The Orphan Train and the Underground Railroad both will make stops in May at the Community Forum Series sponsored by Friends of New Buffalo Library. Both events will begin at 6 p.m. Eastern in the Pokagon Room, 33 N. Thompson St.

On Monday, May 6, using more than 100 old photos, the father-son team of Al and David Eicher with tell how between 1854 and 1927, thousands of orphans from New York and New England were shipped west on special “orphan trains” to find new lives in Midwestern farms and factories, 12,500 of them finding their way to Michigan. A few of these orphans were adopted and many worked as unpaid laborers.

On Thursday, May 16, journalist/playwright Eugene Baldwin will talk about his discovery of his great grandfather’s involvement in the Michigan Underground Railroad and his work for the National Park Service. Baldwin undertook a 10-year odyssey of writing about and walking escape routes along the Underground Railroad in Southern Illinois.

Other Community Forum programs include All About Spiders, May 21; Weather, Climate Change and the Environment of the Future, June 11, and Walking the Camino de Santiago, June 24..

The Community Forum Series is sponsored by the Friends of New Buffalo Library, underwritten in part by The Pokagon Fund.  For further information, call New Buffalo Township Library at (269) 469-2933, follow the Facebook link at or email

Come Out and Play

A Come Out and Play on Sunday the 5th of May for canines and their people will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Harbert Community Park, 13535 Red Arrow Highway.

The Celebrate Chikaming event will feature music, refreshments, doggie gift bags, bow ties and prizes.

Flag Day Pageant

Contestants are being sought for the Flag Day Prince and Princess Pageant (open to boys and girls 5 to 8 years old as of March 1, 2019, who live in River Valley School District, attend the River Valley Schools or have family that lives in River Valley District).

The registration deadline is May 13 and the pageant takes place at 3 p.m. May 19 in the River Valley Auditorium. To register, contact MacKenzie Bronson at

The Princess and Prince will ride in a convertible in the World’s Largest Flag Day parade on June 9.

NB Service League to meet

The New Buffalo Service League March Meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 8, at the New Buffalo Yacht Club.

This is the meeting when the club honors its scholarship recipients and their parents. Join us for an evening of fun, friendship, food and see why you should be a New Buffalo Service League member. Call Nancy Gino at (269) 469-1364 to reserve a spot.

Three Oaks UMC Organist retiring

In April, the Three Oaks United Methodist Church sadly accepted the retirement of Martha Spychalski, who has served the congregation at worship services, funerals, special events and weddings, playing the organ for 30 years.  

When Staff-Parish Relations convener Robert Tatina announced in church that “after blessing the congregation with organ and piano music for 30 years, Martha was retiring.” There was an audible gasp from the congregation.  

Before starting as Three Oaks United Methodist Church organist after Easter in 1989, Martha was the organist for over 10 years at New Buffalo United Methodist Church. he and her husband, Tom, plan to use their leisure time traveling

Martha’s final Sunday is May 5 and the search for a replacement is underway.

Shred Day

Shred Day is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 4, at the New Buffalo Branch of New Buffalo Savings Bank (in the parking lot behind the bank). All are welcome and up to 10 boxes of personal papers can be shredded.

Garden Club Plant Sale

The gardening season kicks off with the 12th annual River Valley Garden Club Plant Sale from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 18 (rain or shine), at Harbert Community Park, 13300 Red Arrow Highway, Harbert (just north of the Chikaming Township Center).

Locally grown perennials, bushes, trees, and native grasses will be available – all propagated by garden club members to be sold at the sale. Gardening books, magazines and homemade baked goods will also be available.

“It is our 12th year for the plant sale and we look forward to it all year” said Elizabeth Palulis of Sawyer, President of the club and Chairperson of the 2019 sale.  “It is also a good way learn about the club and consider becoming a member, plus it is a lot of fun. Our members have beautiful gardens and they are so generous about digging up samples to sell.”

The club welcomes new members and offers field trips and guest speakers throughout the year.  Some members are only available during the summer months while others live in the area all year.

Mobile food pantry

Harbor Country Progress will be hosting Feeding America West Michigan’s mobile pantry truck on Tuesday, May 7, at the Chikaming Township Fire Station, 13535 Red Arrow Hwy., Harbert.

The distribution starts at 3:30 p.m. and is sponsored by The Pokagon Fund.

Museum opening reception set

The Region of Three Oaks Museum is kicking off its 2019 season on Friday, May 3, from 6 to 8 p.m. with a preview wine reception to introduce the community to its new exhibits, features and calendar of events on

The museum will be open through October every Friday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. at 5 Featherbone Ave. (next to Acorn Theater.)

New this year is an exhibit on the Spanish Flu Epidemic of 1918 which was more deadly in Three Oaks than anywhere else in Berrien County. Another new display includes relics of the local shopping scene before the internet anchored by items and pictures from the Charles K. Warren and Hunerjager’s Department Store.

In a look at the stories behind three area roads there is a tribute to the Red Arrow Division of the U.S. Army, an original depiction of Captain Wessel Whittaker’s fateful shipwreck by local high school student artist Sonja Heath, and the story behind John Flynn, the shady Chicago labor leader who became a leading citizen of Sawyer.

The board also has put together a calendar of events including an evening of learning and sampling the fruits of the areas vineyards; a “sip and stroll” evening for an historical tour down Elm Street; the premier of “Lights! Camera! Three Oaks!” about the making of “Prancer;” co-sponsorship of Three Oaks Civil War Days; hosting a stop on the US 12 garage sale and a Three Oaks Trivia Night at a local establishment.

For further information visit the Museum on Facebook or

Garden gathering

Join us at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 11, 2019 at the Three Oaks Community Garden for a gathering in honor of Mother, in all of her many magnificent aspects.

Participants are invited to bring something to share, in honor of your Mother, Universal Mother, Mother Theresa, Mother Jones, Mother Nature, Blessed Mother. Ideas include photos, music, mementos, drawings, a poem or something that represents Mother.

Let’s have some fun as we build a large, cosmic nest. All are encouraged to add materials such as twigs, vines, ribbon, twine.

The Three Oaks Community Garden is located on Oak Street in downtown Three Oaks. For more information,

Sustainable Living Series Session I

Chikaming Open Lands will present Sustainable Living Series: Session I at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 11, on Mushrooms of Michigan.

Join COL and state certified mushroom experts R&D Mushrooms at Robinson Woods to explore mushroom foraging, growing mushrooms at home, and much more.

Space is limited and cost is $10 per person, contact the to RSVP.

A Stewardship Day at the Merritt Family Preserve is set for 10 a.m. May 11. New trees will be painted in the preserve.

Huge sale

Zion United Church of Christ, 9100 Third St., Baroda, will have a Huge Rummage Sale and Bake Sale from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 9 and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 10.

Old-time baseball game

A Civil War Days in Three Oaks fund-raiser featuring an old-time baseball game between the House of David Echoes and the Three Oaks Hometown Team at noon on Saturday, May 18, at the Three Oaks Elementary School Field, 100 Oak St.

A picnic (with a choice of sandwiches, sides and more for $7) begins at 11 a.m. Loose Strings will provide live music.

Fans are asked to bring lawn chairs.

Community garden plots offered

Community garden plots are available for rent at the Bridgman Public Library for the 2019 season.

The cost is $10 for each 4-foot by 8-foot plot. The Season Organizational Meeting is May 4 at 10:30 a.m. where equipment, garden rules will be reviewed and questions will be answered.

If you enjoy gardening, stop by the library to register and get your copy of the Garden Handbook.

RVHS Reunion

Did you graduate from River Valley High School between 1967 and 1997? Are you, or were you a teacher? If so, please join us for a multi-class reunion on July 20, 2019, at the Three Oaks American Legion, Post 204. 

Advanced registration and payment by June 21 is required. Cost is $20 per person which will include buffet style dinner, music, limited beer and wine along with a cash bar. 

For more information, contact Cheri Donner Vance, class of 1980, at or talk/text to (269) 426-1499. You may also send via postal mail your name, address and the class you graduated in, along with a check or money order payable to “RV Multi-Class Reunion” to 7234 Forest Lawn Road, Three Oaks MI 49128.

Fetch Some Fun

The Michiana Humane Society & SPCA, 722 Indiana Hwy 212, Michigan City, Ind., is offering a new program that allows members of the community to socialize with shelter dogs on field trips for a day.

“Fetch Some Fun” outings can last an hour or until the shelter closes, and can include hikes, a trip to the beach, even a lunch or a snack at a dog friendly restaurant. This is a great way for community members to enjoy the company of a dog and for the dog to be away from the stresses of being in a kennel.

Individuals should visit or contact the Michiana Humane Society at (219) 872-4499, or to sign up.

River Valley Community Lunch

The River Valley Community Lunch Program will take place at the Middle/High School on Thursday, May 16, starting at 1 p.m. 

The cost of the lunch is $2 per person. The program will be this year’s Top Seniors.  Administrators will also provide an update and answer questions.

Bets For Pets

A Bets For Pets Casino Night Fundraiser on May 11 at the Hilton Garden Inn, 1300 Cinema Way, Benton Harbor, will benefit the Humane Society of Southwest Michigan.

Doors open at 6 p.m. and the evening wraps up at 10 p.m.

Proceeds will be used to pay off the mortgage loan for the new Yeager Family Pet Shelter. The event will feature professionally run casino games, heavy hors d’oeuvres, open beer & wine bar, oxygen bar, photo booth, and live music. At the end of the night poker chips will be converted to raffle tickets that you can enter toward prizes, including a Journeyman Distillery Tasting Tour, South Bend Cubs Tickets to the Take-Your-Dog-To-The-Park Game and more. Visit the Yeager Family Pet Shelter or to buy tickets or become a sponsor.

I-94 resurfacing

The Michigan Department of Transportation will be resurfacing more than two miles of I-94 from the Michigan/Indiana state line to M-239 in New Buffalo. The project was slated to begin April 29.

The $9.5 million investment includes guardrail, culvert repair and replacement and reconstruction under bridges.

Daytime single-lane closures and nighttime double-lane closures are planned. The estimated end date is Aug. 23.

For project details and a map, visit Mi Drive

Genius Night

A Genius Night session featuring local and area literary, performance, and visual artists sharing their unique talents before an audience is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on the second Friday of each month at Elsie Earl Studios; 200 W. Buffalo St., New Buffalo.

Cost is $5. For more, go to

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