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Eaton Rapids

Eaton Rapids

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Eaton Rapids

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School Time Capsules Found

Deb Malewski
Contributing Writer

Two time-capsules-in-one were found recently by construction workers in the courtyard at the Eaton Rapids High School. Workers found a large steel box, measuring 16” x 16”, that had been placed there in the late 1970s.
Inside the first box, which was in good condition despite being underground for 50 years, were numerous things from 1977: Pepsi, Mountain Dew, and Welch’s Grape Soda cans (empty), a Montgomery Wards catalog, the State Journal, a Seed Catalog, a flag, the Flashes, cookies (well, cookie crumbs, actually), books and bibles, a TV Guide, an Ingham County Newspaper, a few local postcards, salt and pepper packets, and several religious books. There were a few photocopied items from the 1928 ERHS yearbook and a reprint of the 1886 ERHS school newspaper.
The big bonus was that it also included things from the class of 1928, according to a slip of paper which was placed at the top of the box. Underneath the 1977 artifacts was another stainless-steel box, well-sealed from any moisture, about the size of a shoebox.
“I shook it, and it sounded like crayons,” said ERPS Superintendent Bill DeFrance about the smaller stainless-steel sealed box before it was opened.
Sealed tight with caulk, the smaller box was opened. The contents included more items from the late 1970s and several items that really didn’t seem to have a local connection, such as a menu from the Old Ebbitt Grill in Washington DC. Four unbranded cigars. A small bottle of whiskey. A warning on an envelope: “Not to be sold or I’ll come back to haunt you.”
“That sounds like something my dad would say,” said Dennis Letts, the youngest son of C. Paul Letts. A little historical sleuthing resulted in a connection to Paul and David Letts with the box. David was a 1928 graduate of Eaton Rapids, and Paul graduated in 1929. Dennis remembers hearing that they placed the box there at one of their class reunions, along with their good friend, Frank Naylor. They all played football together, Dennis explained. David was in the Navy in Washington, DC.
Coins from around the world were in the box, along with a $2 bill. A yellowed 1918 Portland Maine newspaper with WWI headlines was in excellent condition. A sermon on a cassette tape from an East Lansing church was included, the latest technology at the time. Various personal items were in the box, including several photos of Lt. David Letts in the Navy and one of the 1928 ERHS track team with names written on the back, including Coach “Sindy” Sindecuse, ERHS class of 1923.
A receipt for the purchase of the two watertight sheet metal boxes was included, $72.47 in 1974 dollars.
The item of the most historical interest was a photo album of the class of 1928. There were forty-eight members of the class, and David Letts had collected forty-four photos for his album. Below some of the photos the word “died” was written and some had an obituary tucked in behind the photo.
Cornelius Paul Letts (1911-2003) was a teacher and the principal at King Street School for 22 years, retiring in 1975. Letts was also a life-long Boy Scout and was the first person in Eaton Rapids to become an Eagle Scout. Later he earned the Silver Beaver Award, which honored his years as a leader and advisor to the Boy Scouts. He was known for his “Dutch rubs” on misbehaving students.
David Letts (1909-1983) started working at the ice cream factory after his graduation. By 1936 he left Eaton Rapids and was working for Detroit Edison. He graduated from the Detroit Institute of Technology in Engineering in 1941. David enlisted in the Navy in 1942 and became a Lieutenant Junior Grade in the Bureau of Ships until 1948. In 1948 he moved from Washington DC to Lansing and joined the Naval Reserves, retiring from that in 1969. He purchased Winkler Heating and Air Conditioning in 1948. In 1958 he purchased Guardian Oil Corporation with partners.
“Whether we’re aware of a little or a lot, we all learn interesting things we were unaware of before,” said Dennis Letts. “Every town has its history and it’s nice having people who explore it and share what they learn.”
If you have some local history you would like to share, contact us! Email debmalewski@sbcglobal.net or call the County Journal office at 517-543-1099.

Mason

Mason

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Mason

Featured Story

Shop Local – Culligan Water Conditioning

Deb Malewski
Contributing Writer

Almost 60 years ago Philip and Phyllis Carey started a Culligan Water franchise in south Lansing. They’ve both passed now, but the business is still in family hands. Matt Carey, their son, has been part of the business since 1980 and now is the official “Culligan Man.”
“We’re a family-owned, local business,” Carey explained, “but with national backing from Culligan.”
The business serves all of Ingham county, most of Eaton County, parts of Livingston county, and the southern half of Clinton county.
Culligan of Lansing offers reverse osmosis water filtration, water softeners, whole-home systems, bottle-free coolers, bottled water coolers and drinking water filters.
Culligan will service all water treatment equipment, Carey said, any make or model. They will also test your water for free. These tests can determine what is in your water, including arsenic, chlorine, chromium-6, coliform bacteria, lead, magnesium, nitrates, radon, and hydrogen sulfide.
Soft water is water that contains few or no dissolved minerals, Carey explained. Water softening involves a process called “ion exchange.” Calcium and magnesium, which are “hard” ions, exchange with sodium or potassium (salt) ions, to eliminate impurities in the water.
In this time of social isolation, there still are situations in which someone needs to come into your home for service and repairs. Culligan service technicians perform all the standard safety measures, including washing their hands, not touching their face, and wear a mask and gloves while working in your home, Carey said.
“About 98% of what we do involves us going to the customer’s home or place of business, not so much them coming to us.”
Culligan Lansing has been rated 4.8 out of 5 stars on Angie’s List, and 4.6 out of 5 stars on Facebook reviews.  Leah Taylor, a customer, commented: “We have used Culligan for our water softener and drinking water for over 40 years!  Culligan is the most reliable company we deal with.  We give them 5 stars for each of those 40 years.”
For more information about Culligan Water Conditioning of Lansing, you can call 1-800-551-6005 or email matt@culliganlansing.com. Visit them on the web at www.culliganlansing.com or on Facebook at culliganLansingMi. They are located at 3460 Dunckel Road in Lansing.

DIMONDALE

Dimondale

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Dimondale

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Paradise is Anywhere in a Kayak

Deb Malewski
Contributing Writer

Bright blue sky, wispy clouds, balmy temperatures—it’s summer, and the weather is ideal to get out on the river and do some paddling. Dimondale Canoe and Kayak will help make that activity possible for you. Located at 9995 Billwood Highway, in Dimondale, they have canoes, kayaks, and tubes to rent, and a perfect section of the Grand River to paddle. A trip down the river takes about an hour and a half, depending on your efforts.
Kayaking is currently the most popular paddle sport and has increased its popularity even more since COVID-19. It’s less expensive than boating which ensures that just about anyone can enjoy a nice float. Recent statistics note that 62% of paddlers are female.
Kayaks are bigger and comfier than canoes, explained Matt Jankoviak, the owner of Dimondale Canoe and Kayak, and are more stable. Most of their kayaks are Old Town brand, which are a little more expensive initially but will last longer and are more durable.
Dimondale Canoe and Paddle has come up with a simple system for setting you up in one of their watercraft. They offer single, double, and sit-upon kayaks, along with canoes and tubes. No reservations are needed unless you are interested in one of the longer trips to McNamara Landing which is eight miles.
The staff shuttles you and your boat upriver and drops you off. You can then take your time paddling your way back to your vehicle which you have parked at their business location (as long as it’s before 7 p.m.), all for one flat-rate fee. There is no hourly rate; you pay the same charge if it takes you one hour or five hours, and no waiting to get picked up when you’re done.
Matt Jankoviak opened Dimondale Canoe and Kayak in 2019. He previously had worked at a very large canoe livery in Ann Arbor for 10 years and then decided he wanted to open his own. He grew up in the Dimondale, attended Holt High School, and chose to return to the area to start his business. He lives in the house he grew up in, which belonged to his parents.
Currently, they send out seventy to eighty boats a day and have three employees, plus Jankoviak. “The river is so much cleaner and prettier out here than in downtown Lansing,” Jankoviak said. “It’s worth the drive, plus there’s no time limit to kayak here.” Rental prices have not increased this year, despite the rising gas and other prices.
The Grand River at Dimondale has a small rapids area for paddlers to practice their skills. “It’s man-made to be easy and enjoyable,” Jankoviak said, assuredly.
Dimondale Canoe and Kayak placed third in the 2021 Lansing City Pulse Top of the Town contest for “Best Outdoor Adventure.” The top two places went to long-established institutions, he explained, which made him very proud to follow them in only his second year in business.
In the future, Jankoviak hopes to offer summer day camps for kids. Campers would be able to canoe, kayak, fish, and have a lot of fun, in general.
Dimondale Canoe and Kayak is located southwest of Lansing. For more information, call (517)235-7091 or visit their website at dimondalecanoeandkayak.com. On Facebook, visit dimondalecanoeandkayak.

Eaton County

Eaton County

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Eaton County

Featured Story

Seniors Hold Helicopter Cash Raffle

Deb Malewski
Contributing Writer

There are many charities out there, all needing money, so it pays to get creative with fundraising. Cindy Miller, Director of the Eaton Area Senior Center, has found another creative way to build up their bank accounts. The Center is holding a Helicopter Cash Raffle on September 11, 2022, during Frontier Days.
So, what is a Helicopter Cash Raffle? The helicopter will drop three balls, each a different color, onto a grid painted on the ground at the Eaton County Fairgrounds. The first ball dropped will determine the big winner, the second drop is second place, and the square that the third ball lands in is third place. Judges will be on hand to make determinations as needed.
The grand prize is $5,000, second place wins $1,000, and third place takes home $500. Tickets are $100 each and can be purchased at the Center, located at 804 South Cochran, and at various locations throughout the Fairgrounds during Frontier Days.
Those who were part of an earlier High Roller Raffle were offered an exciting bonus: reserve your Helicopter Cash Raffle tickets early and you could be a passenger on the ball-drop helicopter. A drawing will be held from the 56 early bird ticket buyers for a very special experience.
Eye Care Associates and Sparrow Eaton Hospital are covering the costs of a helicopter from Michigan Helicopters for the event. With their help and other sponsors like Pray Funeral Home, Insty-Prints, and Frontier Days, there will be no cost to the senior citizens.
“As an annual event, this fundraiser would help keep our local Senior Center activities going for years to come,” Miller said.
COVID deeply affected the Senior Center, she explained. “COVID taught us that we are very vulnerable. We are 100% self-funded, and we need to diversify our fundraising.”
“We lost $98,000 in catering income and $30,000 in rentals in the first year of COVID. Our raffles were down, and we were closed for Bingo. We have a large loan to pay off that we had to take out to get through that time.”
“Right now, I’m trying to pull rabbits out of my hat,” Miller said, “and hope this helicopter raffle will help us financially.”
There are currently 400 members of the Center “post-COVID” Miller said. The number before the pandemic was 600. The numbers are slowly building back up, along with their activities and building rentals.
Bingo, exercise, cards, trips, lunches, bunco, family events, and more are happening at the Eaton Area Senior Center. They also operate a banquet venue, perfect for your wedding reception, open house, or any other special occasion.
Find out more information about the Helicopter Cash Raffle or about the Eaton Area Senior Center by calling (517)541-2934 or (517)588-1626 or drop in at the Center. It’s open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., and for special events.

Onondaga

Onondaga

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Onondaga

Featured Story

Shop Local – Culligan Water Conditioning

Deb Malewski
Contributing Writer

Almost 60 years ago Philip and Phyllis Carey started a Culligan Water franchise in south Lansing. They’ve both passed now, but the business is still in family hands. Matt Carey, their son, has been part of the business since 1980 and now is the official “Culligan Man.”
“We’re a family-owned, local business,” Carey explained, “but with national backing from Culligan.”
The business serves all of Ingham county, most of Eaton County, parts of Livingston county, and the southern half of Clinton county.
Culligan of Lansing offers reverse osmosis water filtration, water softeners, whole-home systems, bottle-free coolers, bottled water coolers and drinking water filters.
Culligan will service all water treatment equipment, Carey said, any make or model. They will also test your water for free. These tests can determine what is in your water, including arsenic, chlorine, chromium-6, coliform bacteria, lead, magnesium, nitrates, radon, and hydrogen sulfide.
Soft water is water that contains few or no dissolved minerals, Carey explained. Water softening involves a process called “ion exchange.” Calcium and magnesium, which are “hard” ions, exchange with sodium or potassium (salt) ions, to eliminate impurities in the water.
In this time of social isolation, there still are situations in which someone needs to come into your home for service and repairs. Culligan service technicians perform all the standard safety measures, including washing their hands, not touching their face, and wear a mask and gloves while working in your home, Carey said.
“About 98% of what we do involves us going to the customer’s home or place of business, not so much them coming to us.”
Culligan Lansing has been rated 4.8 out of 5 stars on Angie’s List, and 4.6 out of 5 stars on Facebook reviews.  Leah Taylor, a customer, commented: “We have used Culligan for our water softener and drinking water for over 40 years!  Culligan is the most reliable company we deal with.  We give them 5 stars for each of those 40 years.”
For more information about Culligan Water Conditioning of Lansing, you can call 1-800-551-6005 or email matt@culliganlansing.com. Visit them on the web at www.culliganlansing.com or on Facebook at culliganLansingMi. They are located at 3460 Dunckel Road in Lansing.

Charlotte

Charlotte

Featured Story

New Lavender Farm Flourishing in Charlotte

By Jennifer Davis
Contributing Writer

Charlotte has a new destination worth visiting! Mi Alchemy, which includes the Carlisle Lavender farm, opened for the first time this summer and is already thriving. Located at 3418 Carlisle Hwy, the farm offers over a mile of beautiful blooms composed of nearly 1,500 plants, as well as an adorable storefront for purchasing the many products they make themselves. Collection baskets and scissors are provided for patrons to leisurely walk the fields and collect their own lavender. The store on the property is a 1980’s horse trailer which they have converted into a selling booth that can both park comfortably on the farm or be towed to farmers markets. The farm is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays while the lavender is in bloom. First bloom made its appearance this July and as long as nature cooperates, there will be a second bloom again in September. Once in bloom, the fields will offer fresh lavender for around two months at a time. The owners of Mi Alchemy are able to maintain such a long bloom time by growing six different varieties of lavender that all peak at slightly different times in the season.
Sinda and Scott Venton are the people responsible for this budding new business. After moving here in 2018, Sinda began planting flowers around her new home. She noticed that the lavender in particular flourished especially well in their soil and so she began to plant more of it. Not too long later, COVID-19 hit, and growing lavender became a passion project. Sinda struggled with how to help her dog with skin allergies when the pandemic prevented him from receiving needed allergy injections. After doing her research, she learned that her lavender may be the answer. She created a specialized dog soap (which they now sell) that helped soothe his skin so much that he no longer needed the injections. The idea of soothing soaps then expanded to a variety of soap products, as well as shampoos, lotions and bath bombs. They have also used lavender to create delicious jams and syrups. Once these ideas began to expand into a business plan, the whole family pitched in to help. Sinda and Scott both work hard on the farm, and their grown children as well as Scott’s mother, Marie, have all put time and effort into getting things ready. Sinda said, “When we were going through the pandemic, we all worked together on the farm. It was a way for us to all come together when being around each other indoors was not an option.” She went through the Lavender Growers curriculum at Michigan State University, as well as doing much of her own research, in order to help produce the best products for her business and create a beautiful, thriving farm.
Eventually, the Ventons would like to expand their business. As a large supporter of pollinators, they already own several hives and hope one day to produce lavender honey. Sinda also dreams of building a greenhouse where she can teach classes, hold yoga sessions and educate the community on both the healing and culinary aspects of lavender. She feels her family has chosen the perfect property to put down roots. “The community has been so wonderful. People have been incredibly supportive. I wish we would have done this ten years earlier,” she said. You can find more information about Mi Alchemy on their website at www.mi-alchemy.com

Potterville

Potterville

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Olivet

Olivet

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