Totem Pole Tales- Happy New Year
Submitted by Nute Chapman
From Onaway Outlook January 3, 2014

Caption 1: NORTH MAIN STREET in Millersburg sometime after 1901.
width="800" As 2013 comes to a close, I find my desk calendar missing, and several piles of notes, papers, postcards, pictures and several other undescribable items that must find their original home, before I continue into the New Year. One of the items is a postcard of North Main Street, in Millersburg.
Being that we have many friends, relatives and roots in Millersburg we chose this postcard from our collection to wish our readers in Millersburg and everywhere, a very Happy New Year.
We know that the picture was taken after 1901 as John M. Clark of Onaway extended his telephone service to Millersburg in the summer of 1901 and you can see the poles and lines in front of the stores. One of the buildings on the right is H.L. Abrahams. Hal Whiteley's Presque Isle County news is just before the C.R. Willing Bank. The news office was later the Smithy's Restaurant, and the bank was later Jay's Variety Store. On the left one can see a street sign labeled Lemont Street. A large restaurant sign is on the first building. Note the tall flagpole and many hitching posts.
I spent some time in Millersburg as a youngster as my Grandma Eva (Freel) Fitzpatrick and my Aunt Faith lived all their life in Millersburg. I spent many days in the summer at Shay Walker's farm picking berries, and became good friends with the Walker family. One of our pastimes was to forage in the Ocqueoc River system and collect snapping turtles to sell to Mr. Disberry for a small bee.
Countless hours were spent swimming at the Dutchman's. I thought the only way there was a cow path from McDonalds across the field that is now the Hughes' farm. I later learned that one could drive to the swimming hole, from the south, near Bank's farm.
When we would come to Millersburg from Lake Fedelman in the summer to get supplies we would shop at Valley's Store. Mr. Valley always had my attention as he had a very gruff voice. He told me he was going to grease me and swallow me whole.
I can remember picking potatoes at the George Crow farm with my Dad. George was one of the first farmers in Presque Isle County to experiment with red potatoes. I spent time whenever I could at Cliff Roadhouse's Mink Farm and also at his station, visiting with Lynn Orcutt, the mechanic.
I rode the school bus from Onaway to Millersburg on some weekends to spend time at Grandma Eva's. Melvin Robbins was the bus driver, and if you misbehaved Mr. Robbins simply stopped the bus, opened the door and ordered you off the bus, to walk the rest of the way home. One time when he kicked four boys off the bus, several others got off just to walk home with the other four. I know that some of the guys still live in the Millersburg area. I choose not to mention names, but I can tell you one thing, Mr. Robbins was in charge of his bus, not the students.
I traveled to Millersburg many Saturday nights to roller skate at the community hall. My cousin Billy Freel was in charge of the skating program at that time. What fond memories.
Some old timers I remember well were Homer Robbins, Joe Whitsitt, Mr. Tonkey, who lived in a small cabin behind Aunt Charlotte's John McDonald who worked at the elevator, Mrs. Kraut, Clarence Kimball, Glen Rogers, Max Wooster, Lyman Polk, Jay Trafelet who owned Jay's Variety Store, George Adkins who was the township treasurer and paid you a bounty for rat tails and crow heads. Uncle Al and Uncle Bill Freel, Mr. Jones the barber, Red Wilson, Chet Nichols, Philip Lail and Mike Sheehan; Ira Schnepp, Ed Corriveau, Russell Sigsby from across the Ocqueoc, and Dewey Hartley, Frank Walter from the Long Swamp and Ike Devitt, Aubrey Browning, Milo Storms and Ivan Trafelet, from across the Long Swamp; McIntoshs, Miniers and Inglis from the east side of Long Swamp; Elvin Peel, Frank Schwiesow and the Brenners from north of town; oh, I can't forget Dusty Middleton, Joe Freel and Chet Winfield; and The Wrights, Herons, Szymoniaks, Sparks and Mullers from west of town. I can remember a guy called Shine and a little old man simply called Blinky; I never knew their last names. Almost forgot the free movies. Space does not allow room to remember all of our friends and family in the Burg but you are not forgotten. Happy New Year from our house.
--Onaway Outlook January 3, 2014 pg. 3. Retyped by J. Anderson.

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