Meet Troutarama's seven nonagenarian Grand Marshals

Grand Parade to honor longtime Baldwin residents as part of its sesquicentennial celebration

BALDWIN — The 66th Annual Troutarama Grand Parade will take place at 1 p.m., Saturday, July 23, in downtown Baldwin, and will feature seven Grand Marshals.

The theme for this year is “Baldwin Sesquicentennial — Celebrating 150 Years,” and the Grand Marshals are long time residents of the Village of Baldwin. 

“The Grand Marshals were chosen to honor them for reaching at least 90 years of age and still owning their own homes in Baldwin,” said parade co-chair Lori Braginton.

This year the parade will feature the following seven Grand Marshals:

TROUT-A-RAMA GRAND PARADE LINE UP

1. AMVETS Riders Chapter 1988
2. AMVETS Post 1988
3-8. Grand Marshals
9. Little King & Queen Contestants & Kiddie Parade Winners
10. Lake Osceola State Bank
11. Baldwin Bait & Tackle/Motel BBT/BBT Guide Service
12. Grand Oaks Nursing Center
13. Lake County Democratic Party
14. Lake County Historical Society - Hats off to Baldwin
15. Baldwin Lumber Company
16. Lake County Habitat for Humanity
17. Michigan Works! West Central
18. Mesha Ministries
19. Alton Tucker
20. Scott Daggett
21. Pathfinder Library
22. Chuck Myers
23. The Baldwin Promise
24. Committee to Elect Diane Schindlbeck
25. Lindsey's Park on Paradise Lake, RV Hookups, Camping & Tours
26. Tom Norton for Congress
27. Wesco
28. Lake County Road Commission
29. Dennis Parisian
30. Marsha-Rama - Turns 80!
31. Men of Purpose - The symbol of the fish
32. Up North Gift Co. 
33. Baldwin Family Health Care
34. Lake County Treasurer & Clerk
48. Pleasant Plains Twp. Fire Dept.
49. Bud Kloosterman
50. Judy Kloosterman
51-56. Baldwin Corvette Club
57. Scottville Clown Band

Gordon and Emily Allison

Gordon and Emily Allison were born exactly six months apart in 1928.  Gordon grew up on the south end of the village, while Emily grew up on the north end of the village.  Both attended and graduated from Baldwin School.  

After graduation, Gordon attended Michigan State College, now Michigan State University, and Emily attended Alma College. Following graduation from their respective colleges, Gordon entered the US Army and Emily entered a teaching contract in Kent City. 

Eventually moving back to Baldwin, they married in 1954, built a home in the Village of Baldwin, which they still live in today, and raised their two children.  

Gordon worked with his parents at Baldwin Lumber and was a very active member of the community as a Boy Scout leader, a Chamber of Commerce member, and serving as Village Councilman.  

Emily was active as a Boy Scout Den mother, a Girl Scout Leader, a Band Booster member and Vienna ’73 Chair. Once the children were of school age, she became a substitute teacher in Baldwin Community Schools.  

Becoming sole owners of the Baldwin Lumber Company, Emily and Gordon worked full time into their 80’s.

Gordon and Emily have shared their families love of history with the Historical Society and have supported their programs and events for many years.  They are passionate about Baldwin and continue to work towards the preservation of its history. 

Clarence Vincent

Born in Peacock Township in 1925, Clarence Vincent was the oldest of three children, which included his brother Albert now living in California, and sister Willa Mae, who died in her 60s.

He graduated from Dickson Rural Agriculture School, now known as Kaleva Norman Dickson High School, which at the time stressed how to farm and raise gardens.

In 1947, at 24 years old, as he went to put gas in the family car, the lantern he was carrying caused the gas to explode and he was severely burned. It took four years to heal from the burns, and he remains scarred to this day. Clarence credits Howard Moore, who was nearby at the time, for saving his life.

Following his father’s death, the family moved from Peacock Township to Webber Township, and eventually to Baldwin.
In 1949, he went to work for the Pere Marquette Railroad, which later became the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad. He was transferred over the years from Peacock to Evart and to Luddington.  He worked for the railroad until his retirement in 1987.

In 1952, he married Jessie and they purchased a home in Baldwin, where they raised six children.

Clarence has been a member of the Baldwin Village Council for 30 years, having been first elected in 1992. He is also a member of the planning and zoning board and a member of the Christ Community Church of Baldwin. Although he has not attended church since the Coronavirus pandemic, he has been a member of God’s family for 97 years and practices his worship daily.

Clarence saw segregation while growing up in Peacock Township, particularly in the cemetery where whites and black had to be buried in separate cemeteries. When the time allowed, he deeded land to Peacock Township for an inclusive cemetery.

Clarence has been the "go-to-guy" for history about the Peacock area and anything about the Railroads that served Baldwin.  When folk musician Chris Vallillo's program Oh Freedom, the story of the Civil Rights Movement, was presented at the Lake County Historical Museum, he helped us and the audience understand what it was like growing up black and a descendant of slaves.  

We appreciate that he has always been truthful and honest about his life and willing to share his history. 

Raymond Meinke

Raymond Meinke was born in Chicago, IL in 1927.  Shortly thereafter his family moved to Chase. He attended Chase school until his family moved to Baldwin in 1944, and he attended Baldwin schools. 

Ray was a volunteer at the Baldwin Fire and Airplane watch tower.  In that year he and several other boys were told they were on the list soon to be drafted, he, along with others, left school at the age of 17 to volunteer to serve. When the war ended, Staff Sgt. Meinke returned home and married his high school sweetheart Dorothy Vigna and when the Korean conflict started he was called back to the Marine Corps to help defend our freedom.  

Ray and Dorothy bought their home on Oak St. in the Village of Baldwin in the late 1950’s and raised two daughters, Carol and Rae Ann.

In 1957 he was co-manager of the Phillips 66 station in Baldwin and worked part-time as a bus driver.  Later he went to work for the Lake County Road Commission, retiring after 26 years as equipment superintendent.

Raymond served as Baldwin’s Mayor and on the Village Council as a trustee for many years. He is a charter, as well as Life-member, of the Peacock VFW Post 5315 and was a member of the Baldwin Masons.  

He has loved hunting and fishing and still lives in his own home in the Village of Baldwin, enjoying talking to family and friends, maintaining his house and lawn. He enjoys watching the Detroit Tigers and Lions and teasing the blackjack dealers at Little River casino every chance he gets.

Jane Gibson Miller

Jane Gibson Miller was born in 1925 on Oak St. in the Village of Baldwin.  She spent her early years living on Oak St. and Lynn St. She attended Baldwin Schools graduating in 1943 as Valedictorian. 

In 1942 she married her high school sweetheart Marion Miller, after he was drafted into the Army for WWII. 

After graduation, Jane worked at the Lake County Treasurer’s office, during which time her Father Earl “Pug” Gibson was the County Treasurer.

In 1950 Jane and Marion built their first home on 7th St.  in Baldwin, which they owned until the early 80’s.  

In 1969 Jane graduated from Ferris State College, after which she became a substitute teacher at both Baldwin and Mason County Central Schools.

In the early 70’s Jane and her husband Marion owned and operated “The Corn Shoppe” in downtown Baldwin.

Jane was the organist for Baldwin Congregational Church for over 33 years and during that time she organized the Cherub Choir and a very talented Ladies quartet.

Jane now resides in an historic home on Lynn St. in Baldwin, which she and Marion restored in the late 70’s.  

Mary Bradford Carlson

Mary Evelyn Foles was born March 15, 1932, in Grand Rapids.  She married Charles C. Bradford, a Baldwin native, on September 12, 1952, and they purchased their home in the Village of Baldwin on July 11, 1952, where they raised two daughters, Susan and Nancy.    

Mary has continued to live in this home for 70 years.

Charles Bradford passed away in 1975, and in 1984, Mary married Edville Carlson.  Ed passed away in 1999.

Mary feels blessed to have had a long career working at Lake County Department of Social Services, as well as the love of family and friends.

Alice Truxton

Alice Duffy Truxton was born in Iron Mountain on April 28, 1925.  She married Harold Truxton in 1950.  In 1952 she moved to Baldwin, with Harold and their four children, Jim, Gary, Susan and Karen.  

In 1966, when all of her children were in school full time, Alice began her 25 year career at Baldwin Community schools, working in the office.

Alice and Harold purchased their home on Beech Street in the Village of Baldwin in 1964.  Sadly, Harold passed away in 2005.  Alice still owns the family home.  

Unfortunately, due to health constraints, Alice will not be able to ride in the Grand Parade, but we would like to acknowledge her as a long-time resident of the Village of Baldwin.  Alice, as well as her husband Harold, were always loyal citizens and wonderful friends and neighbors to all.