Wednesday, September 6, 2017

City approves Phase 1 of Veterans Park Pavilion Project

The Boyne City City Commission approved Phase 1 of the Veterans Park Pavilion Project at their meeting on August 29th. Phase 1 will include expansion of the footprint of the pavilion as well as removal of the fireplace and patching of the roof. The overall facade of the pavilion will be updated to tie in to the look of the new city facilities building.

In a memo to the City Commission, City Manager Michael Cain stated, "Working with Ray Kendra of Environmental Architects, the committee explored various options off the original designs to reduce costs and break it into phases while ultimately meeting the project's original objectives."

The project was awarded to local contracting company Kroondyk Construction, for a cost of $244,405.71. Work will begin right after Labor Day, and will be completed by May 1, 2018. Bob Kroondyk of Kroondyk Construction has stated he anticipates having the work completed faster than what was specified. The pavilion will not be open to the public during construction.

The ad-hoc pavilion committee, made up of several community members, will seek additional funds though grant opportunities and fundraising efforts to make future phases of the pavilion project a reality.

"The committee couldn't be more thrilled to have the community's vision of the Pavilion Project move forward," stated Becky Harris, committee member and Farmers Market manager.

Future phases would allow for modifications to the restrooms, a commercial kitchen and elimination of some, or all, of the support posts, to create a wide-open community event space.

For more information about the pavilion project, or to donate towards Phase 2, contact Kelsie King-Duff at

Bob Mathers Ford plans 100-year anniversary party Sept. 22

The auto dealership that ultimately became Bob Mathers Ford was originally started on September 22,1917. And they will be celebrating that 100-year anniversary from 12 noon to 6 p.m. on Sept. 22, 2017. It has been Bob Mathers Ford since 1973, and here’s the history of how that came about.

A century ago, the dealership was called Northern Auto Company. Bob Mathers worked there during his high school years in the late 1940's. Later, while living and working in Flint, he met Shirley Cunningham, and they were married in her hometown of Charlevoix on December 19, 1953. Bob and Shirley started their family in Flint where Cheri, Trish and Wendy were born. In 1962, they returned to Boyne, where Bob Jr. was born. They opened Mathers Sinclair on the corner of Lake Street and Water Street where Fifth Third Bank is now located. Robert repaired and sold used cars at his gas station and in 1972 they purchased the Body Shop from the Ford garage. The following year in the fall of 1973 Bob and Shirley purchased Dick Coté Ford and changed the name to Bob Mathers Ford. They sold the gas station in 1975 to the William Lindsay, who converted it to an insurance office. Robert G. Mathers passed away at the age of 76 on April 8th, 2005. Shirley passed away March 19, 2008, at the age of 76.

The dealership is now owned by the four Mathers siblings - Robert, Cheri, Trish and Wendy. Robert is now the General Manager, and daughter Wendy Mathers Reidel is the office manager. Robert and Wendy have been with the dealership since 1979 and 1981, respectively. The dealership has gone through several changes throughout the years, but the focus on customer satisfaction has always stayed the same.

> Historic pictures and more family history, including the story of how In 1936 Robert F. Mathers bought a 1935 two-door Ford from Northern Auto, trading in a cow, a 1929 Chevrolet and some cash. To close the deal Mathers then walked the cow to Deer Lake where John Parker, the dealership manager, had a farm.

> News-Review feature story.