Saturday, October 10, 2009

Fall Color and the Strawberry King

One good drop in the temperature and the sugar maples have started to turn! And we got the promised sunny day.

This is a view up Kellogg Street this morning, to a very gothic-looking old house that sits next to a skating rink. Kellogg was not the corn flakes guy; the street is named after a local grower who was called "The Strawberry King". He hybridized and sold strawberry plants in the early 1900s. His farms covered much of what is now the north end of town, and were the largest in the world at the time. More here: Russel M. Kellogg.

Friday, October 9, 2009


A flock of geese heads out under stormy skies.

It's supposed to be sunny tomorrow, though! Keep looking up - and see what others around the world are seeing at Skywatch Friday.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Three Rivers Meneely Bell

A little more history spotted down in a depression below the sidewalk, next to the fire station on Michigan. Meneely, for the ironworks that made the bell in 1868. Meneely was famous for the 1876 "Centennial Bell" casting which is the current Liberty Bell now seen in in Independence Hall, Philadelphia, PA. Other Menleey bells are on display at the Hudson-Mohawk Gateway Museum in Troy, Michigan, where the original foundry was located.

The Meneely Bell was first a fire bell and then a school bell before becoming a memorial bell. Huss Elementary School is now closed, with its schoolyard somewhat eerily reverting to nature; the building is being purchased by a religious group. The original old fire station? I'll have to look for a photo, but it is now a nice big, if somewhat inconveniently placed, parking lot.

The memorial is for a former fire chief. The plaque says -

The Meneely Bell
In Recognition of Dedicated Service
S.N. Crose, Fire Chief
April 19, 1937 - December 31, 1985

The Meneely Bell was purchased in 1868 for a fire station located on what is now the North Main Parking Lot. From 1919 to 1982 the bell was used at the Huss Elementary School. Through the efforts and commitment of S.N. Crose, Fire Chief, with cooperation from the Three Rivers Community Schools, the Meneely Bell was returned to the City of Three Rivers. It is secured at the Three Rivers Fire Station in honor of S. (Sy) N. Crouse, April 19, 1937 - December 31, 1985.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Round Thingy

At the base of the marker in yesterday's post can be seen another metal marker. Here is a photo of it, a round metal marker placed there by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. I'm not sure what it means, a historical marker marking the historical marker?

A couple cold nights and the trees are starting to turn color. A good windstorm last night and limbs and leaves came down; but the nearly full moon was so beautiful!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Great Battle

The marker, erected in 1925, says "Site of Legendary Battle between the Shawnee and Federated Indian Tribes in 1802". The "Federated Indian Tribes" refers to Anishinaabe, People of the Three Fires, in this area primarily the Potawatomi, who were pushed out of the general Detroit area by the Iroquois in the 1600s and 1700s. The story of this battle was remembered through oral tradition and only written down much later. It was a running battle, following the river routes from what is now the center of town up the Portage River banks. Generations of settlers found weapons and remnants of battle as they built homes and farms in the area.

The point of the battle is believed to be an expansion attempt by peoples from the Washbash valley in what is now Indiana into the Potawatomi's farmland and hunting land. Although the story of this particular battle was not recorded by any European or US historian of the time, the story continues to be known locally.

The oral history of this battle was collected and written down by Flavius Josephus Littlejohn, who was not an anthropologist but was himself a popular storyteller, in the late 1800s. His book, "Legends of Michigan and the Old Northwest", was described by historian Sue Stillman as "A white man's attempt at an Indian's style of oratory and story telling." It is assumed that he added his own decorative details to the story of the Three Rivers battle.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Monochrome River

The Portage River, looking downstream from the Hoffman Street Bridge. It could be 100 years ago - or even longer. Is that a fur-trader camp there on the bank?

More of the world in monochrome at The Monochrome Weekly.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


Saturday night at a local pub; live music with a saxophone/guitar duo, the White Sox playing the Tigers on TV, and locally made beer. A stuffed bat hanging from the ceiling for some reason. On the mirror behind the bar it says, "Ruben $5.75". Music good, Tigers lost.