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





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View from the old water tower - 1940s
Photos taken and submitted by Stu Elder

   Dear HHS Friends,

     Thought you might be interested in how Hartford looked in 1940 as seen from the Water Tower located on South  Center Street as part of the Hartford Water Supply.  Clarence Pomeroy was Police Chief and  custodian of the Pumping Station.
The first picture of Birdie (John Boynton) was taken just after we came down from the water tower where we took a lot pictures of Hartford.  I'm sure that many of you can remember what is shown in these pictures.  You can see Birdie's arm with his camera in one of the pictures and I'm sure that you can pick out the high school.
       Climbing the tower to the walkway where we were is the easy part.  Birdie and Johnny and I did the complete job one time.  By that, I mean that we stood on the ball below the weather vane and touched the tip of the arrow.  There is a ladder going up to the roof of the tank to get to an access trap door for getting inside the tank .  Sure wouldn't want that job.  Just above the access door is a vertical ridge that we could place our feet against to reach the ball at the bottom of the weather vane and pull ourselves up. Birdie was taller than Johnny and me so he went first and then extended a leg so that we could each be pulled up to get ahold of the ball and pull ourselves the rest of the way up.   Getting down by doing everything in reverse was a little precarious.  I don't remember if my mother ever found out that we did that or not.  I can picture her saying,
"John Stewart Elder you could have killed your self."  Looking back from today, it does look like a dumb thing to do.  But when you are a teenager, there is a lot of daring and double daring and it's hard to refuse the challenge.
    I know that Jim Byers (HHS 1940) had also climbed up to the top.  Perhaps many of you had done the same thing.  I remember that Dave Moore (HHS 1939), who had a pretty strong arm could throw a snow ball up high enough to land on the top of the water tank.

Enjoy the pictures,
Stu Elder
HHS 1941



Thanks to Stu Elder for providing these beautiful photos from his archives of Hartford 10-2006.

Name of
streets were added to the original photographs to aid viewer navigation.  
N - S - E - W
notations are not meant to be exact references.

Click here to view a history
of the old water tower, new water tower in 1958 with restoration and  new logo in 2006.
Additional notes:

2nd photo above - the house by the S at the S East Street notation was where Grandpa Miller lived.  I used to run in frequently from school......why not?  Don Cochrane lived next to the South.  That garage had a 1908 Buick in the back until I was in High School. . . saw it being loaded onto a trailer.  Grandpa's garage and basement were his shatter-proof thermometer business.  Also his wine cellar!  Memories...........
                                                                                                  2-27-2007  Larry Blyly (HHS 1946)

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 20, 2014