The History & Mystery of Three Rivers

Some of Constantine Street history had been written in previous articles in the history of other streets that intersect with Constantine Street. Many important sites at intersections are marked by DAR Historical Markers: City Hall at W. Michigan, La Salle Park, (now Rohrer Park) at South St. and Moab at Broadway. #112 is presumed to be the site of the 1828 cabin home of Jacob McEnterfer’s family. The large 1859 Millard Family home still stands at the SW corner of Millard St. Some cross streets (Buck, Lafayette, King, Thomas, Wolf) were named for war heroes, business and civic leaders.

A previous article listed some of the “Little Italy” families of Constantine St. Both Constantine and Spring St. were home to over 200 Italian families over the years. An old article about the family of Dr. Stanley Penzotti was found. Dr. Penzotti’s grandfather established a school in Guatemala, The Penzotti School for poor boys. It later included girls. The school known as Colegio Francisco G. Penzotti, Guatemala City, Guatemala. Some checking in 2023 shows it still exists.

1959 City Directory lists 115 names/addresses on Constantine St. Just a few will be picked. #110 Charles Porter, owner, Porter Auto Sales, wife Nora Porter, owner, Unique Restaurant; #205 Glee Wolf, owner, Glee D. Wolf Real Estate, wife Bertha; #310 Jack Lockwood, attorney at law, wife Donna, (ch; Dennis & David); #402 Dr. Stanley C. Penzotti, Physician. & Surgeon, TR Medical Clinic, member of Bd. Of Education, wife Louise, (ch: Stanley Jr. & James); #501 Smagala Grocery, Raymond owner; #524 Jonker Accordion Studio, Mrs. Maxine and James partners (James, Asst. Fire Chief, City of TR),

(NOTE: 1957 for 125th Homecoming Celebration, 9 PM Teen Hop at Scidmore Park tennis courts with music by Jonker’s Orchestra); #649 Elmo Kauffman, budget mgr. Savery & Bogash, wife Katherine; #706 Harold Miholer, foreman, Mich. Gas & Elec. Co, wife Eileen, (ch: Lyle, William, & Norma); #823 Charles W. Foghino, truck broker, G & A Truck Lines, wife Thelma, beautician, Rose Room, (ch. Tom); Broadway intersects – #900 Wellington’s Grocery Store, (residence) owner Mrs. Phebe (widow Glenn); #1058 Armand E. Moore press operator, Peterson Spring, wife Delores, (ch. Joyce & Armand).

You can go in to read or request copies of these articles at the St. Joseph Co. Historical Society at 34 N. Main. Phone 269/718-7013. Hours 10-4 Fridays. Beginning in 2018 these historical articles on the streets of our City named for prominent people started with 1st Ward, 2nd Ward and now part of 3rd Ward including streets north of W. Mich. Next time: And More Constantine Street – people, places and things. Anna Smith is a Three Rivers history and mystery lover.

Submitted by Anna Smith

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