New Troy Community Center
13372 California Road
New Troy, MI 49119
Phone: (269) 426-3909
Visit the Community Center
Book Room Hours
Mon - Sat: 10am–12pm
Mon - Fri: 5:30pm–7pm
5K/10K Timed Race & Fun Walk
For the first time, this year Run to the Center of the World 5K Run/Walk & 10K Run will be directed by SWMI Racers.
Both the 5K and 10K routes start and finish at the New Troy Community Center.
This event is now sanctioned by USATF (U.S. Track & Field).
FEES: 15 and Over: $20 by Midnight September 3
$25 September 4 through Noon September 14
$30 Race Day
14 and under: $15 through Race Day
Registration is now available online!
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Memories of the New Troy Snow Hill
Davyd Bronson of Three Oaks catches some air during a recent sledding excursion at the former New Troy Elementary School (now the New Troy Community Center).
By Deborah Rieth
Published: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 2:18 PM EST
The school bus door slapped open and I marched my short second-grade legs up the steps. Mr. Boyd, the bus driver, chirped “Good morning!” and patiently waited as I tried to find a seat. There were not many options on this particular morning.
Since my house was near the end of the route, it was common to have at least two, most likely three, kids crowded into each seat. But today, every New Troy Elementary School student worth his weight in snow pants was carrying a large piece of cardboard. Today was the first day of sledding on the school snow hill, and without the advantage of fancy sleds, saucers and flyers, we all knew that cardboard was the ticket to fun.
It was 1965, and the bus was overflowing with miniature New Troy Trojans bouncing their way to school, dressed for outdoor adventure. Our mothers all had master’s degrees in layering, and we were mummified with extra sweaters, wool coats, scarves and hats. Rubber boots were zipped or buckled over well-worn shoes, which pinched little feet with heavy socks slipped inside plastic bread bags. It took skill to even attempt to bend at the waist to be seated, while carrying a reading book, lunchbox, and the almighty cardboard.
Being a relatively small kid, I squeezed onto the edge of the seat next to my friend, Shirley, who was holding her cardboard up against the back of the seat in front of her. I swung my knees forward and held my piece close to my side, parallel to the bus aisle. There. Just enough room for the next rider to pass through. Mr. Boyd found first gear on the aging yellow bomber and lurched us forward to the next stop. Shirley tried to strike up a conversation, thwarted by the fact that her mouth was full of scarf fuzz.
Safely unloaded at the school, we made our way into the classroom and joined our other classmates, who were busy peeling off layers of clothing and scribbling their names on their makeshift sleds. Mr. Payne, our custodian, would later slip a few extra pieces of cardboard inside the classroom door for the kids who had none.
The clock laboriously made its way to the lunch hour, when food was quickly swallowed, followed by a fury of dressing up to race outside! Within four nanoseconds we stood at the top of the snow hill, admiring the beautiful white slope. The big third-graders were the first to dive down. Rolling, sliding, tackling or running, the idea was to get it packed down for serious use. After a few minutes, several brave kids straddled their cardboard and set sail. There was just enough ice underneath to give them enviable speed
Having witnessed the first few successful runs, it was finally my turn. I sat down on my cardboard, felt a major shove from behind me, and had lift-off. It was fast, it was cold, and it was impossible not to scream. I was vaguely aware of other kids on both sides of me, doing the same thing. We all landed in a heap at the bottom and scrambled to get out of the way of the next heat. Bundled up and breathing heavy, we raced back up the hill to get in line again.
I do not recall any adult supervision. We had somehow all figured out how to run the show ourselves. There were a lot of kids on that hill, but there was no cutting in line and no fighting. The big bad upperclassmen reluctantly gave extra time for the little ones to get going, and would often lend a hand in dragging them back up the hill. We learned to be fast, careful, tolerant and efficient. Kids who dilly-dallied or spent too much time showing off were openly reprimanded by their schoolmates. It was only in this way that we could all get in the most runs possible before the bell rang, like a death knell, signaling the end of the party.
Throughout the winter, it did not matter how cold it was or how hard the wind came blasting up that hill, we were all out there. Our cotton and wool outerwear was barely up to the challenge of keeping us warm, and I doubt that my heavy snow pants became thoroughly dry before April. We all abided by a secret code of never admitting that we were ever sick, and it did seem that we were all quite hardy
The cardboard held up amazingly well, too, considering the abuse of weather and wear. Several times Mr. Payne would appear with a huge box, staples removed, and set it at the top of the hill. We would take turns piling in and being sent down into orbit. This was possibly the only time when it was more fun to watch than actually participate. Eventually the box fell apart, at which time it was reconfigured into a type of magic carpet.
And yes, there were injuries. After first determining whether the person was legitimately hurt or just faking, a group of strong boys would hoist the casualty up in their arms and whisk him into the school for attention. But there were no wounds serious enough to keep anyone off the hill, even when it turned to a sheet of ice. Then, the glide was spectacular and with a pretty new piece of cardboard, you could ride halfway out to the football field.
When the inevitable periodic melts came, Mr. Payne gathered up the frayed cardboard debris and set it aflame on the other side of the playground. Sometimes heavy snow would reappear, sometimes not. When we knew it was gone for good, we complained for maybe a day, and then quickly shifted into the activities of a new season.
In Memory of Dr. A. W. Corey by William Brackett 2008
There are grave markers for Alton W. Corey, Verneita M. Corey and Mable J. Corey in the New Troy Cemetery in New Troy, Berrien County, Michigan. Alton W. and Verneita M. (Glade) Corey had children:
The Milan News-Leader carried an obituary for Dean O. Corey on 01 Nov 2007 and it reads: “Dean O. Corey Ann Arbor Dean O, Corey, 76, of Ann arbor died Oct. 22, 2007, at DuBois Regional Medical Center in DuBois, Pa. He suffered a heart attack while returning home with his wife from a New England vacation and underwent open heart surgery. Mr. Corey is survived by Barbara, his childhood friend and wife of 51 years, as well as his loving children, Brian Dean (Cheryl) Corey of Saline and Cheryl Joy (Christopher) Bradetich of Ann Arbor, and granddaughters Amanda May Corey and Morgan Elizabeth Bradetich. He is also survived by his sister, Jacqueline (Donald) Loving of Houston, and many nieces and nephews. The Coreys moved from Farmington to Ann Arbor in 1997 to be near their children. Mr. Corey was born Jan. 17, 1931, in New Troy, and graduated from Michigan State University. He served in the U.S. Army in Germany before his 1956 marriage to Barbara. He retired in 1989 from his career as a commercial interior designer in Detroit. A memorial service will be held 2:30 p.m. Nov. 3 at First Presbyterian Church of Saline. The rev. Judy Shipman will officiate. A committal service will be held 11 a.m. Nov. 8 at the Cope Memorial Garden of the First Presbyterian Church, Farmington. The Revs. Sue Melrose and Judy Shipman will officiate. Memorial contributions may be made to the memorial funds of the First Presbyterian Church of Saline, 143 E. Michigan Ave., Saline, MI 48176 or the First Presbyterian Church of Farmington, 26165 Farmington Road, Farmington Hills, MI 48334.”
Alton Wilcox Corey was born on 12 May 1896 in Owosso, Shiawassee County, Michigan and died on 25 Sep 1977, in St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida. Verneita Mae (Glade) Corey was born on 10 Apr 1900 in Berrien County, Michigan and died in Farmington, Oakland County, Michigan on 12 Aug 1987.
The “Berrien Bicentennial” 1776-1976 was edited by James T. Carney and published in 1976 by the Berrien County Bicentennial Commission. The Tesar Printing Company of Stevensville, Michigan printed this book. In the section of this book about Weesaw Township you can read: “Doctor A. W. Corey came to New Troy in 1922 and started practice in his small home, using a bedroom as office space. Some years later he built a large attractive home in the center of town and used the basement for his office. The ideal image of the dedicated country doctor, he made house calls 24 hours a day and delivered thousands of babies for two generations.” And also “In 1951, Dr. Corey underwent a serious operation and had planned to retire. A big party was held in his honor, but his health continued to improve and he was persuaded to go back into practice. Dr. Corey finally retired for good in 1961, after 39 years of dedicated service, and moved to Florida. Over 700 attended his retirement party, a fitting tribute to his many years of caring for others.”
If Dr. Corey did not come to New Troy until 1922 it is interesting that the grave marker for Mable J. Corey has a birth year of 1875 and a death year of 1915. Was his mother in New Troy before him or is this just a marker not a gravesite?
The South Bend Tribune carried an article, on page one of Section Two, about Dr. Corey’s pending retirement on 08 Oct 1961 and it reads: “New Troy’s Dr. Corey Call’s It Quits After 40 Years New troy-For almost 40 years the offices of Dr. Alton W. Corey, M.D., have served as clinic, dispensary and confessional for hundreds of Berrien County residents. Within the next few weeks the 65 –year-old general practitioner will lock the door of his New Troy office-home for the last time. Principally because of his wife Verneita’s urging, Dr. Corey will now pay closer attention to his own health-he has a heart condition-and retire from active practice to move to a home the couple bought in St. Petersburg, Fla., 10 years ago. His patients say he won’t be able to retire because of the busy schedule he’s maintained over the 40 years, but Dr. Corey says he’s willing to try. Wins Patient’s Respect. Quiet spoken, yet capable of a gruffness which has cured many imagined illnesses, Dr. Corey has won and maintained the fondness of his patients by a willingness to make house calls regardless of the hour or weather. More than once, in his haste to visit an ailing patient, he has crashed his car-wrapping it around a tree once-only to crawl out of the wreckage and walk the remaining distance. After completing his daily rounds at Mercy Hospital, Benton Harbor, Dr. Corey returns to his home where he has offices on the lower level. For six hours a day, seven days a week, afternoon and night, patients wend their way through the waiting room, examination room and dispensary. No Receptionist in Office. There is no receptionist to greet them, no nurse to administer inoculations or simple first aid, no secretary to keep track of accounts. Dr. Corey works alone. Office calls still cost only $2 and then only if the patient is given medicine or pills from the stock Dr. Corey keeps on hand. IT is rare when he has to write a prescription fort a patient as he maintains a store of modern pills and medicines needed for treatment. The doctor’s low fees are carried over to his other medical activities. Until a few years ago he charged $2 for home calls but finally decided that the home patients ‘could pay for my gasoline’ and raised the fee to $4. Baby Costs $50. Total cost for expectant mothers, including all office visits, his hospital visits and delivery of the baby, is now $50, double what he charged a few years ago but still well under the usual fee charged by most physicians. And all his patients’ payments are based on ‘a dollar now and a dollar whenever you can’ for those who do not have ready cash. There was a time when a bushel of apples or a sack of potatoes served as payment from those who didn’t have the money. His lack of bookkeeping system has caused some confusion among the estimated 3,000 to 3,500 babies he’s delivered (‘I quit keeping record’). Mothers of children have to keep their own records of the numerous required vaccinations given their children and the schools have to take the mother’s word because there is no record on file in Dr. Corey’s office that the child received the necessary shot. Moving Necessary. Dr. and Mrs. Corey are giving up the home they’ve lived in for 35 years and leaving the area with regret. But they fell it’s necessary. ‘If we didn’t move then the people wouldn’t let the doctor retire,’ Mrs. Corey said. ‘And he does have to start looking after himself now.’ The couple, who will live at 521 12th St. North, St. Petersburg, said their new home will be open to all their old friends and patients. ‘We want them to stop in and see us whenever they get down that way,’ Mrs. Corey said. There are still some patients among the two generations he has treated who doubt Dr. Corey will leave. They feel they’ll be able to go to that large white frame house in New Troy for medical help for a long time to come.”
The Herald Press carried an article about Dr. Corey’s retirement on 20 Oct 1961 and it reads: “They Sang To Doc Corey: “For He’s A Jolly Good Fellow” New Troy, Oct 20-Gatherine around a huge bonfire, 300 people who love him sang ‘For He’s A Jolly Good Fellow’ and gave Dr. Alton W. Corey, a happy-sad farewell party. Dr. Corey, one of southwestern Michigan’s most prominent country doctors for nearly 40 years, is retiring today and moving to sunny St. Petersburg, Fla. with his wife Verneita. And so he’d have a tangible reminder of his native state, Dr. Corey was presented an illuminated picture of a Michigan deer. The presentation was made by Herb Tollas of the Sawyer Lions club. Surprise! Last night’s bonfire and community songfest were organized in a matter of hours before the 9:30 p.m. event in the parking lot of Industrial Rubber Co.’s plant on Glendora rd. Dr. Corey was not told about the party ahead of time. His wife kept the secret. He had previously rejected all efforts to give him going-away gifts or fancy tributes. The night before, a hastily organized, informal committee, headed by Weesaw township supervisor Allen Boyd, the Rev. Douglas Mitchell, Mrs. David Sweet of Sawyer and educator Robert Decker, began telephoning the word about the party. People came from Bridgman on the north, New Buffalo on the southwest, Galien on the southeast, and all the area between. Generations Dr. Corey had delivered quite a number of those who paid tribute. The kindly physician quit counting after he delivered his 3,500th baby-a number greater than the entire population of several south-county townships. Several generations of families that Dr. Corey brought into the world were there. There were no long speeches. Hearts were too full. Nearly everyone knew that Dr. Corey had kept office hours seven days a week, wrecked two cars making home calls, walked through the snow to reach people who needed him, and had literally accepted potatoes in pay for treatments. Accepting his gift, Dr. Corey gave a two-sentence speech: ‘I think this is a great celebration. I’m sorry I have to leave you.’ Led Singing Fire trucks with lights a flashing guided the throng to the sight of the bonfire. Robert Decker, superintendent of the Chickaming school and formerly of the Three Oaks and New troy schools, led the community singing. ‘Let’s do “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow” first because he is,’ said Decker. ‘Then, “I’ve Been Working On The Railroad”, because that’s a good working song, And then “God Bless America.” ‘ Born in Owosso 65 years ago, Dr. Corey graduated from the University of Michigan medical school in 1921, interned a year at Blodgett hospital in Grand Rapids, and opened his office on the east edge of New troy in 1922. In 1920 he married the former Verenita Glade of Benton harbor. The Coreys have two children, Mrs. Donald (Jacqueline) Loving of Clarendon Hills, Ill., and Dean Corey of Farmington.”
The Galien River Gazette, published as a newspaper in Three Oaks, Michigan carried an article about Dr. Corey’s retirement on Thursday 26 Oct 1961 and it reads: “Area Say Farewell To Dr. Corey at Bonfire New Troy-By the light of a blazing bonfire, this community bid farewell to Dr. Alton Corey-one of the ‘old time’ general practitioners-last week. Several hundred people gathered around the bonfire in the Industrial Rubber Goods parking lot to serenade the doctor. In the crowd were representatives from the three generations that Dr. Corey has served since he came to New Troy nearly 40 years ago. Countless numbers of babies were delivered by the doctor-he stopped keeping track after 3,500-and thousands found their way to his office in New Troy, where a visit cost $2 (with medicine included) House calls went up to $4 a call only a few years ago. The impromptu committee that planned the surprise ceremony ‘captured’ him in his home about 9:30 p.m. last Thursday. Dr. Corey looked out into an office full of patients, to find a delegation headed by Rev. Doug Mitchell waiting to take him to the bonfire. The constable’s car-with red lights flashing-sped the Dr. and Mrs. Corey to the bonfire, where he heard them singing, ‘For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow’ in his honor, with Robert Decker leading the music. Dr. Corey joined in on ‘I’ve been working on the Railroad,’ the crowd grew silent as Harry Ahrend presented a gift to the doctor on behalf of the people of the community. There was little the doctor could say, except to thank them, and say how much he would miss them. There was another song or two, then the doctor and his wife left in the constable’s car. Next morning, the Coreys left for St. Petersburg, Fla., where the doctor will begin his retirement-and the first real vacation since his practice. He’ll take with him his present-a framed color picture of a deer. Later on, a tape recording of the farewell bonfire will be sent to him, along with a gold plate with the engraved words, ‘Thank you for everything.’ On the committee which arranged the ceremony were Al Boyd, Weesaw Township supervisor, Robert Decker, Rev. Mitchell, Eric Wickstrom and Mrs. Dorothy Sweet. A load of bonfire material was contributed by the Three Oaks Lumber and Coal Co., and Howard’s Hi-Fi Co. sent out loud speakers and a microphone. Norma Arend of Harbert picked out the present for the Coreys, and decorated it with bows spelling Doc”. Anyone wishing to contribute to help defray expenses for the ceremony may mail them to the Galien River Gazette in Three Oaks, and should be marked ‘Dr. Corey Fund.’ Funds received over the costs incurred will be disposed of under the direction of Dr. Corey.” This bonfire would have taken place on 19 Oct 1961.
The Herald Palladium carried an obituary for Dr. Alton W. Corey on Monday 26 Sep 1977 and it reads: “Ex-New Troy Physician Dies New Troy-Dr. A. W. Corey, 81, a retired New Troy physician who had moved to St. Petersburg, Fla., in 1961, died Sunday in St. Anthony hospital, St. Petersburg. He was born May 12, 1896, in Owosso, Mich. Surviving are his wife, the former Vereita Glade; a son, Dean Corey, Farmington; a daughter, Mrs. Don (Jackie) Loving, Houston, Texas; five grandchildren; two brothers, Ralph, California and Kenneth of Plymouth, Mich.; a sister, Mrs. Betty Schroen, California. Funeral services were held in St. Petersburg. The body will be cremated and burial will be at a later date in the New Troy cemetery. Memorials may be made to American Cancer Society. Local arrangements will be handled by the Fairplain chapel, Florin funeral home, Benton Harbor. Dr. Corey was an institution of medical care in the south county area for nearly 40 years, operating his practice from the lower level of his home in New Troy. He was a country doctor who had no receptionist to greet patients, no nurse to administer inoculations or simple first aid and no secretary to keep track of accounts. There is some confusion on exactly how many south county residents he brought into the world-he stopped counting at 3,500. He came to New Troy in 1922 and opened his practice. He graduated from the University of Michigan medical school in 21 and interned for a year at Blodgett hospital in Grand Rapids before settling in New Troy. He was 65 when he retired from active practice in 1961. He and his wife moved to St. Petersburg, Fla., where they lived until his death.” I could not locate an obituary for Verenita (Glade) Corey from 1987.
Harbert resident Shawn Lynch recently donated a June 29, 1933 copy of The Community Enterprise to Friends of New Troy. The old newspaper was crumbling, but volunteer Ben Stolarik quickly scanned portions of it for preservation. Page one of the newspaper, which appears below, features an article about the Center of the World General Store and its owner, Hosea B. Tirrell. The article includes photos and even the lyrics of a song that Tirrell wrote about his store. Click the image to see detail.