Without a doubt, the most exciting event that ever happened in the Springwater Valley occurred during the week of June 18-25, 1967. One hundred and fifty years ago, the Township of Springwater became a political unit of Livingston County on April 16 of the year 1816. However, the town officers of the newly erected township did not become active until April of the following year. A birthday of one hundred fifty years; a sesquicentennial!
A committee made up of representatives of several organizations from the community began the celebration by the first of the year. Edward Holmes was chosen general chairman.
As part of the celebration, the Springwater firemen conceived the idea of bringing the Livingston County Firemen’s Convention to Springwater as part of the celebration. This convention, under direction of the Springwater Fire Company headed by Gary Robinson as chairman, arranged for the carnival part of the affair, which provided the rides and other attractions.
A group of ambitious young men of the community worked weekends and nights for several weeks before the celebration was to take place, erecting the new Springwater Pavilion building and such other structures as seemed necessary.
A huge circus tent was loaned to the committee by a generous car dealer from Dansville. The local group would have been at a loss to know how to proceed to put up the tent had it not been for Bill Bailey, an old circus hand, who had a summer home on East Hill. The huge tent housed several concessions, such as the hamburger stand, the pizza stand, the turtle stand, the number wheel stand and a few others.
On the grounds, there were the usual carnival attractions.
The Springwater Sesquicentennial opened Sunday, the eighteenth of June, 1967. All during the afternoon and evening, the crowd was entertained by a Western Jamboree made up of several hill-billy bands. For those who came hungry, there was the chicken barbecue put on by the Webster’s Crossing Church.
Monday, the firemen of Livingston County held their yearly meeting and banquet, at which time they elected their officers for the coming year.
A square set dance competition took place during the evening with music by The Misfits, Howard Kramer, caller.
Tuesday the twentieth was Grange Day. A public dinner was held at the Grange Hall.
Wednesday evening was the antique parade. Although the weather was uncooperative, the parade was a grand success, with entries of old cars, fire engines, floats and horse drawn carriages coming from five or six counties.
Thursday evening the county firemen’s Queen was selected.
The Kiddies Parade on Friday at 7:00 PM and the rock and roll dance were the main attractions for the day.
Saturday was The Big Day! The day began with a ham shoot at 10:00 AM at the Rod and Gun Club grounds, followed by a public dinner held at the Methodist Church. At the carnival grounds, one could again enjoy a chicken barbecue put on by the Kern-Robinson Post of the American Legion.
At 7:30 PM, the Fireman’s Parade began with entries from six counties. The several fore companies assembled on Irene Miller’s lot west of her house. It required more than one hour for the parade to pass the judges’ stand.
Every available parking space along the streets from Dale Straight’s to the grange hall and from George Brokaw’s to Ronald Smith’s, besides all available space on the carnival grounds, was filled.
It was estimated that as many as five thousand people were on the carnival grounds after the parade, the greatest amount of people ever to be in Springwater at one time.
Throughout the week, there was on display a large number of old woodworking tools exhibited in the Ted Colegrove building by Hartenstein’s.
In the vacant Gowan store was exhibited several items of historical interest to the community. A display of Indian artifacts from the collection of J. R. Robinson was shown in the Gowan Store.
All historical points of interest were marked by suitable posters which were lettered and put up by Lois Haywood and J. R. Robinson.