The Belleville Community


 

THE STORY OF THE QUILT  

Picture Of The Belleville Community Quilt

 

 
 

Square 1

   

                   Rawsonville Log Cabin- Peggy Balestrieri

In 1933, during the depression, Harry Mosley, a resident of Rawsonville hired two out-of-work men to build two log cabins on his property which fronted Belleville Lake. He rented them out to summer vacationers. Neither cabin stands today.

Peggy chose to do one of the cabins for her block because she recalls her husband taking their children fishing on the lake behind the cabins. The scene remains a very fond memory for her family. It is the only pieced block in the quilt.

 
 
 

Square 2

 

Horizon Parkm - Susan Jaszcz

Horizon Park is located in Belleville on a long narrow strip of land sandwiched between Belleville Lake and High Street. It was established in 1976, the bicentennial year. The Veteran’s Memorial stands in this park.

Sue chose Horizon Park as her subject because of its greenery and tranquility. She likes the view of the lake and respects the memorial honoring the service men and women of our community who died for their country
.
 

 
 
 

Square 3

 
 

     Water Tower - Josephine Chapman

The Belleville water tower was erected in 1919 and was used to hold water for sixty-seven years. When Detroit water was obtained, the tower stood empty for twenty more years. After a weakened leg buckled and the tower partially fell into the lake on June 2, 1986, the rusted tower was pulled down.

Josephine chose the water tower because it had always seemed like an important landmark to her.
 

 
 
 
 

Square 4

 

The Dam Store - Renee Bell

The Dam Store was located at French Landing, not far from the dam. It was a small grocery store and was in business many years. Stanley Seitz was the owner. It does not stand today.

Renee chose this landmark from a book she had looked through for a possible subject. She is a member of Sue’s Quilt Club, which is located in Sumpter, and some of the quilters agreed to select a topic or scene for a block. We are very grateful to all these women for their help.

 
 
 
 

Square 5

   
 

Martinsville Cemetery - Jane Wilkin

On March 27, 1855, a resolution by the Board of Health of Sumpter Township to purchase a piece of property for a cemetery. The record does not tell from whom the property was purchased.

In search of a second block to do, Jane visited the cemetery one afternoon with Marilyn Locke where they took pictures of headstones and scenery. After this trip, Jane chose the cemetery as the subject for that block.
 

 
 
 
 

Square 6

 
 

Five and Dime - Kay Atkins

The Five and Dime was also known as the Ben Franklin Store. It was located on Main Street in Belleville. It was built by Russell Price and leased to Ben Franklin in 1946. The business was then operated by Earl Bosteder, who was also known as Mr. B. The building still stands today but has been divided into a business mall.

Kay recalls the Five and Dime when she was a little girl and frequently went there to shop. She worked in detail and depicted the mechanical horse, yard goods, and candy bins that we all remember. Kay is the founder of the Western Wayne County Quilting Guild. Some of the other women of that organization also made a contribution, and we are grateful for their help.
 

 
 
 
 

Square 7

   

Quirk House - Jacqueline Copeland

The Quirk House is located at 12100 Quirk Road and sits on a small hill overlooking Belleville Lake. This elegant home is all that is left of the extensive land holdings that were knkown as Quirk Farms. It was built about the year 1873 by a Mr. Dalrymple with the intention of turning it into an inn to provide meals and shelter for river travelers. It was not completed until 1897 when Daniel Quirk purchased the shell of the structure and turned it over to his nephew, George Quirk, who completed it.

Jacqueline worked on this block during her entire winter vacation in Arizona..  She chose the Quirk House because she now has relatives who live there, Prentice and Joann Howell, who bought it in 1988.
 

 
 
 
 

Square 8

   

The Train Depot - Karen Balenecki

The coming of the railroad to Belleville in 1881 drastically affected the growth of Van Buren Township. The Wabash Railway was constructed with the first train traveling through Belleville in July of 1881. Its tracks ran into Belleville where a train depot was erected. With the advent of the train depot, the village of Belleville became the township’s main shipping point, and the small communities of Denton and Rawsonville went into decline. From this point, river travel became a thing of the past.

Karen chose this historic landmark from the book Water Under the Bridge. Karen is a member of Sue’s Quilt Club in Sumpter, and she and Sue Crain did the actual quilting on the entire quilt.
 

 
 
 
 
 

Square 9

   
 

Old Belleville School - Elizabeth Devore

In 1866 the Belleville School Board voted to build a brick schoolhouse for the children of Belleville. Land was purchased along Third Street, and the school was built in 1867. In 1903 the school burned when it was struck by lightening. A second school was built in the same spot and was very similar in appearance to the first.

Elizabeth chose to do this block because her husband, George Devore, is a teacher at the current Belleville High School.
 

 
 
 
 

Square 10

   
 

Watkins Wagon - Susan Jaszcz

The Watkins man began to sell his products house-to-house by horse and buggy in this area soon after Watkins products were introduced in 1868.

Susan did this block at Marilyn’s suggestion. This was the second block contributed by Sue. Currently, Sue is president of the Western Wayne County Quilting Guild.
 

 
 
 
 

Square 11

 
 

French Landing Dam - Lee Upton

The construction of the Edison Dam site and powerhouse began in early summer, 1924, and continued through to March of 1925, thus changing the Huron Valley into Belleville Lake.

Lee chose this as her subject because she likes the scene and recognizes the impact Detroit Edison and the lake have had on our community.
 

 
 
 
 

Square 12

   
 

Boneville School - Marilyn Greca Locke

In the late 1800s a Mr. Bone donated five acres of land on Willow Road to Sumpter Township to have a one-room schoolhouse erected. By 1893, Boneville School was recorded as already being established in District 7 of Sumpter Township. Later, the name was shortened to Bone School. In 1937, another room was built on making it a two-room schoolhouse. The building still stands.

Marilyn chose this for her block because she attended school there from kindergarten through third grade. Before that, all of her older sisters and brothers had attended that school, as had her mother before them.

The children on the playground in the picture represent her mother, Mabel Rounsifer Greca, wearing pink and blue; Mabel’s two best friends, twins Jesse and Bessie Laurie in red dresses; and another friend Roxie Sobolewski. The girls are playing ring-around-the-rosie. Mabel Rounsifer Greca later went on to teach at Bone School.

 

 
 
 
 
 

Square 13

   
 

Van Buren Township Hall - Christine Bentley

The question of erecting a township hall was put to the voters in the spring of 1875. Passed by the voters, the township hall was completed in November of that year. Today, the Van Buren Township Hall is recognized by the Michigan Historical Society as a Michigan landmark.

The village of Belleville and the Township of Van Buren became separate governmental enties in 1905.

Chris chose the Van Buren Township Hall because she has always liked the fascinating stories behind it and its historical significance. She thinks that the location of the hall in the center of town shows its importance to our community. To recognize its central place in our community, the township block is centrally located in the quilt.
 

 
 
 
 
 

Square 14

 

Sumpter Tavern - Cynthia Owens Enzenauer

This building still stands in Sumpter at the corner of Sumpter and Willow Roads. It was built in 1935 by Joseph Milosch and was referred to as The Biergarten by residents of the neighborhood. It served for years as the hub for social gatherings in the community.

Cynthia chose this structure as the subject of her block because her parents, Al and Mary Owens, were the owners from 1948 to 1964.
 

 
 
 

Square 15

 
 

Jacob’s Horse Farm - Barbara Rogalle Miller/Bernice Rickard

Jacob’s Horse Farm was once part of the original Quirk Farms, and its surrounding land was utilized for such crops as hay, grain, and corn. The old barn which stood on the property was the scene of many a threshing bee.

Eventually, this property was purchased by Henry Ford I, who purchased a great deal of the Quirk Farms, for the purposed of farming the land. The original home at 11105 Quirk Road was built around 1874 and still stands today.

It is now owned by Lee and Helen Jacobs. The Jacobs’ purchased the land from young Henry Ford II in 1947.

They call the farm Jacobs Horse Sales and Saddlery. The Wayne County 4-H Fair grounds, which stand right behind the Jacob’s Horse Farm on Quirk Road, was also purchased in 1947 from Henry Ford II. There were no buildings on the fair grounds for the first two years, so the Jacobs buildings were used along with tents to accommodate the 4-H Fair.

Barbara Rogalle Miller worked on this scene because she recalls so well the great times she had as a child at the 4-H Fair with its rides and other attractions. This scene is clearly etched in the minds of many who attended the fair of visited Jacobs’ Horse Sales and Saddlery. Bernice Rickard did most of the embroidery on this block (the Ferris wheel, etc.).
 

 
 
 
 
 

Square 16

 

Maggie Hope House - Kay Atkins

This large home is known as "Maggie Hope’s House" and still stands at 374 Main Street in Belleville in the heart of the city. It is believed that this house was built around 1880 by Maggie Hope’s father, Richard Hope. Maggie was well known as a teacher, accountant, and historian who passed away in 1974 at the age of 98.

Kay dedicated this block to the memory of Sharlene Tator who passed away recently. Shar looked forward to sewing the Maggie Hope House block, but she became too ill to do it, so Kay did it for her.

The lady in red, standing in front of the house, is a depiction of Maggie Hope, and the little girl is Shar. The quilt hanging on the line depicts the quilt made by students and given to Maggie. This quilt hangs today in the Van Buren Historical Museum.
 

 
 
 
 

Square 17

   
 

Old Methodist Church- Mary Jane Ferret

The First United Methodist Church was built in 1900. This particular church was the second of three churches used by the Belleville Methodists. The bronze bell, which was cast in 1865, was used in the first two churches and is currently being used in the third church.

Mary Jane Ferret chose this block because she is a member of this church, and her husband’s family attended the second of the three churches.
 

 
 
 
 

Square 18

   

P.N.A. Hall - Marilyn Greca Locke

The Polish Farmers Society built this hall in 1944 on the corner of Sumpter and Harris Roads in Sumpter Township. Known as the P.N.A. Hall, thousands of events have taken place there, including weddings, dances, wakes, festivals, reunions, church picnis, and bingo games.

This hall has been the scene of some wonderful times for people of our community for the past fifty years. It was given to the township of Sumpter in 1994.

Marilyn chose the P.N.A. Hall for a block because she rememebres many Polish weddings there with the polkas danced across the wooden floor. The bride’s white veil is of net used at Jennie Odom’s bridal shower, a bride married in the fall of 1994.
 

 
 
 
 
 

Square 19

   

Robson House 1852 - Sandra Robson Zimmer

George and Elsie Robson still reside on the original family homestead located on Tyler Road in Van Buren Township. Built by George’s great-grandfather Henry Robson in 1852 this beautifully-preserved home was awarded a Centennial Farm designated by the Michigan Historical Commission in cooperation with the Detroit Edison Company in 1964. George and Elsie had two children, George Errol, born in 1936, and Sandra, born in 1940.

Sandra Robson Zimmer appliqued this block of her family home and is the daughter mentioned above. As an example of the detailed piecework in this block, we can see different wallpaper in each set of windows. Ms. Robson is a quilter of renown, and her quilts have won many awards throughout the state.
 

 
 
 
 
 

Square 20

   

Victory Park Gazebo - Linda Collier

Victory Park was named in honor of WW I soldiers in 1919. In January, 1925, it was decided that a comfort station should be erected in the park.

Years later, this comfort station was remodeled and named Victory Station. The gazebo was built around 1983 by the Davenport Bros. Construction Company with the help of Park Gregory, our town’s renown historian, teacher, author, and citizen.

Linda chose the gazebo in Victory Park because it seemed to her to be the center of many town functions and activities. Some of the activities currently occurring there include Music in the Park, weddings, and class reunions. The gazebo seems to her to be the center of many town functions and activities.
 

 
 
 
 
 

Square 21

   

Tyler Street Schoo -l Jane Wilkins

The Tyler Street School District was first organized in 1835. The Tyler Street School was completed in 1868 and still stands today. It is located on the corner of Tyler Road and Haggerty Road in Van Buren Township. The little school house was used daily until 1925.

Jane chose this from the book Water Under the Bridge. She liked the sketch in the book and used that as her pattern. She even included the little outhouse behind the school with its beaten path.
 

 
 
 
 
 

Square 22

   

Old Edison Building - Chesley J. & Catherine A. Odom

The Detroit Edison building was erected around 1934 and was used by Detroit Edison until December 30. 1972, when it closed its office permanently.

Chesley designed this block and his mother Catherine did the applique. He chose this particular building because he now owns it and has his business there. The pink flamingo in the window, the wrought iron fencing, the names of all the members of the Odom family engraved into the bricks on the front sidewalk, and many other details of the property are depicted by Catherine in this block. Some of the fabrics used in the block have personal meaning to the Odom family.
 

 
 
 
 

Square 23

   

Old St. Anthony’s - Eugenia Uchman

St. Anthony’s Catholic Church was located on the corner of First and Main Streets in Belleville and was built around 1890 by S.W. Cole, a member of the congregation of the Grace Episcopal Mission.

The wooden building was built to seat 200 people. In the 1920s this structure was purchased from Grace Episcopal Church by the Catholics for the purpose of establishing St. Anthony’s Mission. On January 7, 1946, St. Anthony’s became a parish. The structure has since been demolished.

Eugenia chose St. Anthony’s because she has been a member of this parish most of her life. In fact, on June 16, 1946, she and her husband Ted were the second couple to be married in the old St. Anthony’s Catholic Church. Their marriage took place at the 8a.m. Mass on a Sunday morning 48 years ago.
 

 
 
 
 
 

Square 24

 

Belvil Theatre - Kathleen Mericki Miller

The Belvil Theatre was located on Main Street in Belleville, and that structure is now known as the Professional Building. It was built by Dr. E.S. Alford and opened August 8, 1940. The business was owned by William Kirchner, and it served the community until December, 1967, when it closed its doors permanently to moviegoers.

Kathy Merecki was born and raised in Belleville. During the 50s, she and her sister Nancy would take fifty cents each and walk to the show on Saturday afternoons. They would see a double feature for thirty cents and purchase a bag of popcorn for a dime and two candy bars for five cents each. These Saturday afternoons at the movies created happy memories for Kathy. To commemorate her happy childhood in the community, she chose to do a block of the Belvil Theatre.
 

 
 
 
 
 

Square 25

 

Old Bridge and Doane’s - Barbara Rogalle Miller

Doane’s, one of the oldest structures in the City of Belleville, was built in the late 1830s. The original 1830s structure was a creamery and was that section of the complex which had Doane written across the roof. In August of 1931, Roy Doane purchased the building from Detroit Creamery, and it became the Doane Boat Livery. The building was demolished on November 10, 1993, in anticipation of a newer, more modern structure.

The Belleville Road causeway and bridge was built in 1923-1924 and continues to serve as the north entrance into Belleville; soon it will be replaced by a new bridge.

Barbara chose this scene for her block because both Doane’s and the bridge have been important local landmarks. Doane’s is gone now, and the old bridge will be only a memory within a year or two. As well, Barbara sponsored a print to commemorate this scene, a print that is being used to raise funds for the Belleville Area Council for the Arts.
 

 
 
 
 
 

Square 26

 

Beebe Store - Marilyn Locke and Jacqueline Copeland

Walter E. Beebe came to Sumpter with his father from Massachusetts in 1869. His father set him up in a general store located on Wear Road in West Sumpter in 1878. At this time West Sumpter was becoming a busy town with a Methodist church, school, blacksmith shop, and cooper shop.

Beebe’s General Store stocked everything from yard goods to groceries and clothing, wallpaper, medicine, and candy. People drove from miles around to shop at Beebe’s store. This store burned in 1929, and Mr. Beebe rebuilt and ran the new store until his death in 1951. His son took over and kept it open for many more years.

Marilyn chose the Beebe Store because she remembers her aunts, uncles, and mother talking about shopping there as children. Marilyn remembers shopping in the second store. Jacqueline Copeland helped with the design and applique of this block.
 

 
 
 
 
 

Square 27

   

Lighthouse Church - Deanna McQueen

Belleville Free Pentecostal Church of God was the name of this church in 1965 when it was located in a storefront in Belleville. Subsequently, it moved to a location on the corner of Sumpter and Willis Roads. Later, in 1968, property was purchased at its present site at 51185 Willis Road, and the Church was completed in 1972. In 1986, a new sanctuary and other new rooms were added. In 1987, its name was changed to Belleville Lighthouse Church.

Deanna chose to do this block because she is a member of the Lighthouse Church
 

 
 
 
 

Square 28

   

Sumpter Fire Station - Cynthia Owens Enzenauer

The fire station was built in 1953 and has served the community ever since. Soon it will be replaced by a new fire station farther south on Sumpter Road.

Right across Sumpter Road from the Fire Station is the Sumpter Roller Rink which was built in 1940 by John Januszyk; the business is still owned and operated by the Januszyk family.

Cynthia holds dear her memories of the Sumpter Roller Rink, as we all do who have glided around on the shiny wooden floor. She skated there as a youngster, as did her children years later. She worked at the rink for three years and has dedicated this block to the memory of the deceased members of the Januszyk family
 

 
 
 
 

Square 29

 

Fischer Library - 1953 Pat Ryback

The Fred C. Fischer Library was built in 1953 with funds donated by William Van Dyke of Detroit. The funds were given with the stipulation that the library be named after his close friend, Fred C. Fischer, and that the name could not be changed. Mr. Fischer was the head of rural schools in Wayne County for a number of years.

Pat chose the library because she has always loved libraries. She is a retired librarian and the membership chairperson for the Friends of the Fred C. Fischer Library.
 

 
 
 
 
 

Square 30

   

Boat Livery - Helena Bunyea

Bunyea’s Boat Livery was originally a barn located on the Dunn property in the Village of Belleville. It was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Charles Morris Bunyea in the early 1920s. After Mr. Bunyea’s death in 1924, Mrs. Bunyea kept the property. Her daughter Mae and son-in-law Roy Doane expressed a desire to remodel the old barn and open a business.

With the business open, the first such business on the lake since it was created, Mrs. Doane served light lunches and ice cream while Mr. Doane rented out rowboats and sold fishing tackle, fishing licenses, and fishbait.

When Clyde Bunyea joined the business in 1929, the Doanes moved across the street where Lakeview Tavern is now located. Clyde Bunyea named his business "Bunyea." He later sold to Robert Hayward.

Helena chose the boat livery because it was owned by her in-laws, and she worked there in the 1930s.
 

 


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