Encampments for those who served in the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) Pic5 Memorial Day 1913 in Ferry and probably every automobile in the village was taking part in this celebration. Celebrations of our past always seem to strike me as being larger than life, more of an event and an anchor in people's lives. So much excitement and anticipation is present in these views that they can hardly be contained on a 3x5 inch piece of paper. Pic6 The Grocery man was a very important person and was a lifeline for the resorters who depended on him to bring supplies out to Stony Lake and other resort communities. It was not possible to just jump in the car back in 1910 and make a run into town to grab a couple things for dinner. When people came to vacation a hundred years ago they were somewhat isolated, most of us probably would not fair as well without our gadgets and conveniences.

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