From VFW to Venue on Ensley – The Each day Information

Dwight Wells of Pierson Township bought former Renner-Lobker VFW Put up 3306 in Howard Metropolis and has renovated the constructing over the previous 12 months. He plans to open as a venue on Ensley, an occasion venue, in Could. DN Picture | Elizabeth Valdon

HOWARD CITY Residents of Montcalm Countys Panhandle are accustomed to the American flags historically positioned on the expansive garden at Renner-Lobker VFW Put up 3306 throughout patriotic holidays.

Flags fluttering within the breeze have typically made for a formidable and transferring sight to motorists driving previous the massive yellow constructing at 1001 S. Ensley St. (Federal Street/Previous 131) simply south of Howard Metropolis.

The VFW Put up closed in 2020, however the 9,800-square-foot facility is now getting new life, and the flags will likely be again too.

Black sconces dangle beneath a black ceiling within the spacious room on the north aspect of the longer term Venue on Ensley, Howard Metropolis’s former VFW Put up which is present process redevelopment. DN Picture | Elizabeth Valdon

Dwight Wells of Pierson Township was awarded the property underneath contract in December 2020 and bought it in October 2021.

Retired greater than 30 years into the automotive business, Wells has been engaged on a refurbishment of the constructing over the previous 12 months with plans to open the previous VFW Put up as a Venue on Ensley, an occasions venue (an identical destiny is unfolding with the previous VFW Put up in Six Lakes, as beforehand reported by the Each day Information).

We hope to have weddings, receptions, events, company occasions, our personal issues like craft reveals, juried artwork reveals, markets, each indoors and open air, Wells stated. I used to be in search of one thing else to get into. We discovered this and determined to see what we might do about it. We hope it really works for everybody.

A minimum of a part of the constructing dates to the mid-Nineteen Fifties, the south portion of the constructing being a restaurant referred to as Vals whereas the close by self-contained blue constructing was a farm device shed, based on what locals shared with Wells. When the VFW purchased the constructing, they constructed a spacious addition on the north aspect within the early Nineteen Eighties (see hooked up data field).

Wells stated he has up to now hauled greater than 500 toes of stuff out of the constructing, dismantled quite a few lockers and knocked down an enormous quantity of the panels so in style within the Nineteen Seventies. However he hasn’t thrown all the pieces away from it.

An advocate of reclaimed supplies, Wells repurposed about 75 % of the lumber he discovered within the constructing. Whereas gutting the construction, he returned the partitions and flooring to their unique look, eliminated a drop ceiling, and uncovered the unique home windows behind the paneling. He is turned an previous door right into a countertop and is refurbishing a form of space for storing on the unique far south wall right into a cocktail bar in an space with a refreshed Nineteen Fifties industrial look, Wells calls it. Black sconces dangle underneath a black ceiling all through the principle space on the brand new north aspect.

Whereas renovating the previous VFW Put up in Howard Metropolis, proprietor Dwight Wells uncovered these unique Nineteen Fifties home windows from underneath paneling, which he is making a particular function on the south aspect of the constructing. DN Picture | Elizabeth Valdon

With reference to extra VFW gadgets, together with trophies relationship again to 1978, Wells received in contact with a VFW official in Lakeview and Lansing about handing over a few of these gadgets for safekeeping. The 20 or so flags that flew throughout the garden numerous instances at the moment are stored within the Howard Metropolis village workplaces, every flag honoring a neighborhood veteran.

I need to proceed the custom of displaying flags, Wells stated. The individuals of the village will assist me arrange the flags for the vacations.

Venue on Ensley is scheduled to open in mid-late Could. Wells stated his spouse Trudy has a expertise for glasswork, ornament and design and can quickly add her artistic contact to the constructing. Wells is contemplating acquiring a liquor license for his new enterprise, however for now has made preparations for meals and alcohol to be supplied as wanted at any future occasions.

It is trying actually good, Howard Metropolis village supervisor Mike Falcon advised the Each day Information of the renovated Venue on Ensley. He is making an attempt to get a liquor license. He’s trying into his choices for this license and a type of can be to undergo the village of Howard Metropolis Downtown Growth Authority, which the DDA can be supporting. Nonetheless, as of in the present day he’s nonetheless evaluating all of his choices.

For extra details about Venue on Ensley, name Wells at (616) 915-1884.

A better look

Renner-Lobker VFW Put up 3306 in Howard Metropolis was based on March 23, 1975 by Henry Hunt, Invoice Genung, Charles Becker, Clyde Rennie and James Inexperienced. The creation of a Women Auxiliary adopted on 5 December 1975.

A information clipping displaying the Howard Metropolis VFW Posts Memorial Day occasion schedule. The Howard Metropolis Report newspaper

Additionally in 1975 in native information, the brand new Howard Metropolis Put up Workplace opened, the Village of Howard Metropolis opened an expanded Division of Public Works facility, the Michigan State Police Lakeview Put up devoted its new headquarters on M-46 , Tri County Excessive College Band earned the coveted Ranking 1, 94 seniors graduated with Tri County’s class of 1975, and the Tri County ladies’s varsity basketball workforce had an ideal season, profitable the district title.

Over time, the Howard Metropolis VFW Put up has overseen Memorial Day companies at native cemeteries, offered poppies to assist veterans, hosted bingo occasions and flea markets, held Voice of Democracy contests for highschool college students highschool, affiliated with a VFW youth camp on Payments Lake close to Newaygo, raised cash for the VFW Nationwide Residence for Widows and Orphans in Eaton Rapids, most cancers analysis/support and different packages.

Roger DeMartin of Howard Metropolis created a hand carved and painted wood VFW emblem for the VFW Put up in 1979 (his spouse Sweet DeMartin was the president of Girls’s Auxiliary on the time).

A information clipping from the Howard Metropolis Report about an addition underneath building to the VFW Put up.

In Could 1984, the officer set up occurred within the newly constructed portion of VFW Corridor (an addition constructed north of the constructing at 1001 S. Ensley St. simply south of Howard Metropolis) at a banquet attended by a number of of 60 individuals. That 12 months, Paul Dexter was made commander, Gerald Cederquist was senior deputy commander, and Theodore Inman was junior deputy commander. The Girls’s Auxiliary officers have been Dee Kruger as president, Carol Stem as senior vp, Rose Bogardus as junior vp, Muriel Brasington as treasurer, and Terri Vos as secretary.

In October 2012, the VFW hosted a dinner and Q&A Meet the Candidates discussion board that includes candidates from the State all the way down to the native Senate stage.

In December 2015, Howard Metropolis DPW members hung a brand new signal on the VFW constructing as a neighborhood Christmas challenge. The DPW used the remaining funds raised from the gathering and sale of scrap steel to fund the brand new signal.

In August 2018, the VFW hosted a city corridor the place then State Consultant Jim Lowers proposed laws to enhance Michigan’s property tax evaluation was focused.

The VFW has hosted many fundraisers, potlucks and advantages for neighborhood members in recent times. One of many final public occasions hosted by the VFW was an autumn craft bazaar in November 2019.

Supply: The Howard Metropolis Report newspaper (scanned and accessible on-line by way of the Timothy C. Hauenstein Reynolds Township Library at and Each day Information archives.


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