Helen Bachman recalls the Chesterfield Grange 4.15.09

Written by David Green.

When Helen Bachman saw the Observer article last month about the Chesterfield Grange, one sentence didn’t sound right to her.

“LeRoy Smith moved the Grange building to Chesterfield from Ottokee, not Oak Shade,” she wrote in a letter. “One-half mile north of Oak Shade would be in a farmer’s field.”

We assumed Walter Bates’s history about the Grange must have referred to a location on County Road 15-1 that runs north out of the village, but Helen has memories of growing up in the area.

“We went to the Ottokee store on Saturday nights and sat on the grass and watches movies or pictures on the side of that building,” she said. “That story sure brought back some memories.”

She recalls the County Home and a town pump located on the grounds of the home.

“I was probably 15 years old then,” Helen said. “Now I’m 92.”

She’s enjoying her subscription to the Observer and looks for familiar names in the “Through the Decades” feature.

“Quite often in the 50 Years Ago I read about kids I’m related to or was friends with,” she said.

Helen is living in an assisted living facility in Novi, Mich.

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