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Tag Archive | "Cedar Springs Story"

Out of the attic: The Central Hotel

The Central Hotel was one of many hotels in the town of Cedar Springs during the early days of the village. It stood in the area where the Round Up bar and Gebhardt insurance are now located. It’s not known exactly when it was built, but it was a town landmark, and advertised as early as 1902 in a track and field day program. It was bought in 1905 by the J.M. Hart family, and they ran it for many years.

According to the Cedar Springs Story by Sue Harrison and Donna DeJonge, people recalled the hey-day of the hotel, “when buggies lined up for blocks, and guests from nearby towns waited to get inside for one of Mother Hart’s famous dinners.”

The hotel was destroyed in a fire on July 23, 1943. The fire burned three businesses and half a block on Main Street. The Central Hotel, Cedar Springs Cleaners and Mulford Lunchroom all perished in the blaze, at an estimated loss of $35,000. The hotel, operated at the time by George Oppenneer, suffered the heaviest loss at $25,000.

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Looking back: The Village of Cedar Springs

Several residents, including Craig Cole and Robert Plank, brought in this old postcard of Cedar Springs. It shows what Cedar Springs looked like 140 years ago when it became a village.
According to the Cedar Springs Story, by Sue Harrison and Donna DeJonge, the photo was taken in 1871, and the village was incorporated in March of that year. The photo shows the intersection of Main and Muskegon Streets, looking north. The building on the left is Black’s first store. On the right is O’Dell’s Blacksmith shop, with his wagon shop just north of that. You can also see the United Methodist Church to the north of the wagon shop.

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Update on vintage photo of yesteryear

By Judy Reed

Last week, we printed an old photo given to us by Lori Ostrom. She said it was on an old postcard that belonged to her great-grandmother Margaret Hale. We guessed it was a celebration of some kind around or before the turn of the century.  It turned out we were right.
We got a call from Sue Harrison, one of the authors of the Cedar Springs Story, and she explained that this photo was taken during a Beucus Hardware Day. Harrison said that while working on the book, Margaret Hale called her and told her she had a photo she might want to use, and it turned out to be the very one her great-granddaughter sent to us.
In fact, the photo is on page 17 of the book, in the section on Early Township Settlement, because it went with a story that Della Wightman, of Nelson Township, was telling about harvesting wheat, and when they got their first grain binder.
According to “The Cedar Springs Story,” by Sue Harrison and Donna DeJonge, it was in 1889 that John Beucus and his brother Tom opened a hardware store at 59 S. Main (at Ash St.) “They opened the store with the purchase of mortgaged stock that could have been packed in a two-horse wagon,” the book said. It went on to describe a fine store there at the corner of Main and Ash in 1900. The brothers carried hardware, cook stoves, and the “celebrated” Crescent bicycles, with sales totaling $25,000 per year.
Della Wightman told how her husband, Glenn, and his dad used to go out into the fields and harvest the grain with a cradle. “Then one time, the Beucus brothers had a big day in town. They brought in two flatcar loads of kitchen cabinets, grain binders, and mowing machines. Then they had a regular ‘Fourth of July’ downtown with parades, picnic dinners, and all kinds of contests,” she said. That perfectly describes what it looks like in the photo.
She also noted that the Beucus brothers sold the whole two carloads of items, with her husband buying a grain binder, kitchen cabinet and a steel range.
Thanks, so much, Sue, for the info!
In later years, the Beucus building was owned by Tom and Sonya Cronkright, and housed Pioneer Pharmacy, and then NAPA and other businesses after it was renovated. The building was at least 119 years old when it burned down in 2009.

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Looking back

Cedar Springs 100 years ago

David Marin sent us this digital copy of an old postcard of downtown Cedar Springs that was hand colored. According to Marin, a friend told him the postcard was published in 1907. The picture can also be found in black and white on page 35, in the Cedar Springs Story, by Sue Harrison and Donna DeJonge, and the caption says it was taken before the turn of the century.

This photo could have been taken about 1900, because two important things happened in Cedar Springs in 1900: telephone service came to town (note the telephone poles) and the dirt roads in town were covered in crushed stone and the curbs were made from larger stones pushed into the dirt. That does not appear to have happened yet in this photo.

Do you have an old photo or postcard from Cedar Springs or the surrounding area you’d like to send us? Email it to news@cedarspringspost.com, or bring it in and we will scan it. Give us as much information as you can about the photo, and if we have room, it might make it in the paper!

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