Saturday, July 25, 2009

Doggy Wash

Today was the Animal Rescue Fund fundraiser dog wash in front of the fire department in downtown Three Rivers. All was very jolly after the sun came out! ARF raises funds for animal care in the county, including spay/neuter funds and pet food for families in need. More on their website,

Later, at the grocery store, Miss Michigan was found seated amongst the melons, ready to give autographs. No one was paying much attention. "Is it boring?" I asked. "Oh no!" she smiled, eyes wide. Her companion yawned.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Canal Street

Early this morning on the oddly named Canal Street, which is at the top of a hill!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Riverside marker

A strange little historical marker, on River Street just past the point where the Portage River comes into the St. Joseph, near downtown. Text on the plaque:

MAY 9, 1934
Four Walnut Seedlings From Gettysburg, Mt. Vernon, and the Grave of PRESIDENT GEORGE WASHINGTON were planted here under the auspices of Three Rivers--A.T. Van Alstyne, mayor, BSA & DAR
Address by Rev. W. J. Malcolm
Stone erected May 9, 1963 by members of Presbyterian Boy Scout Troup 112 of 1934

Then there are four plaques set in the base, "BSA Honors" then names, Fenner Ball, Adam Armstrong, Douglas Stowe, Charles Gross.

There is a walnut tree. Behind the marker is visible the former high school which was sold to a church for $1; it is now the local megachurch. Before we moved here I remember reading in the local paper that there was discussion about giving the park in which it sits away so the city would not have to pay for mowing. The monument is across the street from the St. Joseph River.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Capsule History of Three Rivers

Historical marker downtown gives a quick historical rundown:

"THREE RIVERS Here the Rocky and Portage rivers join the winding St. Joseph River. Many centuries before the coming of the white man the junction of these water routes made this a favorite camping site for Indians. La Salle came through the region in 1680 on his way east, and in his wake came other Frenchmen who traded with the Indians. Three Rivers, founded in the 1830s, was as far as large boats could come up the St. Joseph. Flatboats and rafts were used to carry goods to and from Lake Michigan."
"Michigan Historical Commission registered site No. 150"

In 1654 a Frenchman, Medard Chouart Des Groseilliers, traveled the whole length of the St. Joseph River. It is known that Miami peoples lived along the St. Joseph River in the 1600s, but were pushed out by Iroquois fur traders. Potawatomi moved into the area in the late 1600s. The confluence of the three major area rivers made it an ideal trading place in the days when travel was done mainly by canoe. More on the Friends of the St. Joseph River Association website.

The flatboat era ran from around 1830 to 1844; the large barges, called arks, carried freight one way. They were dismantled when they reached Lake Michigan. Flatboats were superseded by steamboats, and the railroad came to Three Rivers about 1865.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Lowry's building

The architectural details on the old buildings downtown are amazing. I wonder who this bearded fellow is?

The building he is peering down upon houses Lowry's Bookstore, a world-class independent bookstore. I know, because I'm a big fan of bookstores around the country, and this one is unbeatable.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Paddling the river

Canoes and kayaks spotted paddling in the Portage River. This is well inside the city limits - a little bit of wilderness at home.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Latvian Fest

Photo taken at the Latvian fest held at the Riveria theater Saturday night. Included was a talk, a film, Latvian treats served by young women in native costumes, Latvian dancing, and this group playing delightful Latvian folk music. Two accordions! and a wonderful fiddle player. I will try to find their names.

Three Rivers has a large Latvian community and a Latvian Center, Garezers, just outside of town.