August 2010

“Indian Landing” is located in Historic Charlton Park along the Thornapple River in Hastings Township, MI In 1849, the Thornapple Band of Ottawa Native Americans owned the property, but they permitted Rev. Manasseh Hickey, a Episcopal Methodist minister, to build a mission on their land that year. The mission was a 30 foot square two room log cabin with an alley and fireplace separating the rooms. A fireplace was shared by both rooms and wood could be fed into the fire from outdoors. Sources say, that Sundays before church, a horn would be blown to call Native American and Euro-American settlers to services. This horn could be heard up to 4 miles, alerting people on the opposite side of the Thornapple River that it was time for church. They came to the waters edge and were ferried across by the Native Americans for services. The mission operated until 1854, when the Native Americans sold the property to Henry Edgecomb and moved to the Middleville area.

View of the site during excavation.

The mission was located near a creek in a grove of walnut trees, where the current excavation is taking place. After the departure of the Native Americans, the mission was turned into a home by multiple landowners. Most objects found come from the habitation period, approximately 1855 – 1871. In 1871, the property was purchased by Elam Crook who already owned a farm a mile to the west. By 1894, only the cabin’s foundation remained. The objects on display here illustrate that settlers in this area had almost the same amenities as those that lived in large cities. Barry County was not a backwater, but a thriving young community in Michigan. 

Click here to see some short video clips from a presentation on the excavation.
There have been some exciting finds from the mission. Most recently, many coins and tokens have been turning up. Coins found during excavation help to date archaeological sites. The excavation is currently being led by Dr. Dale Borders of Grand Valley State University in Allendale, MI.




This coin helps to date the site to the habitation period. Eleven million of these coins were made at the Philadelphia Mint.

1863 Indian Head One Cent coin, 49,840,000 were coined at the Philadelphia Mint.

One inch in diameter large cent minted in 1843. It is pierced. 2,425,342 were minted. Click the link below for a clear image.

A token from Foster & Parry Stoves in Grand Rapids, MI dated c. 1850. “Foster & Parry Dealers in Stoves” is on the front with an image of a stove, “Dealers in Stoves, Wholesale & Retail Iron & Hardware” on the back with a lock. Scroll to the bottom of the link below for a clear image.

Yeoman, R.S. A Guide Book of United States Coins: 44th Edition. Western Publishing Company, Inc. Racine, WI. 1991.




Sample of hand written pages in "Pipeography of Men"

The “Pipeography of Men” was written by Bernard M. “Bun” McPharlin of Hastings, Michigan from 1966-1976. This hand written document catalogs his large collection of pipes. He put a number or letter on each pipe in his care and, rather than describing the pipe itself, described the original owner of the piece. It is a unique book that gives us a glimpse of Barry County, Michigan life from around 1920 – 1970.

Bernard “Bun” McPharlin lived and worked in Hastings for most of his life. He was born in Cadillac, Michigan in 1907, the son of George and Marie McPharlin and they moved to Hastings when Bun was still young. He had one child with his first wife Nellie; they divorced in 1927. Bun was a veteran of WWII and served as a rifleman and was discharged in 1943. He married his second wife Gracie in 1950, and she gave him many pipes for his collection.

From old city directories, we know he worked for Consumers Power Co. and sold pipes at Baird’s Clothing Store and Water’s Clothing Shop, which was located at 138 E. State St. in downtown Hastings. He opened his own clothing business, Bun McPharlin’s Clothing Store, with a number of associates in approximately 1957. Bun ran the store until he retired in 1972. He retired to Sarasota, Florida where he passed away in 1990. He is buried in Hastings Riverside Cemetery.

Charlton Park is lucky to have this well cared for and documented collection of 82 pipes. Below are images and Bun’s personal descriptions of a few of the pipes in his collection.

McPharlin, Bernard M. Pipeography of Men. c. 1976.
Barry County Historical Society. Barry County Veterans of the World War II Era. J-Ad Graphic, Hastings, MI. 2002.
“A Man and His Collection: Bernard McPharlin and His Pipes” – 1995 Charlton Park Exhibition, prepared by Sue Pufpaff.


This pipe was used by "Ray Branch". This pipe was a gift to Ray from "Bing Crosby" while he was President of a National Theater Organization. Ray was a member of the Hastings Country Club. Hastings Rotary life member B.P.O.E. He operated the Strand Theater in hastings for many years. Organized the Hastings Hotel Corp. The Hastings Locker Plant. His sons are Ray-Robert & Richard. Smoked and owned by Walter A. Spaulding, Postmaster of Milo-Farmer and grain mill operator. Walter's grandfather was one of the early pioneers of Milo and Doster area. The Spaulding farm was owned by the succeeding heirs for over a hundred years. This pipe and several others of his were given to me after his death in about 1934 to 1936. (Corn cob)

This pipe belonged to Charles Smith "Scottie". Born in Alexandria, Scotland. His trade in the Mother Country was a fabric - blockprinter. He came to the United States and later to Hastings, Michigan in 1923. He worked for the Hastings Manufacturing Company in piston ring production until his retirement. He is the father of Agnes - Industrial Nurse at Hastings Mfg. Co. His religion - Presbyterian. Pipe given to me 11/20/(19)58.

Given to me by Angelo Spiris. Angelo Spiris was a native of Greece. He obtained the pipe for me while visiting the home land. He was a veteran of WWI, a member of the American Legion, and also a commander of the local post. He operated a tavern on Jefferson St. from the late thirties to the early fifties and later a restaurant on West State St. in the Hendershott Bldg.

Pipe owned and smoked by Dr. Chas. (Charles) McIntyre. He left it in the store one day while using the telephone. I informed him that I wanted it for my collection. Very humorous and interesting man. A school teacher. Operated a drug store in the Village Woodland and later an M.D. One of the best. No one to compare with. Both of his sons were medics: Dr. Kenneth McIntyre and Dr. Charles McIntyre. Dr. McIntyre was one fo the co-founders of the Hastings Savings & Loan, and a booster of the Pennock Hospital and the first enlargement.


Given to me by Joseph Kidder, son of Arthur Kidder. First met Joe at Saint Rose School when the family first moved to Hastings from Nashville. Later in high school the four years together like two brothers. The pipe is Austrian in origin. I received it about 1925. His father, Arthur E. Kidder, law partner of Attorney Kim Sigler Office, City Bank Bldg., Hastings. (Hunting scene painted on the ceramic pipe bowl)

Smoked and owned by Walter A. Spaulding, Postmaster of Milo-Farmer and grain mill operator. Walter's grandfather was one of the early pioneers of Milo and Doster area. The Spaulding farm was owned by the succeeding heirs for over a hundred years. This pipe and several others of his were given to me after his death in about 1934 to 1936. (Corn cob)