Relay for Life – an album by Maralyn Fink

On Friday evening I attended the Relay For Life at the Depot. It was a nice evening, and there was a good turnout.

This year it was held at the Depot and was very organized. There was Line-Dancing for the kids and food vendors.

It was still light out so at the time of the picture taking, the luminaries were lit but not very visible.

All in all it was great community event. Thanks to all the volunteers and all who volunteered as well as the survivors.


Spring Fling – an album by Maralyn Fink

On Saturday I attended Spring Fling on Clinton Avenue. It was a nice day, and I saw many people and exhibits. It is a great event for our Community.

Thank you to the vendors and volunteers who help in anyway to make this possible. Everyone had a great time, good food and yes, even cookies.


Museum to feature a few notable people

The crew is working on preparing for the Season Opening for the Clinton County Historical Museum on Sunday May 15, 2022 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

This year’s special exhibit is focusing on several Notable People with Clinton County Roots. You will be surprised about some very famous icons designed by locals and other historical items. The General Exhibit Room upstairs has been repurposed with displays regarding women’s fashions through the ages and the Doctor’s Office has been revamped. Weather permitting the General Store and Carriage House will be open as well.

The Museum will be open Sundays from 1 to 4 and Wednesdays 2 to 6 through summer and autumn except for Holiday weekends. Check it out at 106 Maple in St.Johns, West of the Courthouse Square or pgsmuseum.com or email pgsmuseum@gmail.com with questions. You can also phone 989.224.2894 or 989.292.9096.

The Museum is run completely on volunteers and donations. You can help them out by signing up with Smile.Amazon.com. Register with “Clinton County Historical Society” and scroll down to the St.Johns, MI location. Also your Kroger Plus Shopper Card can be registered with KrogerCommunityRewards.com and use Charity #DQ655. These are no cost to you and we get NO personal information, just a quarterly deposit. Thank you for participating.

The Museum is on the lookout for St.Johns High School yearbooks for 1955, 1957, 1958, 1972, 1974. 1975. 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1982, 1988, 1989, 1996, 1997 and 1998. Also 2000 through 2019.


Remember When – Friends recall Catherine Rumbaugh at the Museum in 2014
by Rhonda Dedyne

A comment by Paine-Gillam-Scott Assistant Director Bill McCarthy about Catherine Rumbaugh captures the essence of a woman who is most deserving of the titles Historian and Director Emeritus, honors she received in 2010 from the Clinton County Historical Society and the Museum – a place that was most certainly her second home.

“Catherine always had a belief that in order to appreciate the future, you needed to learn about the past; she said that was the importance of history,” Bill recalls about the Clinton County native who passed away April 24 and had dedicated a good share of her life to preserving our county’s heritage via the vast array of artifacts and documents housed at the Museum.

Catherine’s emphasis on educating current and future generations about Clinton County’s rich history was evident to everyone who knew her, myself included. It was my pleasure to interview Catherine for multiple stories over the past 30 years, and to have worked with her and Museum volunteers on a variety of projects and events, during and after my time on PGS Advisory Board.

One of my favorite news articles from those years is a story that published in the Lansing City magazine back in 1992 that highlighted the important place history held for both Catherine and John, her husband and an equal in a partnership that spanned 54 years. John passed away January 28, 1998. An excerpt from that article underscores the correlation between history and education that Bill remarked upon during our conversation this week.

“The Museum is a valuable asset to the community,” Catherine said in the story. “The exhibits and collections can be used as a learning tool by teachers in the area, and we’re always hopeful that the community will begin to have a greater appreciation for the history that the work of all the Museum volunteers over the years has helped to insure.”

That goal has been achieved thanks to the volunteers Catherine cited, like Gerri Wyble who has worked at the Museum since the early 1980s and remains as an active volunteer and Board member.

“Catherine was an historian who treasured every piece that came into the Museum, and she knew where each one came from and the historical story behind it,” Gerri says, citing the keen memory and attention to detail that was another of Catherine’s trademarks. “We are so lucky to have had Catherine and John and the others who started the Museum and helped it open in 1979 – just think of the history that would have been lost if they hadn’t had the vision to make it happen.”

PGS Executive Director Diane Carlson, who took over for Catherine following her “retirement” in 2010, agrees with Gerri.

“Catherine had a vision for what the Museum could continue to become, and she taught all of us so much about the history of our county,” Diane says. “I started volunteering and working with Catherine in 2001, and she never did anything without giving thought to the purpose behind every exhibit and display. She was a wealth of information – everything was always thoroughly researched and factual. It’s impossible to follow her.”

While attention to detail was a priority – Catherine was a taskmaster, for sure – a warm, humorous side often revealed itself to those who knew her well.

“Holiday times at the Museum when we hosted Victorian Christmas were always fun,” Bill recalls about the special events that he participated in since becoming a volunteer in 1996. “Catherine loved having fresh evergreen garlands decorating the Museum and the old-fashioned Christmas tree, even though she had terrible allergies. Those were special occasions for her because so many people visited who had never been to the Museum before.”

While the long-time director wasn’t able to be as active in the past year, she still kept up to date on its exhibits and changes to displays like “Calendar Hall” on the Museum’s second floor that is a visual timeline of historic events. Originated by Catherine a number of years ago, volunteers have recently updated the exhibit.

“We were all thinking, ‘We need to do this the way Catherine would want it,’ and we were hopeful that she would be able to visit and see it this spring after the Museum opens next week,” Diane says.
Perhaps Catherine and John’s viewing has already happened.

“She and John are working together again now – probably planning something new for the Museum,” Bill says with a smile. “She worked so hard, and taught us all something.”

My lesson may be in the files of historical material I’ve accumulated over the years. I am not blessed with Catherine’s organizational abilities. I need to do better. My archival system involves sorting through folders (both digital and “real”) of photos and articles, picking what’s necessary for the assignment currently in progress – and then putting everything back in the same sorry mess. Catherine would not be pleased – but she always did like my writing, so I’ve got that going for me.

Those files yielded many Rumbaugh treasures:
– The aforementioned Lansing City magazine story
– An expanded obituary from John’s passing
– Many photos of the Museum, including Bill putting up garland and Catherine by the Victorian Christmas tree (with Art Wainwright shooting video for use on his television segment that aired at that time)

Catherine Rumbaugh accepted the 1998 Bill Patton Award from Bill Patton’s daughter, Mary Beth Moldenhauer, in front of the Paine-Gillam-Scott Museum which Catherine and John Rumbaugh helped bring to life. Also pictured are Laura Mullaney (front, far right), SJ Chamber Ambassador, and Rumbaugh family members in attendance at the ceremony (back, l-r) granddaughter, Allison Kusenda; daughter and son-in-law, Karen and Dan Kusenda; and grandchildren, Sarah Taylor and Andrew Jenkins.

– Catherine accepting the St. Johns Chamber of Commerce Bill Patton Award given to her and posthumously to John;
And one of Catherine’s most valued achievements – recognition of the PGS Museum as a Michigan Historic site with placement of a Michigan Historical Marker. That date, July 29, 1998, was special – the first such marker placed in the city of St. Johns – requiring much documentation and submittal of information, primarily from Catherine’s source materials.

Our community’s history is alive and growing thanks in part to a lady many people will never personally know – that’s the magic of Paine-Gillam-Scott Museum.

The building that it honors served as a backdrop in 1998 for the newly erected Paine-Gillam-Scott House Michigan Historical Marker. Pictured (l-r): Clinton County Historical Society President Betty Jane Minsky, PGA Museum Director Catherine Rumbaugh, former resident of the house Edith Russell, and Keith Molin of the Michigan Historical Commission.


Letters – Readers discuss street work and local history


So what is purpose of taking out the cobble stone at the cross walks? They have been there for years. Nobody has complained. We have a number of blind people in town. They used that as a guide for themselves. Maybe you should work on the city parking lots first? The one behind the Post Office is terrible. How about taking care of that? I have tripped several times. I am no a young person. I am almost 80. Let’s use some common sense.

Sue Straub
St Johns Community (Clinton County, Michigan)

[The City of St. Johns commented: The city is replacing three crosswalks on Clinton Avenue today. Portions of Clinton Avenue (downtown) may be shut down temporarily but access is open to all businesses. We’re hoping to have the majority of the work completed today with final paving later this week. Thanks for your patience as we complete this project.]

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I was disappointed in the short note about the Kickapoo people visiting Pewamo. It would have been nice to see some interviews from them.

When I was in grade school I was reading The Last of the Mohicans so I asked my grandfather (George Thelen) who was at the time working for the Clinton county road commission, I think, about indians around Westphalia when he was young. He told me they used to camp at the Stoney Creek bridge during the sucker run in the spring. That was north of Westphalia near M-21.

Later on we were studying history about the KKK and heard rumors that they attacked German decent people during the 1st world war. I knew he was an official at the Westphalia Telephone company around that time and asked him if they ever had any problems with them and he told me they had. They came the road to Westphalia from the east and were met with shotguns and bullseye lanterns and were able to convince them it would not be safe for them to continue.

These are the kind of history I would like to see on the sjindy.

Roger E. Thelen
Sultan, Washington


Maralyn’s Pet Corner – How Do Cats Sweat?
courtesy of Dr. Sarah Wooten

Did you know that the domestic cat descended from wild desert cat species in Africa and Arabia? That’s right—our cats’ ancestors came from really hot places! Even on blistering hot days, you are likely to never see your cat sweat. So how do cats keep themselves cool?

Here are some interesting facts about cat sweat that you can use to best care for your cat AND wow your friends.

Do Cats Sweat?

Even though you may never see them sweat, cats are born with an efficient cooling system. Unlike humans, who are born with sweat glands all over the body, a cat’s sweat glands are only located in a few specific hairless areas, including the paws, lips, chin and on the skin that surrounds the anus.

When the body sends a message to the brain that the body’s temperature has gotten too high, the brain sends signals to these glands to start sweating. When the sweat evaporates, it produces a cooling effect on the skin.

Stress can also cause a cat to sweat—a cat that is frightened in a veterinary clinic will often sweat through his little cat paws, leaving wet footprints on the exam table.

Tricks Cat Use to Cool Down

Because cats have only a limited amount of sweat glands, sweating alone is not enough to lower the temperature of an overheated kitty. Cats can also cool themselves through grooming, which is why you may see your cat grooming more in the summer.

When the excessive saliva evaporates, it cools the skin. This is a normal behavior that cats use to dissipate excessive heat from their bodies, which is different than overgrooming due to skin problems, pain, anxiety or stress. A cat that is overgrooming due to health issues will have abnormally short, barbered hair, bald areas or red skin in the area of overgrooming.

Another trick that cats use to cool down is to take a siesta during the heat of the day. During the summer, cats—particularly outdoor cats—will disappear during the day and increase their activity at night.

Just like their wild ancestors and other wild felids, domestic cats will find a nice, cool, hidden place to rest and spread out their body over a cool surface to dissipate heat. Once the sun has gone down, they then resume their nocturnal hunting behavior.

What About Panting?

Panting is not normal in cats. While cats can use panting to cool down, panting is usually a sign that a cat is too hot or too stressed, or has an underlying heart or lung disorder that needs to be addressed by your veterinarian.

If you notice your cat panting, place your cat in a cool, calm area with a bowl of water where your cat can cool down. If the panting continues or if your cat isn’t acting normally, it could be a sign of heat stress or heatstroke in cats. In these cases, take your cat to a veterinarian immediately.

Can Excessive Sweating Point to an Underlying Medical Condition?

Cats typically never sweat enough to characterize it as excessive sweating; however, if a cat is in a cool environment and still leaves sweaty footprints, then that can point to underlying stress and/or anxiety that should be addressed with a certified behaviorist or veterinarian.

Some owners may notice excessive sweating around the mouth, but in those cases, the cat is usually salivating excessively due to a dental or stomach problem. On occasion, a cat will drool with happiness when she is petted. If you notice excessive wetness around your cat’s mouth, consult your veterinarian.