From Whistle Stop To Mushroom Capital

Mesick has come a long way since early days when Howard Mesick received his 160 acres of bounty land. From forest to plowed field, from one vine filled pathway to a network of roads, from barren village streets to blocks of stores, from lantern lights to electric lights, from one room schools to a school with a full curriculum, sports, and busing. Yes, Mesick has come a long, long way. F. E. Rice settled in Mesick in 1901 to establish a printing business called The Mesick Sun. Later he wrote in his paper, “In those days there were only two or three stores, a schoolhouse, and one church. Old board sidewalks lined part of the main street and the side streets were just cow paths.”

For a time there had been talk of incorporating as a village (the law required a population of 300). By 1901 the number had reached 350. On October 12, 1901, thirty-six citizens signed a petition asking the Board of Supervisors for permission to incorporate as a village under state law. Early in 1902 the incorporation was completed, and the following officers were elected: President, R.M. Harry; Clerk, F.E. Rice; Treasurer, W.W. Galloway: and Assessor: B. C. Halstead.

In 1904 the Citizen’s Telephone Company was given permission to put in poles and lines for telephone service. In 1909 The people petitioned for gasoline streetlights. A smallpox epidemic swept over the village in 1912. By 1914 village water was available. In 1926 the people voted “yes” to borrow $7,000 to supply electric power to the village. In 1930 the first stop signs were erected, and the village streets were plowed all winter (in 1945 the main street was paved by the County Road Commission). The first fire station was discussed in 1949 and the Health Center was completed around 1950.

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