Look Back In Time for July 2019

by Diane Rockall

July returns once again and with it half the year is gone. Twenty years ago, in 1999, Y2K (year 2000) reared its head as a major concern for businesses and industries. Massive computer failures were widely anticipated as world clocks rolled their digits into the 21st century. Stockbridge bankers and businessmen shared the anxiety and spent months creating programs and plans they hoped would ameliorate the predicted outcomes. As many will remember, the predicted collapse failed to materialize, perhaps, in part, due to all the preparation.

Also that July, Stephen Penn replaced Robert Price as Stockbridge Township Supervisor. A lightning strike knocked out power to Township Hall leaving emergency services without a radio system as the month began. The Stockbridge Community School Board hired four new teachers and increased the salary of Superintendent Bruce Brown.

The famed Belgian Boys Choir, Les Pastoreaux, performed July 15 at the Township Hall. The group, from Waterloo, Belgium, was touring U.S. cities of the same name. Waterloo, Belgium was the site of Napoleon’s defeat to Wellington’s forces in 1815. The group of 40 youngsters travelled with 20 adults and stayed in the homes of volunteer sponsors during their journey. The concert in our area was sponsored by Stockbridge Area Arts Council, Stockbridge Community Education, and Waterloo Farm and Historical Museum.

In 1994 the School Board adopted its budget and Ray Chamberlain replaced Tom Clark who had served for eight years on the board. In addition, school employee salaries were increased.

Looking back 110 years ago to 1909, newspapers were very different. Type was smaller. Ads were everywhere, including the front page, and events were discussed before they happened and much less frequently after they occurred. Serialized books were featured. Ads came from as far away as Detroit. On Saturday, July 3, the Stockbridge baseball team played the Gregory team in Stockbridge.

Forty-five years later in 1954 the American Legion post held a free farm with “amusements for all,” July 13 to 17. The FFA (Future Farmers of America) and 4H groups presented displays. Also in that year Ward Hudson was elected to the school board.

Diane Rockall serves as columnist and Vice President of SCN.

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