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.