Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Henry Herin (Bros)

Hesperia Crate Works - circa 1948
This film starts with the felling of trees and then being taking to the crate mill and made into celery crates taken to the celery fields at Muskegon.
 There are some good closeups of some of the people working at the Crate Mill. Some of them you probably recognize and could put names to. . Enjoy this old time movie, taken by Charlie Morse

 click for film

The above horses were Jerry and Molly. Notice they are pulling a loaded truck and trailer out of the woods.  Not only were they good in the woods but they won several pulling contests including, Hart, Fremont, Ludington and Hesperia Fairs along with a lot of showmanship/sportsmanship awards. Many people have told me that he never shouted poked or misused his horses in any way. He made his living with them and was proud of them also.

In 1929 Henry Herin was hauling a little gravel and decided to go into the logging business.  He hired a neighbor, Forrest Herin who was a relative of his and neighbor. Business was such that as his sons Everett and Darroll grew and worked with dad, so did the business. The young strapping boys were just what dad needed. Of course modernization also came with the boys. Somehow through the years they managed buy two Model T trucks and trailers.
The above picture shows Henry Herin with their first log hauling rig.
A Model T somewhere between a 1922 and 1930.
  It sure made the trips to the mills a lot faster and like a lot of businesses, if the mill didn't get it you didn't get paid. Remember things were a lot different then. When they were working quite a ways away from home they set up a camp and stayed right there through the week. Betty Herin told me how she got to go to a camp over by Rockford once and how it was cold as they worked the swamps when they were frozen. This was probably in the late 40's or early 50's.
 A sidelight to this story is that Henry's brother Bill was logging up at Seney in the UP. He caught pneumonia and died. Henry took the train from White Cloud to Seney. Once there he had to hike in 5 miles and bring the body out on a toboggan, then the train back to White Cloud so Bill could be buried at home.
Darroll with sons Terry and Dan the night before he went into service. 1943
  Darroll and Everett were both drafted into the army and left in 1944.
With the boys gone overseas dad continued working with various employees and when the war was over, thankfully they both returned, and they bought into the business and went full speed ahead. Benny Plaunt also returned from the war and he went to work for them.
 They bought a military 6X6 and a half track with a 50 ton winch.

    Henry Herin standing by a load of logs on the 6X6 and you can see that it could haul a lot of logs. The logs were from the Don Edwards property,
The half track that they bought was a lot like this picture and with the 50 ton winch they could pull just about anything.

Above is Everett Herin and Benny(Frenchy) Plaunt with  the cat that they loaded logs with. No
longer did they have to use the horses to load the trucks all of the time.
As time went by they modernized their equipment and graduated to new and better things.
                              Everett Herin and Geo Mumford with another load of logs ready to go.

    Darroll standing with 5900 board feet of logs in 1956, going to Chris Craft Boats in Holland, MI.
                                       Notice they had graduated to a Reo "Speedwagon"
 About the same time they were hauling logs they started hauling some crates, lumber and seasonal produce from the local growers.
  Logging was still the main business for Henry and he loved his horses and continued using them until he retired. Everett and Darroll became more interested in the produce and trucking end of the business. Henry retired in 1965 and logging became a less of a factor. In the early 1960's their DBA was changed to Herin Bros Trucking. In 1975 Terry and Randy (Darroll's sons) formed a corporation known as Herin Bros Inc. Through the years they'd increased their authority and soon were hauling under their own permits in agricultural commodities.
 They moved into their new building on M20 in 1983 and also acquired more interstate authority and today they have trucks willing and able to run the 48 continental U.S.
 It is still being run by the Herin family, namely Anthony (grandson of Darroll and Tony's (grandson of Terry) and are a major employer in Oceana County.
 In a few short years the business will be celebrating 100 yrs and as of now it is still in the family.
  Darroll & Everett are still active in the community. 
   Above is a video taken in 1948. It shows the cutting of a large tree, somewhere around Hesperia. They then cut it to length skid the logs out using a small dozer and load it up on their trucks. One of the trucks is a military 6X6. Also if you watch close you can see that they had a "half track" which was military surplus also.

  Darrell Patton


Wednesday, March 23, 2011


In the fall of 1968 Lloyd Herin (of Hesperia) was driving his Oceana County Rd Com Truck on 198th across the White River on the "Elm Bridge".

Notice how the front wheels are not touching the ground nor are the rear wheels. Lloyd crawled out over the hood/fender and down to the ground. He said the truck was balanced and he held the nose down until help arrived because he was afraid of it going in completely.

 Why wasn't the bridge ever fixed? Why was it torn down and never replaced? Why?, Why?.
 Elm and Mossback (on Hawley @ White River) Bridges were bought at the same time. Design and materials were purchased from Joliet Bridge and Iron Co in July 1903. The purchase price was $2130.00.

   The above contract states that the prices for the 2 bridges is $2130.00.  Evidently that was erected.
 The aove picture is the handwritten blueprints for both the Mossback and Elm Bridges.
So the bridges were probably built in 1904. Elm bridge lasted 64 yrs before it met its demise. Mossback has  been completely rebuilt and maintained all of that time.
The above statement is for the the 2 bridges and notice the date 3/16/04
 For about 43 years there has been no bridge on 198th. Why was it not replaced? There seems to be nobody around anymore that can remember why(but then I found a politician that knew). There was insurance on the bridge and the county received the money. BUT after many hours of arguing for and against the bridge the money could not be found. Evidently the money was put in the general account instead of wherever it belonged.
 So because of that the south side of the river real estate values haven't increased in value like the north side and of course there aren't any houses to speak of either. The land was plotted but nothing was ever done with it.
  If it would've been Mossback Bridge that crashed, would it have been replaced? If that had happened can you even imagine how different the housing situation would've been? Would Newfield Dr have been there, the trout ponds?
 What else would have been different?
 The above receipts are available for viewing at The Hesperia Comm Library.
Thanks to everybody that helped as we were looking for the facts. A very special thanks to the Lloyd Herin Family for their help in the pictures and the story.

Ye Olde Hardware

 In 1913 Chas. Anderson and Guy W. Husband bought the small stock and business of A.C. Anderson, in Hesperia, and set themselves up in the hardware business. Before long they could see they needed more room. Plans were made for a new building on the adjoining lot on the north and in 1920-21 the present structure was erected.
Notice the original store is on the left side of this picture (single lg window). The new bldg (1920) is the door and 2 large windows 

The beautiful building was opened to the public in the fall of 1921 when the HESPERIA BIG MEETING  was held within its walls.
In 1922 The Hesperian Union pointed out that the store was monument of progressiveness. The name was Husband and Turple Hardware.
 In 1957 Mr Husband died and 6 years later Mr. Don Turple bought the other half of the business from the heirs and became the sole owner. For a few years there was an interesting museum that his wife Helen added in the basement of the store.
 Don's sister Ruth Turple Kolbe just retired in the last year or two and it is now being run by Don and Helen's son Fred and his wife Judy 
 The store is a landmark known far and wide for its limitless bounty of hardware, where service and friendliness is still shared.
Walking the aisles of the hardware is an adventure in nostalgia along with competitive prices that is hard to find in today's world.

Friday, March 18, 2011

A Great Memorial

In our little area of the world right on the Newaygo/Oceana Counties line is the Village of Hesperia, MI. In the summer the population is close to a thousand and in the winter it shrinks quite a bit down to maybe 750 people. With all of those people gone south in the winter it gives us somebody to talk about, until they get back in warmer weather.

Hesperia is unique in that there are only 2 places in the US with the name of Hesperia the other is in California, but that is another world.

Here is another unique item.

One of the business in the area is Hunt Ag Supply. Harold and Betty Hunt started the business (Hunt Implement) shortly after WWII when Harold came home with his "War Bride", from Germany.
Without making a long story any longer the business was started on a piece of the Hunt Family Farm. Business was pretty good and
Harold and Betty sold a lot of implements and also Massey Ferguson brand tractors and equipment. A full service family style business where service was the name of the game. Their chldren Bill and Sandy helped and Sandy talks of how all the local kids would come over and they'd drive the tractors around and around and etc. I know Bill went to MSU and was/is a great mechanic on farming implements. I know I picked his brain while I was in Idaho and other parts of the US for needed information on a "Massey". Sandy is the part's "GURU". Her parts knowledge is known nationwide as they do a lot of "mail order" and there isn't much sense asking Bill BECAUSE, "Sandy KNOWS".
Mom an Dad have passed away and through the years Bill and Sandy bought the business and are still keeping SERVICE in their business.
On one piece of their farm is a section they call "Stoney Oaks" and the kids promised mom that they'd build a monument that she'd be proud of.
It is called "Stoney Oaks Chapel" and these pictures do not do it justice but I'll try. Mind you now this is built on a hill about a 1/4 mile off of the road and it sits almost majestically on a hill there for all to see.

Without wasting any tillable land.

The back side of the Chapel

More of the backside with some of the old equipment being seen

Inside the unique chapel is finished "simply nice". The brown floor is done in a brown waxed finish and Sandy says is "DIRT" and that it represents the earth of the farm.
Thia unique storage/chapel building is available to the community. What a great idea.