Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Which Does Not Belong - Quiz Answers

For all of you who have been waiting on pins and needles, here are the answers to last Friday's quiz:

Group 1: a) Eve's b) Shepard's c) Carmichael's d) The Hurling Green

Answer: c) Carmichael's does not belong. Eve's, Shepard's, and The Hurling Green were local bars. Carmichael's was a bus and taxi service.

Group 2: a) Woodruff b) Avon Center c) The Haven d) Lawnridge

Answer: d) Lawnridge does not belong. Woodruff, Avon Center and The Haven were the names of local hospitals. Lawnridge is the former Donald Wilson estate on Adams Road, now part of the University Presbyterian Church campus.

Group 3: a) Tienken b) Ross c) Hubbell d) Hamlin

Answer: a) Tienken does not belong. Although all four of these are names of pioneer families of Rochester and Avon, only Ross, Hubbell and Hamlin are also the names of local school districts. The Ross, Hubbell and Hamlin districts ceased to exist when the local districts were consolidated to form the Rochester Community Schools.

Group 4: a) Purple Pickle b) Morley's c) Gerda's d) Bebout's

Answer: b) Morley's does not belong. Purple Pickle, Gerda's and Bebout's were all names of local restaurants. Morley's is the name of the pharmacy that preceded Lytle's in the Opera House building.

Group 5: a) Larry Jerome b) Norman Hastings c) Dick Davis d) Ralph Garner

Answer: b) Norman Hastings does not belong. Larry Jerome, Dick Davis and Ralph Garner were all automobile dealers in town. Norman Hastings ran a Culligan soft water franchise on North Main St.

Group 6: a) Pixley's b) Krazy Kelly's c) Casual Concepts d) Alvin's

Answer: d) Alvin's does not belong. Pixley's, Krazy Kelly's and Casual Concepts were all furniture stores in the Rochester area. Alvin's was a ladies' apparel shop.

I hope you enjoyed the quiz. If you did, maybe we'll do this again some time!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Which Does Not Belong?

Here's a fun quiz for those of you who know a lot about all things Rochester. In each group of four, one item does not belong. Can you correctly identify the stray item in each group? Just remember that "Rochester" refers to our combined communities of Rochester and Rochester Hills, so don't limit your thinking to the downtown area, or you might be led astray! I'll post the answers to the quiz on August 25.

Which Does Not Belong?

Group 1: a) Eve's b) Shepard's c) Carmichael's d) The Hurling Green
Group 2: a) Woodruff b) Avon Center c) The Haven d) Lawnridge
Group 3: a) Tienken b) Ross c) Hubbell d) Hamlin
Group 4: a) Purple Pickle b) Morley's c) Gerda's d) Bebout's
Group 5: a) Larry Jerome b) Dick Davis c) Norman Hastings d) Ralph Garner
Group 6: a) Pixley's b) Krazy Kelly's c) Casual Concepts d) Alvin's

Those are the easy ones. Next time, I'll make them difficult. Have fun!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Subdivision Stories: Juengel's Orchards

It isn't very difficult to to discern the origin of the street names in the Juengel's Orchards subdivision. This plat, lying south of Hamlin Rd. and west of Rochester Road, was laid out in 1954 on the former farmlands of brothers Carl and Fred Juengel, who had taken over the property from their father, Herman R. Juengel.

Herman Juengel was born in Romeo in 1861 and lived for a time in Troy Township before moving to Avon Township around 1900. The property he owned near Hamlin & Rochester was operated for many years as an orchard, and when his sons and their wives eventually decided to subdivide the farm, they named the streets in the new plat for varieties of apples and cherries.
The ranch homes that were built in the Juengel's Orchards subdivision were situated on large lots and were affordable to those looking to escape the city and own their own homes "in the country." The helped to house the great population boom that Avon Township experiences in the post-WWII decade.
The Juengel's Orchard subdivision celebrates its 56th birthday this year.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Vanished Rochester: Rochester Shell Service

The Rochester Shell service station at 205 S. Main St. was opened in February of 1942 by Orville E. Quick, who had operated a previous filling station on the other side of Main Street for many years before. Frank Rewold was the general contractor for the new facility, and the station was described as "one of the finest in Michigan" in its grand opening advertisement.

Orville Quick died in 1951, and Russ Williams bought the business from his heirs. Williams operated the Rochester Shell Service until March 1958, when Eugene Byers purchased it and combined his wrecker service with the gas station. Byers had previously been associated with Dean Lee in another filling station and wrecker service on South Main St., but in the mid-1950s the Lee and Byers firm had been dissolved with Lee operating the service station and Byers operating the towing business.

Eugene Byers and his brother, Norm, operated the Byers Shell Service and Byers Wrecker Service from the corner of Second and Main for nearly thirty years. The wrecker yard was located directly behind the service station to the west, where the carcasses of wrecked vehicles were on display for all of the town to see. Byers eventually moved the wrecker yard to a larger location on South Street (where it is still located today) and gave up the service station business to concentrate exclusively on towing and recovery. The service station building was razed in the mid-1980s to make way for the boutique business suites currently occupying the site.

This view of the Rochester Shell Service dates from the 1940s when Orville E. Quick was the proprietor.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

This Month in Rochester History

In 2010, troops all over the country are celebrating the centennial of the founding of the Boy Scouts of America. And this month, we observe the anniversary of the naming of Rochester's first Eagle Scout, Allen R. Wilson.

The Rochester Clarion issue of August 12, 1927 announced the happy news:
Rochester's first Eagle Scout is the title Allen Rae Wilson now holds, he having been presented with the highest ranking badge at the closing Camp Pontiac council fire at Tommy's Lake Friday night. Allen Rae joined the Rochester Boy Scout troop May 30, 1924, and became a second class scout August 3, 1924, and a first class, March 17, 1925.
. . .
This is the second year that Allen Rae has served as commissary clerk for the Boy Scout camp at Tommy's Lake. He is 16 years old, and holds 23 merit badges, which are awarded for proficiency in special lines of endeavor.
Allen Wilson was the son of Dr. Robert Hugh Wilson, who was chief veterinarian of Parke-Davis & Co., and was the director of the Parkedale Biological Farms. Wilson told me in a 1980 interview that his father had served as chairman of the committee that first brought the Boy Scouts to Rochester, and served on the troop committee for many years.

This portrait of Allen R. Wilson is from his high school yearbook (RHS Class of 1929) and was provided from the collection of Rod and Susan Wilson.