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.