Vol. 8 No. 7                                                                                                                                       MARCH 2010
The Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club News
Member Club F.O.H.B.C.


31st Annual Show!

                Spring is just around the corner--- somewhere! I am at my shop today and no matter which window I look out, I can see mountains of snow! That is what you get when you are surrounded with commercial parking lots in Michigan! I was driving home from work the other day and the snow was coming down really hard! I was just turning onto the on-ramp to go south on U.S. 131. I could see the distant flashing amber lights of a state salt-truck clearing snow off the expressway. Because the road was super-slick, I was at full alert as I turned onto the ramp. Suddenly something totally unexpected startled me right to the core!. It was a bird and it just cleared my windshield! It wasn't just any bird; it was the first robin of spring! What in the world is a robin doing in a howling snow storm!

              I couldn't help but think that this poor animal is really mixed up! Nature has programed birds like this to go south for the winter! Of course, my mother is in south Florida and everytime I talk to her, she tells me how cold it is down there! Maybe this robin knows something that I don't know!

              One sure sign of spring is the Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Show! And just think, it is almost here! The bottle show was the main topic at our last meeting and that meeting was held on a very ugly winter night.

             Earlier in the week leading up to the meeting, I was keeping a close watch on the weather forecast. I could still remember so clearly leaving the bottle club meeting, just a couple years back, and the snow was blowing in downtown Kalamazoo like crazy! It truly was blinding! I can still remember it was a white knuckle trip home that night, even though I had a short trip to go. That same night, a couple hours after I got home, I thought about the long trip that John Pastor had to make in that storm!

             I asked John the next time that I saw him about his drive that night. I can still recall him saying that, from time to time, he had no way of knowing if he was still on the road!

           With all that going through my mind, and having just heard a forecast of heavy snow for the night of our last meeting, I started to panic! I knew that Scott called John sometimes, so I beeped him with my Nextel, while he was still out working his U.P.S. route. I told Scott of my concerns and I suggested that he contact John ask to him if he would consider shipping any bottle show information to us in advance of the meeting. I figured that John had better not plan on making the trip just to be on the safe side. Well, looking back, I think we did the right thing!

             In some ways that puts us behind schedule for our a whole month in our show planning! We need all members to be at this month's meeting, if at all possible!

             We are going to have a raffle again this year and again it will be for a metal detector. We will need everyone to sell raffle tickets this year because of our late start. I have updated the club website with the latest show information so be sure to check it out. I also have some of our past newsletters posted there.

            Just so that it is included in the newsletter, the bottle show is Saturday, April 10. It will be at the Kalamazoo County Fairgrounds. The address is 2900 Lake Street in Kalamazoo. Take exit 80 off from I-94 and follow the signs. The show hours are from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 pm.

            I am getting a very late start on this newsletter so I am missing some stuff! You will want to be at the meeting to learn more about the hospitality gathering. It is always the night before the show and it has been at The Best Western on Cork Street. But like I said, you better be at the meeting for all the details.


         Mark Churchill and I probed my grandmother's property, looking for the privies, without any luck. Her house was ancient and falling apart when they purchased it in the early 1930's. I have since found evidence that there was a home on the property since way before the American Civil War. I think the land was built on by some of the areas first settlers. Her land is along the Kalamazoo River and just a short trip from the old Pine Creek Settlement.

        My mother's home is on a bluff overlooking the location of the Pine Creek Settlement. This is an area west of Otsego and, where the tiny town once was, is now underwater. When the power company decided to build power dams, this area would be flooded by backwaters. The small town was relocated and today all that is left are a few poles left from the old sawmill. These poles are almost gone and you can only see them when they drain the little lake.

          They did manage to save one of the original buildings which was the old blacksmith shop. This building can be seen just off of Jefferson Road and it is barely standing. I believe that my grandmother's house is along the route of the Underground Railroad.

         We sure wanted to find those pits! We probed and probed with no luck. There was a stream running beside her house and, when the power dams were built, the lot beside her house became a backwater pond. When the power dams were removed, my grandfather built a small dam to block the stream and restore the pond beside their home.

          One day a few years back my wife and I were visiting my grandmother and I still puzzled over where the old bottles were and why couldn't we find the privy. That was when one of us noticed a tiny piece of glass sticking out of the pond bottom. To our surprise, it was a small bottle buried under the silt. We took a hard-tined rake and started dragging across the bottom. We started finding bottles and china plates and all manner of treasure!

       In England, some people are referred to as Muckers and, at low tide, they sift through the ancient riverbeds, finding relics dating back thousands of years! Just under the surface of lake bottoms and riverbeds around America, I'm sure you can find treasure!