Pearls In Our Past - Hartford MI A Pictorial History of Hartford Michigan




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 Keeler-Hartford Area Survives Storm


Storm hit about 12:00 noon.
Started taking photos at 1:15 p.m.

Story and original photos taken by Emma Thornburg Sefcik, Webmaster

Storm strikes Hartford-Keeler area. Someone from Keeler called the radio station and reported seeing the tornado.  Electric power was off in some of the rural areas up to 5 days....most phone service was uninterrupted.  Several damage done down Territorial Road in Keeler easterly toward CR681, then down CR681 toward Hartford area....lots of downed trees, but not much structural damage.  No injuries reported in our immediate area.  Toward Benton Harbor, St Joe, and Coloma was more serious.  Although newspaper accounts state that this was not a tornado...after seeing the damage, it's hard to believe it wasn't.

1:15 p.m. - 60th St.
Several poles pushed by storm

Poles completely downed across road

CR681 between Hartford and Keeler.

Numerous trees were downed
in same area of CR681

Same area of CR681
at Agreeable Acres farm. Small shed-type building in front of barn destroyed with debris scattered across the road.  House and barn appeared undamaged.

Looking south past the Agreeable Acres farm house and barn on CR681.  Downed trees made the road impassible.


Road blocked in front of Agreeable Acres farm.  Pieces of metal from the small building was blown across the road.

Huge trees snapped in the wind.


These next 5 photos are
on CR681, Keeler Twp.

About 8 huge trees were destroyed
by the storm in this same area.

The mere size of the tree was a chilling site.

Snapped like toothpicks.

Front yard of folks living on CR681, in Keeler Twp., not far from Territorial Rd. intersection. The house and building were not hit.

Abandoned house on 72nd Ave depicts the most serious structural damage in the area.

Downed trees were just past the abandoned house, making 72nd Ave impassible.

A continuous row of about 6 trees were uprooted along 72nd Ave.  Trees were along side of the road and fell back into the woods.

The monstrous size of these trees was irrelevant to the storm .... laying 5 of them all over like saplings.

This was the most serious damage done in Hartford on Main Street.

Tree fell on back part of house and garage at corner of Red Arrow Hwy and 66th Avenue west of Hartford.

Downed tree in the subdivision west of Hartford.

Click on any photo to slightly enlarge for better viewing.

Photos by Emma Thornburg Sefcik

Information for this web site was gathered from personal interviews, newspaper articles, scrapbooks, personal photo albums, and other documented materials - many available to the public at the Hartford Public Library or Van Buren County Historical Museum.  Please report any typographical errors, updated information, or incorrectly stated information to the webmaster for correction.  Reprinting for personal and instructional purposes is permitted, however, unauthorized commercial reprinting of this information or unauthorized linking to photos-pictures on this site is strictly prohibited without written permission from the webmaster. 

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A Pictorial History of Hartford, Michigan
Emma Thornburg Sefcik,
Competent Secretarial Service
Copyright 2000 - All rights reserved.

Revised: March 02, 2015