Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Ann Chizmar

FJ: I’m Francis Jerome with the Northville Oral History Project, and I’m in the home of Ann Chizmar. Did I pronounce that right – Chizmar? 
AC: That’s right.
FJ: Ann Chizmar – her maiden name was Richards. She came to Northville as a ten year old girl, the daughter of a Methodist minister. Now, is that right, Mrs. Chizmar? 
AC: That’s right. 
FJ: And so he came to Northville in 1922, and has remained pretty much continuously in Northville ever since?
AC: Yes.
FJ: Okay, let’s turn this off and check the volume. Okay, the volume is fine, so we’re going on with the interview. As I said, Mrs. Chizmar was the daughter of the Methodist minister and lived in the parsonage at the Methodist Church here in Northville. You want to tell me what it was like as a child growing up in Northville, you came as a ten year old. What are you recollections of growing up in Northville as a child?
AC: Well, my first introduction to Northville was my father and mother had come from Cass City, and you know, at that time, it took quite awhile to travel. And when we arrived in Northville, everything was closed. My father looked in the window of the parsonage and he said, “Jen, they haven’t even moved the furniture out yet.” So he went to the stores, there were no stores open.
FJ:  Now, this was not a Sunday?
AC: No, this was a weekday.
FJ: And everything was closed.
AC: And he went up the street, up Dunlap to Wing Street and across Wing Street to Randolph, and east on Randolph Street, he finally found a lady named Mrs. Starhome (?), and her husband was the manager of the Silver Springs Bottling and Ginger Ale Works in Northville. So she took us in, and we stayed with her, six people with her for a whole week before the parsonage was vacated. Well come to find out from her, the Wayne County Fair was on, and it was the Northville Day at the fair. The schools were closed and everything. That’s why everything was closed up on that day. So that was our first experience to Northville. 

FJ:  You had brothers and sisters at that time?
AC: Oh yes, I had… I was the oldest of four children. I had a sister who was three at that time, a brother was five, and my other sister was nine years old. 

FJ:  Did you have kind of responsibility for your younger brothers and sisters in terms of kind of keeping them in line?
AC: Well, yes. In the evenings when my mother went out when I became older, why they didn’t get a babysitter. I was just in charge of keeping everything in tow, which was quite a job, ‘cause I had one sister that was quite mischievous. 

FJ:  As long as you mention that Northville Fair, why don’t we talk about that? Now, you were a ten year old girl at that time. Do you have a pretty good recollection of what the Northville Fair was like?
AC: Oh yes, it went on for quite a few years after that. 

FJ: Tell us, where did it take place, what took place at the Fair?
AC: It was where the Northville race track is located. And then when the race track came, the State Fair closed, and they opened it as a race track then. And they had – all the women brought their jams and jellies. It was comparative to the State Fair. And there were animals there, and at that time, the House of Correction made furniture, and they had farms at the House of Correction, and they would have big exhibits along with the local people of produce at the Fair. My father always exhibited his dahlias at the Fair. He usually got prizes for those at that time. 

FJ: So, the Fair was put on by the town of Northville, or did it cover a wider area- was it called the AC: No, it was the whole county.

FJ: Okay, so it was the Wayne County Fair. And now you mention the House of Correction. Where was it located?
AC: Well, it was at its present site on Five Mile, think it’s Five Mile and Beck. 

FJ: Five Mile and Beck. Okay, and that property is no longer used, or is that property still used?
AC: I think it’s used some, I’m not sure.

FJ: And those that were there, I’m not sure that we want to call them inmates or not – but those that lived there grew fruits and vegetables and made things? 
AC: Yes. 

FJ: Furniture, you said, what kind of furniture would they make?
AC: Well, household furniture, I think. I don’t exactly remember.

FJ: Okay, and then was that furniture sold? 
AC: Yes.

FJ: So the inmates would derive some income from the sale of furniture? 
AC: Yes.

FJ: Very good, okay. What else can you recall about growing up in Northville, what about school? Where did you attend school?
AC: Well, I attended the old high school (as a ten year old) in fifth grade, and my brothers and sisters, my brother and sisters, attended the high school that had, it burned down some years ago. And it was a brick structure behind the high school. It wasn’t facing Cady, but there was a street that ran through there, I think it was West, West Street. Since they’ve closed that part of that block off. And it faced West, West Street. 

FJ:Okay, now you said you attended school in the old high school?
AC: Yes.

FJ: In other words, it was converted from a high school to an elementary building?
AC: No, it was a high school until 1959.

FJ: Now, you would have been a fifth grader when you started here? 
AC: Yes, they had some elementary children in the high school. It went fifth through high school.

FJ: Okay, then did your entire school career take place in that building or – 
AC: Yes. 

FJ: You went all the way through in the old high school until you graduated from high school itself? AC: Yes.

FJ: Okay, then after you left high school, what happened next?
AC: Well, then I went to… at that time it was called Michigan State Normal College, which is now Eastern Michigan University. I attended there for two years, and then I returned to Northville as a teacher. No, I attended there three years.

FJ: And got a college degree? 
AC: No, I got a certificate, a life certificate. They don’t have those no more. 

FJ: And then returned to Northville to teach?
AC:  Returned to Northville to teach – the philosophy of the school board was that they should hire Northville folks. It was during the Depression, and they felt that if there were Northville people available, why that the job should – the teaching job should be given to Northville people. 
FJ:  Okay, now what were you teaching?
AC: I taught kindergarten. 

FJ: And then did you teach any other grades during your teaching career?
AC: Oh yes, I taught first grade, second grade, and then the last few years, I was the reading consultant, the remedial reading teacher. 

FJ: How many years were you in the Northville schools?
AC: Off and on for 32 years. Mr. Amerman used to introduce me when I’d come back – I’d take maternity leaves – and he would introduce me as his “off-and-on-again” teacher. 
FJ:  Okay, so you spent your entire teaching career right in Northville schools? 
AC: That’s right.

FJ:  Okay, who, now you mentioned Mr. Amerman – we’re going to talk about him in a few minutes, but who was the superintendent at the time you came as a teacher in Northville?
AC: Um, oh Mr. Amerman was. He was the superintendent. But my last three years in high school, he was my principal. 

FJ: Okay, so he had been a building principal – who was Superintendent when he was the high school principal?
AC: I don’t – they changed quite a bit, and I can’t recall his name. I should have looked it up. 

FJ: I think you were telling me when we were talking last week that the gentleman died, and then Mr. Amerman was appointed as a temporary Superintendant?
AC: Yes, but Mr. Knapp came after I graduated from high school, he came in 19, the fall of 1930, and I graduated in June of 1930. It was Thad Knapp from Highland. He, well it was sort of a semi-retirement for him, I think, because he came from the Highland Park School System. He was the Superintendent there for many years. 

FJ: And then he became Superintendent in Northville, and then he died. At that point, Mr. Amerman then was appointed as kind of an acting Superintendent?
AC: Yes, he was a temporary Superintendent.

FJ: While they were looking for somebody else?

FJ: Did they ever select anybody else?
AC: No, they didn’t.

FJ: So then Mr. Amerman became the Superintendent and continued until his retirement?
AC: Yes.
FJ: Okay, anything you want to tell me about Mr. Amerman, or about – well, let’s go back. Let’s talk about your teaching career, your first teaching assignment. What was the building that you taught in?
AC: It was a house, and it was, the divisions had been taken out between rooms, so that there were a lot of little ells and extra little side rooms in it, but it was fixed so there was one big room, and then there were other little rooms in it. And Mr. Amerman’s office was upstairs in that building.

FJ: Were there other teachers in the same building with you?
AC: No, I was the only

FJ: And this was kindergarten?
AC: Yes. It had been that for several years before I came.

FJ: And pretty well equipped?
AC: Oh yes, fairly well equipped according to Depression
FJ: Indoor plumbing?
AC: Yes, oh yes.
FJ: Okay, so pretty much it had the modern conveniences?
AC: Yes.
FJ: Now, you did tell me in the course of our earlier conversation about a fire – in one of the schools, I think you said was destroyed by fire? Do you want to tell me about that?
AC: Yes, that was about 1935 or ’36. I got a call from Mrs. Watts, who was the night telephone operator, and the phone rang about 4 o’clock in the morning, and she says, “Ann, you don’t need to come to school this morning, the school’s burned down.” And the elementary school had burned, sparks from the chimney had lit in the cedar shingles on the roof, and it had almost entirely gutted the inside of the old elementary school.
FJ: What happened to you then?
AC: Well, I was still in the house, and I think – I don’t think – they didn’t tear that house down until later on. And then we taught, or the other elementary teachers taught, you know all the empty stores. And there was an empty Lapham’s Bank – it had closed, and there was just one. There had been two banks in Northville, the Babbitt Bank and the Lapham Bank. Later, the Babbitt Bank reopened.

FJ: This was during the Depression?
AC:  This was during the Depression.
FJ: So, in order to find places for the children while the school was being rebuilt, and anyplace they could find room
AC: Yes.
FJ: They would move the classroom there and have the children taught there. And then they started putting up another building?
AC: Yes, and then the building that I was teaching in was torn down. It was just a house there, and there of course was more property there. And so they built the present elementary, Main Street Elementary School, which is no longer in use as a school. And then the first grade teacher and I were moved into a new Scout building that they had built, but the furnace was very inadequate.
FJ: Now, when you say Scout building, do you mean Boy Scouts?
AC: Yes, a Boy Scout building.
FJ: And it was put up specifically for the Boy Scouts?
AC: Yes, and it was where the present drive-in bank is on Randolph – the corner of, not Randolph, the corner of Dunlap and Hutton.
FJ: Okay, near the Arbor Drugs then?
AC: Yes.
FJ: Okay, now you started, let’s see, you started in 1933. What was the size of the teaching staff at that time? How big was the Northville Schools?
AC: I think there were about 23 in all, including the Superintendent and the Principal; and then we had a teaching principal for the elementary school. She just did the book work, and we handed our attendance reports to her at the end of each month. Then she took care of that stuff. Mr. Amerman, more or less, supervised the teaching process of the teachers.
FJ: You mind telling me what your beginning salary was as a teacher in 1933?
AC: It was $75.00 a month. It was supposed to be $900.00, but by the time they took things out for retirement and that sort of thing, it was about $75.00 a month. And if you were ill, why you were docked.
FJ: You were docked?
AC: Yes, you were docked that pay.
FJ: Did they have any kind of, I guess what we call today, benefits – now you mentioned retirement--did they … anything like sick days, or… ?
AC: Oh no!
FJ: Or any kind of coverage insurance? Hospitalization? All the things that our teachers enjoy today? They didn’t have them?
AC: No, we didn’t have those.
FJ: Were you able to manage fairly well on $75.00 a month?
AC: Well, I paid half of my salary back to my father so he could help the other children through school, so I skimped quite a bit.
FJ: Okay, when you first came back then to teach, you were still living at the parsonage with your father?
AC: Oh no, no. In 1931, my parents were transferred to the Belleville Methodist Church. They served there.
FJ: And then where were you living in Northville?
AC: Well, I boarded with Mr. and Mrs. Earl Cobb. He had been a cabinet maker for the Globe Furniture Company. And she worked for Lapham’s Dry Goods Store, it was a dry goods store at that time.

FJ: Lapham, now is that the Lapham’s that eventually became Lapham’s Men’s Clothing Store?
AC: Yes.
FJ: The same family, the same store?
AC: Yes.
FJ: Okay, so you boarded – you wanted – you specifically wanted to come back here and teach in Northville, rather than teaching somewhere else, and because your parents were now in Belleview
AC: Belleville
FJ:  You had to board here. How long did you board with these people?
AC: Until I was married. I was married in 1938.
FJ: Did you meet your husband here in Northville?
AC: No, I met him in Belleville.
FJ: Belleville, where your dad and mother were?
AC: Yeah, he was a friend of my brother’s and he lived right behind us in the Belleville parsonage. So usually, weekends my father would come and get me, and I’d go home, and he would bring me back Sunday night, until I had a boyfriend, and he used to come and get me.
FJ:  Let’s back up a little bit here, going back to your childhood, what about social life in Northville at that time? What kinds of things, you’re a Methodist minister’s daughter, so maybe you couldn’t do some of the same kinds of things that other children did, but what kinds of things would there be for recreation and for social life as a ten-year-old from the time you started until you eventually graduated from high school? What kinds of things were there in Northville for young people?
AC: Oh, there was sledding in the winter, and well, I remembered when they paved the streets, why they let us – the streets were all dirt roads at that time, and I don’t remember the year they paved them, but I do remember that they let us roller skate on them. So that amused us for almost one whole summer because as soon as they’d finish one block, they’d shut it off to harden, I suppose, and they’d let us skate on it. Then I was quite a tomboy. I played baseball – there was a lot, I don’t know if there’s a – I think – I don’t know whether there’s a Bank there or not. But it was a vacant lot.
FJ: In the downtown area?
AC: Yes, right across, well kitty-corner from the parsonage. It would be on the northeast corner of Center Street.
FJ: Incidentally, as long as we mentioned the parsonage, now, that was the earlier Methodist Church that was in Northville. There is another later building now that was built further west. Is the old Methodist Church, the one that you were--grew up as a minister’s daughter – is that church still used?
AC: Yes, it’s used as – well, first it became a restaurant, and then, now it’s the Open Door Church there. One experience that I had was going with my father over to the Church, and there were ladders that went clear up into the clock. And once a week, that clock had to be would up, it was a – and so we would help him wind it up.
FJ: How would it be would – not like a clock that you wind with a key – how would you wind a church clock?
AC: No, I think there were big lead weights, and those had to be would up, and then I don’t know exactly how it operated. I’m not much of a mechanic, but I can remember seeing those weights coming up as we would wind it.
FJ: Now that clock, and I heard from more than one source, that’s quite a landmark. Now they talk about the church clock.
AC: Yes, the city put the clock in.
FJ: How did they happen to do that?
AC: I don’t know. It was there when we came to Northville, so I don’t know anything about the history of what happened and how it came to be there, unless, because the church was located in the center, practically in the center of town.
FJ: Now, how close was the parsonage to the Church?
AC: It was right on the corner of Dunlap and Center Street, and the Church was right behind it. The parsonage faced Center Street, and the church faces Dunlap.
FJ: Okay, now is the parsonage still there?
AC: No, it was torn down.
FJ: What is that property used for now?
AC: Well, it’s just the parking lot for the Open Door Church, I think. For a while, it was used as a car park – one of the auto sales people, I think – Ford Sales had cars there.
FJ: I recall a number of years ago coming out to a restaurant, and I think it was called the The Drawbridge, and I’m sure that that was -
AC: That was the church, yes.
FJ: How do you suppose they happened to, I’m assuming now t hat when they decided to build a new church, and then they had this church available for sale, who was that church sold to, do you have any idea?
AC: I don’t know what – whether it was the people at The Drawbridge that bought it or not. Sure, they did a lot of remodeling – which to me, they sort of ruined it.
FJ:  I thought it was quite unusual to have a dinner in what was a Methodist Church at the time, and then later on, the Drawbridge closed, and it became, you say, The Open Door Church, which is a nondenominational church, I would presume.
AC: Before they tore the parsonage down, it became a restaurant, because the parsonage – that was after my parents left there – the parsonage was on the corner of Wing and Dunlap. And there was a restaurant in there – it was called Black’s White House, because the people that ran it – their name was Black. So they called it Black’s White House.
FJ: And so the parsonage was used as a restaurant for a period of time?
AC: Yes.
FJ: That’s interesting. Was it a pretty good sized parsonage?
AC: It was a fairly sized parsonage. I remember one instance in the parsonage – I don’t know whether this is apropros to this or not – but couples from Detroit would come out to get married, and so the living room was always closed off because that’s where special things took place. And the heating system in the parsonage was so that they had radiators that just opened upstairs, and so my father was conducting a wedding down there, and we wanted to see it. Well, we forgot that often times, when we would clean, we would sweep the dust into those registers, so it was quite a shock when we opened them to watch the wedding and the dust fell down.
FJ: Anything else that you can recall during your childhood about social life or recreational life in Northville? Now, you mentioned roller skating, you mentioned sledding parties – what about things like dances, what about sports activities?
AC: Well, I didn’t attend dances, except I did attend my Senior Prom. But later on – oh, I’ve just forgotten the year it was – they built the church fellowship hall behind the church. I think it was 1928.
FJ: I’m assuming your father was instrumental…
AC: My father, yes, and he was very interested in young people, getting them involved in sports and that. And so there was a cement floor put in the fellowship hall, and a basketball court was laid out. And we had inter-church basketball games there, and he always encouraged us in sports. Then, when we were in high school, why we participated in--my sister more than I--were on the basketball and baseball teams.
FJ: Oh, in the high school?
AC: In the high school teams, and my father, if he didn’t have a funeral or if there wasn’t anything urgent, why – they didn’t have buses at that time – so he could drive us. He would drive a load of us to our basketball games between other towns.
FJ: As long as you mention transportation, let’s go into that now. Obviously, there were cars at that time. What about other modes of transportation in and out of Northville, besides cars?
AC: Well, there was an interurban that ran up through the middle of town, and that was one way to get to Plymouth, and Farmington, and Detroit.
FJ:  Would an interurban be similar to what later on were called Streetcars?
AC: Well, an interurban went from town to town, where a streetcar was, I think was just in the city. FJ: Would be vehicle be more like a train than it would a streetcar?
AC: No, it was more like a streetcar.
FJ: More like a streetcar that would go from town to town.
AC: Run by electricity, I think, because I remember the overhead lines.
FJ: And you could pick up the interurban here in Northville – was there some kind of little station or just a stop?
AC: You could get on at Main Street – Main Street and Center Street, because it dead-ended right there. And then there was a station on Griswold Street.
FJ: And then how far could you go on that interurban?
AC: You could go into Detroit.
FJ: All the way down into Detroit?
AC: Yes.
FJ: Did it run into downtown Detroit at that time?
AC: I don’t recall, I know it ran into the City, but I don’t remember how far because my aunt always – my aunt lived in Detroit. She met us at the other end, she met us in Detroit when we got off the streetcar. But I can’t recall how far down it went.
FJ: I’m assuming that back in those days, there was nothing like buses that would run back and forth?
AC: No.
FJ:  The primary transportation was interurban.
AC: Yes.
FJ:  Now, were there any other – or car – was there any other kind of transportation in and out of Northville?
AC: Well, not until later on when I came back teaching. Then they had the Biddle Bus Line -
FJ: Oh, bus line?
AC: - ran to five points in Detroit.
FJ: That would be at Grand River?
AC: Yes, where Grand River and Seven Mile intersect.
FJ: Okay, so there was a bus line? Did it operate strictly between Northville and Detroit, or did it include some of these other communities?
AC: No, I think it just ran between Northville and Detroit. Tunis V. Biddle was the owner. In fact, his bus station was down here where Northville Charlie’s is now. It’s where his mechanics and garage were.
FJ: What happened to that bus line – eventually it just went out of business?
AC: Yes.
FJ: Now, do I recall that also there was a train? You could also get into town on a train? Was there a train running between Northville and Detroit, or just the interurban?
AC: No, just the interurban. I think you’d have to go to Plymouth to get a train into Detroit.
FJ: Okay, so there might be a train out of Plymouth at that time?
AC: Yes.
FJ: As you can recall, compare Northville to Plymouth at that time. Was Plymouth about the same size as Northville, or about the same kind of a little town or village, or –
AC: Well, it was always a little larger than Northville, but in my day, why they were – we were - quite competitive with Plymouth in football and basketball – sports.
FJ: So, that would be a big game then?
AC: Oh yes, there would be a big bonfire the night before every game. And it was, at that time, the football games were played down at the fairgrounds.
FJ: And the fairgrounds were located where Northville Downs is. So that’s where the football games would take place?
AC: Yes.
FJ: And it was a friendly type of competition, I’m assuming? Not vicious or that type…
AC: Not really.
FJ: Now, you mention that your sister was in sports? Were you in sports also?
AC: Well, I was in sports, but I – I guess I just didn’t have that amount of energy. I tired very easily. I was manager of the, of the high school, the girls’ high school basketball team
FJ: An important position – you take care of the equipment, made sure everything was there
AC: Yes. And I did play baseball some.
FJ: As a kind of intramural baseball or - 
AC: No, it was between schools.
FJ: Okay, then you were on a school team?
AC: Yes.
FJ:  You mentioned something when we were talking the other day about bobsledding, and I found that kind of interesting. Do you want to tell us about that?
AC: Well, yes, we used to go up, well I don’t know, at that time, up beyond Allen Terrace was what was called the Maybury Sanitarium, not the Maybury, I’m sorry, that’s the Hickham Sanitarium. And High Street ran straight up – there was also a curved road you could take to go to the Sanitarium. But there was also a like, a little dirt road, more or less, as a track that went straight up to the top of the hill there. And we’d take our – the Epworth League at that time, the church group would have bobsled parties. And so we’d get on our bobsled and push off, and we’d come down, all clear down High Street, and then at High Street dead ends, and we’d turn down Main, and then on to Wing Street, and we’d go down and eventually end up at the fairgrounds.
FJ: That’s a long run.
AC: Yes, it was – it was a long walk back too.
FJ: Now, I’m assuming the streets were snow covered at the time – this was before the streets were paved?
AC: I imagine so, but I’m not exactly – yes, I think it was.
FJ: Now, when would you do this? Like on a weekend?
AC: In the evening.
FJ: What about traffic?
AC: Well, there wasn’t too much traffic. Usually somebody would be posted when we had the bobsled. But then there was quite a tragic accident – a little girl was killed on her sled there at Randolph and High Street, so they put a stop to that.
FJ: And that was on a bobsled?
AC: No, she was on her sled.
FJ: A regular sled?
AC: Yes. Because you could go quite a distance on the sled – you could cross Randolph and High Street.
FJ: Well, that was too bad – it must have been quite a lark to come down on a bobsled all the way from where the Allen Terrace is now, almost all the way down to the fairgrounds – that was quite a trip.
FJ: Well, let’s take a look at these notes here. Now, let’s see. Oh yes, you mentioned a gazebo in the center of town. In fact, you mentioned an incident involving the interurban. Tell us about that gazebo.
AC: Well, that was where Santa Claus came on Christmas. That’s my most vivid recollection of that, and Christmas Eve, Santa would – well I don’t know whether it was Christmas Eve for sure, but anyway, Santa would come there and hand out candy and bags of candy and treats to the children. That’s where we met Santa.
FJ:  Was that gazebo there when you moved here, or was it built after you?
AC: No, it was here when we moved here.
FJ:  Okay, what else was it used for?
AC: Well, I think it was probably used, you know, if people lectured or something – I’m not sure. But if there was an outdoor community doings, the speakers would be up there.
FJ: And you said it was right in the middle of the street, right in the middle of town?
AC: In the middle of Main and Center Streets.
FJ:  Okay, tell me, us about that incident involving the interurban.
AC: Well, I really don’t recollect that. But a friend of mine told me that some teenagers had greased the track to the interurban. And so when the interurban came through town, the brakes wouldn’t stop, and he wrecked the gazebo there and that put an end to it.
FJ:  That took care of it – they never rebuilt it and put it up again?
AC: No, because at that time you know – I think, you know, there was more traffic. And then eventually they did take the tracks up from the interurban and paved the streets.
FJ: Okay, now let me see, we talked about – a little bit about your childhood, we talked about the County Fair, and, oh yes, you were telling me… and this might be a good point to mention it… your dad was a Methodist Minister. You were saying that a lot of weddings took place right in the parsonage, but there was one very unusual wedding, and in fact, there were clippings in the paper about it that your father participated in. Won’t you tell us about that?
AC: Yes, Eddie Stinson had an airplane plant in Northville down where Main Street curves around and becomes South Main instead of East Main. And one evening, Eddie Stinson and Randy Page was his test pilot, they came to the house and asked my father – they had friends that wanted to get married, and they didn’t want to wait the five days (because there was a five-day wait in Michigan) and they asked my father if he would fly with them to Ohio. So, they would get a license in Ohio, and they could be married immediately. And so he married them in the air over Ohio.
FJ: On the way back? They had the bridal party was in the airplane also? 
AC: Yes.
FJ:  That must have been quite an experience.
AC: Yes, from the size of the plane, I don’t see how they could stand up, but maybe they…. To my knowledge, that was the first wedding that took place in the air, at least in the Michigan area.
FJ:  Now, that Stinson Aircraft – is that what it was called, Stinson Airplane or Stinson Aircraft?  AC: Yes.
FJ:  Do you have any idea how many people that were employed – did it employ a lot of residents of Northville?
AC: I have no idea. I don’t remember.
FJ: Okay, there was, as I understand, there was an airport somewhere here?
AC: Yes, on the Lapham property out – well it was beyond Six Mile and Beck Road.
FJ:  Okay, and this belonged to the Stinson… they used it for planes there… or…?
AC:  Well, I still think… because later on, I know the Lapham’s owned it. Whether they still own that property now or not, I don’t know. Whether they just rented it, or what, I don’t know.
FJ:  Now, would they have built World War I airplanes for use during the War?
AC: No.
FJ: This would have been after the war?
AC: That was after the War.
FJ:  So, what they were building were primarily passenger planes or private planes, (commercial) small planes?
AC: Yes.
FJ: And the plant, you say, was right where the road curved and became Seven Mile Road – Main Street became East Main and became South Main and eventually crossed Seven Mile Road?
AC: Yes, it was probably right across from the well – the Northville well.
FJ: Okay, there’s a Wagon Wheel Hotel over there, somewhere
AC: Yes.
FJ:  close by, and there’s an office supply place over there … and that’s where the aircraft plant was…
AC: Where the old hotel was, was the furniture plant – The Globe Furniture Factory was there. And Stinson, I think, was sort of back where Cady Street comes into Main Street, if you can visualize that. And it was where Cady curves around and comes in to Main Street – the plant was right in there somewhere.
FJ: Okay, and what’s the Wagon Wheel Hotel was at one time a furniture company?
AC: No.
FJ:  That’s where it was located. Okay.
AC: It was located right next to… right next to that.
FJ:  Okay, what kind of furniture did they manufacture there?
AC:  Well, I think it was primarily church furniture because I know the font in the present Methodist Church was made by the Globe Furniture Company, and also, the pulpit I know was made there. But not the present pulpit – that pulpit was left in the –
FJ: The old Church?
AC: Well, I was quite shocked when I went into The Drawbridge and saw they were using it was a reception – where they had reservations.
FJ:  Okay, so just let me go through this with you now – some of the things we had in Northville back in those days. You mentioned the bottling plant, and that was called what – the Silver Springs Bottling Plant?
AC: Silver Springs Bottling Plant.
FJ:  And they bottled ginger ale and water.
AC: Yes.
FJ:  All right, and then we had the Globe Furniture company, Stinson Aircraft – were there any other businesses besides the downtown businesses that were in Northville back in those days?
AC: I don’t know. I don’t remember there ever not being a Ford Plant.
FJ:  Okay, that’s the old Ford Plant, where the water wheel is?
AC: Yes.
FJ: Okay, what do you, as you recall, what did they manufacture back in those days when you were growing up?
AC: You mean at the Ford Plant?
FJ: Yeah, any idea of what they were manufacturing?
AC:  I think it was a valve plant.
FJ: A valve plant, okay, did that plant – was the plant there when you moved here? When you were ten years old? Was that built later on?
AC: I’m not sure because I don’t remember it not being there.
FJ: Okay, now you mentioned the Sanitarium or Sanitorium, whichever way you pronounce it. That was there.
AC: Yes, that later became a convalescent home
FJ: Okay
AC: But now it’s been torn down.
FJ: Okay, and then…
AC: Maybury Sanitarium was there.
FJ: Oh, Maybury was there?
AC: Yes, My father was Chaplain there, as he was Chaplain at the prison too.
FJ: Okay, at the House of Correction?
AC: The House of Correction.
FJ: Okay, all right now, Northville was a small town. I’m assuming there was still a lot of farming in this area.
AC: Yes, there was.
FJ:  What kind of farming, would you recall?
AC: Well, my recollection is mostly orchards. There was Foreman’s orchard, and then, oh, I can’t think of the name of the one on Ten Mile, There, that was, that was the Northville Community Ten Mile and Novi Roads. Irwin’s.
FJ: Oh okay, that later became Irwin farms?
AC: Yes.
FJ: What kind of fruit, primarily?
AC: Apples, mostly.
FJ: Okay, so then they would
AC: And peaches and pears
FJ: … Apples, peaches, pears…
AC: But primarily apples.
FJ:  And then would market those products?
AC: Yes.
FJ: And dairy farming?
AC: Not to my knowledge.
FJ: Okay now there, I’ve noticed as I drive out west on Eight Mile, still a lot of horse farms out in there. Do you think that’s the reason for these horse farms, was because of the… what later became known as Northville Downs, the old race track…
AC: Yes.
FJ:  Did they race them in…?
AC: Well too, I remember them having – oh what do they call them – I mean horses, having shows in Northville at the old fair grounds, of you know… jumping and
FJ: Show horses.
AC: Show horses, yes.
FJ: Yeah, okay.
AC: There’s always been quite a few horses around Northville.
FJ:  Okay, so that there would have these fair, and they would exhibit the horses at the fairs?
AC: Yes, then they had the sulky races at the fair.
FJ:  Uh huh, I’m assuming this is before the days that they had gambling then, you couldn’t bet on the horses in those days I would assume?
AC: Well, I don’t know. I suppose there were side bets going on. They didn’t have a betting window.
FJ:  Betting windows and the tote board like they have today?
AC: No, in fact, I’ve never been to the 
FJ:  You never went and saw any of the sulky races then?
AC: I did, when it was the Wayne County Fair. In fact, I was almost run down by a horse trying to cross to watch the acrobats.
FJ:  I’m assuming that the… what later became Northville Downs was nowhere near the size or as elaborate then as it is today. Did they have some kind of grandstand?
AC: Yes, in fact, when they first opened the races, they used the grand… the old grandstand was still in use. It was in use then. And then during the evening, during the fair, why there would be performances. They had a big stage across the track. And they would have shows, and then at the end, there would be big fireworks.
FJ: Now with this – how long would this Fair run?
AC: A week.
FJ:  A week, what in the summer… or?
AC: In September.
FJ:  In September
AC: Yes.
FJ:  Somewhat like the Michigan State Fair does today, then?
AC: Yes.
FJ:  Okay, and they would have fruits and vegetables and all different kinds of – that ladies exhibit any of their things at the fair?
AC: Yes.
(Tape ended)
FJ:  State Fair, not State Fair, because it was the Northville Fair and -
AC: Wayne County
FJ: Wayne County Fair, and comparing it to what our State Fair in Detroit is like today. And you were saying that the ladies exhibited different things they’d make, handwork? 
AC: Yes, and canned goods, and cakes and cookies, and about the same thing that they do at the State Fair. And then, I remember going around and seeing – the pigs would be – they would have pigs and cows and different animals, and the children would exhibit rabbits and guinea pigs, and win ribbons for those.
FJ:  They had prizes for them?
AC: Yes.
FJ: Very good. Well that would be an interesting thing, and it ran for a week in September?
AC: Yes.
FJ:  Around Labor Day like, like it is today?
AC: Yes, I think so.
FJ: Okay.
AC: Because at that time, why when we came to Northville, ministers changed in September after school got started. And that’s why everything was closed up when we arrived in Northville.
FJ:  Incidentally, how long was your father minister at the Methodist Church here in Northville?
AC: Nine years.
FJ: Nine years, okay
AC: From ’22 to 1931.
FJ:  Then he was rotated, being a Meth – minister myself, I mean being a Methodist myself, and my grandfather being a Methodist minister, I know a little bit about it, and how they’ve moved around.
AC: Yes.
FJ: From church to church. Okay, did … was he reluctant to leave Northville?
AC: Well, not really, because Northville couldn’t promise him any salary.
FJ: Uh huh.
AC: They wouldn’t give him an estimate of any salary that they would pay him, and I was in college – my first year in college, and my sister was going the next year. So the bishop moved him to Belleville, so we would be closer to the college.
FJ: Do you have any idea what – how many people would have been in the Methodist church in those days? Was it fairly sized young people’s group, for example?
AC: Yes.
FJ: How many?
AC:  I don’t know what membership was. I would say probably around 300 or so.
FJ:  Um, several, several Protestant churches in Northville at that time?
AC: Yes, there was Presbyterian, the Baptist, and the Lutheran
FJ: Okay.
AC:  Church and the Catholic Church.
FJ: And the Catholic Church. Okay, so principally four churches in the Northville area?
AC: Yes.
FJ:  Okay, let’s take a look at these notes and see what else we can talk about.
AC: In fact, my father and the priest were very good friends.
FJ: It was an ecumenical thing then?
AC: Yes.
FJ: Did you have any ecumenical activities where the Protestants and the Catholics would share activities?
AC: Well, the Baccalaureate.
FJ: The Baccalaureate?
AC: Yeah
FJ: Okay.
AC: And they would have it in the church house, so that the priest could attend. But the Lutheran minister wouldn’t attend. He wouldn’t sit on a pulpit (?). It was the Missouri Synod church.
FJ: There may be some people that are listening, that will be listening to this tape, don’t know what a Baccalaureate is. Why don’t you just tell briefly what a Baccalaureate is?
AC: Well, it’s a Sunday service for the graduating students – in honor of the graduating class
FJ: Uh huh
AC: In June.
FJ: Okay, and they would come in their caps and gowns?
AC: Sometimes they would wear their caps and gowns to Baccalaureate.
FJ: Oh, so it was religious service as part of high school graduation.
AC: Yes, the Sunday evening before graduation.
FJ:  Uh huh, very good. Something I just came across that we didn’t… we didn’t mention earlier when we were talking about sports and recreation, and that was a ski jump. Tell us about that ski jump.
AC: Well, that ski jump was down where the Northville – where the Northville – where the race track is now – only across the Seven Mile cut off. If you notice when you go by the park, the trees, it’s all grown with trees now. And it was a big hill there. Now, the big hill would be between Hines Drive and Sheldon Road. And some, I think, from my earliest recollection is that they were on Sunday afternoon, they would have ski jump contests there, where they built the jump, the structure. And then they would sail across the road and land in the fairgrounds.
FJ: Now, was this built by some private organization?
AC: I’m not sure because they had –
FJ: I’m assuming that it would draw people from beyond the Northville area?
AC: Yes.
FJ:  Anyone interested in skiing then, or in jumping …
AC: Yes.
FJ:  And it was contests, it was competitive?
AC: Yes it was competitive.
FJ: Well, that’s interesting. That’s interesting. I didn’t realize that at one time, there was a ski jump out in this area.
AC: Yes.
FJ: Well, besides ski jumping, was there a place to ski in Northville?
AC: Well, I don’t think so.
FJ: Probably not.
AC: Unless, you know where I told you that we were – had bobsleds?
FJ: Yeah.
AC:  Why, although people used to, the young people used to ski down there.
FJ: They did come down the hill?
AC:  Yes.
FJ: Okay, of course this is before ??? This is before the days of cross country skiing?
AC: Yes.
FJ:  Of course, cross country skiing out at Maybury State Parks, although there hasn’t been enough snow to do that.
AC: No.
FJ: Okay, now let’s see. Oh yes, this, I think this is interesting. And this was when Mr. Amerman became Superintendant, and by that time there’d already been one fire, I believe, in the Northville Schools.
AC: Yes.
FJ: And he was concerned about fire safety
AC: Yes.
FJ: And you were telling us about that. Why don’t you tell us about what was done – was it about the fire safety?
AC: Well, they were concerned about it, and so there were fire escapes that were built, and these were big round tubes like that were attached – built onto the second story. And they were like a chute. And so he called the teachers’ meeting of the elementary teachers, and we all had to go down that chute. Well, he decided that he should go down first, and then assist us all at the bottom. Well, unbeknownst to anyone, why the children had – in those times, bread was on wax paper, and they had taken this wax paper and waxed it quite thoroughly, and they had gone down on the wax paper. And so when Mr. Amerman went down first, he really shot down that chute. And before he had time to warn, warn we teachers, why one teacher started down, and as soon as we saw her almost near the bottom, why the next teacher would start down. You can imagine how we looked because you didn’t wear slacks in those days.
FJ: That’d be quite a shock… Did you ever have to use the chutes, never had a fire?
AC: Well, they had fire drills.
FJ: Fire drills, okay.
AC: Yes, the children loved that.
FJ: I’ll bet they did. I remember doing it in elementary school in Detroit, going down through that, as you call them – the fire chutes. That would be big fun.
AC: Yes.
FJ:  Okay, we talked about the fire. Now, you mention that there were several fires in the Northville area in the time that you lived here. What are some other fires that you can recall besides the burning of the school?
AC:  Well, the first one that I recall was – was the old Ambler Hotel, which was on the corner of, of Main and South Center Street. It was on the west corner of Main and Center Street, and that was a wood structure. And that really was a tremendous blaze
FJ:  A pretty good-sized hotel?
AC:  It was at night. It was a fairly good-sized hotel, yes.
FJ: Okay.
AC: And there was, I think there was a bar in there, and a restaurant. As I remember.
FJ: Now, Ambler, A, M, B, L, E, R
AC: Yes.
FJ:  Ambler Hotel. Okay, what kind of fire department did they have in Northville in those days?
AC: Well, it was volunteer. It was Mrs. Watts who had, as soon as there was a fire, why -  I don’t know whether she activated the fire whistle – although I don’t know whether they had a fire whistle right when I first came to Northville.
FJ: She was…
AC: Well anyway, she would – she would contact – she was the night operator. It was up to the telephone operators to alert the firemen. It was strictly volunteer fire department.
FJ: Okay, was it a fire house where they kept the equipment? Must have been someplace.
AC: I think so. I think it’s where the present fire house is, there next to the city hall.
FJ: Okay.
AC:  If I remember rightly.
FJ: Okay, and they’d, the fire, the volunteer firemen would come and fight the fire?
AC: Yes.
FJ:  Okay, so that was the Ambler Hotel, and you mentioned a couple of other fires….
AC: And then the theater burned at one time. I don’t remember that it was completely burned down. And there were structures behind the theater. I remember the Ladies Society of the church would put their bazaars on in that building. And there were other doings there too. And I think that burned at the same time as the theater burned. And I don’t remember quite the year that was.
FJ: Okay, now go ahead...
AC: And then, after that, it was when I was first teaching, and the Globe Furniture Plant burned, and I think one of the firemen was killed in that. And I think that fire equipment came from other towns to help with that fire.
FJ: Were these buildings, at that time, primarily wood structures?
AC: Well, the Ambler structure was wood. And I’m not quite sure about – I think the theater was a wooden structure too. But the Globe Furniture Company was a brick structure.
FJ: But it had an awful lot of wood in it.
AC: Yes, oh yes.
FJ:  Since they were manufacturers. Okay…
AC: I also remember the Bell Foundry. That didn’t burn, but they made – they made church bells, and you know, bells in that
FJ: Oh Bell Foundry, where was that building?
AC:  … and that was run by the Ambler family. And that was behind, well, that was on Cady, if you came east on Cady, the Bell Foundry was just before it curved around on to Main Street.
FJ: Did they manufacture anything besides church bells there?
AC: I don’t – I think it was just primarily bells.
FJ: Primarily bells.
AC:  I don’t remember anything else. Because I can remember hearing one of the bells when it was in England.
FJ: Okay, well would that have been a very small plant or would it have employed several people in the Northville area?
AC: Well, I don’t know how many people – I would say it probably employed, employed 25 to 50 people…
FJ: Okay, so it was a fairly good-sized plant then?
AC:  Yes, it wasn’t as large as the Globe Furniture Plant.
FJ: Now, you talk about the theater burning – was that located where the present Marquis Theater is?
AC: Yes
FJ: Is that where it was?
AC: Yes, it is, and that was rebuilt, and I don’t remember if it was the Penniman-Allen Theater when it burned, but I know that after that – that it was called the Penniman-Allen Theater …
FJ: Penniman-Allen Theater?
AC:  Mmmhmm theater.
FJ: Okay, where did those names come from?
AC: Uh, I think it’s a Plymouth’s name, because there was a – well there’s still a Penniman-Allen Theater
FJ: Which is called The Penn.
AC:  The Penn Theater. And then there was another theater in Plymouth that burned too, and whether it was called the Penniman or whether it was The Allen Theater, I’m not quite sure.
FJ: Okay, now this Allen Terrace that’s up here is named after somebody named Allen.
AC: I think he – he was the owner, why I think he’s still living.
FJ: Uh huh, okay, Mayor?
AC:  Mayor of Northville, and he owned the monument works.
FJ: Oh yeah, Allen Monument, it’s right on Seven Mile.
AC: Yes, yes.
FJ: Next to the Northrop Funeral Home.
AC: Yes. I’m not positive, but I’m sure that that’s …
FJ: Okay.
AC: That it was named after him.
FJ: That’s a different Allen then the Allen that this theater was named after?
AC: Yes.
FJ: Okay, then eventually, the Penniman-Allen Theater became the Marquis Theater?
AC: Yes, it was closed for quite a while. Then the Zayti’s restored it, and they did a beautiful job restoring it.
FJ: Now, I’m assuming at one time that Marquis was a, I guess what – what’s termed a legitimate theater. In other words, it was – there were stage shows there before they had movies there?
AC: No, there were mostly movies there
FJ: Mostly  movies?
AC: Except that I do remember high school operettas we put on there. And they had different doings there, besides the, besides the movies. I remember when I went to the movie – it was 10 cents to get in and 5 cents for a bag of popcorn.
FJ: You probably saw a double feature?
AC: Yes.
FJ: And probably a cartoon as well?
AC:  Like Tom, like a oh, these short...
FJ: Tom & Jerry?
AC:  Yes. I remember seeing Shirley Temple movies and Tom Mix movies on
FJ: Saturday mornings?
AC: Saturday evenings, when I went.
FJ:  Do you have any idea when the Marquis Theater started doing stage shows and stage plays? For example, right now there’s a play called The Velveteen Rabbit, which is for children.
AC: Yes.
FJ:  How long ago did they start?
AC: Not too long ago.
FJ: Okay.
AC: I think it’s a matter of – because I went to the opening. Camelot, I think, was the first, the first show that was put on there – the first stage play that was put on there, if I remember rightly. Probably not more than 4 or 5 years.
FJ: Okay, so it’s been relatively recent?
AC: Yes.
FJ: Previous to that, it was still used as a movie theater?
AC: No, it was closed.
FJ: It was closed and then it was remodeled. Okay, who did the remodeling, the Zayti’s?
AC: The Zayti’s, yes.
FJ: The Zayti family, okay.
AC:  They restored it back to its present, to its former condition.
FJ: Okay, and then did they own it, it’s still in that family?
AC: I’m not sure whether they own it or not, but I surmise they maybe do. I don’t know who owns it.
FJ:  We were there for the first time earlier in the year, well earlier in 1988, for a “Save the Well” function, and that is quite a nice theater.
AC: Yes, it is.
FJ:  Speaking of saving the well, as you can recall, how long… the waters from the well were supposed to have kind of restorative powers. People thought, you know, that this was a natural spring, I know it was bubbling spring or not, that the water was good. You have any idea when that came about, how long that well has been there?
AC: Well, it’s been there as long as I can remember. But I remember the Silver Springs was back behind the tracks, over where, some plants back in there now, and I remember going back there, and they had a glass, well, at one time, it wasn’t glass because people would drop their pennies down, there was a – oh, like a fence around, inside the building. And you could look down and see the water, how pure it was. Like Ivory Soap is supposed to be 99 9/10s pure. And I remember too, that that well at one time was just a pipe coming out of the side, from under the railroad tracks, although I’m not exactly sure. That probably wasn’t as pure as what was back where the bottling plant was built over the spring.
FJ: Okay, all right, so that was how the bottling plant came about because, and this spring was called Silver Springs?
AC: Yes.
FJ: And, and now, there’s kinda like a carbonated or a mineral water, or a just
AC: Just plain, pure water.
FJ:  Just plain, pure water.
AC: That’s … ginger ale.
FJ:  Okay, so they bottled the water, and then they also sold, sold it, and then also ginger ale, made ginger ale out of that water?
AC: Yes.
FJ:  Okay, okay, so that’s where the name Silver Spring’s comes from?
AC: Yes.
FJ:  That’s what it was called?
AC: Yes, the Silver Springs Bottling Plant.
FJ:  And then today, since I live in Highland Lakes, we have an elementary school called Silver Springs Elementary.
AC: Yes.
FJ:  Okay, that’s interesting. Okay, now let’s see, we talked about that, just look at my notes here, and see if there’s anything else we can talk about. You’ve lived here 66 years, that’s quite a...
AC: It will 67 this fall.
FJ:   …that’s quite a stretch of time. Your present house, now, right here on Maxwell Street
AC: Yes
FJ:  How long have you been here?
AC: Ever since it was built.
FJ:  Ever since your husband had this place built?
AC: No, my father wanted to retire, and we rented it from him. And he built it about the same time we were married, and we rented it from him, and then his health was so bad that he had to be in Florida about nine months out of the year. And then he had hay fever, and he was up at Bay City or Bay View during the summer. As soon as hay fever season started, he went to Bay View. So eventually, we bought the home from him, and they lived here with us until my father died. And then my mother lived with us till she was 80 years old, and then she one day, just came up and said that she was going to Chelsea Methodist home. So she spent 9 years there at Chelsea.
FJ: So you’ve been here since 1938?
AC:  Yes.
FJ:  We’ve kind of glossed over your 32 years as a teacher in Northville Schools, and we couldn’t do that because that was – you had quite a long career in Northville schools. Are there any particular students that you had recollections of, or incidents that you have fond recollections of, that you’d want to tell us about, during your 32-year teaching career?  
AC: Well, there’s one incident I’ll never forget. It was during, of course those were Depression years, and the – I don’t exactly remember when the Mother’s Club was formed, but I think it was formed around that time. And they furnished milk to the children that couldn’t afford to pay for it. Everybody got milk – the children didn’t know who was getting free milk and who wasn’t.
FJ: And that was during the Depression?
AC: This was during the Depression, and it continued on for quite a few years even after the Depression. The Mothers Club – that was one of their projects. But I remember one day, I think it was, it must have been my first, I think it was my first year of teaching, this little girl came to school, ah, and her fist was closed, her hand was closed into a fist. And I asked her what she had in her hand; she wouldn’t show me. And she was a bashful youngster, which is unusual nowadays. And so she wouldn’t open her fist all day long, and when they went to go home, why she didn’t want to go home. So I didn’t say too much to her until after the other youngsters had went – had gone. And a, then she came up to me, and she opened up her fist, and here was a chocolate, one of these vanilla, chocolate creams. And she handed it up to me and says, “For you.” So I took it, and held it in my hand, and she says, “Eat it, it’s good.” So I did, and it was good.
Int: And she had it in her hand all day?
AC: All day long.
Int: Well, that was a very special, special thing for her to do that for you.
AC: Yes, I thought so too, because they were a very, it was a very poor family at that time.
FJ: Well, she must have thought you were a pretty special person to keep that candy for you. She could have eaten it herself.
AC: There was another incident, I remember, I was then, I was at the Amerman school teaching, and we had parent conferences. And a, the father was, I guess the father was going to come to this conference, and a, I was sitting at my desk, and all of a sudden, I noticed this gentleman stick his head in the door and then out and then – so I got up and went out to the doorway, and he had gone to the room across the hall from me, and just as I heard him say my son said that his teacher was beautiful. (Laughter) It’s in the eyes of the beholder.
FJ:  Any particular students that became quite prominent, either in the Northville area or elsewhere that you can recall that were students of yours?
AC: Well, yes, Eddie Lanning became an archaeologist, and he taught at Columbia University. And I was quite surprised – I was invited to the reunion of the class he was in, and found out that he had passed away. But he was quite prominent
FJ: Eddie Lanning?
AC:  Lanning – Edward Lanning.
FJ: And he was on staff at Columbia University as an archaeologist?
AC:  Yes. Well, of course, I had Charles Freydl, and I had Charles Lapham in school. And I had a, you know, the shoe store in Northville.
FJ: The shoe store, I know the one we’re talking about.
AC:  Del Black.
FJ:  Well, let’s come back to that
AC: It’s right on the tip of my tongue.
FJ:  Let’s come back to that. Let’s talk about the Laphams and the Freydls. Now, as I know those two names today, and I’ve only been in Northville three years now, they’re both clothing stores?
AC: Yes.
FJ:  But there is more to the Lapham family than that, I think, wasn’t there? Did you mention that in the dry goods business?
AC: It was Ponsford’s back in, back in my younger days. It was called Ponsford’s Dry Goods Store. Now Beth Ponsford later married a Lapham. And, and then, the boys eventually, or Charles eventually took over the store. And of course, Freydls has been there for years and years and years as a dry cleaners and a dry goods store too, I think.
FJ: Oh, okay, so they also take in dry cleaning there?
AC: Oh yes.
FJ:  The store also does dry cleaning?
AC: Yes.
FJ:  Okay.
AC: I think the year the fire in the dry cleaning part there just recently. I don’t know how much, just a few weeks ago.
FJ: So they do the dry cleaning on the property – they don’t have to send it out?
AC: They did a long time, I think, I don’t know whether they do it now themselves or not, or whether it’s sent out. I think it’s more, it’s send out more, well, maybe not, maybe not, I’m not sure.
FJ:  Did the Laphams have a lot of property in this area?
AC: No, it was mostly Ponsford.
FJ: Ponsfords had property?
AC: Yes, and Beth inherited the property from her father.
FJ:  Okay, but their primary business was the dry goods store in town.
AC: Yes.
FJ:  Okay, and then the Freydl’s primary – is it Freydl, am I pronouncing it
AC: Freydl.
FJ:  Freydl, okay, and their primary business was also dry cleaning and clothing, or dry goods, or what would you want to call it?
AC: Yes, they did sell notions at one time, two years ago, and dry and yard goods and things. I’m pretty sure. Where Ponsfords, Ponsfords or Laphams, I just can’t remember whether it was mostly a men’s clothing store, but Freydls is a lady’s wear on one side, and a men’s wear on the other side now.
FJ: Okay, now is the shoe store you were thinking of, was that Del’s?
AC: Del’s!
FJ: Okay.
AC: Del Black’s
FJ: Del Black
AC: Shoe Store. Yes, and I had him in school too.
FJ: But not related to the Blacks as Black Hardware? That’s not the same family is it?
AC: Oh, yes they’re related.
FJ: Oh, they are, okay.
AC: Yes.
FJ: So, Del’s shoe store and Black’s Hardware…?
AC:  The Blacks, they were brothers.
FJ: Oh, part of the same family?
AC: Yes, I sort of forgot about the Hardware store, yes. They took that over, well to me, it’s fairly recently because it was Gambel’s for a long time.
FJ: Gambel’s Hardware store?
AC: Gambel’s Hardware store.
FJ: Okay, as a matter of fact, the owners of the, of the current Black’s Hardware were students at Warren High School. And before I became Assistant Principal at Warren High School,
AC: Oh.
FJ: And that’s where they met, and then eventually, and I, I was surprised when I came out here, was wearing a Warren Consolidated School Jacket, and they said, “You were in Warren?” and I said, “Yes.” “Well, what did you do in Warren?” And I said that I was the Assistant Principal at Warren High School, later the Assistant Principal at Mott High School. And they said, “Well, we went to Warren High School.” “Who was your principal? “Elmer Ashenberg.” Well, Elmer Ashenberg was Principal when I was there. But they graduated before I did, and I wondered why they came back here to Northville to open up a business and how did they know.
AC: Well, they originated in Northville.
FJ: That’s right.
AC:  Their mother was the one that ran the Black’s White House.
FJ: Black’s White House, okay, which was a restaurant.
AC:  Yeah
FJ: In the old parsonage?
AC: Yeah, I’m trying to think what her name was, that was her second marriage, she had a brother… Arlene Richardson married her brother, what was his name…? Anyway, that was – they grew up in Northville.
FJ:Okay, all right, let’s see if there’s anything else we need to talk about. Oh, well, are there any other things about your teaching that you recall, that you want to tell us about, anything else in those 32 years?
AC: Well, except that, that I remember, well, I taught in another house at one time, when Kindergarten was too large. Why they divided it into two. That was about 19 – 1967, I think. And it was one of the times that I decided to stay home and take care of my children. And then they had an overflow, and Mr. Amerman called, called me and asked if I would be interested in teaching Kindergarten half day, because they had too many kindergarten children pupils for one teacher. And so that’s when I went back, went back again to teach. I had been off at that time for about six years.
FJ: You mentioned, you mentioned when you started teaching back in 1933, there were about 25 people on the staff, total?
AC: Yes.
FJ: Which would be principals, teachers, they had secretaries in those days, or did principal do the clerical work?
AC: Well, with the Superintendent, had a secretary, and I think the Principal might have had a secretary.
FJ: When you retired, and what year was it when you retired from, finally retired from teaching?
AC: June of 1973.
FJ: Okay, any idea of how big the Northville Schools were then. How many employees there were?
AC: Oh, well Morraine School was built. Because I worked at Morraine as a reading teacher. I went from Morraine and Amerman. And Main Street School was open. Over a hundred I know, at least…
FJ: So, it was a big growth during those years?
AC: Oh, yes.
FJ:  Both in terms of staff and terms of buildings and terms of numbers of students?
AC: Yes.
FJ: And I assume from what I know of it that Northville was a highly regarded school district?
AC: Yes.
FJ: And was a good place to teach?
AC: We had a high percentage of our students that went onto college. I think it was somewhere about 80% went onto college.
FJ: Good, good, anything else you want to mention?
AC: No, except that all my children graduated from Northville High School.
FJ: It would be interesting to talk to them, to get their perceptions of growing up in Northville.
AC: Well, I remember my son’s graduation exercise, because they decided – he attended the Main Street High School, and so they decided – I think it was the School Board, decided that they were going to have that class graduate from the high school, from the new high school because the gym was finished then. But the roads weren’t completely through, and oh, it was a real rain storm. And so they had to take – they bused us up to the high school, to the new high school for the graduation exercises. And by the time we got home, all our guests had left because it took so long to bus us back down to our cars.
FJ: Now, when you say the new high school, are you talking about the current high school that’s on top of the hill?
AC: Yes.
FJ: Okay, how long ago was that built?
AC: That was, well, my son graduated in 1959.
FJ: 1959, and the building was partially finished then. It wasn’t completely finished then?
AC: I don’t know whether, well it was almost completed then, because they opened it that fall.
FJ: Yeah, okay. Well, thank you very much. This has been an interesting interview.
AC: Well, I’ve enjoyed it.
FJ: Thank you. 

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