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Tag Archive | "Cedar Springs Historical Society"



32C obit nielsenThorval “Bo” Nielsen, 81 of Cedar Springs, died Friday, August 7, 2015 at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans. Bo was born September 29, 1933 in Cedar Springs, Michigan, the son of Vern and Lillian (Pritchard) Nielsen. He graduated from Cedar Springs High School and attended Davenport College. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. Bo attended the East Nelson United Methodist Church, was a member at the Cedar Springs Historical Society and active at the Museum, the Cedar Springs American Legion, and a lifetime member and very active in the Red Flannel Rod and Gun Club. He was a lifetime builder in the Cedar Springs area, enjoyed hunting and fishing, and loved his family and spending time with his sons. Surviving are his wife, Sharon (Buchholz) whom he married on December 6, 1958; sons, Brian (Deborah), Alan (Rhonda); grandchildren, Ryan (Molly), Lauren (Will) Buttars; great grandchildren, Kendall and Mason; brothers, JC, Walter (Helen), Ivan (Phyllis), Eugene (Shirley); sisters, Nina Middleton, Karen (Leonard) Deyman; in-laws, Otto (Marion) Buchholz, Alvin (Patricia) Buchholz, Joyce (Richard) Johnson, Lois Garvey; many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, one brother; one sister; and one brother-in-law. The family greeted friends Tuesday, August 11 from 6-8 pm at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs where the service was held Wednesday 11:00 am. Pastor Herb VanderBilt officiating. Interment with military honors at East Nelson Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 25200 Telegraph Road, Suite 100, Southfield, MI 48033.

Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs

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Chiropractor building demolished


The building at 44 N. Main can be seen on the corner, with the awning. A sign on the side says “Joe’s dependable service.” This photo was taken in the 1930s, during the street paving project. Courtesy of the Cedar Springs Historical Society.

The building at 44 N. Main can be seen on the corner, with the awning. A sign on the side says “Joe’s dependable service.” This photo was taken in the 1930s, during the street paving project. Courtesy of the Cedar Springs Historical Society.

 This photo from 1977 shows 44 N. Main next to the Log Cabin restaurant. Courtesy of the Cedar Springs Historical Society.

This photo from 1977 shows 44 N. Main next to the Log Cabin restaurant. Courtesy of the Cedar Springs Historical Society.

By Judy Reed

Another building that was built in the 1880s was torn down Wednesday, after being vacant for two years.

The building at 44 N. Main, last known as Dr. Robinson’s Chiropractic office, was bought in a tax foreclosure sale by builder Duane McIntyre last August. McIntyre, who is also a member of the Community Building Development Team, said his original intention was to remodel the building. But he found it was too rotted to save. “Once we got through the gutting process, it was just too rotten—the floors, the walls, the roof, and it reeked of mold,” he said.

The building at 44 N. Main was demolished on Wednesday, March 18, 2015.

The building at 44 N. Main was demolished on Wednesday, March 18, 2015.

The original building on the site on the southeast corner of Elm and Main, is believed to have burned in the great Black Friday fire of 1884. This building was built sometime after that. A photo from the 1970s shows the year on the front of the building—1880-something.

According to Sharon Jett of the Cedar Springs Historical Society, it was Bradis Harness Shop in the late 1800s, and then in the early 1900s, it was a shoe cobbler shop run by Roy Marvin. Other businesses located in the building over the years include Polly Prapp’s Watch Repair, Joe’s Dependable Service (see front page photo), and a bakery and dairy bar, according to a sign on the side of the building.

McIntyre bought the building with his business, Duane McIntyre Build-Design LLC. He also built and is selling the condos behind the White Pine Medical offices. But he’s not sure yet what will happen with the lot at 44 N. Main. He said if he doesn’t sell it, he would build on it. “I just want to help make Cedar Springs look nicer,” he explained. “I’m just a residential builder trying to make Cedar Springs a better place. It’s a great town, and I’m always trying to make it better.”

Thanks to Sharon Jett and The Cedar Springs Historical Society for their photos and info on this building. They are putting together a book on the businesses on Main Street and some of the side streets, and would appreciate any info or photos residents have of the businesses that have come and gone. Call the museum at 696-3335. They are open Wednesdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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Family escapes house fire

This  home in Solon Township was damaged in a fire early Monday morning. Post photo by J. Reed.

This home in Solon Township was damaged in a fire early Monday morning. Post photo by J. Reed.


Home is former schoolhouse

By Judy Reed

A faulty chimney is believed to have caused a house fire in Solon Township earlier this week.

According to Solon Fire Chief Jeff Drake, they were called to the home at 811 21 Mile Road, on the NE corner of 21 Mile and Albrecht, at 5:55 a.m. Monday morning, February 9. He said that the homeowner, Daniel Vazquez, woke up and went to feed some wood into a newly installed wood burner, in the back of the house, and noticed smoke. He and his wife, two children and dog got out safely. When he went outside, there was smoke and flames coming from around the chimney and roofline.

N-Fire1-21-Mile-and-Albrecht-webDrake said that when the first engine arrived on scene, flames were coming through the roof and back of the house. Sand Lake, Algoma, and Kent City assisted at the scene, and Cedar Springs was on stand by in case Solon had any other calls.

The fire reignited on Tuesday morning, but Drake said that’s not uncommon in homes with cellulose insulation, and it was quickly put out.

A fire investigator ruled the cause as a faulty chimney.

Drake said that the home was not currently habitable, but could be repaired. He estimated damage at about $100,000 to the house, and $20,000 to the contents.

Clothing and other types of donations (such as gift cards) for the family can be dropped off at Cedar View Elementary.

The Hoag School before it was converted to a family home.

The Hoag School before it was converted to a family home.

The home, which has been renovated, was once a rural schoolhouse called Hoag School. Not much is known about it, but according to info from The Cedar Springs Historical Society, Lena Reichelt Caldwell wrote a piece about Hoag School for a new book they are putting together. She said the school was named after Lyman Hoag Sr. His son, Lyman Hoag Jr., later married Mittie Ross, who was hired by Hoag, Sr. to teach at the school in about 1890.

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Helping with history

Nolan Patin, 13, is shown here dressed as a turn of the century newspaper boy for the Cedar Springs Historical Museum’s recent Candlelight Tour. Photo courtesy of the CS Historical Museum.

Nolan Patin, 13, is shown here dressed as a turn of the century newspaper boy for the Cedar Springs Historical Museum’s recent Candlelight Tour. Photo courtesy of the CS Historical Museum.

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs Historical Museum has a new unofficial program director, who has a passion for history, which is not unusual. What is unusual is that he is only 13 years old and yet harbors more passion for his work and is better at communicating it than many adults.

Nolan Patin, 13, the son of Jeff and Cindy Patin, of Algoma Township, has been working with the museum for the last year or so. He started by creating the haunted schoolhouse the museum has done for Halloween the last two years.

Nolan said that it all started last year, when his aunt spoke with him and his brother about being on their pirate float. “She also wanted input on a haunted house, and I brought up my ideas,” he explained. “It was a big hit and we did it again this year.”

After that event, Nolan was hooked. He’s been helping out with various tasks and events ever since.

“He’s been a real blessing,” remarked Sharon Jett, of the Cedar Springs Historical Society. “To have him approach us, on his own, about wanting to do these things, is really something.” Jett said he took the haunted house idea and created everything for it. He also was recently a newspaper boy on their Victorian candlelight tour after the Christmas tree lighting. “He was so into it,” said Jett. “His enthusiasm is wonderful. He’s extremely creative.”

Nolan Patin created a small Christmas light display set to music in front of his home at 2207 15 Mile Road. Those who visit it may leave a donation for the CS Museum if they wish. For more homes on our Tour of Lights, visit page 9.

Nolan Patin created a small Christmas light display set to music in front of his home at 2207 15 Mile Road. Those who visit it may leave a donation for the CS Museum if they wish. For more homes on our Tour of Lights, visit page 9.

Nolan is being homeschooled this year, and goes to the museum on Wednesdays to help anywhere he’s needed. Jett said he has been helping index the funeral home books, and has helped in getting the schoolhouse ready for tours.

“He’s polite and kind-hearted,” noted Jett. “It’s hard to get people who want to help, especially younger people.”

Nolan said that he has a lot of interest in the history and being around the people there, and helping them with their tasks. He noted that he also likes helping with events, bringing different ideas to people, and doing research.

However, Nolan is also helping out the museum in another way. For the second year in a row, he has created a Christmas light show set to music, in front of the Patin home at 2207 15 Mile, one block west of Algoma. And he set up a donation box for the museum. “I have a huge passion for Christmas,” he remarked. “I love Christmas.” He fell in love with light shows after seeing one in Grand Haven. “I thought, I have to have that in my yard,” he explained.

After looking up on YouTube how to create one, he realized the expense involved. So when he raised his 4H animals and sold them, he used that money to buy the necessary supplies to create the light show, which he programmed himself. It runs from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. daily. It is a smaller but fun show, with 4,000 lights set to three popular songs. You can pull into the driveway to watch and listen, just tune your radio to 103.5. You can also leave a donation in the box for the museum if you like. Nolan said that those donations would be used toward the haunted schoolhouse for next year.

He said that what they really want, is for more people to come through the museum when they have those special events. “We do a lot of work for them,” he explained.

Nolan also encourages younger people to become a junior member of the museum and help out. “There is always a need for us,” he said.


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Tree lighting brings holiday spirit downtown

By Judy Reed


The annual “Mingle with Kris Kringle” in downtown Cedar Springs gets a little bigger every year, and is starting to become a tradition for families in the community.

Last Saturday’s event, sponsored by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, was a day-long affair, and kicked off with about 40 kids and adults showing up at the library to make decorations to hang on the tree. Perry Hopkins, who organized the event for Chamber, said there was also a great turnout for the story time with Mrs. Clause at Perry’s Place llc for herbs, teas and more, and the Christmas Puzzle time with Santa’s Elves at Alpha Omega Coffee and Games.

There was one glitch—the parade started a half hour late because Santa was running later than expected. But on the bright side, the parade had more participants this year, with the American Legion walking in it, and the cheerleaders leading Santa. Mayor pro-tem Pam Conley also walked in the parade, and helped Santa with his countdown for the tree lighting.

The Red Flannel Queen and Court mingled with residents near the tree, while waiting for Santa, and there was also a petting zoo, and a live nativity by Calvary Assembly of God Church.

The Cedar Springs Historical Society held a tour of the museum after the tree lighting (see page 2).

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Queen and court visits the Museum 


The Cedar Springs Historical Society held a candle light tour of the museum after the Christmas tree lighting on December 6. The Queen’s court was among the visitors who enjoyed the photo-op set up by volunteers. The sleigh and backdrop will remain up until Christmas and everyone is welcome to come in and take family photos. The Museum is open Wednesdays 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and by special request. D White has offered to open for families who cannot come in on Wednesday. Call 696-3738 or 616 835-0809.



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Museum happy with Red Flannel showing

Pictured left is the 2014 Cedar Springs Museum float.

Pictured left is the 2014 Cedar Springs Museum float.


Sharon Jett, of the The Cedar Springs Historical Society, is giving a big thumbs up for all the volunteers that helped on Red Flannel Day, and is excited about all the people that visited the Cedar Springs Museum in Morley Park.

“Many hours were spent to get it (the float) just right to match the Red Flannel Theme this year,” said Jett. “Over 800 flowers were made and attached to the float. All work and material was furnished by the museum volunteers. We are so proud to be a part of our home town of Cedar Springs.”

The museum was open all Red Flannel Day, and Jett said they had between two and three hundred visitors going through and showing much interest.

The museum welcomes visitors every Wednesday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and for many special programs. Arrangements to open any other day, except Sunday, can be made by calling 616-835-0809.

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A Day to remember

Residents gathered at cemeteries and other locales Monday to remember those who died in the service of our country, and all those that have made our freedom possible.

The American Legion Glen Hill Post #287 held services at Elmwood, Solon, and East Nelson Cemeteries and the Cedar Springs Veterans Park. Assisting with the service was the American Legion  Honor Guard, the American Legion Women’s Auxiliary, the Sons of the American Legion and the Boy Scouts.

Services were also held in Algoma Township, Sand Lake and Pierson. The Cedar Springs Historical Society held their annual cemetery walk in Elmwood Cemetery on the Sunday before Memorial Day.


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Lest we forget

N-Memorial-ActivitiesMemorial Day is a day to remember and honor those that gave their lives while defending our country. It’s also a day to remember all those that have served and are now deceased. Inside this issue are the names of veterans buried in area cemeteries, and we honor them with this issue of The Cedar Springs Post, click here to download. If you know of a veteran’s name that is missing from the list, please let us know and we’ll add them for next year.

There will be several memorial activities and ceremonies taking place this weekend that residents are encouraged to take part in:

The Cedar Springs Historical Society will hold its 13th annual Memorial Cemetery Walk on Sunday, May 26, at 2pm to honor veterans of all wars. This year’s veterans will be Cyrus Fleck, Civil War; Charles Davis, Spanish American War; Royal Kent, WWI; Charles Crites, WWII; Dwight Shier, Korea; LaVern “Bill” Avery, Vietnam. Biographical and historical information will be presented at each gravesite. We will leave the museum at 1:30pm and return there for refreshments. If it rains, the event will be held in the museum. In case of severe weather warnings, the event will be canceled.

The American Legion Glen Hill Post #287 in Cedar Springs will hold their annual Memorial Day program on May 27, with 5th District Senior Vice-Commander Rex Lambert as guest speaker. They will be at Elmwood Cemetery at 9 a.m., Solon Cemetery at 10 a.m., East Nelson Cemetery at 10:45 a.m., and Veterans Memorial Park, (corner of Main and Oak in Cedar Springs) at 11:30 a.m. In case of bad weather, services will be held only in the American Legion Hall at 9 a.m. The Cedar Springs High School Marching Band will also do several songs.

The Sand Lake/Cedar Springs Tri-Corner Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #7912 will have ceremonies on Monday, May 27. They will be at the VFW Post in Sand Lake at 10:30 a.m., and will then be at Pierson Cemetery at 11 a.m. The Tri County Marching Band will also be on hand.

Algoma Township will hold their service on Monday, May 27, at their Veteran’s Memorial Park at the Algoma Township Cemetery at 10515 Grange Ave., at 1:00 p.m. The service will include the VFW Post 3946, 3rd Michigan Volunteer Infantry Co. F reenactment group, Algoma Baptist Church Choir, and other participants. The service will honor the second and final list of Algoma Township’s Civil War Veterans, in keeping with the Civil War anniversary theme. The 3rd Michigan Volunteer Infantry Co. F—reenactment Civil War Soldiers will participate and a walking tour will be held in the cemetery of the Civil War Soldier’s gravesites following the ceremony. Refreshments will be served after the ceremony by the Algoma Township Historical Society.


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Out of the Attic

Solon Township family held up


It’s the kind of story you expect to hear about today: one man, down on his luck, the other a gun-wielding parolee, break into a home, tie people up, flee, then grab a hostage and have a standoff at another home. It happened on April 18 but it wasn’t this week; it happened 85 years ago.

A story in the February issue of the Golden Times, put out by the Cedar Springs Historical Society, recounted the tale, as told in several articles in the Cedar Springs Clipper.

On April 21, 1927, the Clipper headline read: “Dan Reichelt, wife and brother tied and abused.” About 4 p.m. in the afternoon on Monday, April 18, two men drove to the Reichelt farm, 6-1/2 miles northwest of Cedar Springs (in Solon Township). They went into the barn where Dan Reichelt and his brother were unloading hay. One of the men drew a gun and held them up, while the other tied them. They then went to the house and tied up Mrs. Reichelt. They tore the telephone from the wall, then went to the cellar and got potatoes and canned fruit and put them in the car.

Just before dusk, Albert Reichelt, another brother, drove to Dan’s to see why he had not returned for another load of hay. When he drove into the barnyard, one of the men held a gun on him until 9 p.m. In the meantime, Mrs. Reichelt had freed herself and ran ¾ of a mile to the home of Frank Seigel and called the Sheriff and Deputy Arthur Woodhull, in Cedar Springs. She was quite badly bruised about the face, neck and arms.

About 10 p.m., when Deputy Woodhull and several men deputized by Justice Totten arrived at the Reichelt farm, they met a posse of citizens who had joined the hunt. Here they captured Wm. Boynton, who denied he had anything to do with the incident. Dan Reichelt shot at the other man and thought he wounded him, but he escaped.

Questioning Boynton, they found where he lived and the identity of the other man. They drove to Boynton’s house and found his wife, seriously ill, with six children, ages 5 months to 9 years, and nothing to eat in the house.

They learned that the other man was Joe Golliver, alias Joe Williams, and was a paroled convict from Marquette. The next morning, Tuesday, the sheriff and deputies searched the Reichelt neighborhood but found no trace of him.

Tuesday afternoon the suspect was discovered hiding in the barn on the Fitz farm, two miles west of Solon Center. Seventeen-year-old Floyd Koehnle, who lived on the farm, went to the barn to do evening chores. He was faced with a revolver in the  hands of Golliver and told to go about his chores. Ed Koehnle drove in from the field and was also confronted by Golliver. The father was tied to a post in the potato cellar and Golliver took the boy to the house to get something to eat. The father freed himself and left the barn through a small window and ran through the fields to the Frank Peterson home. They drove to the Dines farm, and the three men were met with the posse on the way back to the Koehnle farm.

About 5:30 p.m., Golliver, in the house with the boy, discovered that a posse was surrounding the house. He told Floyd that they had him, but he would get some of them before they got him. Golliver left the house through the rear, taking Floyd with him. As he started to run through the barnyard, he left the boy behind. Golliver knew he was cornered, so he turned and began shooting. The only shot he fired went into a board fence. The posse closed in from all directions and as Golliver again shot at the posse, he was shot in the head. According to Floyd Gibson, editor of the Clipper and on the scene, Golliver would have killed one member of the posse and possibly more if he had not been shot down when he was.

On Thursday, April 21, hundreds of people gathered in Cedar Springs to be present at the inquest of Joseph Golliver, who was shot to death by a member of a posse of Solon Township farmers. The jury brought in a verdict that Golliver came to death on the farm of Edward Koehnle, in Solon Township, Tuesday night, resisting arrest, and the fatal bullet that ended his life was shot by some unknown person, a member of the posse. The jury commended the officers and farmers.

Joseph Golliver Williams, 31, had spent 18 years of his life in prison and was on parole from Marquette after serving only part of a 15-year sentence for robbery. A series of similar crimes in Kent and Ottawa County were also blamed on him. His brothers-in-law told police they had been asked to join him in “jobs.” Several of his family members had served time for various crimes also. His own family refused to accept his body, and it was sent to the medical school at the University of Michigan for use by medical classes.

Special thanks to the Cedar Springs Historical Society for allowing us to use this story.


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