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

  • Snow.2
    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.
  • Front.tar.wide
    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.
  • Front.pull
    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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Remember Fayette Bologna? 3.12

Written by David Green.


Fayette native Dick Lukens can’t shake the memory of some very good bologna from his childhood.

He sent a letter last week about Fayette Bologna once made at Fidler’s Meat Market and he’s hoping to get the recipe.

Some Fayette residents can tell you that just isn’t going to happen.

“They made a homemade bologna which we called ‘Fayette Bologna’. It was the best you ever ate,” Dick wrote. “I am wondering if anyone around town knows the recipe that they used to make it, or perhaps a local meat processing place might make it or know about the recipe.”

Dick, who graduated from Fayette in 1950, now lives in St. Joseph, Mo. He’s acquainted with a butcher there who might make a batch of Fayette Bologna—if only he had the recipe.

“If Ross Hall were still living, we’d probably have it,” said Gene Beaverson who fondly remembers the local treat.

John Bacon doesn’t think so.

“They never gave the recipe out,” he said. “Nobody got it.”

He wishes someone did have it, because it was deliciously different.

John said the bologna was first made at the Tule and Heckman meat market.

“On the day they were making it, people would rush in to buy it,” he said. “You could smell it all over town.”

So it was pretty good stuff?

“You ain’t a-kiddin’,” said Mick Schaffner enthusiastically. “It was out of this world. They sold more of that bologna. People used to come from all over, even Detroit.”

Nobody knows the recipe, Mick said, but he claims to know one thing: Only bulls were used for the beef. It gave the bologna a coarser texture.

“Gene Rossman tried to make it a few years ago in Wauseon, but it wasn’t the same,” Mick said.

Tule and Heckman’s place eventually became known as Fidler’s Meat Market, owned by Lowell “Debby” and Leonard Fidler.

As Mick was told, Debby Fidler was trying to get someone to take over the place. He promised to help them get going and he would give them the secret recipe. But he died before that ever happened.

It doesn’t sound good for Dick Lukens.

“I don’t think he’ll ever get it,” Mick said.

Karen Fackler drives the final nail into the bologna recipe’s coffin. She’s related to the Fidlers; she has connections, and she’s still without the recipe.

“After Uncle Debby left, Uncle Leonard still ran the store,” she said, noting there were six Fidler boys in town. “But the recipe is dead. I tried to get it.”

Karen believes that her Aunt Della, Leonard’s wife, was the last one with the knowledge of how to make the famous Fayette Bologna.

“The recipe died when she died,” Karen said.

She remembers spending time with her uncles.

“They did their own butchering and had their own slaughterhouse. They cooked the meat themselves, too.”

But even the Fidlers were having some problems with the recipe before they gave up and sold the market to the Oxenders.

“They got a lot of spices from overseas and they were having trouble getting them,” Karen said.

Sorry, Dick, but that’s the only hint to go by. Fayette Bologna is going to remain a delicious memory.

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