Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Michigan State's Historic Lab. Row

On West Circle Drive, on Michigan State's campus, stand 5 buildings, collectively known as "laboratory row." They represent good examples of late 19th century architecture, and still stand in an intact group. They are all registered on the State Register of Historic Sites.

Most of the information for this post comes from the book: MSU Campus: Buildings, Places, Spaces by Linda O. Stanford and C. Kurt Dewhurst.

Alfred J Cook Hall

Cook Hall is made of brick and Lake Superior Sandstone, and its most notable features are the round-headed windows above the front entrance, and the recessed entry doors.

It was the first agricultural lab on campus when it opened in 1909. It was known as the "entomology" building as the lettering above the entrance indicates. In 1948 with the completion of the Natural Science building, entomology was moved there. In 1969 this building got its new name, Cook Hall. It was named after Albert J. Cook (class of 1862), who was a professor of zoology and entomology, and also served as the first curator of the museum.

Alfred K. Chittenden Hall

Chittenden Hall was built in 1901. It features a sunburst brick entryway arch, with round-headed second story windows which reiterate the shape of the entryway. My favorite part is the frieze over the doorway with the word "Forestry" with the strokes and serifs of the letters being represented as tree trunks and limbs.

It was the first campus building designed for dairy operations. In 1913 when the dairy moved to a new building, the frieze was changed from stone carved "Dairy" to "Forestry." The Department of Forestry continued to use the building until 1966. In 1969, the building was given a new name to honor the achievements in forestry of Professor Alfred K Chittenden, who ran the forestry program from 1914-1930.

Old Botany

The Old Botany building has a Queen Anne style with lots of irregularities, with various windows, chimneys, and gables adding to the variety.

Professor Beal's first botany lab housed his botanical museum, but unfortunately burned down in 1890. This was the second botany lab, built in 1892. The corner stone inscription: "Botany A. D. 1992" is still very prominent. An addition was built in 1908.

Marshall Hall

Marshall Hall is stylistically eclectic. My favorite part is the cavernous arched entrance made from Michigan field stone, brick, and limestone.

In 1903 the building was known as Bacteriology. It was the first structure in US for research and teaching in this field. The building is named for Dr. Charles E. Marshall, who was head of the department of bacteriology and Hygiene from 1902-1912.

Eustace-Cole Hall

Eustace-Cole Hall is the 3rd oldest extant building on campus. It is known for its prominent shingled gable and stair tower. My favorite part is the conical tower, and emphatic arched entry.

It was built in 1888 by Liberty Hyde Bailey, as the first horticultural lab of its kind in the US. It was renamed in 1961 for Professor Henry Eustace, head of the depart

Liberty Hyde BaileyImage via Wikipedia

ment of horticulture from 1908-1919 . It has been the home of the Honors College since 1969. In 1998 the name was again changed in honor of two alumni, Jeffrey and Kathryn Cole, who donated funds for the building's extensive renovation.

Image of Liberty Hyde Bailey

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Their Dreams Came True

All the information in this post comes from old newspaper clippings I recently found in a folder. All I have done is edit them, and correct a few facts.

This from the Benzie County Patriot, June 22, 1977:

Take a ride out in the country, up the Eden Hill Road to Lincoln Road and you will see a big old barn with the name "Beulahland" painted above the double doors. Drive in between rows of cherry trees loaded with ripening fruit, and you come to the barn where Betty and Bill Tompkins display the handcrafted items that they sell, arranged among some of the antiques which they love, and collect.
The house is just a few steps away.
"We have a home-made house," Betty Tompkins tells visitors, meaning that she and her husband, Bill, have created a home that is uniquely theirs. Each room has a different decor in order to use the ceramic, porcelain, and stoneware pieces they have made, and to express their creativity in other ways.

It is know locally as "the Lincoln place" They purchased the house fourteen years ago from Mrs. Lincoln, who is a relative of Bill's. Betty is a registered nurse, and Bill was a member of the Michigan State Police for 23 years until two years ago, when they both retired.

"No, I didn't mind moving so many times, wherever Bill was transferred, because we had roots here, this was real home," Betty says. They came "home" weekends from Ionia, Paw Paw, or wherever he was posted, and worked on the house. They were fortunate to find a local carpenter who would do the remodeling just the way they wanted it. This included using old hand hewn beams from her grandfather's barn in the kitchen, Betty explains, and letting Bill work with him whenever possible.

The kitchen is done in early English decor, and Betty made the ceramic bricks which cover one wall, and make a lovely contrast between the dark wood cabinets, and overhead cupboards. Her husband laid the bricks, and he also installed the tile which look like large split fieldstone, that she made for the walls of the bathroom.

The downstairs bedroom is done in blue and white with a Dutch effect, and the living room is early American. Antiques and products of their own hands sit amicably side by side in every room of the house. They have made nearly every lamp in the house, as well as many other decorative, and useful items.

Upstairs, one bedroom is devoted to family heirlooms, and the spacious master bedroom is oriental. There is no jarring effect going from room to room, as one might expect, when so many different types of decorating are used. Colors seem to blend well, and one simply feels pleasure, and anticipation at the pleasant surprises waiting around every corner.

Betty grew up in Elsie, and her family still lives there. She became a Registered Nurse, and at first did hospital nursing, but later she worked as a doctor's office nurse.

Somewhere along the line she got interested in ceramics, just as a hobby. When her instructor considered closing her shop in Paw Paw, because of poor health, Betty asked, "If I help will you stay?" She did continue a while, with Betty's help, but finally had to quit entirely.

As, about the time they bought the farm, she established her own studio in Paw Paw. It was called "Grape Village"-Paw Paw is located in grape country-and she continued to operate until her husband retired. He poured the molds for green ware, as he does now.

Katherine Atwater, a friend, came to visit and spend a few days at the Tompkins' 100 acre farm. She expressed surprise that Bill can do so many things. "I didn't know Bill was so talented until he got up here," Katherine exclaimed. "He never had the time before," Betty replied.

There are items on display for every taste at surprisingly reasonable prices. Betty does all the "hand building" on ceramics, and in addition to pouring the molds, and making pots on the wheel Bill polishes stones, makes jewelry, and builds bird houses.

One of the big attractions which they have arranged for visitors to Beulahland, is the wagon trail ride. Bill hitches the tractor to a wagon, and takes sightseers through scenic trails winding through orchards and woods, explaining points of interest as he goes.

For more ambitious people there is a hiking trail where one can enjoy nature in solitude. The hiker is given a card describing points of interest along the way. Meanwhile, Betty is enjoying her freedom to work in her studio just off the kitchen, a light cheerful room, which used to be a dining room. She all of the ceramic hand building, and painting, and creates all of the designs. The potter's wheel is in the basement, and the kiln is in the garage. "This is a dream come true," Betty smiles.

This from July, 1979

Beulahland now has a new home on US 31 next-door to the Cherry Bowl Drive-in theater, west of Honor. It was three years ago that Bill and Betty Tompkins opened Beulahland, a ceramic-antique-craft shop in their big barn atop Eden Hill.

The shop still is large and rustic. There are big sliding barn doors on their original track closing off the office, and work room. And it is an even better place than the old barn to browse for an hour or so.

There are salad bowls and ovenware which Bill has thrown on his potters wheel, and Betty has decorated, including real looking mushrooms, birds, frogs, and other ceramic "critters" which Betty has fashioned, beautiful lamps, and much more.

Bill's specialty is maple syrup made on their own farm, and bottled in a variety of attractive containers, some them products of their own kiln.

Visitors will get a chance to sample the syrup during the new Beulahland's grand opening. Instead of cookies, guests will treated to old fashioned pancakes, and maple syrup! Later on, visitors will be able to watch Betty Tompkins at work at Beulahland, but for now Betty and Bill urge everyone to drop in, and look around, and have a cup of coffee, and a taste of maple syrup and pancakes.

Final note: Mom and Dad kept Beulahland going and growing for the next 27 years. Dad added 20,000 books to the variety of items that were sold. The store brought them into contact with many people, and left them many good memories, until they re-retired three years ago.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Fred Tillotson

Our family has some great runners associated with it.

Past: Earlier I posted on Leslie's grandfather, and his success on the Michigan track team.

Present: Ann had a great success with the Wheaton College cross country running team, she was the overall winner of the Dinosaur Dash, she is coaching the Okemos High School cross country and track teams, and is currently running well.

Future: Ryan recently completed his first mile long race, and is shown here sprinting to first in a T-Ball game.

But wait!, there is more. My grandmother's brother, Fred Tillotson, was a successful runner for Michigan Agricultural College in 1909 and 1910. He was Big Ten Champion in the two mile in 1909. This is possible, even though Michigan State did not join the Big Ten until 1948, because it was an open competition, and schools from as far away as California competed. Here is the story of that race as written in the Holcad, MAC's newspaper, and quoted in the Spartan Encyclopedia:

"'Tillie' drew 11th place in the starting, but had hardly run 20 yards before he had worked his way over to the pole with but six men in front of him. Holding his position, he ran about the 5th lap when he worked ahead again to 3rd place. Strophlet had set the pace at the start, and at the end of the first mile, still led with a great lead, going at a 440 clip.
As the runners went up the back stretch of the sixth lap, Tillotson jumped into second place and closed directly behind Stophlet, where he stayed until coming into the stretch of the 8th lap. Nearly every athlete on the field by this time was calling and yelling to "Tillie" to "beat him up," and a terrific sprint up the straight away put Tillotson in first place.
Tillotson was given a great ovation as he finished the race, both by the men on the track, and the four or five thousand spectators."

A year later in 1910 this happened(also from the Spartan Encyclopedia):
In what is recorded as the first Michigan State cross country team, an Aggie sextet was among the five teams, and 30 individual entries that toed the line at the Hope College Invitational on Saturday, April 9. Just as with today's scoring, the team's point total was based on the finish of the first five members of each team. A harbinger of great future performances for Michigan State, the neophyte Aggies of that day took both the individual honors, and the team title. Fred Tillotson won the race in a time of 21:15 over the course of approximately four miles."

My dad remembers his grandmother (Fred's mother) telling of getting phone calls in the small town of Elsie informing her that her son was out "running around town in his underwear."

A little more about Fred Tillotson:

He was born in Elsie in 1888.

His home on Ovid street in Elsie.

He received a degree in electrical engineering from MAC, and worked for Detroit Edison. He lived on Fifteenth Street while in Detroit.

He married Rosa Hicks, and his only child, Lucille, was born in 1914.

He died at the young age of 30 of tuberculosis in 1918.

(Most of the pictures of Fred came from pibburns.com)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Most Quotable: Butch and Sundance

In an earlier post, I mentioned that one of the main criteria for a good movie is to have memorable quotes. If that is true, then the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid definitely qualifies, as it has great quotes, and plenty of them. What follows are some examples:

Butch Cassidy: Ah, you're wasting your time. They can't track us over rocks.
Sundance Kid: Tell them that.
Butch Cassidy: [after looking for himself] They're beginning to get on my nerves. Who are those guys?

[about the trackers following them]
Butch Cassidy: I couldn't do that. Could you do that? Why can they do it? Who are those guys?

Butch Cassidy: Well that ought to do it.
[after blowing the train car to smithereens]
Sundance Kid: Think ya used enough dynamite there, Butch?

[first lines]
Butch Cassidy: What happened to the old bank? It was beautiful.
Guard: People kept robbing it.
Butch Cassidy: Small price to pay for beauty.

Butch Cassidy: How many are following us?
Sundance Kid: All of 'em.
Butch Cassidy: All of 'em. What's the matter with those guys?

[repeated line]
Sundance Kid: You just keep thinkin' Butch. That's what you're good at.

Butch Cassidy: [to Sundance] If he'd just pay me what he's spending to make me stop robbing him, I'd stop robbing him. You probably inherited every penny you got!

Butch Cassidy: [to Sundance] Kid, the next time I say, "Let's go someplace like Bolivia," let's GO someplace like Bolivia.

[arriving in Bolivia]
Butch Cassidy: You know, it could be worse. You get a lot more for your money in Bolivia, I checked on it.
Sundance Kid: What could they have here that you could possibly want to buy?

Butch Cassidy: Alright. I'll jump first.
Sundance Kid: No.
Butch Cassidy: Then you jump first.
Sundance Kid: No, I said.
Butch Cassidy: What's the matter with you?
Sundance Kid: I can't swim.
Butch Cassidy: Are you crazy? The fall will probably kill you.

Butch Cassidy: Who's the best lawman?
Sundance Kid: The best, how? You mean toughest? Or easiest to bribe?
Butch Cassidy: Toughest.
Sundance Kid: Joe Lefors.
Butch Cassidy: Got to be.
Sundance Kid: Lefors never leaves Wyoming, never. You know that.
Butch Cassidy: He always wears a white skimmer. That's how you tell it's Joe Lefors, 'cause he always wears a white straw hat. Look at that guy out front.
[Butch and Sundance start running]
Butch Cassidy: Who are those guys?

Card Player: I didn't know you were the Sundance Kid when I said you were cheating. If I draw on you, you'll kill me.
Sundance Kid: There's that possibility.

[Butch is robbing Woodcock's train for the second time]
Butch Cassidy: You can't want to get blown up again.
Woodcock: Butch, you know that if it were *my* money, there is nobody that I would rather have steal it than you. But, you see, I am still in the employment of E. H. Harriman, of Union Pacific Railroad.

Butch Cassidy: Well, the way I figure it, we can either fight or give. If we give, we go to jail.
Sundance Kid: I've been there already.
Butch Cassidy: We could fight - they'll stay right where they are and starve us out. Or go for position, shoot us. Might even get a rock slide started, get us that way. What else can they do?
Sundance Kid: They could surrender to us, but I wouldn't count on that.

[performing their first robbery in Bolivia]
Butch Cassidy: [spanish] Manos a... Manos, um...
[Butch pulls out a card that helps him remember his words]
Butch Cassidy: Manos arriba!
Sundance Kid: They got 'em up! Skip on down.
Butch Cassidy: Arriba!
Sundance Kid: Skip on down!
Butch Cassidy: Todos ustedes "arrismense" a la pared.
Sundance Kid: They're against the wall already!
Butch Cassidy: Donde... Ah, you're so damn smart, You read it!

Sundance Kid: Look out there!
Butch Cassidy: What?
Sundance Kid: We got to talking to some gambler that night, and he told us about an Indian. A full-blooded Indian, except he called himself by an English name. Sir somebody.
Butch Cassidy: Lord Baltimore?
Sundance Kid: Lord Baltimore, that's right, and he could track anybody, over anything, day or night.
Butch Cassidy: So?
Sundance Kid: The guy on the ground. I think it's him.
Butch Cassidy: No, Baltimore works out of Oklahoma. He's strictly an Oklahoma man. I don't know where we are, but it sure as Hell isn't Oklahoma. No, it couldn't be him. Couldn't be him.
Sundance Kid: I guess.

[repeated line]
Butch Cassidy: Who are those guys?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Five Falls

A look at some of the waterfalls around Munising.

Alger Falls: This is mostly a slow down, and look at waterfall, as you drive by on M28. It is located at the bottom of the hill just as you enter Munising.

Munising Falls: Along with the Pictured Rocks boat cruise, this is the other "main attraction" in Munising.

Miners Falls: A .6 mile walk leads you to these thundering falls, and a set of steps take you down, so you can get up close and personal. It is located near Miners Castle.

Wagner Falls: A short stroll leads you this small, but somehow soothing waterfall.

Scott Falls: This unique falls is located just off M28 on the way into Autrain.

That is the main five falls, but my personal favorite does not even have an official name. It is located at the end of Miners Beach, and is a nice reward at the end of nice walk.