A lot of history exists along the road between Berkey, Ohio, and Munson, Mich. Calvin Teal aims to track down those stories from the past to create his second local history book, this time about State Route 120.
Teal published his book about U.S. 20 last year and was ready to take a break. He started the U.S. 20 book when he was laid off from work, but he was back on the job before he wrapped up the project. That’s when he really realized all the work still needed to get it done.
“Once the pressure was off from the U.S. 20 book, I wasn’t ready to jump right back in,” Teal said.
But the lure of local history—along with the continuing decline in the population of those with the memories—has spurred him back into action. Well, he’s almost back into action.
“I just need to get jump-started,” Teal said recently. “I still don’t know if it will materialize, but if you get enough calls and materials.…”
That’s how the U.S. 20 book went. It was slow going at times, but once people got to know him and were convinced of his sincerity in preserving local history, the photographs were loaned and the stories began to flow.
“I really appreciate all the help I got with the first book,” Teal said.
He still worries that he probably left some names out of the acknowledgments and he vows to do a better job of keeping track the next time around.
From Berkey to Metamora to Champion. Champion? That’s something to look into. Teal suspects it might have been little more than a railroad stop.
On to Whiteville, Seward, Lyons and Denson. Teal has been told there was once a depot and store in Denson, but that’s all he knows.
“I haven’t obtained much information on Denson,” he said. “I keep hitting dead ends.”
Next comes Morenci, then a jump on to Munson, with the Eagle House lodge in between.
Teal knows there’s not a lot of time to waste.
“If I don’t start something soon,” he said, “the people who care are going to be gone.”