First and Only Weekly Online Fanzine Devoted to the Life and Works of Edgar Rice Burroughs
Since 1996 ~ Over 15,000 Web Pages in Archive
Volume 6255
DUM-DUM 2017
Coldwater, Michigan
Hosted by: Michael A. Hatt
Aug 3 thru 5, 2017

Wing House Museum ~ J.B. Branch & Company Department Store
Comments in italics have been contributed by Dum-Dum host Michael Hatt

The highlight of Day 2 was Michael Hatt's well-planned bus tour
of the Coldwater sites familiar to the Burroughs and Hulbert families.
During the jaunt we had a chance to view many of the homes and large buildings
that dated back to the 1910s
when Edgar Rice Burroughs spent many summer days in the area.

Our second stops were at the Museum and the Department Store Building

Click for larger images

Our next stop was the Wing House Museum, built in 1875.
Other than having been built in 1875, the year that Burroughs was born,
the Museum has only one actual connection with ERB.

We were half an hour early for our tour.
The guides rushed to turn on all the lights.
There were 33 of us on bus #2.
 We were divided into 3 groups, each with a knowledgeable guide.

 The Branch County Historical Society, curators of the Wing House Museum,
graciously provided tour guides for our group.
The guides, garbed in period dress, led our inquisitive group through the majestic home.
~ Michael Hatt


The exterior was very impressive of the Second Empire style.

The kitchen is located in the basement where it is cooler,
especially in the summer heat.


The dining room is often used to host pre-arranged luncheons.

Some of our friends just arrived this morning just in time for the tour.
The Hadac and Gorecki drove over from Chicago.


On this table was a letter written by ERB to a niece.
The letter on display is a type-written letter
from ERB to his neice, Marjorie Westemdarp,
on ERB stationary and dated December 2, 1943. Signed as "Ed".

ERB's letter, the only Burroughs artifact in the Wing Museum.
The letter is transcribed and featured in ERBzine 4127

 For many more of Ed's letters see ERBzine's LOST WORDS OF ERB:


The "Games Room"

Our interest in music led us to a beautiful Symphonion upright music box.


Our tour guide, Flip Johnson [r], who took some time off work to share excellent information on the building's artifacts.
Jonathan Hart - one of the attendees - listens while standing in front of the Museum's rear exit.

 Flip Johnson is a long time Branch County Historical Society member.
He has a passion for history, particularily pertaining to the local area.


Our final stop was the building that housed the J.B. Branch & Company Department Store.
The top floor was used as a garment factory.
Clothing for women and children were produced and sold downstairs in the department store.
Upon arrival Michael shares some history the store.

One of numerous storefronts
in the old J. B. Branch complex.,

From 1992 through 1996, Michael Hatt ran
The Ink and Paper Place in that building.

The North Woods Coffee Co. Shop has a good selection of souvenirs. . .
including Michael Hatt's well-researched book on the Coldwater/Burroughs Connection.

During the visit to the former J. B. Branch building and complex,
everyone relaxed and had a snack on the first floor.
The current business, North Woods Coffee Co., offers a light fare, coffee, and easy gathering.

The Hillmans are joined at their lunch table.
 Sue-On gets acquainted with author Ann Johnson
While later, old friend Huck Huckenpöhler chats with Bill.

 The second floor of the old J. B. Branch & Co. building is now used for storage.
Lee Strong, Jim Hadac, Tyler Wilbanks and Cathy Wilbanks are among the group exploring the upper floors of the building.
The coffee shop graciously allowed our group access to the entire building.

/The windows of the second floor overlook the street.
In the past, Fourth of July parades would jam the streets.
When ERB vacationed at the Burroughs Country Place on Morrison Lake,
he would have a front row seat for the parades from these windows.
There are photos of ERB watching parades from that vantage point.

Bill found the window that in which Ed appeared in one of the photos and examined the view that ERB would have seen.
A piece of graffiti was found behind a wall covering on the wall beside the window:
"Edgar Rice Burroughs Was Here! 1918" Perhaps authentic. . . perhaps not. . . but an interesting find.

Scene aboard bus #2 as they return to the hotel after a very
entertaining and informative tour of Burroughs-related sites.
The day carried on with more presentations and chats in the Huckster Room
before everyone gathered for supper.

Click for full-size promo collage


6250: Dum-Dum 2017
ERBzine 6251: 
Souvenir Packet
ERBzine 6252:
Day One
ERBzine 6253: 
Huckster Room
ERBzine 6254: 
Coldwater Tour I
ERBzine 6255: 
Coldwater Tour II

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