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Haikin to Speak on June 8th

EDWARDSBURG–Author Tom Haikin, whose 18 books include The Edwardsburg Mysteries and The Edwards Family of Edwardsburg, will speak about his work at the Edwardsburg Area Historical Museum at 7 p.m., Thurs., June 20.

Haikin, who moved with his family to Edwardsburg from Virginia in October, 2017, has spent extensive time researching, documenting, and writing about the history of the community and its naming. His research has connected the Edwards family with several famous names in Michigan, including Henry Schoolcraft and Lewis Cass. He became interested in Edwardsburg’s founding when he discovered that its namesakes had moved away.

Haikin was born in Los Angeles, California, but has lived in many places. He graduated from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, with a bachelor’s degree in political science with public administration concentration, and earned a Master of Business Administration with emphasis in strategic planning from Regis University in Denver. His career has included positions in both the U.S. government and in private business, most recently as a senior contracts manager in Nevada.  He has been involved in programs like “Star Wars” at its inception; the conversion of Boeing 707 aircraft into aerial refueling tankers, and the negotiation of a contract for purchase of support aircraft required by the United States Air Force.

His presentation is the first of the 2019 museum season. There is no admission charge.

In Remembrance

Marj Federowski

Marjorie Federowski, 90, one of the Edwardsburg Area Museum’s founding members, and a premier leader and volunteer in Cass County, died Feb. 27.

Federowski’s knowledge of Edwardsburg history came naturally through her genealogical connections to Edwardsburg pioneers Abiel Silver and Cyrus Bacon. Her mother, Lula C. Bacon Silver, was married first to Guernsey Bacon, direct descendent of Cyrus Bacon, with whom she had three children, Thelma, Carrie, and Albert Bacon. After the elder Bacon died, she married Benjamin Silver, a direct descendent of Abiel Silver, an Edwardsburg merchant who platted the Silver addition in the Village of Edwardsburg. Marj (as she was commonly called) and her sister, Frances, were born of that union.

Marj grew up in Edwardsburg and was a life member of the historic Edwardsburg Presbyterian Church where she served as an elder and treasurer. Throughout her life, she readily shared her knowledge of early Edwardsburg social, cultural and religious life, including facts about the traveling ministers who served the early community, and the homes and locations in which church meetings were held. Although she lived near Cassopolis for many years with her husband, Alex, who died in 2012, she maintained close contacts with her hometown and with the museum, of which she was an avid supporter.  In 2007-2008, she was an Edwardsburg Public Schools Hall of Fame inaugural inductee and, in 2012, she was named the museum’s recipient of the John B. Sweetland Award for her inspirational leadership and community contributions.

She was the valedictorian of the Edwardsburg High School class of 1947. As a teenager, she also ran a nursery school part-time.  A family friend, Ada Beardsley, whose husband, Charles, was president of Miles Corporation, was impressed with her work and the couple paid most of Marj’s way through Western Michigan University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in library science and English (and also a master’s degree). She became Cass County’s librarian at the age of 24, and was a driving force behind the effort to create a district library when library funding was cut by the Cass County Board of Commissioners. A founding member of Friends of the Library, she shepherded the construction of a new library building and ensured the library’s funding in perpetuity (1993) by leading the effort to see a millage vote passed. She also was a motivator behind the construction of the current Edwardsburg Library in 1995.

Federowski played an integral part in the establishment of the Cass County Council on Aging’s $2 million facility as the committee co-chair to raise funds to build the Edward R. Lowe Center. A volunteer at the COA, she served its board of directors as both a vice president and president.

Although she never appeared in one of its productions, Federowski was a founding member of the Barn Swallow Theatre. She was the longtime secretary of the Cass County Historical Commission, and, as a two-term member of the Cass County Board of Commissioners, she updated the budget process.

Over the years, Federowski served in key positions on numerous county and regional boards and agencies, and received many individual achievement and leadership awards. In 1999, upon a nomination by the Council on Aging, she was named Michigan’s Senior Citizen of the Year.

Plant Sale Opens May 17th

The museum’s annual perennial plant sale opens Friday, May 17th and runs through Saturday, June 8th. The sale includes a wide variety of perennial plants, plus many cemetery and patio pots. It also features hanging baskets donated by local nurseries and others grown by museum volunteers. Several community residents contribute to the plant sale. Prices range from $1 to $30, depending on plants or pots and all are marked. This is the museum’s 18th year for the sale, which has been widely attended by community residents. Proceeds go to benefit museum programs and events.

Vite Gift Certificates Benefit Museum

Flowers, flowers, flowers everywhere!!!!  For birthdays, Mother’s Day, spring planting, anniversaries, parties!!!! Or. Just. For. You!! The Edwardsburg Area Museum is again conducting a fundraiser, thanks to the generosity of Vite Greenhouses at 2610 Redbud Trail S. in Buchanan through May 31.  If you purchase a Vite Greenhouses gift certificates online (online only) and enter the event code Edwmuseum when ordering, the Edwardsburg Area Historical Museum will receive 15% of the amount you purchase.  So, if you buy a $100 gift certificate, the museum receives $15.  Remember this is only for purchasing Vite Greenhouses gift certificates, and you must enter the event code Edwmuseum.  The gift certificates never expire and are good for everything in the greenhouse.

Those interested can go to their website – www.ViteGreenhouses.com – and click on the Gift Certificate image on the left side of the screen to get started. If there are questions, please call 269-663-2866 or 269-663-3005.

Season Opens on May 15

THE 2019 SEASON: BUSINESS, TOOLS AND DOLLS DISPLAYS + FIVE SPEAKERS

A former customer service specialist turned chamber administrator. A transplanted contracts specialist with research and writing talents. A known collector of 10,000 tools. A retired home economics teacher. An Edwardsburg native with stories from the past. That is just part of the lineup for the Edwardsburg Area Museum’s 2019 season, which opens May 15.

All of the speaking engagements dovetail with this season’s displays. The opening on May 15 will showcase Doing Business: Past and Present.

An array of items from retail, industrial, commercial and agricultural businesses and proprietors, both past and present, will be featured. The display will include objects both from the museum’s inventory and those on loan from local citizens.

Tom Haikin, whose extensive research has led to the authorship of 17 books, including The Edwardsburg Mysteries, will be the season’s opening speaker at 7 p.m., Thurs., June 20.  Haikin, who has lived with his family in Edwardsburg since the fall of 2017, will discuss the discoveries he made in his extensive research on Edwardsburg’s early history and his work to author a sequel entitled, Finding Lovica.  Haikin was born in Los Angeles. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from California State Polytechnic University at Pomona and a Master’s of Business Administration from Regis University in Denver. During his career, he worked for both the government and private industry.

Roy Smothermon, the administrator of the Edwardsburg Area Chamber of Commerce, will address the state of current businesses in the area. Smothermon, a native of Hooker, Okla., graduated from Panhandle State University, Goodwill, Okla.,  with a Bachelor of Science in Education. He retired in 2008 as the manager of customer service for Tri-County Electric, a cooperative in Hooker, where he was employed for 30 years. He will speak at 7 p.m., Thurs., July 18.

The second exhibit of the season will be “Tools Around the House,” which will open on Aug. 15. The display will feature a vintage collection of tools from the museum’s inventory, with two speakers on the agenda.

The first, Ann Sakaguchi Silverman, is Edwardsburg High School’s retired home economics teacher. Her topic will be women’s tools used in the kitchen, the garden, and for cleaning. She will speak at 7 p.m., Thurs., Aug. 15.

Silverman had a 36-year teaching career, the last 28 in Edwardsburg. She received her Bachelor of Science from Manchester College, and two master’s degrees, one in general education and the other in family studies, both from Purdue University. She taught home economics and biology at the high school level in Warsaw and Brown County, Indiana, and home economics at John Adams High School in South Bend, and in Edwardsburg.

At 7 p.m., Thurs., Sept. 19, longtime Edwardsburg resident John Sindelar, will his knowledge about tools around the house based on his experience of collecting items dating to 150,000 BC. Sindelar, who grew up in Berrien Springs and opened his first show in Eau Claire, has collected tools from 20 to 30 countries, and estimates his collection at 10,000 pieces. He has featured in several national magazines and owns Sindelar Fine Woodworking in Granger, Indiana. In addition to a video presentation, he will park his Sindelar Traveling Tool Museum museum’s side yard for public exploration.

The final speaker of the season will be Edwardsburg native Lee Montgomery, who will entertain guests with stories of his growing up years. The interview with him will be at 7 p.m., Thurs., Oct. 17.

The season will end with the Christmas display, “All Dolled Up,” which opens on Nov. 6 and will showcase dolls from the museum’s collection and from area residents.

 The museum will close for the season on Dec. 14.

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