The Crabbs home 01.03

Written by David Green.

Joyce (Williamson) VanValkenburg offered some information about the home at 120 N. Summit St. in Morenci, and she should know—she used to live there. Joyce adds some facts in addition to what her sister, Janis, recently wrote.

The home was built by W. W. Crabbs, the owner of a drygoods store. His daughter, Hazel, played the organ at the First Congregational Church for many years. When W. W. and his wife passed away, the home went to his son John, a tailor, and wife Susan. 

After the Crabbs, the home became the residence of Herbert Porter (of Porter Lumber Company).  Herbert was the father of Stanley, Roger and Evelyn (Mansfield).

“Mr. Porter had a tin bathtub built in the upstairs bathroom, which was long enough for him to stretch out in,” Joyce wrote. “Their kitchen was also built higher than usual to accommodate taller people.”

When Joyce’s parents, Bernard and Thelma Williamson, purchased the home in 1943, they moved the kitchen back one room to where the previous kitchen had been and turned the Porter kitchen into a dining room.

Mr. Williamson had a law office downtown above Slagel’s Market, but when he purchased the Porter home, two rooms in the basement were converted to a law office and he continued his law practice even after he was appointed Lenawee County Probate Judge by Governor G. Mennen Williams.

“After my father passed away in the fall of 1952, my mother and I went to Tecumseh and interviewed a young attorney by the name of Yale Kerby,” Joyce writes. “He eventually purchased the home from her in the spring of 1953 and continued the law practice.”

  • Front.bridge Cross
    STEP BY STEP—Wyatt Stevens of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge Sunday during the Michigan DNR’s Great Outdoors Jamboree at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The Tecumseh Boy Scout Troop constructed the bridge again this year after taking a break in 2016. The Jamboree offered a variety of activities for a wide range of age groups. Morenci’s Stair District Library set up activities again this year and had visits with dozens of kids. See the back page for additional photos.
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    LEADING THE WAY—The Morenci Area High School marching band led the way across the pedestrian bridge on Morenci’s south side for the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk. The Band Boosters shared profits from the sale of T-shirts with the walk’s sponsor, the Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce. Additional photos are on the back page.
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    LOOKING UP—More than 200 people showed up at Stair District Library Monday afternoon to view the big celestial event with free glasses provided by a grant from the Space Science Institute. The library offered craft activities from noon to 1 p.m., refreshments including Cosmic Cake from Zingerman’s Bakehouse and a live viewing of the eclipse from NASA on a large screen. As the sky darkened slightly, more and more people moved outside to the sidewalk to take a look at the shrinking sun. If you missed it, hang on for the next total eclipse in 2024 as the path comes even closer to this area.
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    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
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    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
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    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
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