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.

  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.
  • Front.splash
    Water Fun—Carter Seitz and Colson Walter take a fast trip along a plastic sliding strip while water from a sprinkler provides the lubrication. The boys took a break from tie-dyeing last week at Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program to cool off in the water.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.drum
    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks

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