'Please Notice Men Playing Croquet'
Quad River News--March 19, 1984
By Bill Gladstone

When I first went through the pictures belonging to the Worth County Historical society, some two or three years ago, one of the most interesting to me is this one. Ed Eighmy, principally, collected the pictures and some of them are enlargements and mounted in cardboard frames. He had written a small description of most of those. This one had the following written at the bottom, "East side of square in Grant City in the early 1860"s before the Oriental Hotel was built. Please notice men playing croquet in the street."
When I first saw the picture, and even yet, I have a little trouble accepting how the terrain looks on to the east. I'm sure the picture must have been taken from one of the upper floor windows of the wooden courthouse. My principal trouble is in placing where High Street is now located.
Not too long ago, and for the first time in my life, I was up in the attic of the courthouse. Looking to the east from that vantage point gives a person a different perspective so I am willing to accept that the picture is of the east side of the square.
I do think, though, that the caption is not entirely correct. It states that the Oriental Hotel had not been built and that the date was in the early 1860's. I have some doubts about that.
The GENTRY AND WORTH COUNTY HISTORY 1882, states that the first newspaper in the county was the Enterprise which began printing in 1867 and in 1869 the name of the paper was changed to the Grant City Star. To me that would indicate that the picture was not taken until sometime after 1869.
In the worth County Centennial Book which was published in 1961 there is a picture on page 27 showing the east side of the square and it also shows a small print shop but the name Grant City Star had yet to make its appearance.
The Worth County Historical Society finally has a permanent home. It is in the corner of the courthouse where the assessors office was before their move to the second floor. The Historical Society room will be open each Friday afternoon from 1:00 to 3:30 P.M. The society is particularly interested in acquiring old pictures and written documents. File cabinets have been acquired and the material can be stored in an organized manner. They are also interested in acquiring some small articles of a historical nature.
The normal meeting date of the society is the first Sunday afternoon of each month at 2:30 P.M. in the historical room.