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Mason County Memories


"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus" ~ Mark Twain


History Columns are arranged by year of publication in the Ludington Daily News



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Article 353 History Column Those of you who follow my column know that I sometimes go on a roll and do several columns in a row on the same general topic. This week we will again be going over some Oceana County images that I thought you might enjoy. I have made a plea on occasion for help in finding images in areas that I am lacking either in my collection or from other sources. I would be interested in doing a series of columns on Custer and Freesoil as well as some columns on the outlying townships. Images from those areas and from Meade, Sherman and Sheridan townships as example have been difficult to locate. So the call is going out, dig out those family albums and get the shoeboxes out from under the bed! The pictures we are using today are courtesy of the Oceana Historical and genealogical Society in Hart. If you have photographs or family stories 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 One room schools lie the Baldwin School in Colfax were plentiful and necessary in the rural areas. More than 80 such schools existed in Oceana County. Their placement was often dictated by which family donated the acre of land they were built on and they were within walking distance for the students who attended. Contrary to our grandparent's claims they were not always 5 miles away and uphill both ways. Pic2 Hydroelectric power was discussed as early as the mid 1890's but plans for the Hart Dam and power plant were not developed until 1925. November 1st 1927 was the first day that the new hydroelectric system began providing power and within a year demands were so great that a diesel generator was purchased and installed to meet the growing needs. Pic3 Early pioneers and business men often wore many different hats as seen in this combination of businesses. Formal funerals and services from an undertaker were growing in popularity but not fully established, embalming was not yet mandatory. One needs to remember though that it was not uncommon for a family to have a plot on the family farm and viewing were often held in the bay window prior to a funeral service at church. Pic4 M. Earl Shaw came from Indiana to Hart in 1920 and married Laura Fern Purdy. By 1929 he had 2 young sons and was starting a feed store business. "Take Our Goods" This vintage advertisement is the cover page of a calendar promoting the new business that operated for only a couple years before being sold to his father in law; H.H. Purdy. Pic5 In 1916 a person coming to the Yellow Front Cream Station could not park an automobile in front of a hitching post. The Hart Cream Station became Edson's Ice Cream Parlor which was owned by Edson and Doris Billington in 1934. The business was subsequently purchased by the Alpha Creamery in Hesperia Michigan. Pic6 Shave and a haircut; 2 bits; Henry Moon was born in Grand Haven, Michigan, opening a barber shop soon after his arrival in Oceana County. Henry was tragically killed in an automobile accident when he misjudged his turn and drove his Model T off the Hart Bridge and subsequently drowned.

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