25 years ago – 1995
In 50 years the Sister Lakes Fire Department has grown from a homebuilt fire truck that pumped lake water to a two-story building housing six emergency vehicles. On Monday the fire department celebrates that expansion at its 50th Anniversary Celebration which will feature a parade, fireworks and many other safety education events for the public.
The fire department began in 1945, staffed by about a dozen men. An old Army command car outfitted with a pump and 700 feet of hose became the fire truck. “Because the pump had to be set in the lake, we could only take care of fires within 700 feet of the lake,” said Arnie Decker, who joined the department in 1950. When the hose would not reach, they would call in the Keeler Fire Department.
Decker was 17 when he joined the department and is now its senior fireman and resident agent. Before the 911 system came into effect his barbershop served as one of the main dispatches for emergency calls.
35 years ago – 1985
Florine Isaac of Stevensville has purchased the Sleepy Own dress shop in Sawyer. The store carries casual women’s fashions. Mrs. Isaac has been associated with the shop for 14 years and is also involved in the annual Blossomtime Festival and the Miss Southwestern Michigan Pageant.
50 years ago – 1970
The Twin City Pops Symphony Orchestra has started rehearsals for its first of three summer concerts to be given July 7 in the new St. Joseph bandshell.
Director of the the Twin City Pops this year will be Robert Brown, director of instrumental music at St. Joseph High School. Brown succeeds Sam Searfoss, who is leaving the area.