Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Donald Ware

September 11, 1988 – An interview with Donald Ware, who lives on Hutton Street in Northville.
Interviewer – Marian Zayti 

Don – You shouldn’t have said Hutton Street, you should’ve said Wheelbarrow Avenue. 
Marian – that’s right.
Don The reason it’s called Wheelbarrow Avenue is this way back when Northville didn’t have a dump and everybody had to dump their stuff – their tin cans and their ashes, and so on.  They wheeled it down to Wheelbarrow Avenue, which is now Hutton Street, and at one time it was called River, River Street – way back. 
Marian – That was before my time.
Don Oh yes.  That would be back in 1850 or so probably. 

Marian - How long has your family been in Northville, Don? 
Don - Oh Gosh, I don’t know – 1800 and some.  Well my mother was 77 when she died. 
Marian – And she was born in Northville?
Don - Yes. 
Marian – And her maiden name?
Don -   Ina Walters. 
Marian – And your grandfather’s name?
Don -   It was William – William Walters. 
Marian – what business was he in?
Don -  He was a Stone Mason.  Most of the houses that are in Northville – the old, old houses – he laid the stone.  The one up there where Casterlines lives -
Marian – Is that right?
Don -  On Fairbrook.  He laid the stone in that. 
Marian – On Rogers?
Don -  On Rogers.
Marian – Rogers Street – Oh, that’s beautiful.  There are so few of those homes left.
Don -  A lot of them they tore down.  My old family home on Dunlap was tore down – where the parking lot is – for the, well it was Kroger’s parking lot.

Marian -  And you were born in Northville, of course? 
Don – Yes.
Marian -  And how many in your family? 
Don – Just two.  My brother and I.
Marian -   Is he still living?
Don – No. He was killed.  He was killed riding down the hill on Buch’s – we called it Buchner's Hill. 
Marian – Now where is that located?
Don –   Up where the Northville -
Marian – High Street
Don –  No.   Yeah it’s High Street, but I’m thinking of our old people’s home. 
Marian -  Yeah it’s the Retirement Village.
Don –  I shouldn’t say "old people’s home." 
Marian – The Retirement Village which was the Sanitarium back in those days.
Don Yeah, Oh Yeah, there was a Sanitarium.  That was the Scotten Home up on top. 
Marian – And hit by a car, was he?
Don No, hit by – he hit another Bob.  He’s coming down the hill, and another Bob was coming down that little incline from Rogers.
Marian – Head-on?
Don –   Not Rogers, but Randolph.  Yeah, head-on.

Marian – And what was your family’s business – the Ware family?
Don – Well, my mother had a restaurant for 25 years. 
Marian – And the name?
Don The Bean Shop or A Good Place to Eat.  The name on the sign was – A Good Place to Eat. 
Marian – And where was that located?
Don –  Where the Brader store is. 
Marian – Oh, right, and is that how you got your nickname?
Don –   Yep, I was little Bean, my brother was Big Bean, my mother was Mrs. Bean. 
Marian – that’s great.
Don –  Well, we never catered.  Well, Marian, I don’t remember as a youngster growing up that women ever came into the restaurant.  It was always men.  In those days we had Teamsters that would run a bill there.  They’d eat in the store and run the bill there. 
Marian – Now Teamsters delivering in trucks or -
Don No, No – horses, we had three livery stables in Northville.  When you wanted to go out with your gal friend, you went in and rented a horse and buggy.  Should I say that what they did sometimes? 
Marian – Yes, sometimes – tell that.
Don Well, sometimes when they’d want to pull a bad trick on somebody, they knew he was going to rent a horse and buggy, they’d bran the horse – give him lots of bran.  You know what happened then. 

Marian – That’s great.  What other businesses were along Main Street in those days?
Don Oh well, next door, right where the 5 and 10 is going out now was a Theater, the Opera House, and then next to that was another two-story building with a Bakery and a pool room.  And then next to that going up the street was the Bank – Babbitt’s Bank, Babbitt’s Savings and Loan. 
Marian – Now that was on the corner?
Don –  No, that was before we get to the corner.  Beyond the Bank was a Shoe store, and then in between the Shoe store and Black’s where the Bakery is was Gordon’s Men Store, called Gordon’s.  High class at that time. 
Marian – Expensive suits?
Don –  Oh yeah, good stuff, and then they had the Palace Meat Market, which was there for years and years. 
Marian – Who ran that?
Don –   Butch Spalding. 
Marian – Good old Butch – you have a picture of him in your collection?
Don –  Nice fellow – Butch Spalding.  And then I think the other side of Butch’s was a Grocery Store – Brock’s. 
Marian – Did you go up a couple of steps into that store?
Don –  Yeah, Brock’s.
Marian – I remember.
Don   Brock’s Grocery Store, and then Spag’s beyond that.  Spag was always there as I can remember, well somebody – it wasn’t Spag – it was Caskerello’s, and then Caskerello sold out to Spag – there was some relation.  Spag’s went on up to Albion up in that area, and there is still a Spag family up there selling the same kind of peanuts because we stop in stop in and get peanuts every time we go to Albion.

Marian – That’s great.  And then was the Bank on the corner?
Don   Yeah, there was a bank on the corner, and in between the bank and Spag’s – the building that’s there yet – where the photograph store and the little people’s store.  What else is in there, oh, it’s just the two stores – that was one store.  There was a Bowling Alley in there.   
Marian – Right on Main Street?
Don   Right on Main Street.   
Marian – I presume only men bowled in those days – it was all ….(?)   
Don   Had a hitching post the whole length of Main Street 
Marian – right.
Don   Horses, you know.   
Marian – Were there apartments upstairs at that time?
Don   Always.   
Marian – And tell what we found in the alley behind the store.
Don   Well, the three-story “Pippies” – outhouses, three stories or two stories… 
Marian – And they would what – walk across the …?
Don    A boardwalk, and they were offset.  They had to be offset.   
Marian – Of course, otherwise the downstairs would never be used.  I think that’s fantastic to think of a two story …..
Don   I don’t know on the other side of the street – on the south side whether – I don’t remember whether they had to two-story or not, but I suppose they did because they had apartments upstairs.  The Freydls lived upstairs on the second floor for years and years.
Marian – Now the Bruno – No what was the – Yeah, Bruno Freydl was the father who started the business and then Charles…
Don   Yeah, and he had a brother in Plymouth that had a business, same kind of business – tailor.  I don’t know where they learned their trade, but they were the old kind of tailors that sat up on the bench with their legs folded up and underneath them and sew – what they sewed was on their lap.  “Cause they had machines, but not like they do today.  A lot of that stitching was done by hand, even back then.  And then Charlie, the one that just passed away.  He started the cleaning business.  In washtubs – gasoline out in the alley. 
Marian – Now that was the first cleaners in Northville?
Don   Oh yeah, the first cleaner.  Yeah, and they’re still in business.  We got to go back, when you say probably eighty years – seventy-five or eighty years that we had a cleaning business in Northville.

Marian – That’s fantastic. And there were grocery stores also on the south side?
Don   The south side, yeah – they had only one – one that I know of, that I remember of.  And we had two drugstores 
Marian – They were there?
Don   For a long, long while – well, wait a minute now – the - Murdock’s had a drugstore where the one on the end across from the theater is, and that’s always been there.  That’s always been a drugstore – that I say always that I can remember.   
Marian – That’s right, and then next door to that there were houses.  Correct – I’m going east.
Don   East, Yes – A doctor’s office, or a doctor’s home.  I don’t think that Burgess, Dr. Burgess, I don’t think he ever practiced medicine in Northville – this was his home; but I don’t know where – he must have practiced in Detroit, because he didn’t practice in Northville.

Marian – Then next to that was the Merritt House, was that called?
Don   Yeah, Merritt Boarding House – they called it boarding houses in those days.   
Marian – Now did those men eat there or did they come over….
Don   Yeah – no they had their meals there, but if they wanted a snack, they came across the street.  And the only well in Northville the only water that we had was at the Merritt House.  And they had a well in the front yard.  And everybody had to go lining up with their pails.
Marian – It was a pump?
Don   Pump and we had to get water.  We didn’t have any sewers in town, and drinking waters.  We’d go across, and you’d fight in line to keep your spot in line.  That was the old Merritt House.

Next to that would be the building that’s still there was the laundry – where the beauty parlor.  What’s there now?   
Marian – I think a beauty shop, Barber shop…
Don   But that was the laundry where they had the stiff collars and all that stuff.   
Marian – Now, not the Frid family operated that one.  No, that was way before the Frid family.  No, no, I forget, I don’t remember.  I probably will recall the name of the people that had it there ‘cause they lived upstairs.   
Don   And it was quite an establishment because you figure the hard collars, and everybody wore hard collars to church.  So, they probably didn’t change that every - they probably didn’t change the collar every week.   
Marian – Starched well, it lasts several times.
Don   Yeah.
Now, where Mrs. Lovell’s office is – that’s always been there.  And that was, way back, Dr. Henry’s office.  And then beyond that where long’s is was another building that I think Dr. Snow had his first office in there, when he first came to town.  And then Holcum had his office in where Dr. Henry is ended up with that.  Then he had that office up on, was that First Street, Wing Street, but he did start in Dr. Henry’s office.

Marian – And then the church was there?
Don   Always but they had the Manse there at that time.  Then they tore that down and made an addition.

Marian – What kind of meals did you serve in The Bean?
Don     Well, we had breakfast was big time, and noon, and at night.  And it was like in the morning, or at noon it was always roast beef, roast pork, and mashed potatoes, peas or beans, or something like that.  They got bread, piece of pie, - 
Marian – Homemade bread?
Don    Homemade bread, and fifty cents, and coffee.   
Marian – sounds good.
Don Lots of beans.

Marian – Did you often visit the Theater next door, the Old Opera House, that was called that after the other Opera House went out of business?
Don   No, it was always called the Opera House, but Shortie Thompson, we’d call him Shortie he was a little, short guy.  Shortie Thompson run that, and built it, I mean rebuilt it.  He put a balcony in it and that sort of thing and put the movie camera or the projectors upstairs.   
Marian - And of course, silent movies?
Don   Silent.  Well they started – I run the movies at one time, $2 a night, two shows.  Run the slides for advertising everybody in town, and we got $2 a night, two of us run the machines because it took two to run them, we had two machines.  And you’d just sit up there all ready, and when it come to the end of the reel one or two, you’d start the other one up and you’d shut the other one up and rethread the other one ready for the – and generally, you’d run about sometimes six reels through the show.  
Marian - They were large back then and if it didn’t start on time, did they clap?
Don   Oh, broke, if the film broke, everybody clapped and hollered – mad.  That was the days.   
Marian - Now those were silent films?
Don   Well, Shortie Thompson probably originated the first sound with movies because he lived to play his drums, and he had a lot of gadgets.  He had a machine that sounded like the water, slopping up against the dams or docks and so on.  Then he had a leather pillow that he pounded on to make the horses run.  And then he had a couple of people that one played the violin and one played the piano, and they’d ply the real sad music, or if there was something going on, they made lots of noise.  But we had sound.   
Marian - It must have made it much more interesting.
Don  Oh sure, everybody got excited.
Marian - Tell, do you recall the businesses other than uptown in Northville?  How did people make their living?
Don Oh, we had one of the biggest scale factories in the United States – Stimson Scale Factory.  It was bought out by Dayton, not Dayton, but what’s the big scale factory right now; I still think its scales…You see their names on scales.  They bought ’em out, Toledo Scales, and they went to Toledo.  But we had a big scale factory.  They made small scales for stores, and then they had the big platform scales for hay wagons and that sort of thing.
And then we had a coffee mill business.  They made coffee mills.  And they were by crank, big, big mills.  Then they went to, put electric motors on ‘em.  They got right modern before they went out of business.  I don’t know whether that, I don’t know the name of that…well they were down there where the outfit that’s making the washers for the -
Marian - Oh, on Cady Street.
Don Yeah, on Cady Street.  But the buildings, they tore them down.  It was quite a long – many buildings.  They had the old – oh, we forgot that we had the Bell Foundry down over there.  They made bells that shipped out all over the world.   
Marian - Who owned that?  That was before Ambler’s time?
Don Oh yeah, before Ambler’s.  Ambler bought it out, but it was quite a long while before Ambler.  But they made bells down there, and then they made the weights for the scales.  The weights that went on the scales.   
Marian - One pound, half pound.
Don And then they made furnaces, the old furnaces for the houses – to heat the house with.   
Marian - Yes, I think you can still see Ambler’s name on some of the old doors on the furnaces.
Don   Yeah, it’s still there.  But it was before Ambler – he bought out the whole works.  But I forgot the name of that – who made that furnace before he bought the furnace out and renamed it, but it was made before his time.

Marian - And then around the corner on what was called Plymouth Avenue, you had the Stinson?
Don   Well, that was more modern times.  Stinson didn’t come in until – oh well, Stinson didn’t make his plane until – was I still in High School?  Probably in the late 20’s is Stinson.  And they made the plane there.  The body of the plane and the wings al all; and then they had to take them out to the field to put the wings on ‘cause they couldn’t transport it through town.  So they took’em out to the field at Beck and Six Mile.   
Marian -Was there something in that building previous to Stinson?   
Don Yeah, that was when the scale factory was there.  It laid there empty for some time, then Stimson went in there.  But Stimson and Stinson are different names.  Stinson was the pilot, he designed probably the first close-in cockpit plane, that was Stinson.   
Marian-Was he a Northville man, just came to?
Don  No, he came to town and found a place to build, and after they built them, then were very popular.  Sold a lot of them, were doing really well; and then Wayne – Wayne, Michigan, said we’ll build you an airfields and a plant.  So they moved out of Northville and moved to Wayne.  And then we had an empty building.  And I forget -
Marian - Was it furniture after that?
Don  No, it was nothing.  Roy Venetta (?) bought the whole thing.  Well, he had cars in the one building where the coffee mills were made, but I think the buildings just laid there doing nothing until this outfit came along and had – see Ambler was out of there then, and then the outfit that’s in there now bought up that piece of property.  Probably bought it from – (?) I keep thinking that Page – Page Motor Car had something to do with it.  Probably somebody around town will know that Page Motor had something to do with that.  I don’t know whether they built anything there or not – Page, or not – but Page, I think they were…but beyond that was the Globe Manufacturing where they made all the church and school furniture – desks and so on.   
Marian - Those were shipped all over?
Don All over, and I think probably there insignia…their insignia was a Globe around, like on the desk, they had a round cask iron thing with a globe in it.   
Marian – So you knew where the furniture came from?
Don Yeah.  Globe Manufacturing Company and they made furniture there for years.

Marian - Now were those local people starting that business or did they come to town?
Don They come to town.  Probably years ago that they became local people.  Probably one of them – I remember a guy by the name of Dolph an old name Dolph that he was Mayor of town.  If you look it up, you’d find that he was Major of the town at one time – that he had something to do with the Globe Manufacturing Company.
And then across the street where Ford Motor is Led Dubuar’s Lumber Yard.  When you say lumber yard, they made all kinds of pulleys for the barns and for – in those days they didn’t make the pulleys out of metal.  They made ‘em out of wood – wood pulleys – old pulleys were wood.  And then they had the churn – they made – the Churn Factory was there.  No, it was the Rocker Churn – The Churn Factory, and Van Atta had something to do with that.  Not fuzz, but his parents had something to do with the Churn Factory.  You’ll probably find a few churns around town with Northville Churn on it.   
Marian – Now, would that make more than a pound of butter?
Don   Oh yeah.  Probably had different sizes.  It was the rocker type, they probably made the splasher churns too, but the big thing was the rocker type.   
Marian - Easier to do?   
Don Yeah, well they could get more done, and then they, of course, in the lumber yard – I’ll try to think of the name of the people that owned that – Dubuar, Dubuar’s Lumber Yard.  There was a lot of Dubuars – well we got Dubuar Street.  They were very … 
Marian-Early settlers?
Don   Early settlers – they made wagons, wagon wheels, spokes for wagon wheels, and all that sort of thing.  All the fixtures that went for wood.  In those days, instead of steel, they used wood.
Marian - What were the streets like then?  Gravel?
Don Gravel Streets, mud clear up to your – top of your head.  
Marian - Then where was the mill?
Don Right around the corner on Griswold.  About - just beyond where the bridge is – on the west side of the street was the mill.   
Marian - Now, that’s  about where the Historical Village is up beyond that?
Don Well, closer to the road – about where they’re moving this new building in – that’s probably why they got trouble with the foundations is because where the old mill used to set (referring to the Saltbox “Cady Inn”).  Probably where that water that they’re – probably where the old wheel pit was and so on ‘cause they had overshot wheel in there.  It ran the mill.
Marian - Now, was Interurban in business at this time yet, or this is before?
Don Well, they went out of business in about 1924, so they were in business from well during the war, 1918.  They probably started their, streetcars probably started in, probably – well, I was born in 1909 and of course I can’t remember when they didn’t have the streetcar coming up the street.   
Marian - So they were there in the early 1900’s?  Paved road then or still just over the gravel?
Don No, no, over the gravel – the street car would run right up the middle of the street.   
Marian - And so Griswold was a through road then because of the Interurban?
Don Yeah, there was always a great separation between Griswold and the railroad track.  It never went over, as I can remember, never.  It was an old wood structure, the streetcar went across it, and the road went across it, going out Griswold to Eight Mile.  And they went right down Eight Mile to Farmington Road, Farmington to Grand River, Grand River to Detroit, and they branched off at Orchard Lake Road to Pontiac.  We had good transportation then.   
Marian - And I understand it took what about an hour to get - 
Don - An hour to get downtown.  You could go the other way too.  You could go by way of Plymouth and Wayne.  Go down Michigan Avenue.  But I think it took a little longer that way.   
Marian - For about what, ten or fifteen cents?
Don - Oh, more than that, it cost you; I think probably more like about forty cents or thirty cents.  Round trip or one way.  A lot of the people in Northville went downtown every day.  They played cards going down, and they played cards back in the smoker.  In those days they had smoker – you weren’t allowed to smoke all over the place.   
Marian - But you could smoke on the Interurban?
Don - Oh yeah, but on the front of the car, they had it partitioned off the place that was called the smoker.   
Marian - I’m sure only men were in there?
Don - Yeah, only men, well, once in a while the bad women smoked in those days.
Marian - Then coming up Main Street, going west again toward town, there were homes in there, up the hill like where…?
Don - Oh yeah, no wait, the first going up the hill before you get to the eating place there – before you get to Gandy’s.  Well, there was more homes in there.  Beautiful homes, but the one that where the upholstering show is in there now.  Isn’t it upholstering or antiques and so on.  That was a boarding house for the gold cure across the street.  They had a Jag, we called ‘em, the gold cure was a Jag – the Jag Cure.  They came from all over to be cured from, even back then, for drinking.  
Marian – For alcoholics?
Don - For alcoholics, and we called it the Jag Cure.  And they called it the gold cure.  Meaning that they had to have lots of money to pay for the cure, and a lot of the people, they were well-to-do people that were out of control on alcohol – way back then.   
Marian - Was it run by doctors?
Don - Yes, but I don’t know who they were, but I remember the Jags used to come into the restaurant for snacks.  And I can remember one real nice looking old guy, he was old then to me, probably he was thirty or forty years old, but he’d always say; “It’s hell to be rich.”   
Marian - I’d like to try it.
Marian - Now your mother would be one of the first women to operate a business?
Don - Oh yes, well Mrs. Brock - there was a combination grocery store and millinery – I guess they called ‘em yard goods, but she had groceries and yard goods.   
Marian - And your mother was the other business lady in town?
Don - Yeah… 
Marian - Well she started out – made it easy for the rest of us to …
Don - Well, she must have started out – let’s see, my brother was two years old than I, so we were both young babies, she’d put us in the window.  She had a fence across the back of the window, the windows were deep, she had a fence across the back of the window and that was our playpen.  Right in the front window.  So, she’d run her business and were open from seven in the morning till two o’clock at night because the Ford, when the Ford started up after Dubuar went out of there, and Ford put the valve plant in there, they had three shifts, she stayed open for – through all the shifts.  They’d come on about twelve o’clock, and she’d stay, be open for that.  She didn’t get cleaned up till about two.  So she was there from eleven til two in the morning, seven days a week.  Now they worry about – I don’t want five days a week… 
Marian - She was a pioneer in her field.  I think that’s fantastic to set it up for the rest of the women to believe that they could do this type of thing
Don - Oh yeah, oh sure, well she had all women working for her – all women.  They’re women that were widowed and wanted to make – and I imagine back in those days – I can remember in my time that I could remember; because I worked in there too that, see she went out of there in 1928.  The year I graduated from high school.  She wanted me to take over and I said, “No way.  I don’t want any part of this kind of business.”  
Marian - You had enough?
Don - I had enough, so we sold to Braders, and bought Brader’s House down there – in on the trade.  Took the house in on a trade.
Marian - And did they open in that building?
Don - No, no, they tore it right down and built the new building that’s there now.   
Marian - Because they been around on Center Street.
Don - So that would be probably – he opened up probably in 1929.  I don’t know whether there is a date on the building or not, but it could have been about ‘29 ‘cause it would have taken – he bought it in ‘28.   
Marian - Well, he was already in business around on Center Street and moved around.
Don - Yeah.
Don - We’ve left off our fire protection in Northville.  We had a volunteer fire department, we still have it, let’s keep it.  We had, at that time, we had one hose cart with the big wheels.  That was all the hose we had on that one cart.  And the way they’d – everybody would run to the fire hall, and the ones that pulled the fire cart got paid, and they were the only ones that got paid.  Then as we grew up a little bit, we – somebody would haul it with a pick-up trick or behind a car.  They wanted to get there in a hurry.   
Marian - Where was that located?
Don - Oh, right on Main Street, right between the – right one end of the – what do we call it now – where the Perrin’s Shop is now.  But, well the Perrin’s Shop won’t be there another year probably.  What’s the building right on the corner, where the wholesale building is – M.A.G.S.  Right at the east end of M.A.G.S. that was where our fire – it was all of our fire equipment.   
Marian - Was that water included in there in the tank or?
Don - No, they had to pump it.  Probably, now I’m talking probably when we had fire hydrants.  This is back – I did talk about the well, the one well in town, but we must have had water  pressure at that time – beyond the, probably in the early 1900’s we had water pressure because I can remember get in line to get a pail of water out of the well cause we didn’t have any running water.  We didn’t have any sewers.  Probably the sewers came in the early 20’s when we got sewers in Northville.  We had outhouses behind all the buildings.
Marian - And now, the hotel as located on the corner of -  
Don -  Yeah, where they’re trying to build a new building.  The Ambler House – it was called the Ambler House.  And it was owned by Amblers.   
Marian - Who stayed there?
Don - Well, the – I suppose the people that came into town – salesmen and so on.   
Marian - Were they called drummers back then?
Don - Drummers – yeah, the salesmen.  And of course the streetcar, we had a streetcar coming right up the main street.  Stopping right at the four corners, that was the end of the line – the conductor would holler out, “End of the line.”   
Marian - The crow’s next was still there?
Don - Yeah, we had a bandstand right at the end of – right in the corners.  We had a bandstand, we called it the crow’s nest.   
Marian - It actually had band concerts?Don - Oh, the band concerts used to be on Saturday nights.  I remember one year us bad, bad boys got in a line in front where we could – they could see us looking at us, all sucking lemons. 
Marian - Well, it’s a good naughty thing to think of to do – safe?
Don - Oh, it was safe; we didn’t hurt anybody – only they couldn’t be good musicians with us sucking on those lemons.

Marian - Now we know you did not go into the restaurant business, Don.  What did you do for a living?
Don - Oh, I went to work for the county.  Wayne County Roads.  In those days it was called Wayne County Roads.  And I guess I worked there 42 years; and was probably one of the first traffic and safety engineers in the county, or in the country ‘cause they didn’t even have any courses in universities for traffic and engineers, when I started out.   
Marian - And traffic was getting a little heavy?
Don - Oh, I guess it was.   
Marian-Everybody drove a car.
Don - Everybody went from the “hosses” to the car.   
Marian - What did you have?
Don - My first car was a 1928 or 29 Ford Roadster.  In those days we called ‘em roadsters.  Had all the trimming on it.  It has six, two spare tires, fender wells, trunk pack, and a rumble seat and the whole works.  I think that car cost me $728.00, imagine $728.00.  Of course that was a lot of money back in 1928.   
Marian - Correct, it would be worth a fortune today.
Don - Yeah, I remember going to the bank to pull out that money to buy the car, and the fella in the bank – in those days, the man waiting on you might be president of the bank – and he asked me what I was gonna do with all that money.  I thought – well I didn’t feel it was any of his damn business, so I pulled all the rest of my money out – I didn’t have that much – but I pulled it all out and put it in the other bank up on the corner.   
Marian - Just for privacy's sake?
Don - Yeah, it wasn’t any of his business.
But that probably – later on I think it probably in the 30’s, about ’33, I opened up a restaurant in the bottom of the Huff Building.  Which the top of the Huff Building at that time was a Hardware Store.  
Marian - That’s on the corner of Main and … 
Don -Where the Credit Union is now.  They had a beautiful basement with – it originally was way way back in its original state was an ice cream parlor.  It had a Terrazzo floor, black and white Terrazzo floor – I guess it’s probably still there.    
Marian - It is. 
Don - And I had a restaurant down there.  Had about maybe 14 or 16 stools and maybe, oh, 6 tables. 
Marian - The same type of restaurant that your mother operated?  
Don - Well yes, we had roast beef and that sort of thing, mostly sandwiches though.  And of course, I did run a poker game in the back room on Saturdays and Sunday nights to pay my rent. 
Marian - That was the most popular spot? 
Don - Oh boy, that was – had all the doctors and all the people that had any warehouse would be down there playing poker on Saturday nights, Friday nights, and I had a drag on the table.  I got enough money out of the deal to pay my rent.  Back, of course it was against the law to be playing poker because it was high stakes stuff.  They didn’t play for pennies – it was high stakes. 
Marian - You had to have the money going in? 
Don - Oh yeah, none of this … 
Marian - What kind of roads did we have in Northville then – about this time? 
Don - At that time, we’re talking about right now, we had paved streets – paved streets right up to the middle of Main Street in Northville was all paved; Seven Mile Rd was paved. 
Marian – And lights, going into Detroit?  
Don - Yeah, oh lights all the way.   
Marian – I remember that. 
Don - Before the bubble broke.  See, the bubble broke in – well, before the banks went – ’28.
But all the Detroit Sanitarium – Maybury San – was brought out from the railroad cars in Northville.  They trucked out Main Street, out to the sanitarium – all the stuff that went out there to build those buildings of bricks and tile and everything came right out Main Street. 
Marian - But it came to Northville by train? 
Don - By train.  Then it was transported on out to the Maybury San; and they had Packard trucks, I can remember, Packard trucks, chain-driven trucks, hard tires.  People in the school complained about the noise of Main Street being cluttered up with trucks going back and forth; and teachers couldn’t teach because of all that noise. 
Marian - Because they had to travel Main Street and then to Seven Mile. 
Don - That’s right. 
Marian - Both Eight Mile Road and Seven Mile brought people through town? 
Don - Right through town.  We went out Rogers to Eight, went Main Street to Seven.  There was no cut-off coming in Main Street.  You come in Seven Mile Road and come right up through the Main Street.  It was the only way you could get out.  Northville was the end of the world.
Marian - Previous to the trucks EPA, how did the freight get delivered in Northville? 
Don -  By horse and dray, but it came to the depot. 
Marian - Who owned that business?  
Don - Perrin’s – Perrin’s Delivery Company.  Not the Perrin’s that is in there now, but it was another Perrin. 
Marian - And then he would deliver it to the individual homes? 
Don - Homes and business.  
Marian - A lucrative business… 
Don - Yes, it was.  Oh yes, think of all the Sears and Roebuck stuff that came in here.  
Marian - You lived out of the catalogs.   
Don - Montgomery Wards and Sears and Roebucks – it was all dependent on those mail-order places.  We had stores in town, but not with the capacity that Sears and Roebuck had.  So we had to depend on Sears.
I think probably we missed out on Silver Springs.  We haven’t said anything about Silver Spring.  Probably somebody else will though. 
Marian - Well, we’d like to hear yours. 
Don - It was much more than just a spring.  It turned out in its infancy it was just a spring for the trains to stop by and get a pail of water for their engineer; and then as it grew, back then would be east of where this spring well is now, across the railroad tracks – they built another spring house, a big building down there; and they had a bottling works and it was called “The Silver Spring Pop”, and they made pop down there.  All the different kinds of pop.  And then too, they would service the City of Detroit office buildings with Silver Springs water.  Probably somebody else will have more to say about that – they’ll know more about it – we hope they aren’t all dead by now. While I’m thinking about it, probably where the high school is – that property in there used to belong to my Granddad.  He had sixty acres in there. 
Marian - That was Grandfather Walters? 
Don - Walters, Grandfather Walters, and he used to use that.  He had a little gravel pit up there, and being a stone mason, he got his gravel and sand out of that pit.  He had his own source of supplies, so most of the houses around Northville when he was building them, he got his own sand and gravel.  Where else would have you gotten ‘em.  They didn’t have anything such as washed gravel in those days.  He’d go to one spot and gravel pit to get the right kinds of sand for what he was doing?  He had a pocket over here and a pocket over there.  He’d get the right kind of sand. 
Marian - And that was sold to the school district? 
Don - No, well, it was Mang & Locklin (?) the big gravel pit outfit, and they mined it for quite a while. 
Marian - Right on Main Street? 
Don - Yeah, beyond – you know where the school is now, up in that area.  Then they sold it to the school for the school property, but originally, it was my Granddad’s. 
Marian - Did that have to be filled in then when the school…? 
Don - Well, they re-contoured it; they just got in there with bulldozers and re-contoured the whole thing.  They made the top flat for where the school is.  If you notice, you look at it, it wasn’t a natural hill because there was a gravel pit in there and they flattened it out.  Same as they did on Seven Mile Road – there was no water like on Seven Mild Road.  You got water, but they never got down that far on the gravel up on a hill that way.  But that was my Granddad’s property originally.
Don - Oh, we haven’t talked about Beal Town.  The town was named after a man by the name of Beal.  He subdivided it way, way back – probably if you’d look in the records, you’d find that it was a farm probably way, way back. 
Marian - Now this would be east of the race track area? 
Don -   It would be east of the race track and south of the – what’s on the corner there – Beal Street.  That whole area down there was Beal Town.  It was named after the buy that subdivided it, his name was Beal. 
Marian - Was there a store there or anything? 
Don -  Oh yeah, where the hotel is was a store, it was called Kohler’s.  
Marion - Oh, the Kohler family that lived out on …? 
Don - Yeah, and they lived above it, or lived in back of it.  They had their own home there, and they had a store there. It was named Beal, and you know something I was just thinking about the man that built this house, his name was Beal and he lived in Ypsilanti.  I find talking to him that his original people – his family came from Northville.  And is probably where this name Beal came from.  Of course, this house was built in 1936.
Marian - A long time after the original family. 
Don - But he was a part of that family – Beal.  That’s how he came to be, I don’t know how he got over in Ypsilanti, but he probably – Of course while we’re talking about property, we oughta talk about the race track.  Probably somebody else will talk about the race track, but that has was the Wayne County Fair Association’s piece of property, and the people – the way that it was.  Now the Drivers Club I guess owns it and the way they really organized that.  The way, when they first opened up the race track for the mutual betting, people went around in their attics and dug out their old papers and found that they owned a piece of the track.  It was willed to them probably or probably didn’t get thrown away because everybody in Northville at that time Was part of the Wayne County Fair Association ‘cause they bought stock in it at $10 a share and they didn’t know it was worth anything because hell, it was a sort of a thing that you donate to.  But when they reorganized it and made a track or mutual track out of it, they found that they had some value.  And I don’t know what the stock if worth today.  It’s probably worth a hell of a lot more than $10 a share. 
Marian - True. 
Don - But that race track was the Wayne County Fair, and it was a big thing – probably outside of the State Fair – in this area, Wayne County, it was a big Fair, like the State Fair – seven days.  I remember it was a whole week Fair, and they came from all over the - to the Fair.  
Marian - And they had horse racing there at that time… 
Don - During the Fair.  
Marian - Harness? 
Don - Yeah, well then they always, the people kept their horses down there as long as I can remember, they had a race track here.  I can’t remember when there wasn’t a race track down there ‘cause I used to skip school and go down and jog horses.  To get to be able to jog horses, you had to cool ‘em out, grass ‘em a little bit and cool ‘em out; and that was a big job for a kid to have to walk around with a horse on a lead.  But you earned that by jogging ‘em – that was a great thing that you could job em all … 
Marian – You got paid for that job?   
Don - No, that was a privilege, and you had to cool ‘em out.
Marian - As long as we’re in that area, how about the ski jump? 
Don - Oh, back of the race track – would be about the backstretch, right opposite the backstretch – north? 
Marian - South. 
Don - South where the big hill is.  Belonged to a man by the name of Butch Baldwin who – Butch Balwin, I think I mentioned who Butch was – he owned the big Palace Meet Market in Northville.  He owned that whole piece of property in there, and then sold it out for the park.  But in that area belonged to Butch Baldwin, and he leased it to these people to build a ski jump back there.  We had a ski jump – with a scaffold up there on the back of the hill, and I think they – you’d get pretty good jumps out of it. 
Marian – Would that be about in the 20’s – the late 20’s? 
Don -  Yeah, no – the middle 20’s.  The Hall Brother probably – Henry Hall was the older brother, and he was an Olympic ski jumper, and I think probably in – I don’t know what year it was, he was one of the top jumpers for the Olympic skiers.  He came out here with his brothers and built the scaffold out here. People never saw ski jumping.  They’d have these big tournaments, and they’d get the other jumpers in ‘cause there wasn’t any place – well, I don’t think in the lower part of Michigan – that had a ski tournament, not then.  Another fella and I, Joe Litsenberger and Cliff Lefevre, the three of us because of Butch Baldwin – see Cliff’s Dad was a butcher at the Palace – and we through Lefevre’s, we got concession rights of the coffee and the hot dogs.  The three of us had the franchise, not franchise, but we had a monopoly on all the food down there. 
Marian - High school at the time, were you? 
Don - No, I was in – I probably was just in high school.  See I got out, well no; I was in high school ‘cause I got out in ’29.  So probably in ‘26 or ‘27, when we did this.  Two years we did it.  And we come out like a bunch of bandits because the people couldn’t get up close enough – we made the coffee in these big old wash tubs – the old wash boilers.  And the hot dogs probably were in the same kind of apparatus, and we had these oil stoves, and we had a tent around a three corner counter; and the people would come up and they’d hand me a $5 bill for a hot dog and a cup of coffee – couldn’t get back to get the change ‘cause there were so many people.  And we did alright. 
Marian - Oh, that’s great. 
Don - Now we got the ski jump in and we got the track.  Oh, here’s one that I forgot.  Pretty near all the backyards in Northville – backyards, garden area – and if you had a bigger backyard, you had a bigger ginseng bed.  People raised ginseng – well, ginseng is a medicine, and they still use it for – I think it’s a nerve medicine – used for nerve … used the root, the ginseng root; and everybody had these beds in the backyard, and they made out of a lathe – lathe because the stuff grew in the shade, and they cultivated it some way or other, and everybody in Northville that had any backyard of any size had ginseng beds. 
Marian - Did it cure everything? 
Don - Well, I think probably it was more a female nerve medicine.  Maybe I’m wrong, but I think it’s still used in medicines.  
Marian - Did they make tea out of - 
Don - No, it was in a spoonful thing.  But there were ginseng beds – I can remember one right on Cady Street in back of … and well, here on Dunlap back of the house that we had or the piece of property where the parking lot is for Arbor Drugs.  There was a big ginseng bed in there, and it had a good fertile soil.  They probably put leaves in there and mulched it and mulched it.  It was just good stuff, and they got good money for this ginseng, and they used the roots.  Now, I guess let’s shut it off.
Mary Ware – Don, you forgot to tell them that you were born on Grace Street near Eight Mile and you’ve never lived any further than three blocks away.  
Don - Well, now within three blocks of where I was born – all my life – and lived on Dunlap, and moved the house that we’re in now from Dunlap down to here.  And then we’ve moved several times in this location with wheelbarrows .  We never had anybody move us – we’ve moved with wheelbarrows.  And I’ve enjoyed Northville very much all my life, and I’m going to stay here.  But we cheat a little bit every year and go to Florida for six months.  But Northville is still home and always will be.
Marian -Well, Don Ware, thank you so much for sharing your memories with the Northville Historical Society, and I know that many people will be listening to this, enjoying things that you would be the only one that could tell this story, and thank you so much for your time.

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