The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

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    FIRST SNOW—Heavy, wet flakes piled deep on tree branches—and windshields—as the area received its first significant snowfall of the season. “Usually it begins with a dusting or two,” said George Isobar, Morenci’s observer for the National Weather Service, “but this time it came with a vengeance.” By the end of the day Saturday, a little over four inches of snow was on the ground. Now comes the thaw with temperatures in the 40s and 50s for three days.
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    SKEWERS, gumdrops, and marshmallows are all that’s needed to create interesting shapes and designs for Layla McDowell Saturday at Stair District Library’s “Sculptamania!” Open House. The program featuring design games and materials is one part of a larger project funded by a $7,500 Curiosity Creates grant from Disney and the American Library Association. Additional photos are on page 7.
    Morenci marching band members took to the field Friday night dressed for Halloween during the Bulldog’s first playoff game. Morenci fans had a bit of a scare until the fourth quarter when the Bulldogs scored 30 points to leave Lenawee Christian School behind. Whiteford visits Morenci this Friday for the district championship game. From the left is Clayton Borton, Morgan Merillat and James O’Brien.
    DNA PUZZLE—Mitchell Storrs and Wyatt Mohr tackle a puzzle representing the structure of DNA. There’s only one correct way for all the pieces to fit. It’s one of the new materials that can be used in both biology and chemistry classes, said teacher Loretta Cox.
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    A TRAFFIC control worker stands in the middle of Morenci’s Main Street Tuesday morning, waiting for the next flow of vehicles to be let through from the west. The dusty gravel surface was sealed with a layer of tar, leaving only the application of paint for new striping. The project was completed in conjunction with county road commission work west of Morenci.
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    JUNIORS Jazmin Smith and Trevor Corkle struggle against a team from the sophomore class Friday during the annual tug of war at the Homecoming Games pep rally. Even the seniors struggled against the sophomores who won the competition. At the main course of the day, the Bulldog football team struggled against Whiteford in a homecoming loss.
    YOUNG soccer players surived a chilly morning Saturday in Morenci’s PTO league. From the left is Emma Cordts, Wayne Corser, Carter and Levi Seitz, Briella York and Drew Joughin. Two more weeks of soccer remain for this season.
  • Front.ropes
    BOWEN BAUMGARTNER of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge constructed by the Tecumseh Boy Scout troop Sunday at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The bridge was one of many challenges, displays and games set up for the annual Youth Jamboree by the Michigan DNR. Additional photos on are the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.homecoming Court
    One of four senior candidates will be crowned the fall homecoming queen during half-time of this week’s Morenci-Whiteford football game. In the back row (left to right) is exchange student Kinga Vidor (her escort will be Caylob Alcock), seniors Alli VanBrandt (escorted by Sam Cool), Larissa Elliott (escorted by Clayton Borton), Samantha Wright (escorted by JJ Elarton) and Justis McCowan (escorted by Austin Gilson), and exchange student Rebecca Rosenberger (escorted by Garrett Smith). Front row freshman court member Allie Kaiser (escorted by Anthony Thomas), sophomore Marlee Blaker (escorted by Nate Elarton) and junior Cheyenne Stone (escorted by Dominick Sell).
  • Front.park.lights
    GETTING READY—Jerad Gleckler pounds nails to secure a string of holiday lights on the side of the Wakefield Park concession stand while other members of the Volunteer Club and others hold them in place. The volunteers showed up Sunday afternoon to string lights at the park. The decorating project will continue this Sunday. Denise Walsh is in charge of the effort this year.
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House Tour: Peter and Diana Fallot 2007.11.28

Written by David Green.


When Peter Fallot bought a rundown house in Canandaigua in the early 1980s, just west of M-156, it wasn’t even livable.

There was no plumbing at all. The “Michigan basement” was too shallow for a person to stand.

The wiring consisted of a two-fuse electrical box with one line feeding the kitchen range and the other leading to a pair of light bulbs hanging from the

In the end, his $5,500 investment paid off, but it wasn’t an easy process. 

“I gave up on it a couple of times,” Pete said. “It took forever. Nothing is square. Every piece of drywall is a trapezoid. It’s so much easier to do a new house.”

He started off by digging out the basement, pouring a concrete floor and stabilizing the foundation of the structure. He made some headway, but the kitchen stands as a testament to the off-balance nature of the place. The space above the cabinets at one end of the room is at least four inches lower than the other.

The old house has gone through a lot in the past 170 years. Many of the other houses in the once-bustling community are gone, along with the blacksmith shop that stood at the corner. Pete still finds bent horseshoe nails in that  area.

Pete worked on the house for a year and a half to make it livable and started spending nights there in 1986.

A new occupant entered in December 1987 when he married Diana. It’s a home she finds very comfortable.

“I like all the windows,” she says. “I like the light.”

Windows? That only reminds Pete of the past. The original windows were rather small and it took a lot of work to get the new ones in place.

“Everything is put together with mortise and tenon or it’s pegged,” he said, looking up at the timber-frame rafters that he chose to leave exposed.

“This thing is built like a ship,” he said.

“And sometimes is sounds like one at night,” Diana added, thinking of the creaking heard on a windy night.

The main floor includes a living room, dining room, kitchen and bathroom with a shower. Off the large hallway in the upstairs are two bedrooms, a bathroom with a clawfoot tub and a storage room.

This remained the layout of the house until about seven years ago when Pete added a spacious family room that nearly doubled the downstairs living area.

There’s a collection of furniture from parents and grandparents, including a special rocking chair.

“That’s my great-grandmother’s rocking chair that I was rocked in when I was a baby,” Diana said.

“We like old stuff,” Pete says.

But it’s not all old. He created many furnishings himself. With his tree-trimming business, Pete brings home a variety of wood that makes its way into his shop.

His first mortise and tenon project was the walnut bunk beds used by the Fallots’ two boys, Josiah and Samuel.

There’s cherry furniture, hickory cabinets, oak flooring, black oak wainscoting, a cedar kitchen closet, walnut end tables, a cherry porch and more.

The ceiling of the addition is covered with white pine from some large trees Pete was hired to cut.

The addition went along with rebuilding the kitchen which led to changes in the dining room and finally new carpet in the living room. It was a domino effect, Diana said.

Along with the physical changes over the years, there have been a succession of people living in the house.

“We had a visitor here once, an older lady who lived here in the 1920s,” Pete said. “She was very happy to see that it wasn’t all run down.”

The Fallots would love to see a photograph of the house from a hundred years ago and learn what the neighborhood was like.

“I do wonder about the lives of the people who lived here,” Diana said. “With a house this old, there must have been people who died here and others who were born here.”

She was told by a school bus driver how warm and cozy the house looks on a winter morning, and Diana agrees. Some houses that you visit feel cold, she said, but not this one.

“I go on house tours and I think I like something in another house,” she said, “but I’m always glad to come back home.”

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