Editors note: This article is part of Off The Press, in which the Lake County Historical Society shares stories and other details from previous editions of the Star. These points of interest are 75 years old, and come from the May 5, 1939 edition of the Star. The Lake County Historical Society office and museum are located at 830 N. Michigan Ave. in Baldwin. Its mailing address is 830 N. Michigan Ave., P.O. Box 774, Baldwin, Mich. 49304.

  • Thousands Attend Season’s Opening! Baldwin “Goes To Town” in welcome to visiting nimrods Saturday. Several thousand fishermen, tyros and onlookers attended the first annual Trout Festival staged at Baldwin Saturday under the direction of the Commercial Club. There are some who assert that it was a larger crowd than attended the opening of the deer season here in 1937. Mr. Johnny Jennings from the Olds factory at Haslett, near Lansing was crowned Kingfisherman for taking a trout nearly ten pounds, and then to show it was no accident, went out the next day and added an eight pounder from the same hole. Incidentally, he took his fish on a spinner. Eighteen pounds of rainbow trout in two pieces is evidence that he knew his stuff.
  • Harold H. Smedley, Muskegon attorney, who has written a book on fly casting and would doubtless rather fish than practice law, won first place in the dry casting and second in the wet fly. He was the amateur ace of the tourney. The casting was done from the bulkhead of the dam, the targets, similar to automobile tires, and varicolored, were scattered in the pond. Other contests included a foot race in waders, bicycle race, marble shooting and tug of war.
  • Cars – Cars – Cars. Talk about cars: Never in 36 years has the writer seen so many cars in Baldwin at one time. They lined Michigan Avenue from the railroad to the Forestry. Four side streets were filled and many cars were parked in private lots. Everybody was jolly, old residents came back to renew old acquaintance; more than 300 newcomers arrived to become regulars; it was a homecoming and trout festival combined in which everybody had a good time. There was not a traffic violation, not an argument or an ungentlemanly or unladylike incident in the day, though the taverns did a tremendous business day and evening.
  • By the time the crowd got into the auditorium, which is 100 feet long and 50 feet wide, the dancing space was limited to the size of the old halls we used to dance in. Several contests were run off, including a jitterbug and an old fashion waltz. The orchestra was the Jim Brown-Len Keller team supplemented by Emil Anderson on the sax and Dewey Loomis of Loomis Landing on the traps. The hall was canopied with paper streamers, and every noisemaker, pounds of confetti and screwy hats put everyone in a carnival mood.
  • Unlike the days of the Twenties when men wrangled and almost fought over their bids, the May tax sale Tuesday was tame. The sale was delayed an hour when Treasurer Bradford found that the 1937 law made no provision for redemption and called Lansing to find that the amendment had been made so the sale could go on.
  • For the first time in history, Michigan will have a uniform license plate under the new plan of lettering and numbering established in sequence, which will end the confusion caused by the so-called trick number plates. The 1940 plates will be a combination of two letters and four numbers; first two letters, dash, then two numbers, dash then two numbers. Plates designating the different types of motor vehicles will be coded in such a manner as to make them easily distinguishable.
  • Deer Winter Well in Lake County. Michigan’s Lower Peninsula deer herds experienced comparatively mild weather conditions this winter as far as the snow depth is concerned. Detailed information on loss due to starvation will be available when the spring dead deer drives are completed by the CCC in cooperation with the department of conservation. Deer in Lake County are believed to have wintered in fair condition as the acorn crop was heavy last fall and this factor(ed) together with the less severe weather conditions and short yarding period may account for the few losses.
  • Notice: It will be well for those who want a wheat allotment for the 1939 sowing season to get in touch with the Soil Conservation office in Baldwin – Jacob Pepper.
  • Idlewild Post Office Robber Pleads Guilty in Court. The defendant plead guilty to a charge of burglarizing Tuesday. He confessed to the crime after state police and post office inspectors working with Sheriff Smith placed him at the scene and laboratory reports showed shreds of cloth to match his clothes. Most of the $123 stolen was hidden under a house next to his home.
  • All hunters to be “back tagged” this year. The conservation commission has voted to furnish all small game hunters with back tags beginning next October. The measure, urged by sportsmen’s organizations and farmers as a step in bettering farmer-sportsmen relationships.
  • Na-Tah-Ka Tavern, operated by Joseph Bender, opened for business May 1.
  • A class composed of eight boys and three girls will graduate from the local (Luther) high school Friday evening. Alma Richert is valedictorian. Keith Willard is salutorian. Members of the class who plan to go to college (next term) are William Hodgins and Mary Thompson.