Founders Day closes Baldwin's sesquicentennial celebration

BALDWIN — After a summer of hosting several community events commemorating Baldwin’s 150th birthday, the Lake County Historical Society threw its last sesquicentennial celebration by honoring the town’s founders Saturday, Oct. 8. 

Even though the wind was cold and brisk, the sun was pleasant in the open-air event at Wenger Pavilion, where many community members and descendents of Baldwin founders took part in the special occasion

LCHS President Bruce Micinski welcomed everyone. 

“One-hundred-fifty years ago people walked here, some came by horse and wagon, some by rail. Many were Civil War veterans, who were told how great Lake County would be for farming, not realizing how sandy the soil would be. The vision people had back then is still here today and growing. We recognize the families here who go way back,” Micinski said. 

State Rep. Scott VanSingel (R-Grant) presented the historical society and the Village of Baldwin, represented by council trustee Pam Anderson, a special state certificate recognizing its sesquicentennial. 

“An event like this comes around only 150 years,” VanSingel said. “Baldwin is like my home away from home. I love this place.” 

Susie Bradford Tripp, of the LCHS, and whose family goes back to the early founders, presented Founder’s Day certificates for descendents of 37 families who came to Baldwin between 1900 and 1925. 

Among some of the families honored were the Zdebski’s, the Angus McLeod family, who established the Ford Dealership where Dollar General is now located, the Allison family, establishing Baldwin Lumber in 1926, the Strayer family and Trick family. 

The Barletts, Longs, Ebmeyer and Merrill family (who were well known for logging) were also among some recognized, as well as Robert J. Smith, who founded the bank in Baldwin. Ray Trucks, who was prosecuting attorney and probate judge, Wolgamott, Wenger, Michalek, Wallace, Ghent and Patterson families, along with many others, were celebrated. 

Also to set the tone, a portion of a 1960s recording of the Keller and Brown Orchestra was played. 

“This ceremony concludes the activities that have been planned this year for the village’s sesquicentennial. Thanks to everyone who helped with all the events these past several months,” the Lake County Historical Museum said in a Facebook post.