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.

Also added to some exhibits are several QR Codes which connect visitors instantly to additional information and fun facts behind the exhibits they are viewing.  

The designs and construction of the exhibits are the work of the TROTOM’s Collections Committee, headed by Judy Jackson with help from Sue Harsh and Nick Bogert. Supplementing the exhibits are several items secured by members of the Museum board during a visit to the Michigan State University Museum in East Lansing where numerous items of the original Chamberlain Museum (TROTOM’s predecessor) are stored.

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 www.thregionofthreeoaksmuseum.com.

Flag Day Pig Roast

The 2019 Three Oaks Flag Day Pig Roast will take place from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, April 28, at the Acorn Theater, 107 Generations Dr., Three Oaks.

The fund-raiser for this year’s Flag Day Celebration will feature food, music and a silent auction. Tickets are $15 each or four for $50.

To purchase tickets go to www.acorntheatre.org or call (269) 756-3879.

Harbor Country Singers to lead sing-along

The Harbor Country Singers (HCS), a community chorus, are slated to lead a sing-along of Broadway and movie hit songs at the New Buffalo Township Library, 33 N. Thompson St., at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 25.

Songs will include favorites from shows such as Annie Get Your Gun, Oklahoma, West Side Story, Showboat, The Sound of Music and more. And since this is (partly) an educational event, HCS will include a brief history of most of the songs and the musicals they’re from.

Anyone who likes to sing and likes show tunes is invited--regardless of age or musical talent (lyrics and music, along with light refreshments, will be provided).

HCS was founded, and is directed by, Cindy Dryden. It is a program of the School of American Music. Now in its sixth year, the School of American Music offers courses in stringed instruments, flute, piano and voice for children and adults.

For more information, visit schoolofamericanmusic.com.

SAM benefit concert

Nashville singer and songwriter Heidi Burson will perform a benefit concert for the School of American Music (SAM) scholarship fund on Friday, April 26, at the Acorn Theater, 107 Generations Dr., Three Oaks.

Doors open at 7 p.m. and SAM performers will be on stage at 7:30 p.m. Burson and her band take the stage at 8 p.m.  

Critics have called Burson “a world-class singer, a genuine, rare and unique talent,” and written that her “sultry tone...can silence most any room she is performing in.”  

Tickets are $20, and are available online at acornlive.org or at the Acorn box office the day of performance.

More than a third of SAM students receive scholarships.

“We need scholarship funds because we pay our teachers the going market rate, but not all people who can benefit from music lessons are in a position to pay that amount,” said SAM President Garth Taylor.

For more information, please contact the School of American Music at schoolofamericanmusic@gmail.com or by phone at (269) 409-1191 or visit https://schoolofamericanmusic.com.

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.

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.

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.

I-94 resurfacing project

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 beginning Monday, 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.

Warren Woods wildflower hike

As spring emerges in Warren Woods State Park, Harbor Country Hikers will be led by fellow member Arch Hopkins, who holds a doctorate in botany and knows about wildflowers and other unique characteristics of climax forests, on Saturday, April 27, beginning at 1 p.m.

The two-hour walk and talk may include some wet trails along the 1.75-mile moderate trek that includes some stairs and a short climb or two. Hikers will meet at the trailhead parking lot on the north side of Union Pier/Elm Valley/Townline Road, between Red Arrow Highway and Three Oaks Road.

Harbor Country Hikers events are open to all and children are welcome if accompanied by an adult. For weather cancellations, further information about HCH or to request a membership form, visit them on Facebook or at harborcountryhikers.com.

Forums on Orphan Train, Underground Railroad planned

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..

For further information, call New Buffalo Township Library at (269) 469-2933, follow the Facebook link at newbuffalotownshiplibrary.org or email new.buffalo.FOL@gmail.com.

Come Out and Play on canine day

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.

Author! Author!

The fifth Author! Author! event to be held  4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, April 25, at Center of the World Woodshop, 13400 Red Arrow Hwy., Harbert, will offer readings from new publications by two local authors, along with a reception during which visitors will have the opportunity to meet and mingle with numerous area authors.

The first reading will be given by B.A. Brittingham, from her latest novel, “American Dishonor,” in which a retired Marine and Lakota Sioux join forces with the intention to do good, yet end by tangling with Big Business and the FBI.

During the second portion of the event, Chriss Lyon will read from “Capone’s Playground,” in which the author combines the techniques of forensic genealogy with investigative research to uncover little-known facts about the people and events surrounding the notorious St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.

Following their readings, the authors will open the floor for questions and discussion.

Other visiting authors will be:

• Gloria Doty, whose “Not Different Enough” relates her thirty-year journey with a daughter diagnosed with autism and Asperger’s with humor and faith;

• Renee Foss, who believes that life is mostly a surprise requiring a sense of humor and intestinal fortitude, with her book, “Leaving Life Today? Tomorrow? Or Yesterday?”;

• Lorraine Oman Hanover, with the second edition of “Trails & Ales,” her guide to the best hikes in and around southwest Michigan, and where to get a great beer afterwards;

• Dawn Henrichson, with “A New Beginning,” the story of a woman determined to make a clean break from city life following ten years of parental caregiving;

• Charles Osgood, whose “Dutch Love” is a collection of photographs and journal entries from the travels of two relations in Europe in 1914 on the brink of WWI, and his own journey one hundred years later to see what had changed; and

• Elaine Thomopoulos, with “Legendary Locals of St. Joseph and Benton Harbor,” which combines stunning photography with the captivating stories of a cast of characters who settled and tamed the wilderness, along with present-day unsung heroes.

There is no charge to attend and books will be available for purchase. For more information, contact Lorraine at (269) 469-5687.

Day of Prayer in Bridgman

Everyone is invited to join in a National Day of Prayer event in Bridgman on Thursday, May 2.

Participants will gather around the flagpole at Bridgman City Hall, 9765 Maple St., at 12:15 p.m. Should we experience unfavorable weather, the city has given organizers permission to meet inside the city building.

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 May 19. To register, contact MacKenzie Bronson at mackcory0000@gmail.com.

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

Garden Club Plant Sale

The 12th annual River Valley Garden Club Plant Sale takes place 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.

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.

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