100 years ago

In 1911 Manistee County boasted at least seven English language newspapers – the Bear Lake Beacon, the Copemish Courier, the Manistee Advocate, the Manistee Daily Advocate, the Manistee Daily News, the Manistee Times, and the Onekama Lake Breeze. The following news items are from the papers for the week of Sept 9, 1911:

“Unions and all members of organized labor are especially invited to attend the meeting in the interests of labor at the Methodist church Sunday evening, Sept. 3, at 7:30 o’clock. This service is in response to the federation of churches, which requests that next Sunday be observed as ‘Labor Sunday.’ Mayor W. E. Brown will be present and give an address. Music will be presented by a male quartet and chorus of men. The pastor of the church, Rev. F. H. Clapp, will speak on the labor question, touching such vital points as ‘A Living Wage,’ ‘Shorter Hours of Work,’ ‘ A six Day Week,’ etc. Seats will be reserved for the members of unions, but the public generally is invited to the service.

“Owing to failure of the city gas service today the News is obliged to fall back upon hand composition of type. This was abandoned four years ago except for special purposes and a sudden and unexpected return to it today has been very embarrassing. The appearance of this issue of the News will suggest partly the difficulty which the composing room force has struggled against today. A supply of gas is promised tonight, which will make it possible to publish the usual amount of news tomorrow.

“The motor for operating the north lift of the Maple Street Bridge was out of order and upon being replaced last night a new difficulty arose, supposed to be due to damage to the temporary electric cable from a spud of the dredge which worked in the draw yesterday. The north lift is being operated by three men at a cost to the city of $18 a day.

“The work of laying a cable for the Western Union Telegraph company is underway. The cable is in a three inch iron pipe and Diver Frank Hughes is employed to place it in a ditch 24 feet deep just above the Maple Street Bridge.

“Repairs to the gas plant are still in progress with no definite knowledge as to when the service will be restored. The News is severely crippled by the failure of gas, which prevents machine composition. There will be no issue Monday, Labor Day. It is to be hoped that there will be nothing to interfere with publication as usual Tuesday.

“The fiftieth anniversary of the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. T. J. Ramsdell will come Sept. 9, and they will celebrate the day with a party at their home on Cedar Street. The invitations are daintily printed in gold with the dates 1861 and 1911, and the guests are asked for 6:30.

“A collision between street cars at the corner of Cleveland and Harrison streets Sunday afternoon partly disabled a car and broke some glass. A woman passenger and her son, on the car which was overtaken, fell to the pavement, but were not injured.

“It was discovered that the motor operating the north lift of the Maple Street Bridge was partly burned out. Repairs are being made to the armature while a substitute armature is being employed.

“Health Officer Dr. Szudrawski has lately disinfected every public and parochial school room in the city.

“The directors of the Board of Trade have under way a project which is likely to be of inestimable benefit to the city in future years. For some time a few public spirited citizens have expressed themselves in favor of the city acquiring land bordering Lake Michigan as the site of future parks and more lately the interest in this matter has spread widely.

“At a meeting held last evening the directors authorized President Kirster to take steps to bring about a deal for two tracts as speedily as possible. The use to which the land could be put was discussed. At present it is impossible to enjoy any of the Lake Michigan shore without trespassing. Unless the city acquires land soon it will be devoted to railroad and factory uses and be forever put beyond reach of the public.

“The city council last evening acted upon a communication from the Manistee Light and Traction Company. In the letter it was pointed out that the present contract for street lighting will expire Sept. 17. It was suggested that the city authorize a continuation of the contract until such time as the Manistee County Electric Company will be prepared to afford a service, and then the old company will expect to make a bid for the new contract to extend over a term of years, presumably ten years.

“The council acted favorably on the communication.

“Chief Scott as deputy fire marshal serves notice that persons who have been notified to destroy dangerous buildings must comply with the orders immediately or they will be prosecuted.

“Joseph Vandervest will give a street concert this evening with the boys’ band in honor of the Colts and Wooden Shoes teams. ’Billy’ Fitch, a stage singer, who has recently come from Cadillac for a visit in this city, will sing.

“A meeting of the Women’s Missionary society will be held at the Congregational church Friday afternoon at 3 o’clock. The subject to be discussed will be: ‘The Awakening Giant–China.’

“The baseball season will come to a close Sept. 17 and it is planned to give a baseball dance Friday evening, Sept. 15, by way of celebrating Manistee’s long list of pluckily won games and to permit local supports of the team and their wives to meet the gentlemen of the team.

“Ramsdell Hall has been engaged. Tickets are to be sold for 50 cents, and any proceeds above expenses are to be given to the players.

“The dance should appeal to many loyal friends of the Colts. The season has been a strenuous one, with an average of eight or more games a week, affording no opportunity for the players to meet their many friends socially, so it is fitting that this affair should be held before the disbanding of the team for the season.

Compiled by Teena Kracht from the newspaper archives of the Manistee County Historical Museum.

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